Part 2: A McGee Family Christmas
"Are we there yet?"
Tony's question was met with a simultaneous sigh from both the driver and the passenger in the back seat.
"No Tony, we aren't. It'll be another fifteen minutes at least."
Sara leaned forward and whispered in her brother's ear, "How can you stand it Tim? That's the fifth time he's asked in the last hour."
Tony turned to look at Sara, "I can hear you, you know. I've got great ears."
"Then you should know how annoying you sound," Sara snapped back.
"Me? Annoying? Do you think I'm annoying Tim?" Tony cast a puppy dog look to Tim who kept his focus on the road.
"See! Tim's not answering, so that means he thinks you're annoying," Sara said triumphantly.
"He better not if he knows what's good for him," Tony said threateningly.
"Now I see why you write Agent Tommy the way you do Tim," Sara said with a smirk. "They both have the same childish behavior."
Tony turned to face Sara and held a finger up. "One, I am not like Agent Tommy. Two, I do not behave like a child."
"Do too," Sara retorted back.
"Do not," Tony said, holding back a smile.
"Will you both shut up or I'm turning the car around?" Tim said through clenched teeth.
Tony and Sara gave each other a smile and turned back to Tim as they spoke in unison, "Yes, Dad."
Tim pushed a little faster on the gas pedal. "You're doing that on purpose, aren't you?"
"Like I would team up with Special Agent Tommy," was Sara's reply while Tony responded with, "Would I do that to you Probie?"
Tim wanted to pump his fist in the air in triumph when he saw the driveway to his parents' house. "Finally," he breathed out.
The car fell into silence as he parked and they started to exit. Tim and Sara were pulling bags out of the trunk when Tim realized that Tony was still sitting in the passenger seat.
"What's wrong with him?" Sara asked as she grabbed her bag and headed toward the door.
"Not sure," Tim said even though he had a decent idea of what the problem was. "Why don't you go on in Sara and we'll be there in a minute."
Tim made his way around to the passenger side of the car and opened the door. A startled Tony looked up at him.
"You going to stay in the car all week, Tony," Tim questioned, keeping his tone light.
"Ah, no," Tony said too quietly for Tim's liking. "I was just-- Does your family really not mind me crashing the family fun?"
"You're not crashing anything Tony and they don't mind that I'm bringing you."
Tim had hoped that he would have to deal with Tony's insecurities over both meeting his family and their relationship, but it wasn't going to happen. He could only hope now that he said and did the right things.
"If you say so, Probie," Tony sighed. He got out of the car and went to grab his bags. "So, show me the McGee house in all its glory."
Tim led Tony to the front door where Tim's mom had the door wide open to greet them. He winced when he heard her voice.
"Timothy! What are you boys still doing outside? It's too cold out here. You shouldn't keep poor Tony outside when I've got a warm cup of hot chocolate waiting on him."
Tony looked like a deer caught in the headlights as Tim's mom wrapped her arms around him an Abby-like hug. "You must be Tony," she said in a cheerful tone. "Sara's told me more about you than Timothy here has, but don't you worry; I've read 'Deep Six' more than once. Now let's get you inside before you get sick."
Tony cast Tim a 'please help me' look to which Tim responded with a 'I can't stop her' look of his own. Tim followed his doting mom inside and hoped she didn't scare Tony too badly.
A cup of hot chocolate later, and Tim could tell that Tony had started to relax just a bit. It was either that or the fact that his mom had finally left the room and stopped hovering over him for the moment. Tim picked up the empty cups and carried them to the sink to rinse off.
"So Tony," he started, "how do you like the place?"
Instead of answering the question, Tony asked one of his own. "Is she always like that?"
"My mom? She's not usually that," Tim paused to think of how to describe it.
"Frightening?" Tony supplied.
Tim gave him a small smile. "I was going to say doting, but…" Tim trailed off as he walked back over to where Tony was sitting. "She'll cool down in a few hours. She's like this with just about anyone Sara or I bring home. Well," he amended, "maybe a little worse with you because of my book."
