AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Timothy McGee
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: DiNozzo returns from his vacation to find McGee has been reassigned to Cyber Crimes and sets out to find out why.
WORD COUNT: 3,833
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
"Hey, boss, hey, McGeek, hey, Ziva, I'm ba-" Tony came to an abrupt halt as he came into Gibbs's area of the squad room and stared in astonishment at McGee's desk; McGee's clear, empty desk. "Where's McGee?" he demanded, looking at Ziva as a sense of foreboding raced through him. There was only one reason in his mind for a completely empty, cleared desk; surely Team Gibbs hadn't lost another member? And if they had, why hadn't someone called him to tell him?
Ziva glanced swiftly at Gibbs who so far hadn't given any hint that he was even aware Tony was there, before looking back at Tony. "He is in Cyber Crimes," she said.
Tony hid the desperate relief he felt at her words and went to his desk. "Why?" he asked, as he put his gun and badge in his desk drawer.
Ziva glanced at Gibbs again before opening her mouth. However, Gibbs beat her to it. "Wasn't aware changes in staff were any of your business, DiNozzo," he said, glaring at Tony.
"And they're not, boss," Tony said hastily, sitting down and flicking his computer on. "I just - I'm shutting up now, boss." He swiftly typed his password and accessed his email.
Gibbs stood up. "I'll be with the director," he said, heading for the stairs and taking them two at a time.
Tony waited until Gibbs had completely disappeared before looking at Ziva. "So?" he demanded.
Ziva frowned. "So what?"
"I do not know what you mean?"
"What did Probie do to get sent to Cyber Crimes?"
Ziva shook her head. "As far I am aware, McGee did nothing."
Tony stood up and went to perch on the edge of her desk. "He must have done. Gibbs wouldn't just move him for no reason. Did he piss the boss off? Forget to do the daily reports? Ah, no, this is Probie, he wouldn't forget those. Did he do as good a job as me?" He spoke before he thought about it and instantly regretted his words.
Ziva put her head on one side and looked up at him. "Yes, Tony," she said, her tone gentle. "Yes, he did do as good a job as you do. But," she added quickly, her tone still gentle, "he did it in a different way from you. Why are you so insecure, Tony?"
"Insecure? Me? Hah, don't be ridiculous, Ziva. I'm not - Anyway, we're not talking about me; we're talking about why McGeek's been reassigned."
Ziva shrugged. "I do not know. I came into work four days ago and found his desk as you find it now. Gibbs arrived later and simply said McGee had been reassigned to Cyber Crimes. That is all I know."
"Is it permanent?"
"I do not know. Tony, I am not you. I do not - I am sure that if we need to know, we will be informed."
Tony frowned; like that ever happened! "Does Abby know why?"
Ziva shook her head. "No, she does not. And like you she wants to know why."
"What about you? Don't you want to know?"
For a moment Ziva was silent and Tony watched a very faint flush touch her cheeks as she glanced away from him. Then she looked back, smiled and said, her tone now heavy with chagrin, "Yes, Tony, I do wish to know."
"Hah!" Tony said, feeling he'd won a small victory. "I bet Ducky knows why," he said suddenly. "The boss would have told him. Now can I -"
Ziva interrupted him. "Yes, Ducky does know."
He looked at her. "How do you know?"
"Because Abby asked him, and I happened to be with Abby."
Ziva sighed. "And nothing. Abby asked him if he knew why McGee had been reassigned to Cyber Crimes and Ducky said he did. Then he smiled and walked off. I have never seen Abby lost for words before."
Tony slid off her desk. "I'm going to go and ask Ducky," he said, turning to head towards the elevators.
"But what makes you think he will tell you when he would not tell Abby."
"Because, Ms. David, I'm an investigator." And with that he hurried off.
"Hey, Ducky," he called, as the doors to Autopsy slid open and he strode inside.
"Ah, Anthony, good morning to you. I do hope you had a good holiday." Ducky smiled at him.
