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Title: Bring Him Home
Pairing: Jimmy Palmer/Tim McGee
Prompt: Story 06
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Jimmy Palmer or Tim McGee, unfortunately, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***Tim opened his eyes, raising a hand to his aching head as he did so. Where was he? The last thing he could remember was .... A gasp left his throat as he remembered what had happened, fear for Jimmy rising within him and making him sit up in bed.
A strong hand pushed him back down against the pillows; the face above him swam in his vision until he could force himself to focus. It was Gibbs, of course. Who else would it have been? Tim asked himself. Gibbs was the person he had called. It made sense for him to be here.
Tim's gazed moved around the room, relieved to see that none of the other team members was here -- at least, not yet. He wanted to talk to Gibbs about what had happened before he had to relay the facts to anybody else. He wasn't up to talking about this with anyone but his boss.
"Exactly what happened, Tim?" Gibbs asked, frowning as he sat down in the chair by Tim's bed and pulled it close. "All I know is that I got a frantic phone call from you, and when I got to your building, your were passed out on the floor in the hallway with a mild concussion."
"J-Jimmy," Tim answered, his teeth starting to chatter. A coldness was sweeping over him, along with all of the memories of what had happened last night. "They took Jimmy. The guy who attacked me, and another guy. They just .... carried him off."
"What?" Gibbs looked shocked, the surprise at Tim's words evident in his blue eyes. "Why would anybody want to kidnap Jimmy?" He looked truly puzzled, as though he couldn't imagine anyone wanting to put Jimmy in any kind of danger. "Does he have enemies, McGee?"
"Not that I know of." Tim shook his head, wincing at the pain that knifed through it. He felt weak, nauseous; at this rate, he wouldn't be able to get out of here and find his boyfriend any time soon. He had to fight this weakness; he had to start the search for Jimmy.
He made a move to fling the covers back, only to have Gibbs' hand press him down against the cool pillows again. "No, you don't," the older man said firmly, looking Tim directly in the eye. "We'll find him, Tim. You're not going to do yourself any favors by trying to get up too soon."
Tim sighed, closing his eyes and lying back. He knew that Gibbs was right, but he was desperate to find Jimmy, to be a part of the investigation into his kidnapping. "I'm not even at home to get a ransom not, or a phone call," he whispered, his throat tightening.
"First, we've got to figure out just why Jimmy was kidnapped," Gibbs said with a frown. "You said that he doesn't have any enemies -- do you, Tim? Is there anybody you can think of who'd want to do something like this to the two of you in retaliation for something they think you've done?"
Tim shrugged, unsure of what to say. "Well, boss, I've arrested a lot of people in the time that I've been with NCIS. It could be anybody who has a grudge who's gotten out of prison. Or somebody I questioned who might not have liked being dragged into an investigation."
"I don't think anybody you've questioned would have gone this far," Gibbs mused, frowning again. "Think, Tim. Is there anything you can tell me about those guys? Anything at all?" He sounded worried; Tim knew that his boss was no only concerned about Jimmy, but about him as well.
"They were both wearing masks," Tim said regretfully. "So I couldn't see any facial features. But they were both tall -- and pretty muscular. The one who was carrying Jimmy looked like a linebacker. The other one, the one who hit me ...." his voice trailed off. "I don't have a clue."
"We'll find him, Tim," Gibbs said quietly, taking Tim's hand again. "We'll find him, and we'll bring him home safely to you." That touch gave Tim a confidence he hadn't felt before; somehow, now that Gibbs was here, he knew that everything would work out in the end.
Was it right for him to have such confidence in one man? Tim wondered. Gibbs had always been good at his job, but this wasn't some dead Navy officer they were dealing with, some stranger that none of them had been personally involved with. This was Jimmy.
All the more reason to trust Gibbs completely, a little voice in the back of his mind whispered. This wasn't a stranger -- to Gibbs, Jimmy was family. That would only make him work harder at finding Tim's lover, and making sure that he was brought back safely.
"I wish I could think of more," Tim murmured, feeling frustrated and helpless. "But it was all such a blur ...." He blushed at the thought of what he and Jimmy had been doing before those men had attacked them, then decided that it was best to tell Gibbs about it.
