CHAPTER 3

Tim's knee bounced as he sat on the plane, waiting for the seatbelt light to switch off. Instead of riding in Director Eli's plane this time, Tim and Ducky were on a commercial flight, meaning about nine hours before he could get home. He had talked to Ziva and the others via video after he had talked to Jethro the previous night and they had been happy to hear that he and Ducky were heading home.

He knew Jethro was going to be there, he was picking him up, but he wouldn't be surprised if he found the rest of the team there. Wouldn't be even more surprised if Abby was there with a sign. Just thinking about his friend, bouncing on her toes in excitement and a sign had his lips tilting up a bit. But really, he just wanted to go home. Home to Jethro, home to their bed and all the filthy things they could do.

Tim jumped at the touch on his hand and looked over to see Ducky smiling. "Huh?"

"We can go now."

He looked around and saw that light had been turned off and people were starting to get their things, standing, and ready to leave just as much as him. Nodding, he stood and grabbed Ducky's bag from the overhead before grabbing his own.

"Glad to be home Tim?"

"Yeah," he grinned. "Sorry again though about that being your vacation."

"Oh don't worry about it my dear boy," Ducky waved away. "I knew I wasn't really needed for this trip, but as we both know, your team wasn't going to let you go alone." Tim chuckled at that. "And besides, I quite enjoyed myself."

"Seriously?"

Ducky nodded and led the way as Tim had let him out first. "And last night was especially…entertaining."

Tim snorted at that. Yeah, if you called being summoned all the way to another country by the Director of Mossad, because he found you intriguing, and then went on to try and figure you out both second hand and directly, then yeah, it was entertaining. "Sure."

The older man laughed at the look on his face, patted his arm, and continued to walk on. "You have to admit to yourself Timothy, that if you were in his place, you would have been intrigued by yourself."

"Uh, not really." He didn't really see what the big deal was. So he made friends, and found a lover, what the hell was so intriguing about that?

Ducky shook his head. "Sometimes, my dear boy, I don't think you realize your own worth."

Tim found himself blushing a bit at that but pushed it away as they were reaching customs. Once they made it through, they made their way through the airport. They turned the corner that led to baggage and the doors, and yep, sure enough there was a sign in the air.

WELCOME HOME TIM AND DUCKY!

Abby was waving it excitedly, ignoring the looks she was receiving at her attire and hyperness – no doubt no one's ever seen a hyper Goth before – Tony and Ziva were talking with Jimmy, Jethro listening and keeping an eye out. He knew when both Jethro and Abby saw them. Jethro showed a flash of a smile while Abby starting jumping up and down, shouting, "I see them! I see them!"

She pushed the sign at Tony who grunted before jogging her way over, her boots making a loud sound. The others followed more calmly though Tim didn't miss their looks of relief and smiles. Abby barreled into both of them, holding them tight. "I'm so glad you're back."

Tim and Ducky patted her back. "Happy to see you too Abs," Tim said and then pressed a brief kiss to her cheek before he was pulled out of her embrace by Tony. Abby didn't complain, she just put her full hugging powers to Ducky who continued to pat her back.

"Good to see you too, my dear."

"Probie!" Tim chuckled, giving Tony's back a slap or two before Tony let him go with a pout. "You're not red."

"You saw me just last night Tony."

"Yeah, well, knowing you, McGeek, you can probably make yourself look normal on a live video. I was all ready for you to return a lobster."

He rolled his eyes. "Not a chance Tony." He gave a brotherly hug to Jimmy, giving him a smile.

"Besides, he was working," Ziva put in before she smiled up at Tim and gave him a hug. Tim grinned when she gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Hello Tim."

"Zee!" he cheered, twirling her around like he did when she returned from Israel.

"I am happy to see you safe."

"Always. Oh, here," he said and pulled a letter out of his jacket. "Your father told me to give this to you."

Ziva took it hesitantly before nodding in Jethro's direction. Tim faced his lover and smiled, "Hello."

"Hey," he said and pulled Tim into his arms, holding him in a big bear hug. Felt so good, Tim sighed and held him back just as tightly. Eventually they pulled apart, before they drew even more attention to themselves, and it was too short in Tim's opinion. Keeping close to his lover, he turned to the rest of the group, seeing the others talking and saying hi to Ducky, who Abby kept close.

"You two up to getting some drinks?" Tony asked.

Tim really wanted to be alone with Jethro, but he also wanted to be with his friends. Especially since he hadn't been able to spend time with them when their team came back together. Nodding, they agreed to their usual place before heading out and getting in their cars. Of course, with Jethro's driving, he and Tim arrived before the others.

"Never thought I'd miss your driv-npph!" He was silenced by Jethro's hand on the back of his neck, his lips over his. Sighing, he kissed Jethro back, putting a very small dent in catching up their week apart from each other.

Jethro finally released his lips and pressed their foreheads together. "You alright?"

"Yes."

"Good. It wouldn't have been good for Eli if you had stayed there longer."

Tim smirked, giving Jethro's lips a peck. "Come rushing to my rescue."

His lover snorted. "Something like that."

There was a knock on Tim's window and he turned to see Ziva's face. Blushing a bit, he turned to Jethro who turned off the car and they both got out. "Catching up?" she quipped.

He heard Tony snicker from behind Ziva and without pause replied, "Not even close."

They all made their way into their usual bar, getting their usual table. Abby was talking a mile a minute, chattering away. Tim had Jethro's hand in his under the table. He turned to Ziva who was a little quiet. "You okay Zee?"

She flashed him a smile. "Yes. It's good to have you back."

"Aw, thanks Ziva." His head tilted as he stared at her before he softly asked, "Did you want to read your dad's letter?"

Ziva played with her glass a bit, glancing around. "You think I should?"

He shrugged. "It's up to you really."

Staring blankly ahead, she finally gave a curt nod before pulling it out and tearing it open. He knew she was allowing him to read it along with her when she tilted her body towards him.

Ziva,

There have been times I felt this job take a piece of me. I worry they may be gone forever. I have not been the best of fathers, worse after your mother and Tali passed. But, I have always loved you, my daughter, even when I have not been able to show it. Timothy McGee is strong, and though he is a bit infuriating and still confuses me, I am happy you have found such a man to allow be your friend. Your brother.

Yes, I know.

I just pray that we are not gone forever. From what your friend tells me; Sometimes life surprises you.

Those are the moments worth living for, my Ziva.

Stay safe and protect each other.

Your Abba

Tim smiled when he finished reading it and seeing Ziva try to compose herself, he wrapped his free arm around her shoulders and pulled her close, pressing a kiss to her temple. They ignored the others, Jethro and Ducky distracting them if they thought to ask.

"Maybe still some hope for the guy."

Ziva chuckled, folding the letter and putting it away. She gave Tim a slightly awkward hug with their positions, but Tim gave one back with his free arm and smiled at Ziva which she returned.

Yeah, it was good to be home.

The End.


A/N: PLEASE REVIEW! They're appreciated.

Next in McGee's Keeper Series: (#11) I'm Here - Summary: Gibbs said that he had no other family. But when a case comes along, Tim and the team find that he in fact did have family. His father.