"Rrng!" McGee's pained grunt came when the nurse helped him sit up so he could retch in the small bucket she'd held out for him.

McGee had been in surgery for hours. Six to be exact. The internal injures were a fairly easy hurtle for the surgeons to tackle. His torn up back... Took a good portion of time to fix. But it was Tim's broken bones that soon proved to be the biggest problem. The break in his leg required several pins to hold in place. And as for his hand... Broken was an understatement. Try completely splinterized. A good portion of time spent in surgery was spent trying to repair the damage done to the tiny little nerves in his hand. Even after so much time had been spent, McGee would still need at least two more surgeries -when his condition was more stable- to repair his hand, and some of the other more problematic places, and work on the more fine details. Although it was a subject of much concern- even after three surgeries, the like hood that he would never use the hand again, was concerningly high.

Three days after his first surgery, though, McGee was awake and sort of miserable. The pain medication in his drip was making his stomach quesy and sensitive and basically everything that went down just came back up a little while later. It was awful; he could barely sit up, so the nice nurse (who he couldn't help but think looked an awful lot like Kate) had to help him up so he wouldn't spew all over himself and choke.

It was really humiliating- and McGee felt the shame burning into his cheeks when the young woman had to wipe his chin.

The young woman gave him a warm smile and told him not to worry about it- he was sick, he couldn't help it. And after all, it was her job to help him.

She left again -to go fetch something perhaps- and to be honest, he was sort of glad she was gone. It wasn't that he didn't like the nurse... She was pretty, and really nice to him... he just didn't like her having to help him with everything. It just felt so pathetic. He was a federal agent for crying out loud! He shouldn't need anyone to help him wipe his chin after he was sick, help him sit up to take his pills, help him eat... He wasn't five and she wasn't his mother!

McGee sighed settled back into the hospital bed, letting his eyes slide shut. There was part of him that was sort of afraid of that sweet young nurse... It was stupid. She was so nice to him, why should he be afraid? Why? Because she was nice, that's why. McGee was afraid that she was pretending... that she was going to turn on him and beat him and-

Fchhht kchn-

McGee's closed eyes tightened a little when he heard the door open and close. She's back already? He thought with a groan. He rolled his head around a little, and decided just to keep his eyes closed. Maybe if she thinks I'm sleeping she'll go away...

His made his breath deep and uneven to mimic sleep, telling his tensed up muscles to relax. After a couple of minutes (it felt more like hours to him), and he didn't hear the door open and close again so she must've still been here. Curses- he was starting to feel restless.

McGee willed himself to feign sleep for a couple of moments more. But then he heard breathing in the chair next to him and realized something was up- this wasn't right.

Carefully, he let his eyes slide open and focus on the figure beside him.

"I knew you were faking, Timmy," Abby said with a tiny smile.

McGee couldn't help but chuckle. "How'd ya know?" He asked, his voice sounding sort of croaky. He shifted his arm in the sling, wondering in the back of his mind if he'd ever use it again.

Abby beamed. "I'm the best sleep-faker in the world! It's all in the breathing. You're breathing way too heavy,"

McGee smiled. "I can't help it, my chest hurts!" He complained.

Abby shook her head. "Besides you twitch too much,"

McGee rolled his eyes and snorted. Then, changing the subject, he looked up and asked, "So, where have you guys been? I haven't seen any of you since yesterday,"

In truth, the simple sentence made Abby feel awfully guilty; she wished she could've been with him more, especially know when he really needed her! "Everybody's been busy hunting do the sick, twisted people who did this to you," She said, a malevolent edge to her voice.

McGee didn't really give any sort of reaction.

"Timmy... are you okay?" She asked quietly.

McGee just smiled and gave a nod. "Yeah, I'm fine," He said, shifting his arm a little bit.

But he wasn't fine. And Abby could tell.

He might act like he was fine, he would smile and nod and say joke around, and it was all a very convincing act, but he wasn't fine. There were signs all over the place; little cracks in his dam from the strain and pressure. The way he trembled when people got to close, or when more than two or three people were in the room. The dark purple bags that were starting to show under his eyes from the first of many sleepless nights due to nightmares and such. The strained edges to his smile when he thought no one was looking. The way he flinched when people touched him, then tried to brush it off with more movement.

He might have acted so freaking chipper all the time, but he was definitely not fine.

And it was worrying them all out of their minds.