Gibbs felt the man in his arms tense and for an instant clutch him tighter as if he was a faithful security blanket and he smiled. He dropped a kiss onto Tim's silky hair and felt him settle back into sleep, his breathing coming slow and regular as he sprawled naked across his chest.

Gibbs watched his hands sooth and stroke slowly up and down Tim's smooth broad pale back. His own hands were so different from Tim's long fingered manicured metro sexual hands. His were strong, rough and battered from working with hand tools on rough wood and from long dangerous years being wrapped around a snipers rifle out in the field. They were also to his despairing imagination becoming more like his fathers, slightly twisted and knarled. His pinky was still slightly bent from where he had been shot. Gibbs studied his familiar hands in the soft morning light filtering through the blinds. Were these old mans hands really his? They were capable but imperfect hands. Perhaps they only seemed that way when viewed against the unblemished perfect expanse of skin across Tim's back?

Tim twitched and with a slight smile snuggled deeper into his embrace, his warm sweet breath playing softly now against Gibbs' neck.

God there were times when Tim made him feel so old. Sometimes Gibbs felt like nothing more than a lecherous old man with candy in his pockets, luring wide eyed innocents off the streets. He knew intellectually it wasn't true but it didn't stop the way he felt sometimes when left too long with his thoughts. Tim wasn't a boy, he was a grown man and a hell of an agent. He was far from being an innocent either as it had been Tim who had seduced Gibbs into his bed that fateful night months ago.

But sometimes he would look at Gibbs with that wide eyed look of wonder and he would give him that smile that made Gibbs think of a child on Christmas morning. His eyes would light up and he would flash his perfect dental white teeth in a rare moment of pure joy. Or there would be that instant when he would look up and Tim would give him a secret smile and peek coyly out at Gibbs through his long lashes. Tim's silky fine hair always smelled like something beautiful, expensive and completely foreign to Gibbs, like fruity bubblegum. Those nights when Tim would lick his lips as he intently played some computer game and Gibbs would see the wet sheen on his full bottom lip from the glare of the computer monitor. He concentrated so hard on that stupid thing, his brow furrowing, his shoulders hunched. It made Gibbs want to straddle his lap, take his face in his hands and kiss him to distraction. Make him forget all about Red Alpha and the rendezvous at 0200. And he often did.

Often there were moments when they were alone together when everything was perfect and there was no team, no Rule Twelve, no don't ask, don't tell, no Vance, no Jenny and then there were times when Gibbs would wonder if Tim would have had more in common with the daughter he once had. It was then that he would ignore Tim's hopeful eyes in the elevator after work and head to his basement instead to continue work on his boat.

As the long cool hours of evening found him sanding the same spot over and over again and he could feel the warm touch of Tim's arms around him even when he was alone he knew he was damned anyway. The big Jim Beam bottle would make yet another appearance and Gibbs would climb the stairs with a bitter groan once he knew he was tired enough and drunk enough to sleep though the rest of the night. The last thing he wanted was to turn up at Tim's door in the middle of the night like some sad stray hoping to share his warm bed. He had more pride than that. Although there had been a few times when he had been close. When the absolution he found in Tim's forgiving arms was too sweet to ignore.

Tim didn't play up the age difference between them. If anything he knew that it concerned Gibbs sometimes so he tried actively to avoid any discussion of it. In fact he seemed to object to the very idea that Gibbs considered himself too old for him taking it as a personal insult and that he was somehow not enough for the great Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

Tim had insisted rather vehemently that he was an adult in charge of his own destiny and choices and one of those choices included Gibbs so he better just get used to the idea.

And so here he was in Tim's bed. Again.

Tim had grown a lot and changed over the last few years. He had put away childish things and settled into the skin of the more confident, experienced Special Agent Timothy McGee. His clothes had changed, his car, his teeth, his expensive toys, and his hair. He had put aside the sugary dinosaur breakfast cereal in exchange for a breakfast burrito or plain toast. It made Gibbs wonder if he too would be out grown like a once favored suit or breakfast cereal, slowly pushed aside to sit unwanted in a container high on a kitchen shelf.

He knew he shouldn't be so melancholy when he lay with a man who loved him desperately in his arms. But he just couldn't seem to help it. He also couldn't seem to help the fierce desire to protect this man child he knew so well. Something about Tim made him want to hold on somehow to the old naïve Tim instead of allowing him to learn the harsh lessons and take the knocks life gave. But it wasn't to be. Day by day Tim was growing up and he just hoped he would be able to stay a part of it for a while longer.

Gibbs felt Tim finally stirring in his arms, and with a sleepy doe eyed smile Tim greeted his lover with a gentle kiss. Looking up at Tim's adoring baby face Gibbs hoped the morning light leeching into the room would be soft on his crow's feet and laugh lines.

"Would you like some breakfast?" Tim nuzzled Gibbs' neck whispering into his ear

Gibbs just raised an eyebrow and Tim grinned, his hair rumpled and sleep mussed.

"Ok how about we start with some coffee?"

Gibbs softly slapped Tim on the ass as he got out of bed and padded quietly into the next room.

"I know you're going to laugh but I feel like some dinosaur cereal this morning. Haven't had any in ages"

Tim's voice drifted out of the kitchen and Gibbs smiled as he settled back against the soft Tim scented pillows.

Perhaps he would be around for a bit longer than he thought.