"There's still time, Probie," Tony said, startling McGee out of his thoughts.
McGee shook his head.
"Just because you're a commitment-phobe doesn't mean I have to be one too," he replied. "I am going to marry Abby today come 'Hell or high water'." He smiled to himself as he remembered Abby saying those very words to him three weeks ago.
"Oh, we all know you're going through with this. There are way too many people who would kill you if you didn't. No, that's not what I meant. What I mean is, there's still time to get in on the dress pool."
"Dress pool?" McGee asked, tugging on his tie as he tried to straighten it in the mirror.
"Sure. We're all betting on what colour dress Abby will wear. So far the favour swings towards black, but some people have gotten adventurous and picked other colours- blue, purple, red, even pink," Tony replied, consulting a small notebook that he pulled out of the pocket of his jacket.
"What makes you think she won't wear white?" McGee asked, amused.
"Come on, McClueless. When have you known Abby to do anything traditional?"
"You might be surprised," McGee answered, reaching for his jacket and shrugging it on.
"So can I put you down for white?" Tony asked, pencil poised above the notebook.
McGee just rolled his eyes, more amused than annoyed.
"Tony. I'm not betting on the colour of my bride's dress. Go away and annoy Ziva."
"Ziva says if I bother her any more she won't dance with me at the reception."
McGee raised a questioning eyebrow.
"What?" Tony asked defensively. "She's a really good dancer, ok? And she's wearing that dress that makes her look really hot…" his eyes had glazed over.
"There's a betting pool in the making," McGee muttered. Some things never changed, and Tony chasing skirts was one of them. Even though one of those skirts happened to belong to a trained Mossad officer. He probably viewed it as some sort of twisted challenge. McGee didn't understand that. Ziva was just downright scary when she was mad, and Tony seemed to push her to her limits. For some strange reason, they had shown up to this song and dance together.
McGee turned back to the mirror. His co-workers' twisted love lives were none of his business he supposed.
Gibbs stuck his head in the room.
"It's time, McGee," he said. "You ready?"
McGee's heart began to beat faster.
"No," he replied honestly.
Gibbs actually chuckled.
"It's not that hard. I've done it four times and still lived to tell about it."
McGee took several deep breaths to calm his nerves, and then followed.
Ok, let's do this.
"What do you mean it's not here!?" Abby demanded.
"Abby. Calm down. There's still half an hour to go," Sarah said.
"How am I supposed to walk down the aisle in sweatpants?" Abby asked, swiveling in her chair to face Sarah. Her elegantly done up hair, with delicate red roses threaded through it, contrasted sharply with the sweater and jeans she was wearing.
"Morgan said she was caught in traffic, but she should make it," she replied.
"I'm going to kill her, best friend or not," Abby muttered rebelliously.
Morgan, an old friend from forensics school, was supposed to go pick up Abby's dress from the dry cleaners an hour ago, but apparently the traffic was more heavy than usual in that part of town.
"Why me? Why today?" Abby wailed.
Ziva put a comforting hand on Abby's shoulder.
"What is a dress, hmm? You are still marrying McGee."
Abby brightened up.
"True. I would rather have McGee and no dress than my dress and no McGee. Come to think of it. McGee and no dress isn't a bad idea…"
Sarah made a face.
"Ewwww! That is so gross. I don't even want to think about you and my brother… Eww. Mental image."
The tension in the room broke, and everybody laughed.
A tall, dark-skinned woman rushed into the room, carrying a plastic-wrapped dress in her arms.
"I got it! I'm here!" she said breathlessly.
"Morgan! Thank God!" Abby jumped up and threw her arms around her friend. Morgan just managed to pass the dress off to Sarah before it was crushed by Abby.
"Come on, girl. Let's get you into your wedding dress," she said.
Abby fidgeted, smoothing down the front of her dress yet again, and checking her hair in the mirror.
"You look beautiful," said Sarah. "So stop touching things, or you'll wreck it."
"She's right, you know," Morgan agreed. "Don't touch anything."
"You all look great too," Abby said, looking at the three women dressed in knee-length red bridesmaid dresses.
