Chapter 1

Tim lay there, grasping at the bed in an attempt to stop the world whirling round in tune to his tormented thoughts. He hadn't been drinking, somehow that would have explained the dizziness, and it wasn't illness. No, none of the above. It was grief. A bone deep, soul shattering grief that left him unable to eat, or function past the point he was at now. As he lay there, he let his eyes wander around the room to the various things that had made up what was the family bedroom; the room where he and his wife had spent many a night being together and loving each other. Now, it was desolate and he was alone in a world that had once been so full of laughter and love. Gone was the laughter, gone was the love…gone was his soul.

"Timothy?" Ducky's soft voice carried across the bedroom and barely made it through the impenetrable fog that had clouded his mind for the past couple of days. "Come on, lad you need to get out of bed and eat."

"No." Tim heard the words that poured out of his mouth, but didn't really remember saying them. His responses were automatic now and every question that was thrown at him never really registered in his mind.

"No? Well, this won't do at all. You haven't eaten or drank anything in the past two-day's Timothy, so yes, you will get up and you will at least try to get something inside you." Ducky replied with a firm resolve. "Either that or I will be forced to take you to Bethesda where they can give you what your body needs. I'm sure you don't want that so please try and work with us."

Tim simply closed his eyes and turned his head away from the M.E.


"Jethro." Ducky greeted and stood up to make his way over to his friend. "Try and get him up if you can. He needs to eat and with his medical condition, it's imperative that it's soon."

Gibbs nodded and walked over to the bed. With a sigh, he placed the small green pack that he'd brought with him down on the nightstand. "This isn't gonna hold you over, McGee. You need to manage this with food as well."

No answer, only a slight shuddering that wracked Tim's body, signaling the need for something that would balance out his sugar levels.

"Damn it, McGee!" Gibbs said with a frustrated tone and grasped his shoulders so he could lift him up. As he did, he felt Tim slump forward onto his shoulder and start to sob. "Come on, Tim. I know it hurts right now, but it will get better." He soothed. Tim pulled back and pulled up the sleeve of his t-shirt so that Gibbs could do what he had to do. With a deep sigh, Gibbs pulled out the auto-injector and administered the insulin.

"Right! Up!" Gibbs demanded after he'd finished massaging the injection site and tugged the blankets back. He was met with an acrid smell that made him cringe. "First stop, shower, and then food….No arguments!" he demanded when Tim moved to lie back down and grabbed at his young agents arm.

With a sigh, Tim let himself be dragged out of bed and into the bathroom. He stood there tiredly gazing at the shower with a blank face and didn't flinch when Gibbs moved to strip him down. Just as Gibbs started to pull down Tim's sweats, Tim finally moved back and weakly pushed Gibbs away.


"Outta your hands now, McGee. Enough!..." Gibbs laid one hand on Tim's shoulder and used the other to gently place a finger under Tim's chin so that he could pull his agent's gaze up to him. "I know it hurts. More than anyone here, but right now, you need to let people take care of you. I remember the first week after Shannon and Kelly and can totally understand the heart wrenching grief that you are feeling right now.

You feel as though your entire world has been shattered into so many pieces, that it might never be put back together again. Let me tell you something now; it will. It'll never be the same and there will always be something missing, but it will get better." Gibbs was at a loss as to what to say and do to make his agent feel better. He knew it was a losing battle but he had to try even if it meant showing Tim a different side of himself.

Tim's eyes filled with tears and Gibbs barely managed to catch him as his knees gave way. Two strong, fatherly arms wrapped around his shoulders and rocked until the sobs finally subsided into small whimpers.


"Hey, Ducky." Tony greeted as he walked into the kitchen. "How's he doing?"

Ducky turned and shook his head, his eyes moist from the tears that he had shed. "Not good, Anthony. Not good at all. If it wasn't for Jethro making him take his medication, the boy would simply lay there and let his diabetes kill him."

"Jesus. Is there any news? I mean, I know we haven't heard anything, but has McGee?"

