Title: Fatherly Love

Rating: K+

Summary: Jimmy watches a family come together and can't help but think about his own.

Written for NFA's Father and Son's Challenge

Fatherly Love

Jimmy entered the squad room to look at the bullpen that he knew all too well. It's been a long ride, but Tim was back and cleared for field duty after the case that had shaken the team almost as much as it shook them when Ziva had been in Somolia. Director Vance had given Tim an undercover assignment, and the team had been his backup as Tim respected Gibbs too much to go behind his back. Plus he didn't want what happened with Tony and the Benoit case to happen again.

Tim had gone undercover at a club that was arms dealing, the club as a front. Everything had gone smoothly until it was time to take them down. Two other teams had joined the case because it was such a large group and NCIS lost a few agents that night. Tim could have easily joined the list when he took a bullet for Gibbs.

They had taken down the arms dealing group, but Tim had gone into a coma for about two weeks before he woke. Jimmy didn't know the specifics but Tony liked to say that Gibbs got tired of Tim lying around for so long and yelled at him to get up, and he did. Jimmy didn't really believe that entirely, but he wouldn't put it past Agent Gibbs demanding Tim to wake up and Tim doing just that, even if he was in a coma and the doctors had begun to lose hope.

Agent Gibbs was a scary man a times and to disobey him was just foolish. And Tim was no way foolish.

His recovery had been tough. Jimmy remembered the short outbursts Tim would have for not recovering quickly enough or the times he got depressed and believed he couldn't be an agent anymore. But it was always Gibbs who got him out of his funk and get back to work on recovering.

As he watched Tim sit down at his desk and sigh while running his hands over his desk, Jimmy noticed the looks the others were sending him. Tony was already making jokes, but the happiness at having McGee, his Probie, back was as clear as the nose on his face. Ziva was silent except when she threatened Tony, but the smile she tried to hide shined bright. And Gibbs… Gibbs was watching Tim under a watchful eye, but there was also pride and happiness in his eyes.

Everyone knew the team was a family and Gibbs was the papa. And it never showed more than now. While Tony and Ziva bickered like brother and sister, Tim slipping in a word here and there like any younger brother would so that he was teaming up with his sister to gang on the eldest brother, Gibbs watched over his team with pride and love that he rarely let show. And he wouldn't put it past Gibbs, or Tony and Ziva, to constantly keep an eye on Tim for the next few days as they were going to be extra protective of him now.

Jimmy always found it a little amusing that all four agents had problems with their father. Not that it was amusing that they didn't get along with such an important person in their life, but that not one of them had a great relationship with their father.

Tony's dad thought he could buy love and was always trying to hustle to make an extra buck. Tim hasn't talked to his own father in seven years. Ziva's father was the Director of Mossad, enough said. And Gibbs also hadn't talked to his father in years, that is until that Stillwater case and he's heard that they've gotten on better. So…at least one was working on it.

"It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons."

He remembered reading that somewhere and it was nothing more than the truth as he watched this family come back together. This team was a family, no doubt, and it had nothing to do with blood.

He couldn't help but feel privileged though whenever he remembered the team's relationship with their dads. It reminded him of the wonderful relationship he had with his father who was wonderful. He put up with his quirks, believed in him and helped put him through medical school. He had been there for him always, especially when his mom left.

Jimmy had been twelve when he came home one day to find suitcases by the door. For a terrified second he had feared it was his father leaving, but he had been corrected when his mother came down with the last suitcase.

She had froze when she saw him before she finished walking down the stairs and kneeling in front of him, she told him that she was going to go away for a while, but that she would be back for him. Instantly he knew she was lying. His mother never had a thing for telling the truth and keeping promises. So he had just nodded and watched her leave before going to the kitchen to make peanut butter sandwiches for him and his dad.


Jimmy finished pouring the milk in their cups, thankfully it was a half gallon and not a while gallon, and was putting it back in the fridge when he heard the door open. "Jimmy?"

"In here, dad."

David Palmer walked into the kitchen with a smile and kiss to his forehead. His dad was tall and slim, wore glasses, and he knew he was going to look just like his dad when he grew up. He already looked like him and he was still growing. "What's this?"

"I made us sandwiches."

"Well thanks Jimmy. What's the occasion?"

Jimmy sat beside his dad at the counter and found interest in his sandwich. He didn't want to hurt his dad, but he was going to find out anyway, so he said, "Mom left."

His dad stared down at him before sighing and nodding. "I'm sorry Jimmy. I've been expecting this but I should have warned you."

"It's okay dad," he said as he tore off the crust and took a few bites of it.

To be honest, he wasn't that surprised. His dad worked long hours at the hospital, so it was usually just him and his mom and even then his mom rarely spent time with him. He couldn't even remember when his mom last told him she loved him. His mom didn't like dad that much, and because he was so much like dad, she didn't like him either.

It hurt at first, but he grew used to it and just tried to stay out of her way. It was why he loved it when his dad came home because he could tell him how his day went and what he did in school. No matter how tired his dad was, he was there for Jimmy.

"Well, it's just you and me," his dad said with a smile and Jimmy smiled back. "First things first, I'll lower the work load so I have more time for you kiddo. Something I should have done long time ago," he mumbled. "I already have every other Saturday and Sunday off, so the weekend's taken care of. Unless maybe I can get every weekend," he mused. "We'll see," he said smiling down at Jimmy and again he smiled back.

That would be great if his dad was home every weekend.

They would be okay, just him and his dad.

~End Flashback~

"Mr. Palmer."

He jumped as Dr. Mallard pulled him from his thoughts. "Sorry Dr. Mallard."

"It's alright, it's alright. Here to see our Timothy back?"

Jimmy nodded. "Just came to make sure he did indeed come back."

Dr. Mallard hummed. "Yes. Well, let's get back to work then."

He turned to head to the elevator and Jimmy followed, but not before looking back to the bullpen to see Tim looking his way, smiling. Jimmy smiled back with a wave and quickly caught up with the doctor before the doors closed.

The End.

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