AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Timothy McGee
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Tim and Gibbs go to Tim's home town for Christmas.
WORD COUNT: 1,491
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
TWO DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVE 2017
Gibbs looked across the bed to where Tim was throwing things into a case; his jaw was set in a way Gibbs rarely saw it and he seemed very tense. Gibbs put down the undershirt he was about to fold, went around the bed and put his arms around Tim, pulling him back to rest against him.
After a moment Tim relaxed against him and he unclenched his jaw. "We don't have to go, Tim, if you don't want to."
Tim sighed and turned in Gibbs's arms and put his arms around him. "I know we don't, Jethro. But as crazy as it might sound, I do want to go. It's just . . ."
Tim sighed. "I just keep wondering what if -"
"Your dad doesn't like me?"
"No!" Tim pulled back and stared at Gibbs in surprise. "Of course he'll like you; I mean you're his kind of man."
Gibbs laughed. "You mean an aged gay cradle snatcher?" He didn't really mean his words; he was just trying to get Tim to relax. However, if he was honest there were times, quite a few really, when the twenty year age difference played on his mind. Sure for sixty he was very fit and active and in excellent health and given he was retired he no longer risked his life every time he stepped outside his home. But just sometimes he wondered if he'd been fair to in effect seduce Tim.
Tim frowned and tightened his jaw again; then to Gibbs's relief he shook his head and began to laugh. "Have I told you recently just how much I love you, Jethro?" he said and he kissed Gibbs's cheek.
Over the three years they'd been together Gibbs had managed to get used to Tim saying things like that and it no longer made me feel embarrassed, well not too much. In all honesty he had no idea why Tim loved him, but apparently he did. "Now that you come to mention it . . ." he quipped and Tim smiled. "But why in particular?"
"Because you always know just what to say." He did? It was another thing he hadn't realized he could do until he and Tim had got together. "You always did," Tim said quietly. "No, Jethro, don’t shake your head, you did. You may not have realized it, but you did. You always knew when I needed a pat on the back and praise; when Tony needed a head-slap and a reminder to stop being an idiot, when Ziva needed kindness and when she needed you to be harsh with her."
To his amazement Gibbs realized Tim was right even though he'd never thought of it in those terms; had anyone ever asked him he'd have said he rarely knew when to say the right thing to the team, but now that Tim had explained, he knew his lover was right. "Well I'll be damned," he said quietly.
Tim smiled. "You should listen to me more, Jethro. I'm usually right." And he grinned.
Jethro tripped him and they fell down onto the bed among the clothing where they mock-grappled for a few minutes before Gibbs flipped McGee and knelt over him. He might be sixty, but he could still take Tim - and he knew full well Tim never let him win their 'fights'; he had too much respect for Gibbs.
After a pleasant twenty minutes or so had gone by, Gibbs pushed himself off the bed and tugged Tim to his feet. "Where were we?"
"Dad liking you."
"Yeah, still not sure about that, Tim."
"Oh, he will. You're a Marine." Tim spoke softly and for a moment glanced away from Jethro who silently cursed Admiral McGee who, even though father and son had made huge steps towards rebuilding their relationship, could still hurt Tim and make him feel less of a man because he hadn't followed family tradition and served his country in uniform. He still had no idea why McGee Snr. had stopped talking to his son when Tim had joined NCIS; okay, it might not have been the Navy or Marines but he was in his own way serving his country.
"I was only a Gunny."
Tim shrugged. "It doesn't matter to Dad. You served your country; you went to sea - that's what matters."
Gibbs put his arms around Tim, he knew better than to criticize the admiral. "We don't have to go, Tim," he said again.
Tim shrugged. "I know, but as I said I want to go. It's crazy I know, but I want to see him and," he added, his cheeks now more than a little red, "I want to see his face when he sees the dedication in my latest book."
Gibbs had thought his relationship with his dad was complicated but it was nothing like the one between Tim and his dad. Tim had dedicated his latest book, which wasn't due out for a week but Tim had an advance copy, to his dad who it seemed was quite happy with Tim being a writer.
Sometimes Gibbs wondered if Admiral McGee had, as a younger man, fallen foul of NCIS and had been worried his son might find out - maybe that'd been why he'd hated Tim joining the agency. But then he had become an Admiral so whatever it had been, if it had been that, it couldn't have been anything serious.
He shook his head; his investigating days were over and at least Tim and his dad were now on speaking terms and, according to the odd thing Tim had let slip, closer than they'd ever been. "So if you're not worried about your dad not liking me, what are you worried about, Tim?"
"You not liking Dad." Gibbs felt his jaw drop as Tim said the words and he just stared in silence. By the time he'd recovered, Tim was once again packing and behaving as if the words hadn't been said.
Shaking himself and returning to his own packing, Gibbs decided he too would act that way - it was clearly what Tim wanted.
FIVE HOURS LATER
"Well, here we are." Tim had fallen silent during the last few miles of the drive and now sat just staring at the house; once again his jaw was set and he seemed to be preparing himself for whatever might happen.
Gibbs squeezed his thigh. "You ready?"
Tim turned and looked at him and smiled; it was the first genuine smile Gibbs had seen since they'd left home. "Yes, Jethro," he said, "I am."
They left their bags in the car and after turning up the collars of their overcoats they made their way up the path towards the house. Before they reached the porch steps the door was flung open and a man and woman hurried out.
"Timothy!" cried the woman hurrying down the steps and throwing her arms around Tim.
"Hello, Mom," Tim said putting his arms around his mother and hugging her.
Gibbs found his gaze going to where the man, who was quite obviously Tim's father, stood. He was staring at his wife and son and the look on his face told Gibbs quite clearly that Admiral McGee wished he was part of the embrace. And he also saw that no matter what had happened between them, no matter how poor a dad as far as support and affection he may have been while Tim had been growing up, Tim's dad loved his son.
"Well I'll be damned," Gibbs murmured under his breath as he watched Admiral McGee walk down the steps towards him.
"You must be Jethro," the admiral said holding out his hand.
Gibbs took it; the handshake was firm. "Yes, sir," he said staring into the eyes of the man who was only five years older than him.
"Timothy has told us a lot about you. You were a good boss, I gather."
"Tim was a fine agent," Gibbs said firmly.
He watched at Tim's dad turned his gaze from Gibbs to where his son and wife were still embracing. "I have no doubt he was," he said quietly. "Timothy succeeds at whatever he puts his mind to."
Gibbs stared in amazement; the tone in Tim's dad's voice told him quite clearly that despite the estrangement when Tim had joined NCIS, his dad was proud of him. He had to find out just what the admiral had against NCIS; retired from investigation or not - he was going to find out. He wondered of the admiral drank bourbon.
Finally Tim's mom let her son go and Tim turned to look at his dad. "Dad," he said quietly, moving towards his father and holding out his hand.
"Hello, Timothy," his dad said, taking his hand and shaking it but also putting his other hand on Tim's shoulder and squeezing it. "Welcome home, son."