Tim stood in front of NCIS, looking at the building. He'd been gone from here for so long. He'd had to recertify with his firearm and he'd reviewed all the rules and regs just to help him feel better.

Now, he was looking at the building. He was as excited as he'd been to get his degree.

He took a deep breath and headed inside.

"Hi, Henry," he said.

"Agent McGee! Welcome back! You're back, right?"


"Wonderful." Henry shook Tim's hand firmly and almost pushed him to the elevator.

Tim got on the elevator and took it up to the bullpen. When he got off, he was alone in the bullpen. He was really early. Oh, he doubted that he'd beat Gibbs there, but no one was there at the moment.

He walked over to his desk. He hadn't been at his desk in months. He sat down and looked around at the orange walls, the big windows, the brick. As frustrating as things could be here, he'd never wanted anything else.

"Agent McGee, you're early."

Tim jumped and looked over. Vance was standing by the stairs, looking at him with surprise.

"Couldn't sleep. Too excited to be back."

Vance smiled.

"No regrets?"

"No. Not one."

"If you'd known what would happen–?"

"I don't know if I'd have dared...but I'd have wanted to."

Vance nodded.

"Well, Dr. McGee, I think you're crazy, but NCIS is lucky to have you. Welcome back."

Tim grinned. "Thank you, sir."

Vance went up the stairs just as the elevator doors dinged, revealing Tony and Ziva. They were talking about something, but when they saw him, they smiled.

"McGee! You're here!" Tony said. "Excellent!"

"Welcome back," Ziva said. "It has not been the same without you."

"Thanks, guys," Tim said.

"So...do you want us to call you Doctor or Agent?" Tony asked.

"You never call me Agent," Tim said.

"Oh, right. Forget I asked, Probie."

Gibbs came striding in, everything as normal. He paused only briefly.

"Dead Marine out at Anacostia. Let's roll."

He walked toward the elevator as everyone grabbed their bags. Then, Gibbs stopped, looked at Tim.

"Welcome back, Dr. McGee."

Tim smiled.

"Thanks, Boss."