"Jimmy and I were .... kind of making out," he admitted, his blush intensifying. "That's why I can't give you any kind of good description of those guys. I wasn't paying attention to anything around me, or I might have seen them before they jumped on us. I was so focused on Jimmy."
Gibbs nodded, smiling slightly. "I know what it's like to love somebody so much that all you can see is them," he said softly, his gaze on Tim's face. "It's like they're the only thing existing in your universe. I know that's how you feel about Jimmy. I don't blame you for that."
"It was my fault they took him," Tim whispered, tears welling up in his throat and almost choking him. "If I'd been more alert, it wouldn't have happened. They might kill him -- and it's because of me. I should have been paying attention. I should have been looking out for him."
"It wasn't your fault, Tim." Gibbs' voice was low, but firm and decisive. "You couldn't have known that there were people lying in wait for you, and you couldn't have known that anyone was going to kidnap Jimmy. You had no reason to be on your guard."
Tim shook his head, stubbornly wanting to deny the other man's words. "It's my job to protect the people around me," he argued, knowing that he was fighting a losing battle. Gibbs wouldn't let him keep blaming himself for this. "I should have been more careful."
"Don't blame yourself," Gibbs told him, his voice brisk and businesslike. "Jimmy wouldn't blame you. And the important thing now isn't placing blame. It's finding Jimmy and making sure that we get him back safely, and put the guys who took him behind bars."
Tim nodded, exhaling and then taking another deep breath. He knew that Gibbs was right; it was just hard to know exactly where to focus first, especially when his head hurt so badly. In the shape he was in, he wouldn't be any use to the team at all.
Only Gibbs wasn't going to let him work with the team to find Jimmy, not given the fact that he apparently had a concussion. Wasn't that what Gibbs had said? Tim raised a hand to his head, closing his eyes. He was feeling dizzy and weak again, like he was going to pass out.
"We're going to find him, Tim." Gibbs' voice made him open his eyes again to look into that blue gaze, only inches away from his face. Gibbs was staring at him intently, as though he was willing Tim to have faith in him, to believe in those words with all his heart and soul.
"I know you are," Tim managed to choke out before his throat clogged with unshed tears. He didn't want to lie here in bed and wonder what was going on, if they'd found Jimmy and if his boyfriend was safe. He wanted to be in the center of it, to be a part of the team.
He wanted to be the one to rescue Jimmy. After all, even though Gibbs had said that it wasn't his fault, he was the one who had failed his boyfriend. He should have been there when Jimmy needed him, instead of lying on the floor dazed by a single blow.
But what could he do? Feeling like this, he wouldn't be able to offer much assistance. No, all he could do was lie here and entrust Jimmy's safety to the rest of his team -- and hope that they found his boyfriend quickly, before any harm could come to him.
"Try to get some rest," Gibbs told him, standing up and heading for the door. "I'll take what we've got, and see if there are any kind of clues back at your place." He turned to Tim again before he opened the door. "Don't give up hope. As long as there's hope, there's life."
"What rule is that?" Tim asked, trying to smile. It was hard to force the lines of his face into that smile; he didn't feel like he had anything to smile about. Jimmy was missing, he'd been kidnapped for some nefarious purpose, and nobody had any idea where he was.
But Gibbs was right. They couldn't give up hope. As long as there was hope, then Jimmy was still alive. And anyway, Tim knew his lover wasn't gone. If Jimmy was dead, then he would feel an emptiness within himself that could never be filled again.
"A rule I just made up," Gibbs said with a slight smile. He raised his hand as he walked out of the room, the door closing softly behind him. Tim let out a breath that he'd hardly realized he was holding, sinking back against the soft coolness of the pillows, his mind racing.
Wherever Jimmy, whoever had taken him, they would have to send some kind of ransom demand soon. And when they did, the NCIS team would be ready for it. They would find Jimmy and bring him home safely, if it was the last thing they all did.
Tim believed that. He had to believe that, he told himself fiercely. He had to believe that his team, his friends, could find the man he loved. He had to believe in them in a way that he never had before. This time, Jimmy's life, and their future, was at stake.
His hands clenched on the blanket, then unclenched slowly. He'd never felt so helpless in his life, but there was nothing he could do about that feeling. He had to be patient, and trust the members of his team. Together, they would find Jimmy and bring him home safely. They had to.