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by: HarmonFreak1 (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 018 Word Count: 34211
Rating: TEEN
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Timothy McGee, Ensemble
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Suspense
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: When Tim is drugged and reduced to a toddler how will the gang react?
Will they be able to change him back or will he have to grow up all over
again? Papa Gibbs and Baby Timmy!

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18

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Chapter 15

Tim was apprehensive about being out in public for the first time since the transformation. Gibbs could sense his hesitation as they pulled into a local store and he parked the car. Attempting to relieve some of it, he turned around and patted his knee. "Listen, I know you are scared of what people might think, but the truth of the matter is the only people who know that you are not a "real" baby are you and me. Just act like a normal baby and no one will be the wiser."

Tim blushed and Gibbs gave his knee a reassuring squeeze before grabbing the diaper bag and exiting the car. Because the wind was so fierce, Gibbs unzipped his jacket, lifted Tim out of the car seat and sandwiched him between his body and the jacket as they walked into the store.

Gibbs grabbed a cart and sat Tim down in the seat. Shivering, Tim looked up, "cold Gib", his teeth chattering between words. Gibbs rubbed his hands up and down Tim's arms in an effort to warm him up. He then removed his jacket and draped it over him, in an attempt to regulate his body temperature.

"Let me know if you get too warm" Gibbs said as he pushed the cart over to the store directory. Taking a quick glance at the layout, he found the direction of the baby department and started walking towards it. Because it was early in the morning, there were very few shoppers, which allowed Tim and Gibbs to relax as they browsed. Their first stop was the clothing section to look for new pajamas. It had been a long time since Gibbs had been shopping for baby clothes, and even when he did, Shannon was usually with him so he was having a difficult time deciding which size to get. As they started looking through the racks of clothing, a young woman approached them. "Oh my gosh. Who is this cutie?" she squealed as she pinched Tim's cheek. Tim blushed, immediately casting his gaze downwards. Gibbs protectively stepped in between the woman and Tim.

"This is my son and I would appreciate it if you don't touch him."

The woman blushed "Sorry, force of habit. Is there anything I can help you with today?"

Gibbs instinctively pulled the cart closer to him and began searching through the racks again. "I'm trying to decide which size I need for him. He's 12 months old but I want to make sure they are going to be big enough.

The woman stepped to the other side of the rack and began pulling out different sleepers. "Here are some sizes between 12 and 18 months." She winked at Tim, "Perfect for your little guy to grow into."

Gibbs grabbed the sleepers and brought them over to the cart so Tim could take a closer look.

"It's so cute how you are going to let him choose which pajamas he wants. Normally parents come in and pick what they want."

Gibbs turned his attention towards Tim and smiled, "Maybe kids would be happier if they were given a choice as to what they want to wear. I can take it from here. Thanks for your help."

Taken aback at Gibbs' brashness the woman didn't think twice and walked away to help another couple that was wandering around aimlessly.

Gibbs looked over his shoulder to make sure the woman had left. Satisfied she wouldn't be returning he began sifting through the abundance of sleepers he collected from the rack.

"Alright buddy, let's take a look through these and see if they are up to your standards." Tim scrunched up his nose, he wore Armani; not baby clothes! Gibbs could tell Tim was overanalyzing the situation and decided to take control. "Timmy, if you don't pick a few of these, then I will. Tim's eyes got big as he studied Gibbs' face to decide if he was serious. Knowing that Gibbs rarely joked, he sighed and then spoke, "Baby."

Gibbs ran his hand through his hair and started to separate the sleepers into two different piles. Once he finished he held up each one separately so Tim could make a decision. They made it half way through the pile and Tim had chosen a red, green and blue stripped, plus two others in plain yellow and gray.

A smile formed on Gibbs' face when he held up the next sleeper and Tim blurted out "Doggy." It was covered with paw prints, but also had a dog graphic on it. He laughed when he turned the sleeper around and noticed a large paw print silk-screened near the butt area. "Are you sure you want this one, Tim?"

