There's something Tim wants to do, but he feels he needs to seek Gibbs's permission first.
An established relationship story.
Written: June 2011. Word count: 500.
When the doorbell rang, Gibbs didn't bother putting down his tools and heading up the stairs. He didn't think he needed to as whoever was outside would try the door, find it open and go in.
When in rang for a second time, he sighed, put down his chisel, wiped his hands on his jeans and took the steps from the basement two at a time. He pulled open the door and was surprised to see McGee standing on his doorstep. "McGee?"
"Hey, boss." McGee sounded somewhat uneasy and didn't meet Gibbs's eyes.
"Something up, McGee?" Gibbs asked.
"Maybe," McGee replied after a moment or two's consideration.
Gibbs frowned. "Well, come in," he said, moving away from the door and ushering McGee inside. "Beer?" he called, already on his way to the kitchen."
"Er. Yes, please, boss, that'd be nice."
Gibbs handed McGee an uncapped bottle before taking a long swallow from his own bottle. He watched McGee turn the bottle around in his hands, before lining up the label in what seemed like a very precise way and finally taking a sip and then a second one. "Thank you, boss," McGee said hurriedly, before falling silent.
"What's up, Tim?" Gibbs asked. McGee swallowed hard and glanced at Gibbs; he looked uneasy. "Haven't been caught hacking into the CIA, have you?"
Now McGee did meet Gibbs's stare. "No, boss," he said. "Of course I haven't been caught." His tone was indignant, as was the look in his eyes. Gibbs hid a smile.
"So what's up then?"
Once more McGee glanced down at the floor. Then he looked back at Gibbs. "I want to ask Abby to marry me," he said, his tone low.
Gibbs blinked in surprise. "Then ask her," he said. "Why tell me? I'm not her father."
"You're as good as."
Gibbs shrugged. "Even so, you don't need my permission."
McGee stared at him in silence. Then said, "Rule Twelve."
Ah, so that was it. Gibbs took another swallow of beer and looked hard at McGee. Finally, he said, his tone low. "Rule Fifty-One."
McGee frowned. "Boss?"
"Sometimes, you are wrong."
"I don't - You mean you don't mind? I have your permission?"
Gibbs smiled and thought about all the things he could say. In the end, he settled for quickly squeezing McGee's shoulder and saying, "Yeah, Tim. You have my permission."
McGee smiled; his whole face seemed to light up. He took a quick swallow of the beer, pushed the bottle into Gibbs's hand and hurried to the front door. "Thank you, boss," he called. "I'll look after her, I promise."
"Yeah, Tim," Gibbs murmured as the door closed behind McGee. "Know you will."
On the way to Abby's apartment, Tim ran through in his mind all the things he would say. How he'd lead up to asking her.
He hurried up the stairs, rang the bell and waited for her to open the door. But when he saw her, his plans fled. "Abby, will you marry me?"
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