Gibbs and Tim have been happily living in Reston House for a few months. There is something Tim wants Gibbs to do for him, but Gibbs isn't certain.
An established relationship story.
Written: September 2009. Word count: 1,000.
"You want to do what?" Jethro exclaimed.
Tim smiled. "I said I want to take you to my book launch party."
"Why?" Jethro demanded.
Tim shook his head and stared at Jethro, a look of surprise crossing his still unlined face. "How about the simply fact that you're my lover?" he said. "The man I live with? The man I love?"
"Yeah, and the man who's ol-" The next second Jethro found himself pushed back against the arm of the couch and his mouth plundered by Tim's. The kiss was hard, deep, intense, with just enough passion for him to know Tim wanted him, but not enough that it would be followed through on there and then.
"Never," Tim said, finally breaking the kiss. He sat up and took Jethro's hand; his breathing was heavy and noisy. "Never," he repeated. "Say that." He growled the words at Jethro and for one of only a few times Jethro saw the hard side of his lover; the side that rarely came out, but the side that had to exist, otherwise Tim wouldn't have survived as an NCIS agent.
Nonetheless, despite the steely, hard look, he found himself saying, "But it's true, Tim."
His lover shrugged. "Do you think I kiss my dad like I've just kissed you? Do you think I want to do this to my dad?" He put his hand on Jethro's groin and began to stroke Jethro, causing him to push up into the knowledgeable touch and groan. But Tim only allowed the caress for a few seconds, before taking his hand away. "Well, do you?"
Jethro shook his head. "No. Course I don't. But come on, Tim, you're forty-one, I'm sixty-four, you do the math. You're the one with the damn degrees. What the hell are people going to think if you turn up at your book launch with me on your arm?" He realized he'd raised his voice and silently cursed.
"Now that's an idea," Tim said. "Oh, Jethro, Jethro, Jethro. What will people think? That I'm one hell of a lucky guy, that's what. And I'll have to keep an eye out, there's more than one person - men as well as women - who'd like to take my place."
"No one could do that," Jethro said quietly, and squeezed Tim's hand.
To his amusement, Tim flushed very slightly and the much younger man surfaced for a moment, before fading, and the man who still didn't look his age, but at least didn't make Jethro feel as though he was a cradle snatcher (quite) reappeared. "I hope not," he said softly, letting his gaze skitter away from Jethro's face.
Jethro blinked at the sudden change of subject. "Hey." He squeezed Tim's hand again. "Look at me." After a moment or two Tim did. "You really think I might . . . Oh, Tim, Timmy," he sighed. "Timothy McGee, I am never going to let you go. Not unless you want to go," he added quietly.
"Which I won't," Tim said firmly. "I just sometimes still can't believe that you -" He broke off and again glanced away.
"Love you?" Jethro said softly. After a moment or two, Tim nodded once. "Well, I do." And suddenly he realized that in the year and three months they'd been lovers, he'd only once said the words. "I love you, Tim," he said, his voice somewhat gruff. He'd never been comfortable with expressing emotions and feelings verbally.
Under his eyes Tim swallowed and he looked utterly content. "I love you too, Jethro," he said.
"Not sure why," Jethro muttered, and then fell silent as once again Tim shot a hard look at him. "So, you want to go to bed or have dinner first?"
Tim frowned. "Neither," he said. "We're not going to do anything until we sort out the book launch party."
Jethro cursed silently, he'd hoped Tim might have forgotten that. Okay, so it had been a very small hope, but even so. "Tim," he started to say.
"What? Why don't you want to come with me, Jethro? And don't give me the 'I'm old' act. Nor," he went on, "the 'I'm a man' one. You, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, are not old - and I should know," his tone became softer, and the look he gave Jethro smoldered. "As for you being another man, you know half the publishing staff is gay. Well, maybe not half, but more than one or two. I love you, Jethro. I'm proud of you. I'm proud to be your lover. I want to be seen with you. I want to - Oh, forget it. It doesn't matter."
Had it been anyone other than Tim, Jethro would now be very annoyed, as it was the kind of emotional blackmail he despised. But he knew Tim hadn't meant the comment in those terms. So instead of reacting with anger, he once again squeezed Tim's hand. "Does it mean that much to you?"
Tim, who'd glanced away, looked back up. "Truth?" Jethro nodded. "Yes. Yes, Jethro, it does. I'm me, I'm an individual, but I'm also part of a couple. I want you to be there. I want to take you with me. I want -" He stopped abruptly.
Jethro put his hand on Tim's cheek and lightly stroked it. "To make me proud of you?" he asked softly.
He wasn't surprised when a deep flush covered Tim's cheeks. "Yes," his lover muttered.
"Oh, Tim. I am proud of you. I always have been."
Tim looked at him. "Then you'll come?"
He hated such things; parties, especially the kind that meant putting on a suit and tie and making small talk were not his thing. But Tim wanted him to go and he loved Tim, and as Ducky had once told him during one of his marriages 'a successful relationship involves compromise'. So he nodded. "Yeah, Tim," he said, forcing himself to swallow around the lump that appeared in his throat as he saw the look of sheer happiness on Tim's face. "I'll come."
LINKS TO THIS GIBBS/McGEE SERIES:
The Final Hurdle
A Sense of Relief
Just A Kid
How To Raise The Subject
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