Summary: Delilah asks Tim why he writes. Introspection to delve into the reason Tim started writing.
Rated: FR7
Categories: General
Genre: Angst, Character Study
Warnings: None
Challenges: Secret Santa 2017
Challenges: Secret Santa 2017
Series: None
Story Notes
SeSa 2017 Present for Enthusiastic Fish. Merry Christmas Teri!
Chapter Notes
“If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad.” Lord Byron

“Yesterday is but today's memory, tomorrow is today's dream.” Kahlil Gibran
Christmas Eve 2017~


Tim lay in bed, his binder open on his lap. The apartment was quiet enough that he could hear Delilah singing the twins a lullaby. Evenings like this were scarce. Since the twins were born, he and Delilah hadn't been able to find a quiet moment together. Time to himself was even rarer.

Tim hadn't really written anything in many years. He still kept a journal, and made entries now and again. After Rock Hollow was published, he decided to quit writing novels, and focus on other aspects of his life.

His free writing binder was filled with ideas, both from his days as a novelist and simple free writing projects. He had a habit of keeping everything he wrote, whether or not he planned to use it in the future. He enjoyed going back through his binder, and picking out pieces of writing he felt he could improve on.

Tonight was a free writing night, half journaling and half brainstorming for new ideas. It was freeing to him to get the words down on paper, and release them from his brain. Writing always had that effect on him.

The singing in the next room stopped, and he listened for his wife as he jotted down his thoughts. The door slowly opened, and Delilah wheeled herself into the bedroom.

"They're finally asleep," she said as she stopped her chair next to the bed. "I'm so exhausted!" She hoisted herself into bed and pulled the covers over her legs. "What are you doing?"

"I thought I'd do some writing. It's been a long time since I've written anything."

"Ive read your books. You're a great writer, Honey. You never did tell me how you started."

"It started as a way to relieve stress. I didn't really think it was working, until I shot that cop earlier in my career on Gibbs' team. I realized then how much writing got me through everything."

~2005~

Tim closed his apartment door behind Tony and locked it. He knew his new partner meant well, but he really needed to be alone with his thoughts.

He made his way back to his writing desk and sat down in front of the typewriter. His psychologist advised him that writing was an excellent way to get his emotions out. He'd started out with journaling, but only recently, he decided to try writing a novel.

He inserted a piece of paper and turned the dial until it was in place. He had written a few chapters of his book, but now he was stuck.

Free writing was a cross between journaling and brainstorming ideas. It was where Tim let all of his raw emotions out on paper. If anything was good, it got dated and saved in his binder. If not it was fed to his shredder, along with the emotions he'd been feeling when he wrote it.

Tonight was a good night for freewriting. He'd never had to shoot a suspect before, and not only did he fire it, but he killed a law enforcement officer. That was something he had to accept, but he had a hard time with. Writing would help.

He took a sip of coffee and started typing. It was going to be a long night.


~~~~~~~~

"I remember you telling me about that," Delilah said. "Dealing with something like that isn't easy. I knew one would beat themselves up over something like that. I'm glad you found writing to help you sort out your emotions."

Tim sighed and shut his binder. "I loved writing for a long time, but after the fallout from Rock Hollow, I didn't want to write anymore. People got hurt because of what I wrote, and I didn't want that to happen again."

Delilah's squeezed his hand.

"Tim, I've read your writing... you are an amazing writer. You shouldn't let one crazy fan ruin the one thing that makes you happy."

"You don't understand what happened. The man thought my book was real life. I'm afraid if I write another the same thing might happen with another fan."

"You'll never know unless you try. Tell me what happened with Rock Hollow."

Tim took a breath and started to tell her about the aftermath of Landon's killing spree, and what added to his mind.

~2007~

Tim stared at his typewriter, not sure if he should finish the story he started. Landon was in custody, but that didn't make him feel any less guilty about the innocent people that were murdered.

He had a deadline in which the last chapters of his novel had to be turned into the publisher. He was bound by a contract and he knew he had to finish, whether he wanted to or not.

As his fingers hung over the keys of his typewriter, he heard a knock on the door. Sighing in annoyance, he pushed his chair back and went to answer the door. He was shocked to find Gibbs on the other side.

"Boss, what are you doing here?"

"Came to see how you were feeling."

"Come in."

Gibbs brushed into the room, and Tim closed the door behind him.

"Doing some writing, Tim?" Gibbs asked, mentally noting the soft jazz playing in the apartment.

"I've been trying to find the words, but nothing seems right. After this last case, I've lost all inspiration to finish the book."

Gibbs took a seat on the couch, and motioned for Tim to sit down with him. Tim walked over and sat next to his boss.

"Tim, you're an excellent writer. All writers have crazy fans once in awhile."

"This crazy fan murdered two people because he thought they were characters in my story! How am I supposed to continue writing and not think that it might happen again?"

"Landon has psychological problems, Tim. He is getting the help he needs while he's in prison. I'm not trying to downplay what he did, but I need you to know that you're writing doesn't need to suffer for his crimes. Give your readers the best sequel they've ever read."

"The last novel I wrote was for therapy. Maybe I could use this one in the same way to finish it."

Gibbs clapped him on the shoulder.

"That's a great idea, Tim."

"Thanks for coming over, Boss."

"Anytime, Tim. You know my door is always open if you want to talk."

"I'll bring my book over when it's finished... I'd like your opinion before I send it to the publisher."

"Why me?" Gibbs asked.

"I value your opinion more than anyone else... You always give me your unbiased opinion, and I can count on you to always be honest with me. You always tell me where there's room for improvement, and that's one of the things I like about you, Boss."

Gibbs was flattered. He knew Tim respected him, but he never realized the influence he had on his young agent's life.

"I'd be honored to be the first one to read your book, Tim."

Tim smiled.

"Thanks, Boss."

Tim showed Gibbs out, and made his way over to his writing desk. He took his coffee cup into the kitchen to refill it. When he finally settled in at the typewriter, he immediately started typing, newly inspired.


~~~~~~~~

"I'm sorry you had such a hard time with your second book," Delilah said. She looked down at her husband's open binder." What are you writing tonight, honey?"

"I've been playing with the idea of starting a third book in my series," Tim said. "It's been a long time since I wrote about the adventures of L. J. Tibbs. I think it's time I start something new."

"I thought you used your books as therapy," Delilah said. "Why write a new one now? Is something bothering you?"

Tim smiled.

"I'm writing with a new purpose now... they're right in the next room. Holding my children for the first time showed me that I don't have to write about traumatic events to write a good story. There's a lot of good in my life that inspires me. You and the twins inspire me more than you'll ever know."

"Whatever you decide to do, you have my complete love and support."

He leaned in and kissed his wife.

"I love you so much, Delilah."

"I love you too."

They smooched for a couple of minutes, and then Delilah rested her head on his shoulder.

"Tell me your ideas for your new book," she asked him, glancing down at his binder.

Tim smiled, and they cuddled together as Tim showed her all of his new ideas.

FINIS!

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