AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Timothy McGee
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship. Angst
SUMMARY: Set a few months after A Sense Of Relief. Tim comes home from work one night very upset. Gibbs had to find out why.
WORD COUNT: 500
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for ashley_pitt: T - 'The kid'
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Gibbs was sanding his boat when he heard the front door open and close and the lock being turned. He smiled; he'd never imagined the day would come when his front door would be regularly locked, but when Tim had moved in with him, it had been an unwavering condition. He called out to Tim, and was surprised not to hear him coming down the stairs.
He may have been retired for several years, but his gut was still as accurate as ever. Something was amiss with his lover. Pausing only to wipe his hands, he took the stairs mostly two at a time and strode into the living room just in time to see Tim drain a glass of whiskey and slosh more into it. If the size of the first had matched the size of the second, something was very wrong.
In four long, quick strides, Gibbs was across the room and had snagged the glass from his lover's shaking hand. "Hey," he said, putting the glass down and putting his hands on Tim's shoulders. "What's up, Tim?"
For a moment Tim was silent and kept his head down, looking at the floor. Then he looked up and straight into Gibbs's eyes. Gibbs gasped at the blank, pain filled gaze. "Tim?" he asked, again, now sliding his hands partly around Tim's shoulders. "Tell me." Without consciously intending to, he used the tone he used to use when he was Tim's boss.
But it didn't work. Instead, Tim sneered slightly. "You wouldn't understand." He almost spat the words at Gibbs. "What was it you told Kate? Oh, yeah. 'It was suicide by cop. Get over it'. Well, you know what, Gibbs? We're not all heartless, unfeeling bastards like you. We can't -" And with a sob, Tim broke off and slumped forward into Gibbs's arms.
Gibbs just held him and let him cry. Tim's words didn't trouble or hurt him; not in the slightest. In fact, they reassured him; they proved the relationship Tim and he had was fully equal, and Tim didn't still harbor thoughts about Gibbs being his boss. As Tim cried, Gibbs realized the irony was he wouldn't have said what he'd said to Kate to the man he now held.
"She was just a kid, Jethro. Just a kid, she -"
"Hush, Tim. Hush. It's all right."
But Tim shook his head. "No, it's not. She was just a kid and I . . . Oh, God, Jethro, I . . . I killed her. I had to. Or else Dwayne . . ." The grip Tim had on Gibbs was fierce, and he was pushed so close against him that Gibbs was almost fighting for breath. But still he stood there, holding his lover, offering him his strength, his support.
And he went on doing that until finally the sobs ceased and the grip loosened slightly. Then he kissed Tim, wiped his face, took his hand and led him upstairs. He knew he could do far more good for Tim than the whiskey bottle could.
Links to the other stories in this series:
The Final Hurdle
A Sense Of Relief