Tim blushed then nodded. "Alright kiddo, that's your choice. How about you choose one more." Tim smiled, then grabbed Gibbs' hand to pull him close and whispered "you Gib." He kissed Tim on the forehead and smiled as he held out a sleeper that would have been his first choice. It was camouflage, but the feet looked like army boots that went half way up each leg. Tim laughed as Gibbs collected the selected few and deposited them in the cart. Out of the corner of his eye, Gibbs noticed a rack that was full of winter hats and mittens. He stopped in front of it, allowing Tim to decide which one he wanted. Most of them were very babyish but they managed to find a dark green fleece hat with earflaps. He also threw in a few different pairs of mittens for Tim. While Gibbs decided what was next on the list, Tim began whining and pointing. Afraid that something was seriously wrong, Gibbs shifted his attention. He laughed when he realized Tim had spotted a black leather jacket across the aisle. "Buddy, you need a warmer jacket than that."

Tim frowned and smacked his fist on the handle of the cart. "Pwease Gib" he begged, using his puppy dog eyes. Gibbs sighed and picked up the jacket, it was adorable and something he could see "grown up" Tim wearing. "I will make you a deal, we can get this jacket, but we have to get a warmer one as well." Tim agreed and they continued looking though the jackets until they found a simple navy blue coat with a wool lining.

As they finished the rest of their shopping, Tim's eyes got big, he began squirming in his seat and tears filled his eyes. Gibbs had an idea of what was bothering him but wanted Tim to be the one to tell him. He stopped the cart, leaned in close, and was hit by the smell. Not exactly what he was expecting, but he wasn't surprised by it either. It was bound to happen sooner rather than later, he just felt bad for Tim that it happened while they were out in public.

Tim was inconsolable; other shoppers began giving them dirty looks so Gibbs picked him up and held him tight while he cried against his shoulder. It was the worst feeling in the world that Tim was so upset yet there was very little he could do to make him feel better. Holding Tim in one arm and pushing the cart with the other, he made his way to the front of the store to find a restroom.

He was relieved to find a "family" restroom that would give them the privacy they needed. Parking his cart off to the side, Gibbs grabbed the diaper bag and knocked on the door. Certain that it was not occupied, he entered and was surprised to see a nice bench off to one side and a changing table that folded down from the wall. Tim's crying had not weakened, so Gibbs' focused on trying to calm him down. He rocked from side to side, slowly running his hand from the top of Tim's head to the middle of his back. The touch helped ease the crying but it wasn't until Gibbs leaned down and kissed the side of Tim's head that he noticed the wails become softer and softer. He whispered into Tim's ear, "Remember what I told you yesterday? You have nothing to be ashamed of; I know you can't help it."

Gibbs felt Tim nod against his shoulder and took that as his cue to start changing him. "Alright son, let me put you down on the bench and get the changing mat out and I'll have you cleaned up soon." Tim immediately put his thumb in his mouth while Gibbs pulled down the changing table and got out the supplies. As he laid him on the table, Tim used his free arm to cover his eyes while Gibbs cleaned him up. It took a little bit longer than normal, but before Tim knew it, his sweatpants were pulled back into place.

Gibbs rubbed his belly, "all done baby" he soothed as he went over to wash his hands. As he picked Tim up off the changing table, he was surprised when Tim removed his thumb and said, "tank you", before wrapping his arms around Gibbs' neck and squeezing tight. Returning the hug, Gibbs whispered, "You don't ever have to thank me Tim."

Once Gibbs collected the supplies, they exited the restroom and returned to the cart. Tim was still sniffling a bit, but in much better spirits now that he was clean. Gibbs pulled out a bottle as they waited in line to check out. Tim was hungry, but also hesitant as he allowed Gibbs to hold the bottle to his lips. He started sucking, slow at first, however once he got a taste of the sweet milk he began sucking greedily. Gibbs laughed as milk dribbled out of the side of Tim's mouth. He used his thumb to wipe up a lot of it but finally gave up and decided he would finish cleaning his face once Tim was done.

Ella Grey spotted Gibbs and McGee at the check out line. Grey had been following them around the store and knew it would not be long until her cover was blown. She rushed to her car to wait so she could observe the two further. When she arrived at the store that morning, she parked in a spot that had an unobstructed view of the entrance. Not wanting to be noticed, she slouched down in the seat as they passed her car. She smiled at the thought of how devastated Gibbs would be if anything happened to Tim. It would make her job easier once the time came.

