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When there is hope

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It has been five weeks since Tony was found. They have gone through hell and back, and Gibbs wasn't sure they could handle more of this.

In those five weeks they have seen how Tony struggled between insanity and reality. They saw how this horrible sickness destroyed Tony’s mind and refused to let go.

“Good morning, boss. How is he?” A tired voice asked and Gibbs sighed before facing the newcomer.

“The same” Gibbs answered and Tim’s shoulders sagged.

“Oh” The young man murmured. “At least he’s not worse, right?”

Gibbs’ face hardened. “Don’t give up now, this is more than what we were told to expect.” The fact that Tony wasn't a drooling mess was surprising, everyone thought he was so far gone he couldn't even pee by himself. But Tony showed them wrong; he was still there and refused to give up. “Tony recognizes you, McGee. You were the first person he recognized; he only smiles when you’re with him and everytime he sees me he looks for you. So don’t give up now.”

“I am not giving up, boss.” McGee bit his lips and with a pained voice defended himself. “I'm afraid, okay?”

“Afraid of what?” Gibbs frowned. “He won’t hurt you, McGee.”

“I know that!” Tim shouted and immediately regretted it when Tony stirred. “He knows who I am but, does he know what I am to him?”

And now Gibbs understood what had Tim so confused, but what could he say? He couldn't lie and tell him that everything was going to be okay, that Tony will wake up tomorrow being the same man he was before. Even he wasn't that stubborn, even he accepted that the Tony he knew and loved has changed and will need help for the rest of his life to function properly.

“I don’t care if he’s sick and will be for the rest of his life, I don’t care if I have to help him until the day I die but I need to know he is aware of what we were before.” Tim cried softly, not caring that his boss was there. “Maybe I'm being selfish, maybe Tony needs me just to be there for him and I shouldn't care about our relationship, but I need to know that there’s still hope for us.”


Tony was getting better. He was starting to recover his memories and discern between his delusions and reality.

He recognized the young man who visited every day. He recognized the older man who visited every day. He recognized the young woman who visited every day.

But he was confused. Why didn't any of them recognize that he was there? He knew the name of the young man but not of the other two. He was trying so hard to stay here, where soft words and warm hugs made him feel safe but nobody cared about how hard he was trying.

They looked at him the same way his father used to do it. They looked at him with disappointment.

And he didn't understand why.

He was trying to be good, he wanted to be good. But it was never enough.

He didn't know what they wanted from him.

But he will keep trying.

He knew he could do better but first he needed to take care of the woman in white who hated his voice.


Abby was the first person to notice that today Tony was different.

He was watching television, actually watching instead of simply staring at it with a vacant gaze.

“Hey, Tony!” She greeted cheerfully and was rewarded with a smile. The first smile he gave to someone who wasn't Tim. She looked him straight in the eye and hugged him. Her eyes widened when Tony returned the hug and sighed into her shoulder.

Abby closed her eyes and bit her lips to stop the tears from falling. She missed Tony so much that it felt like dying knowing he was so sick and there was nothing she could do. She thought she could avoid the issue and simply act normally until Tony got better, but it wasn't happening. Tony needed her to accept that he was sick and needed professional help.

“Oh Tony, I love you so much.”


C visited today and he was so happy when she hugged him. He felt safe and so loved when she did that. She talked a lot but he enjoyed her company. She brought him clothes, books and movies and even if he didn't care much about those things he felt happy just hearing C’s voice.

B didn't talk much; he touched his cheek while looking at him with tender eyes and after a quick “hello” he would sit next to him not moving at all. He liked the way he made him feel safe simply with his presence. He was sure B would make the woman in white pay for hurting him.

But from them all, he loved it when A visited. A held his hand for hours and would talk to him softly while touching his hair. He wanted A to stay with him forever but it looked like A had a lot of stuff to do.      

He knew A was the person who held him at night and make him feel really happy before the woman in white came and destroyed his life.