"Yeah, I did thanks. Dad and I went fishing and hit a few clubs - I don't know where he gets his energy from. He was -" He stopped abruptly; he wasn't here to talk about his vacation, after all Gibbs wasn't going to be with the director forever. "Enough of me," he said, leaning against one of the autopsy tables. "How are you?"
Ducky looked at him in silence for a moment or two, he almost appeared to be studying Tony as he might study an x-ray, Tony had to force himself not to shift around. "I am quite well, thank you for asking, Anthony," he said finally.
"Good. That's good. Yeah, good," Tony said brightly as he thought frantically. "Palmer!"
Ducky frowned a little. "What about Mr. Palmer?"
"He's not here." Tony grinned.
Ducky was once again studying him. "No, he is not," he said slowly. "It is one of his days for attending Medical School. Why, did you wish to speak to him about something?"
Tony shook his head. "No, no. It was you I - You must get lonely, you know down here all by yourself, when Palmer's not here, I mean. And of course with your mom dying - I never did tell you how sorry I was to hear that. I liked her, even if she did make me spend an afternoon moving furniture and bathing her dogs."
"Thank you," Ducky said quietly. "As a matter of fact Mother mentioned you more than once after that afternoon."
"She did?" Tony was surprised.
Ducky nodded and smiled. "Yes, she asked me if the Italian gigolo was going to come and visit her again."
Tony smiled. "Yeah, that's what she thought I was. You know I was thinking," he paused for a second before continuing. "You and me should go out one evening."
Ducky blinked. "I'm sorry?"
"For dinner or something. It'd do you good to have some company. Not that I'm implying you don't . . . Well, you know. I'm sure you and Gibbs get together." He stopped speaking as Ducky's eyes widened slightly. "And talking about Gibbs, why don’t I suggest to him that we get someone to fill in for Palmer when he's at Med School? To give you a hand."
"Are you trying to suggest that I am not capable of doing my job by myself, Agent DiNozzo?" Ducky's tone was clipped and distinctly cool.
Tony straightened up and spoke quickly. "No, no, no, Ducky, I wasn't, not at all. I was just . . . You know . . . Being a concerned friend," he added swiftly.
Ducky stared at him. "A friend?"
"Yeah. We are, aren't we? You, me, the team?"
Suddenly a faint smile made Ducky's lips twitch and to Tony's surprise Ducky patted his arm. "That was a very good attempt, Anthony," Ducky said, still smiling. "However, if you really want to know why Timothy is in Cyber Crimes, may I suggest you ask Jethro?"
Tony's mouth fell open and he hastily closed it and gave Ducky a wry grin. "Do you ever think you followed the wrong profession, Ducky?" he asked. "You'd have made a very good investigator."
Ducky chuckled. "Well, thank you, Anthony, but do remember, I do investigate in my job. Maybe not in the same way as Jethro and you do, but the bodies do talk to me."
Tony forced another half-smile and nodded. "I'd better get back to the squad room."
"I think that would be a good idea. Thank you for dropping by to see me."
"See you later, Ducky." Tony turned to leave, then stopped. "Ducky?" he said.
"About dinner sometime - I meant it. It wasn't just a ploy to get you to tell me why McGee's been reassigned."
Ducky stared at him for a moment. Then he said softly, "Was it not?"
"No." Ducky just continued to stare at him. Tony sighed. "Well, okay, yeah, it was - at the time. But you know what, Ducky? I'd like to have dinner with you one evening. Really," he added.
"In that case, I would like that very much. I suggest The Roof Top Grill; it is after all a favorite of your father."
Tony grinned. "That'd be great, Ducky. How about next Wednesday?"
Ducky nodded. "That would be agreeable."
"Great! We'll sort out a time later. I'd better go." And with a wave of his hand, Tony left Autopsy.