Ziva leaned over Abby's shoulder to check her reflection in the mirror, rearranging one of the roses in her dark curls.
"You are a vision, Abby," She said, smiling. "McGee will not know what he hit."
"What hit him," Sarah giggled. "Although I'm sure Tim will feel like he hit something when he sees her."
"In a couple of minutes, I'm going to be Mrs. McGee!" Abby squealed, hardly believing it.
There was a knock at the door, and Gibbs poked his head in.
"Everything's ready. Time for you girls to make an appearance," he said. The three bridesmaids took long last look at the mirror, then walked out, leaving Abby standing there by herself.
"You look beautiful, Abs," he said, kissing her cheek. "I would hug you, but I don't want to crumple your dress."
"Oh Gibbs!" Abby flung her arms around him, regardless of the damage to her dress.
He pulled away, and cleared his throat, blinking several times.
"You look… just like I always thought Kelly would, when her big day came," he said, gruffly.
Abby felt a lump form in her throat. That confession meant so much to her. Before she could say anything, Gibbs offered her his arm.
"He's waiting for you," he said.
They walked to the doors, and waited. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were all there, and walked in pairs up the aisle that lay waiting for Abby. Then, the strains of Canon in D began wafting out.
"That's our cue," Gibbs whispered.
Abby took a deep breath, and they walked through the doors together.
McGee stood at the front of the church, trying to stay calm. His heart gave a great leap s the music began to play, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen walked in, arm and arm. The music swelled, sweeping into the majestic tones of Canon in D minor. The audience stood up, and turned as one to the door as the bride walked in on Gibbs' arm.
McGee had to fight to stop his jaw from dropping. She was so beautiful it made his heart ache. A line from Shakespeare that he had read once in high school flitted through his mind.
For I ne're saw true beauty till this night
McGee had to own to himself that though he thought Abby beautiful all the time, he had never seen true loveliness until he saw Abby walking towards him, her dark hair caught up at the back of her head, a few stubborn strands slipping out to frame her face with curly tendrils. Deep red roses were threaded through her hair, and lay on her forehead like a crown.
At the edge of his vision, McGee saw Tony whip out his notebook, and scribble something down. McGee suppressed a smirk. A lot of people had lost a lot of money. Abby's dress was white. White trimmed with black lace, granted, but white all the same. It flared out at her waist, ending with a black frill just below her knees. She looked radiant.
But now Gibbs was drawing closer. He stopped at the bottom on the two steps that lead from the aisle to the front of the church. Leaned over, he kissed her cheek, and then walked off to the side.
Abby, smiling, walked up the steps unaccompanied, to where McGee was holding out his hand. She took it. They both turned to the minister, and taking that as his signal, he began.
"Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of Timothy McGee and Abigail Scuito in Holy Matrimony…"
Abby had wanted a less traditional ceremony, but McGee had had his heart set on it, just like he had with the white dress. He had always imagined his bride coming up the aisle to him in a white floor-length gown. It was a testimony to her love for him that Abby had chosen white at all. McGee was glad that she hadn't gone totally traditional, though. She had added her own little flair to the white dress, and made it unique.
"If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be married, speak now; or else for ever hold your peace," the minister continued. McGee held his breath. Who knew if one of Abby's wacko ex boyfriends would show up and demand that they stop? But no one said anything, and the minister moved on.
"Do you, Timothy, take Abigail to be your wife; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?"
This was his cue. Hoping that his voice didn't shake, McGee spoke.
"I do," he said, thanking his lucky stars that it didn't come out as a squeak.
"And do you Abigail take Timothy to be your husband; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?"
"Yes!" Abby said enthusiastically. Then, remembering her proper line. "I mean, I do."
The minister smiled indulgently.
"Timothy, speak your vow."
McGee turned to Abby. She smiled at him radiantly, giving him courage.
"I Timothy, take you Abby to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others, till death do us part."
"Abigail, speak your vow," the minister said.
Abby took a deep breath, and then began to speak.
"I, Abby, take you Tim to be by husband. To live with and to fight with and to fix computers with and solve cases with. To have and to hug from this day forward, rich or poor (though preferably the latter) better or worse, sick or healthy. To love you forever, even on days when I haven't had enough caffeine. To compromise on the small stuff, and agree on the big stuff. To love only you, forsaking all the others (except maybe Burt), till death do us part."