"Oh," Tony said quietly.
"Have you ever met any parents before?" Tim risked asking.
"Umm, not any that count," Tony said in the same quiet tone. "Usually broke up before it got that far."
"You're doing fine you know," Tim said with a reassuring pat to Tony's shoulder. "She already likes you, which means you probably won't get the 'you hurt my baby boy and you will be dead' speech; or maybe she'll just use the toned down version."
"You've got a great mom, Tim," Tony responded with a smile. "So," he said to diffuse the tension in the room, "where are we sleeping? And do I get to see the 'Land that Time Forgot', otherwise known as little Timothy McGee's room?"
Tim smiled at hearing the jokes come back to Tony's lips. "You're going to make me regret bringing you here, aren't you?"
"Me? You should know me better than that, Probie. Abby on the other hand, made me promise to take pictures," Tony smiled as he pulled a disposable camera from his pocket.
"You wouldn't," Tim grimaced as he tried to grab the camera from Tony's hand.
Tony evaded his attempts and headed through the door to check out the rest of the house. "This is Abby we're talking about Tim. Do you really want me to go back to her empty handed?"
Tim groaned when he realized that he had no choice in the matter. "At least let me pick out what pictures you take, Tony."
It was several hours later when Tony looked up at the sound of the front door opening that Tim got a smile on his face and said, "That'll be my dad. Come on and I'll introduce you."
It didn't escape Tim's notice at all slowly Tony followed behind him. "Hey dad!" Tim said as he hugged the older man.
"Tim," his father said as he patted him on the back. "Being a field agent is good on you. Finally getting some muscle."
Tim blushed slightly before tugging Tony up closer to his body. "Dad, this is Tony DiNozzo. Tony, this is my dad."
"Pleasure to meet you," Tim's dad said as he took Tony's hand into a firm handshake.
Tony responded in what Tim considered his 'witness interview' voice. "Pleasure to meet you too, sir."
"I'm not military, son," Tim's dad said with a hint of laughter as he clapped a hand on Tony's shoulder. "Just call me Bill."
"Yes, sir… er… Bill," Tony said clumsily.
"So Tim here says that you used to play football. What school did you go to? I was a Fighting Irish myself back in the day."
Before Tim knew it, his dad and Tony had bonded over football and fraternities. He smiled as he watched Tony talk animatedly about his last game for Ohio State and how it ended his chances for a pro career.
Later that night, as they both lay twined together under the comforter, Tony gave Tim a slow kiss. Then he pulled back and stared into Tim's eyes.
"Thanks for bringing me," was said so quietly Tim almost couldn't hear it.
"Thanks for coming," he responded as he pulled Tony even closer.
One week later, Tim automatically drove them to Tony's apartment, knowing that the other man would need to be in his own space after the long week surrounded by Tim's family. Tim thought it was funny how he had come to think of Tony's place as much his home as his own apartment; maybe even more so.
They walked into the darkened apartment in silence, sitting down bags and flipping on light switches. It wasn't until they had moved to sit on the couch that Tim realized Tony's face was contorted with a sad look. Going for broke, Tim asked, "Hey Tony? What's wrong?"
"I'd never be able to take you to meet my father," Tony responded moments later in such a small voice that Tim had trouble hearing it. "It would be socially unacceptable; not that I ever was to begin with."
Tim felt lost for a moment, unsure how to respond. Then he thought of something that he hoped would ease Tony's concern and make him realize something else at the same time.
"Tony," Tim started, making sure the other man was looking him in the eyes. "I couldn't care less about the bastard that gave you your name because I've already got the approval of the only bastard that matters."
Tony scrunched his face in concentration before slowly breaking into a toothy grin. "Does this mean that we have to get Gibbs one of those 'from the both of us' cards in June?"
Tim made a choking sound even as a smile graced his face.
"How about some silk boxers that say 'Who's the Boss?'"
'Yeah,' Tim thought, 'I'm home.'