"Nothing. Not a peep. All that poor boy knows is what was in the letter he received and what he watched on that video."

Tony's eyes shone brightly with unshed tears and he had to take a few moments to get himself together. After all, the McGee's were more than just friends, they were colleagues and family.

"I don't know if what I saw is…Ducky, all we have is a tape of Ziva being tied up, beaten, and bound and then a letter that says she's dead. We don't even know what's happened to the kid." Tony's gut clenched at the thought of Lily McGee being along with strange people; especially ones that kidnapped and tortured her mother.

"I know, Anthony. Trust me, I know but you see, to Timothy that was enough. He's gone into a state of complete shock and grief which has led to his deep depression. I don't know what to do for the best in this situation because nothing we do or say will ever take that pain away from him."

"Yeah. I know. I'll be damned if I'm gonna let him curl up and die though, Ducky." Tony answered and huffed out a breath. "There's gotta be something we can do."

"Nothing! You can all leave me alone!" Tim grumbled as he was frog marched into the kitchen by Gibbs. "Just leave! All of you! Leave!"

"Not gonna happen!" Gibbs growled and guided Tim to a chair. "Sit!"

"Hey, Probie. How're you doing?" Tony took in Tim's bloodshot, bruised eyes and the paleness of his face, and felt his heart drop. It looked like the Boss had at least succeeded in getting the kid to shower which was a small step in the right direction.

Tim didn't answer and slumped forward with his head in his hands. The silence in the kitchen reined and hung heavily in the air as he sat there trying to ignore everyone around him. They weren't what he wanted…who he wanted and it broke his heart knowing that even though they were family, it was wrong them being here.

"Timothy, please. Will you at least try to eat some of this? You can't afford to lose any more weight." Ducky implored and placed a bowl of soup in front of Tim. He watched as his young charge pushed it away and frowned heavily. "Please…Timothy, I beg of you. I just don't know what to do for you anymore. You won't eat, you are barely functioning, and with Diabetes, you can't afford to do this. What happens when Ziva and the little one come back?"

"THEY ARE NOT COMING BACK!" Tim shouted and stood up before picking the hot bowl of soup up and throwing it across the room. "YOU GET THAT! THEY KILLED MY FAMILY…They…they took them…they kill…"

"Enough! McGee!" Gibbs said firmly and grasped at the thin shoulders so he could turn his agent around to look at him. "That's enough, Tim. Enough already. It's alright…."

Tim found himself being pulled into the strong arms once again and let himself be held for a moment as he tried to rein in his emotions. "It's not, Boss. It's really not alright." Tim muttered into Gibbs' shoulder. "I want Ziva. I want Lily. My wife…my baby…they've taken everything. I'm nothing without them. It's never going to be alright again."

"It will be." Gibbs didn't let go and felt his own heart tear in two with his own grief, and the words that came out of Tim's mouth. They were so familiar and he remembered uttering them all those years ago when he lost his own family.

"It won't. Not this time…" Tim's whispered words were followed by a shudder before his body went completely limp in Gibbs' arms. Gibbs found himself struggling to hold him up.

"Tim! McGee!...Damn it, Tony help me!" Tony rushed forward and helped Gibbs lay Tim down on the floor. Ducky sprung into action and grabbed his bag, pulling out the glucometer first.


"Jethro, the insulin hasn't been enough. It's seen him through this far, but without the proper nutrients and sugar found in the food, his body has shut down. Hypoglycemic shock is one of the things I was trying to avoid by making him eat. I noticed the symptoms upstairs and was a hairs breath away from sending him to the hospital."

"Why didn't you, Duck?" Gibbs growled at his old friend.

"Because, Jethro…" Ducky said firmly. "If he didn't eat, then the next step would be to use the glucose tablets that I have with me. They would have kept him going for the time being. I knew it was bad, but I thought we could control it."

Ducky had already pricked Tim's finger and was waiting patiently for the beep. When it finally came, he sat back and frowned at the reading. "Call an ambulance. He needs to go to the hospital right away!"