Pegasus…Belleraphon…Chimera…Tim's mind is racing as he thinks about the past few hours and the danger they'd been in. Once again team Gibbs has escaped death and he can't help wondering how much longer they can continue to do so. Chimera according to ancient Greek mythology had been a dreadful creature created from the parts of three different animals: the one being a lioness with goat head in the middle breathing fire and a tail that depending on the mythos could have been a snake or a dragon. To Tim however, the fact that they'd come off that ship virtually unscathed is still a miracle.
Belleraphon had barely managed to escape the Chimera and in Tim's mind the team had just barely done the same. Not just the disease that could have been on board, but then the fact that they'd escaped from the ship just before it had been blown up. Belleraphon had had the mighty flying Pegasus, they'd had an assault craft that they'd basically commandeered.
Tim sighs and focuses his attention to the document on his computer. The report isn't flowing as easily as it normally does and he blinks as he tries to remember just what he needs to finish the report so that Gibbs won't smack him into the next week for being the last one done.
Ziva looks with concern at her male counterpart. Tim isn't usually the one who has issues typing up his reports. Something about the mission they'd just finished has really spooked the young man. She remembers the banter between all of them and realizes that to the overly-analytical McGee the Chimera mission symbolizes something that none of the rest of them can understand. Well, maybe none of them; the one who might be able to is still out on a coffee run, or down in discussion with Ducky.
Tony stares at his screen then looks over at his Probie. Tony thinks about the mission, the complaining all of them had done, and then winces as he thinks about Abby and the concert they'd missed due to said mission cropping up when it had. Of all of them, Tim will more than likely be the one targeted for missing the concert and he stands up, heading for the elevators and Abby's lab.
"Hey Tony, what's up?"
"Don't be too hard on Tim."
"In regards to what?"
Tony gives her a hard stare and Abby gulps. "He should have remembered, Tony. All of you should have."
"None of us had a choice about the mission Abby, so don't take it out on Tim."
"Still…" For the first time in years, her pouting falls on deaf ears.
"Are you going to give Gibbs a hard time about it or the rest of us? No, so don't even try giving Tim one. He's part of Gibbs team too and it's time to remember that."
Gibbs smiles faintly as he glides to the staircase, coffee cup in hand. He'd come up from Ducky's inner sanctum with the intention of doing what his senior agent just had, but Tony had put it a lot nicer than Gibbs might have.
Gibbs slowly climbs the staircase, knowing that Tony will make sure that Ziva gets home safely. Tim on the other hand will probably still be sitting at his computer, wondering what he could have done better and why Gibbs insisted on taking him, knowing that Tim suffers so badly from seasickness.
Gibbs waits until Tony and Ziva leave, and then crosses to Tim's desk. Sure enough, the younger agent is still there, but the report is printing even if the agent isn't moving.
"Why do you insist on doing this to me Boss?" Tim whispers, not thinking anyone is still in the room.
"Because…I need you there Tim."
Tim looks up and Gibbs motions for the younger man to follow him to the elevator. Once the door closes, Gibbs flips the switch and Tim swallows hard against the bile he's still fighting against.
Gibbs hands him two mints, the main reason he'd gone to Ducky and Tim smiles his thanks. "Meet me at the house; I'll get us cleared for the weekend."
Tim nods and Gibbs turns the elevator back on. As the doors open, he slips out and puts the report into the file on his desk before heading up the stairs where the Director is waiting for him in MTAC.
"Take your time off Jethro. Your team deserves it."
"Reading my mind Jen?"
"Not this time Jethro. You and the team deserve a weekend off…take it gracefully and go work on your boat or whatever you plan on doing tonight."
Gibbs narrows his eyes as he watches her put her glasses on and start reading a file. He turns around, not seeing the speculative glint in her eyes as she looks up over her glasses. With this latest distraction, Gibbs won't think anything of what she's about to ask Ducky to do. Nodding to herself, she heads down to Autopsy and the one person who can keep a secret as well as Gibbs himself.
Gibbs drives home and waits for Tim to arrive. He knows that the younger man will stop long enough to grab some food for them both as well as clean clothes for the new day. Five minutes later he smiles when he feels the presence of Tim at his front porch.
"Hey, what did you bring for supper?"
"Soup for me, steak for you."
Gibbs sighs as he knows why Tim chose those items. He pulls the younger man close. "Soup for both of us tonight, okay? We can have the steak as a treat for tomorrow."
Tim bites his lower lip, wanting to protest and yet knowing that Gibbs won't budge once he makes a decision. Once they finish eating, Gibbs gently leads Tim out to the back deck and the cushions they have set up for their stargazing nights.
"You were asking earlier why I take you with me? I need you Tim. I need that Pegasus presence to my Belleraphon. I cannot fight the Chimera without you."
"No, you have Tony and Ziva and Ducky."
"But they are not my trusty steed. The one I rely on to help me close the case. I need that wisdom you carry within you to keep me on track."
Tim smiles as he snuggles closer, enjoying the rare gift of Gibbs actually talking to him. "Belleraphon got greedy though."
"Mmm…and I don't want to end up the same way he did. I've lived enough of my life in misery, grieving and shunning others. You've managed to waken me, make me see what I have been missing."
Tim closes his eyes, imagining the Gibbs he'd met only a few years ago, an emotional cripple, grieving for the loss of Shannon and Kelly, and shunning all who tried to get close to him. Gibbs wraps his arms around Tim, remembering a time not so long ago when he'd been that lost warrior, and kisses the top of Tim's head.
"I like that idea," Tim muses softly. "Being Pegasus I mean."
Gibbs smiles, "I just…when you mentioned him a few weeks ago, I had Ducky look him up and then the Chimera happened and there you were. My faithful steed, my wisdom that seeks to keep me safe even from myself. I need you Tim. I need my Pegasus."
Tim smiles as he falls asleep, content with Gibbs' explanation. "I'll be here Jethro. I'll be Pegasus to your Belleraphon and I won't let you down."
"You never do Tim. You never do."