After pausing long enough to pop back into the squad room to see if Gibbs had returned, only to find he was still with the director, Tony headed for Cyber Crimes. As he walked into the depths of geekland he kept looking around him, half expecting to find himself being asked what he was doing there.
Finally he saw McGee. "McGeek," he called, hurrying towards McGee's desk.
McGee looked up in surprise. "Tony?" he said, "What are you doing down here?"
Tony glanced at the two young, studious, geeky looking guys who stood by McGee's desk. "Go away," he said. They didn't move they simply stared at McGee.
McGee sighed softly. "We'll continue this later," he said to them. "You've got enough information to make a start, haven't you?"
They nodded. "Yes, boss," one of them said. Tony saw the tips of McGee's ears turn pink.
As the two guys hurried off, casting glances behind them, Tony plonked himself down on McGee's desk and looked at him. "Well?" he demanded.
"Well what, Tony?"
"What did you do, Tim? Did you knock Gibb's coffee over? Did you screw up his email? Did you mess with the van? Because whatever it is, you can tell me and I'll talk to Gibbs and get you back on the team."
McGee shook his head. "I didn't do anything, Tony," he said softly.
Tony frowned. "But you must have done. Come on, you can tell me; whatever it is, you can tell me."
"There's nothing to tell," McGee reached for a file. "Now I really do have to -"
But Tony grabbed the file and silenced him. "If you didn't do anything, why are you down here?" he demanded. "Oh, wait a minute, did you piss Vance off? You didn't hack into the Pentagon again, did you? That must be it. Vance sent you down here, that's why the boss is with him, trying to get you back."
"No, Tony, Director Vance didn't reassign me. I suggest it to Gibbs and he agreed."
For the second time in less than half an hour, Tony's mouth fell open. "You suggested it?"
McGee nodded. "Yes, yes, I did, Tony."
"But why?" Now McGee glanced away from him and Tony saw his cheeks begin to color. He put his hand on McGee's arm. "Is there something wrong, Tim? Are you sick?"
McGee shook his head. "No. I'm fine, Tony. I just . . . Needed a change," he said finally.
McGee nodded. "Yes. I'm not really cut out for field work, Tony. I hadn't noticed it before, but with you away, I was doing a lot more actual field work rather than computer stuff and I realized it wasn't - Cyber Crimes is better for me," he said swiftly, still not quite meeting Tony's eye.
Tony opened his mouth, but his cell phone burbling stopped him. He pulled it out of his pocket. Before he could say anything, Ziva hissed a single word: "Gibbs."
Tony slid off McGee's desk and headed back the way he came. "We haven't finished, McGee," he called over his shoulder as he ran back to the squad room.
LATER THAT NIGHT
Gibbs smiled as he got out of the car, grabbed his briefcase and made his way to the front door of his house. The curtains in the living room had been pulled, a light was on in the hall and even from outside, the house clearly showed signs that someone was at home.
He put his key in the lock, turned it and pushed open the door. "Hey," he called, closing the door and relocking it, "I'm home." He dropped his briefcase on the floor and was about to take off his coat, when he found himself being turned around and pulled into an embrace into which he went willingly.
"Hey, Jethro," Tim said, kissing his cheek lightly, as he pulled Gibbs nearer to him, prior to claiming his mouth in a long, lingering kiss. As he was kissed by Tim and kissed him back, Gibbs felt the tension of the day begin to flow from his body. Tim tasted faintly spicy and salty; Gibbs guessed it was from whatever he was cooking for their dinner.
As Tim's tongue flickered over his lips, encouraging him to part them so that Tim's questing tongue could slip inside and begin to charter his mouth, Gibbs felt his arousal begin to increase. For a moment he pushed himself against Tim's lower body, feeling a matching arousal rub against him.