On the way out to the car, Gibbs scanned the parking lot. His gut suddenly kicked into high gear. It was only now that they were in the parking lot did he begin to worry. He didn't want to scare Tim but felt it was important that they leave the store as soon as possible. He quickly loaded Tim into the car seat and then the bags into the trunk. Only after the car was loaded and Tim was safely buckled in, did Gibbs release the breath he didn't know he was holding. Shivers ran down his spine as he pulled out of the parking lot, headed to the grocery store.

Tim began nodding off on the drive to the store. He whined when Gibbs accidentally woke him up carrying him into the store. "Sorry bud, you can sleep on the way home." he soothed while he got Tim situated in the cart. They browsed the produce department while picking out fruits and vegetables Tim agreed to eat. Gibbs laughed when he grabbed a few tomatoes and Tim stuck his tongue out in disgust. He ruffled Tim's hair and headed toward the deli. One of the women working behind the counter waved to Gibbs, "Agent Gibbs, it's nice to see you! Who is this little guy?" Tim blushed and tried to hide his face behind Gibbs' arm.

"Betty! Good to see you too. This little guy is my Godson, Tim." he replied running his hand up and down Tim's back. "We're doing a little shopping today so yeah, I'll take the usual."

"You got it" she smiled, as she went about preparing his order. While they were waiting, Tim spotted some Nutter Butters across the aisle. During the past few days the food he had been feed was bland. "I'm going to get those cookies!" he thought. Tim pulled on Gibbs jacket sleeve and began to point towards the cookies. "Pwease Gib!" he pleaded. Gibbs laughed and raised his eyebrows, he felt bad, Tim had been through a lot the past few days and if cookies were going to make him happy, then who was he to deny him that. "Alright kiddo, we will pick some up before we leave. Tim giggled and clapped his hands.

"I see Tim already has you wrapped around his little finger." Betty smiled as she handed him the deli meat and cheese. Gibbs laughed and stroked Tim's cheek, "That he does Betty that he does. We'll see you soon. Thanks!"

The rest of the shopping was uneventful as Gibbs picked up his usual groceries along with a variety of food for Tim. A few more gallons of milk and another package of diapers rounded out the purchases. As they were waiting in line to check out, Tim began nodding off. Gibbs couldn't help but chuckle as little Tim tried to keep his sleepy eyes open. Every so often, his eyes would just slide shut but then his body would sway a bit, bump into the cart and jerk him awake.

Gibbs wasn't surprised that Tim was so tired. They were up early, met with Vance and did some shopping. He was exhausted so he could only imagine how Tim felt. He carded his hand through Tim's hair as he began loading his groceries on the belt. "I see its nap time for your little guy," the cashier laughed as she began scanning the groceries. Gibbs nodded, then reached over and brushed Tim's hair off to the side. He inspected the small bump that remained from the day before, satisfied that it was healing he turned his attention back to the cashier who was ringing up the final items. She handed Gibbs his receipt but not before letting him know that Tim was the cutest baby she had ever laid eyes on.

As soon as Gibbs got Tim to the car, he was out for the count. The drive home gave him an opportunity to reflect on the past few days of caring for Tim. On one hand he knew that Tim would not stay little forever, but on the other hand it was nice to take care of someone who relied on him for everything. He was gone a lot when Kelly was growing up and missed many of her milestones. He made a promise to himself, as long as Tim was in his life, baby or otherwise, he would be there for all his milestones.

Before he knew it they were home, careful not to ignore his gut feeling from earlier, he locked the door before carrying Tim upstairs. He laid him on the bed, kissed his forehead and turned to leave. However, Tim grabbed his arm and whispered, "Stay" before he sighed and snuggled into the blankets. It was cold enough that the groceries could stay in the car for a while, so Gibbs slipped off his shoes and climbed in behind Tim. Instinctively, he wrapped his arm around Tim's waist and pulled him close before he dozed off.

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