McGee could picture the horrified look on his parents' faces, but he didn't care. That vow was just so Abby, and it was perfect.
The minister looked confused, but was determined to plow on.
"Will those with the rings please come forward," he said determinedly.
McGee's second cousin toddled up, having been pushed forward by his mother. The three year old was holding a cushion with the rings on them, which the minister took.
"A ring is a symbol of eternity. There is no beginning and no ending. And such should be your love for one another. By the giving and receiving of rings, you make your solemn promise to each other, and to God, and to this congregation."
McGee took Abby's ring, a thin band of gold, and slid it onto her finger.
"With this ring, I thee wed," he said.
Abby took the larger ring, and put it on McGee's hand.
"With this ring, I thee wed," she echoed.
"Now that Timothy and Abigail have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of a ring, I pronounce that they are husband and wife, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. You may now kiss the bride."
Abby glowed. They were married now!
"You may now kiss the bride," the minister intoned.
She leaned up to get a chaste peck, like McGee always gave her in front of other people.
McGee's eyes sparkled dangerously, and he had a wicked grin. He swept her into his arms, and swept her down in his arms before kissing her.
The audience broke into a round of spontaneous applause at the unexpected swoop kiss. McGee set her on her feet again, grinning.
"Couldn't resist," he murmured, taking her hand.
"Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs. McGee," the minister said.
"Come on!" Abby said, pulling on McGee's hand. Together, they walked down the aisle.
"Shame, Probie. You could have made some money," Tony said, shrugged.
"It wouldn't have been fair," McGee argued.
"Insider trading. I asked Abby to wear a white dress," McGee replied.
Tony sighed dramatically.
"Opportunity wasted," he lamented.
The music was beginning to play, and McGee got up.
"If you'll excuse me, I have to go dance with my bride," he said.
"Whatever, McRomeo," Tony replied, trying to look unconcerned.
McGee headed to where Abby was sitting, surrounded by women. They parted to let him past. He held out his hand.
"May I have this dance, Mrs. McGee?" he asked gallantly.
Abby smiled warmly.
"You don't have to ask, Timmy," she said. They swept onto the floor, and began to waltz, just like they had practiced.
Abby snickered at something over McGee's shoulder.
"What is it?" he asked.
"Turn around," she instructed.
McGee maneuvered them so that they were facing the other way, and saw what had so amused Abby.
Ziva was standing in front of Tony, hands on her hips.
"Are you going to ask me to dance or not?" she asked.
"Why Zee-vah. I didn't know you needed to be asked," Tony replied.
"Well I do."
"Ok. Will you dance with me?" he asked.
Ziva grabbed his hand and yanked him onto the dance floor.
Tony held her awkwardly, until quite unexpectedly she leaned into him, resting her head comfortably on his chest. A look of surprise and wonder flitted over Tony's face, and he rearranged his arms so that he was holding her closer.
"Awww… isn't that cute?" Abby crooned.
"Tony's in for it big time after all the teasing he gave me," McGee chuckled.
"Maybe there'll be another serious breakage of rule 12 sometime soon," Abby replied. "Maybe we can lend them our coffin. If we're through with it by then, that is."
The look on McGee's face was priceless.
Author's Note: The End!
I'm sorry this chapter took so long. I had intended to write and post it last week, but then the Doctor Who season finale came, and the plot bunnies just went mad. So this had to wait while Doctor Who ate up my time and my writing skills.
The ceremony is taken from the Book of Common Prayer. I wanted to have a really traditional aspect to the ceremony that suits McGee, but then have Abby dress it up in her own funky fashion. Hence the interesting vows and the black-trimmed dress. I felt it was a nice meld of the two personalities.
Thank you to everyone who read and enjoyed this story and left reviews. I'm always so thankful for reviews on any of my stories, and we McAbby fans need to stick together, because for some inexplicable reason, there's not very many of us. This story took me in directions I didn't plan on, but it's been a lot of fun to write. To think, when I started this it was only going to be a oneshot!