He groaned into the kiss and then with reluctance, moved back a little, gently breaking the kiss and catching Tim's upper arms. "Don't pout," he said, smiling as he looked at Tim's flushed face, his swollen lips, his dark eyes and damp forehead. He brushed Tim's hair back, letting his fingers linger as they trailed down Tim's cheeks and over his lips. He gasped as Tim opened his mouth and sucked his finger inside. "Tim," Gibbs moaned, fighting his craving to stop fighting his desire and just grab Tim and hustle him upstairs.
"Yes, Jethro?" Tim asked, letting Gibbs's finger slip from his mouth, his tone was honey-sweet. Then he grinned and winked at Gibbs, before pulling Gibbs's coat off and hanging it up. "Come on, I'll pour you a drink and you can tell me about your day while I finish cooking dinner."
Gibbs smiled back and with his arm around Tim's shoulders went into the living room. He found himself smiling a lot more these days, at the office and more importantly at home. Home, it had a good sound to it since Tim had moved in with him. Home, it was a home again, in a way he never believed it would be.
He'd never thought he'd find so much happiness again, never thought he'd find someone he cared about in the way he cared about Tim. They'd been 'seeing' one another on and off for some time, if you called Tim coming around to Gibbs's, them ending up in bed together and Tim leaving soon afterwards 'seeing' one another.
Then when DiNozzo had gone on vacation, Gibbs found himself inviting Tim over for dinner and that night Tim had stayed all night and Gibbs had woken up to find a warm body in his bed and it had felt so right. The following night when he'd gone home to an empty house, eaten dinner alone, gone to bed alone and woken up alone, he realized he didn't want to be alone any longer.
The next night he'd invited Tim around again and had asked him to move in with him. Tim had said yes immediately and before Gibbs could broach the subject, Tim had suggested he ask for a transfer back to Cyber Crimes. That had been several days ago; he'd been coming home to Tim for several days and he never wanted to go back to going home to an empty house.
"Thanks," he said, taking the beer Tim handed him. "Smells good," he took the lid off one of the saucepans and peered at the contents.
Tim smiled. "I hope it tastes good. How was your day?"
Gibbs leaned back against the counter and sipped his beer. "Same old," he said. "DiNozzo's back."
Tim smiled. "Yes, I know, he came down to see me."
Gibbs shook his head. "As far as I can tell, he spent most of the day trying to find out why you were in Cyber Crimes. He even tried to trick Ducky into telling him."
Tim laughed. "Now that I'd pay to have seen."
"Me too. Tim," Gibbs stopped laughing and took another swallow of his beer.
Tim looked up from the saucepan he'd been stirring. He frowned a little as he looked at Gibbs. "Yes, Jethro?"
"Come here," Gibbs put his beer down and opened his arms.
Tim put the lid back on the saucepan, turned the heat down a little and in two strides was in Gibbs's arms being held in a loose embrace around his lower back, with his arms around Gibbs's neck. "What's wrong, Jethro?" he asked quietly. "Why are you suddenly so serious?"
"Are you sure you're happy?"
Tim blinked and looked surprised. "You mean here, with you?" And before Gibbs could answer, Tim leaned nearer to him and kissed him, a long, gentle, kiss full of deep love with only a hint of passion in it. "What do you think?" he asked, his tone a little husky, as he took his mouth from Gibbs's.
Gibbs swallowed hard at the look into Tim's eyes. He hadn't been looked at with the amount of love Tim was showing him, since he'd said goodbye to Shannon for the final time. He wasn't sure he was worthy of that amount of love, in fact he was sure he wasn't. "Meant with moving to Cyber Crimes," he said his voice a little husky.
Tim took his arms from around Gibbs's neck and held Gibbs's face between them. "Leroy Jethro Gibbs," he said, his tone more serious than Gibbs had ever heard it. "I love you. I want to be with you. I want to share you life and your home. If the price of that was being a burnt-potato-chip picker, I'll explain later," he said hastily as Gibbs opened his mouth to ask what the hell McGee was talking about. "Or a porta potty cleaner, I'd do it, willingly. I love computers, you know that. I'm happy in Cyber Crimes, Jethro. Really I am," he nodded, leaning forward and lightly brushing his lips over Gibbs's.
"Thought you loved being an agent," Gibbs said, wondering why he was still pushing the matter.
Tim sighed. "I did. Well," he said, momentarily glancing away. "Actually, what I loved was being an agent on your team. But this way I don't have to see you take stupid risks, this way I don't have to put up with Tony's constant teasing and movie references. And most of all, this way I get to be with you. Because you wouldn't break Rule #12, would you? Not even for me?" he added quietly.
Gibbs swallowed hard and linked his hands a little more tightly around Tim's back. "No," he said, his tone slightly gruff. "I wouldn't, Tim. But not for the reasons you think." Tim just stared at him silently. Gibbs let go of Tim with one hand and felt behind him for his beer, grabbed it and took a long swallow. He was about to put it back on the counter when Tim snagged it from him, put it to his own mouth, his lips closing around the top of the neck, just as Gibbs's had done and took a sip before putting it back down.
"Couldn't risk losing you," Gibbs said. "Couldn't put you in danger and that'd risk both of us as well as Ziva and DiNozzo. And that's why there's Rule #12."
Tim suddenly tightened his hands. "You will take care, won't you?" Although it was asked as a question, to Gibbs it didn't sound like one, Tim's tone was far too intense.
"Always do," he quipped.
Anger flashed across Tim's face. "No, Jethro, you don't." His tone was flat. "How many times has Ducky had to patch you up? How many times have you risked your life?"
Gibbs shrugged. "Comes with the job, Tim." Tim glowered at him. Gibbs pulled him nearer, easily besting Tim as he tried to struggle. With Tim closer, he changed the embrace, making it more intimate, more loving. He put his lips to Tim's ear and whispered, "Now I have something worth staying alive for." He felt Tim swallow hard, felt a slight quiver pass through the body he held, as Tim put his arms and Gibbs and hugged him.
They stayed in one another's embrace for several minutes, before Tim broke it, dragged one hand across his eyes, turned back to the stove, turned the heat back up and began to stir the content of the saucepan.
Moments later he dished up and took the plates through. "Eat," he said firmly, putting them down on the table.
"Yes, boss," Gibbs quipped, sitting down opposite Tim and piling his fork with food. "It's good," he said, around the mouthful.
Tim frowned slightly and shook his head as he took a much smaller amount of food. "Jethro," he said, after he'd swallowed it.
"We are going to tell the others, aren't we? All of them, not just Ducky." Tim's tone was low and once again serious.
"Sure we are," Gibbs managed, around another mouthful of food.
Tim reached over and caught his hand. "I'm serious, Jethro," he said.
Gibbs put down his fork, wiped the back of his mouth with his other hand and linked his fingers with Tim's. "So am I," he said quietly. "So am I, Tim." He looked at Tim, staring directly into his eyes, holding the gaze with his own unblinkingly, silently saying the things he wasn't sure he could voice.
"Oh," Tim managed, after several minutes of just exchanging looks with Gibbs. "Oh," he repeated, grabbing the bottle of beer that they were sharing with a slightly shaky hand and taking a sip. "I . . . Have you had enough to eat?" he said suddenly.
Gibbs grinned. "Yeah, I have. Will it keep?"
"Who cares?" Tim said, pushing his chair back, standing up, grabbing Gibbs's hand and pulling him to his feet. "Bed," he said firmly, all but dragging Gibbs to the bottom or the stairs.
"Shower, then bed," Gibbs corrected, happy to be dragged.
Tim grinned. "Even better," he said. "And you know what?"
"Another good thing about being back in Cyber Crimes is I don’t have to get there at the crack of dawn and as you're the boss . . ." He trailed off and deliberately looked Gibbs slowly up and down, his gaze coming to rest on Gibbs's once again growing arousal. Gibbs gave a mock groan, but he grinned as well at the thought of quite what Tim had in mind.