Ok so admittedly this is kinda like Bridge to Teribithia but I was just so inspired that I had to write something like it. Don't worry it's not gonna be a complete clone of Bridge (no sad ending for starters). Anyway I hope you guys enjoy this story. Please review.
It had been a long and stressful case with lots of dead ends and consumed extra strength coffee, but they had finally gotten their murderer. A Navy Lieutenant had been killed in his backyard, and after exhausting all other leads. Tony had managed to pick up the trail again, in the Lieutenant's home town of Jonesville, Virginia.
Tony had been ecstatic and when asked why, he had remarked that McGee was also from Jonesville. Tony's excitement had left him when they had rolled into the small town that lay in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.
McGee had known every person they interviewed and they were all happy to see one of their own out making it in the world. Tony had made fun of him, wanting desperately to meet McGee's parents and see if they were as geeky as he imagined them being. They had a murderer to catch, however, and getting dirt on McGee was put as a far second compared to the case.
Word traveled fast in a small town like Jonesville and after being pestered for four days straight, they had enough time to go over to the McGee's for a nice big dinner. The whole team, even Gibbs was interested to see where their computer genius had gotten his start.
To their surprise it was in a old and weathered two story house that reminded Abby slightly of Ron Weasley's home. McGee's mother, who insisted she be called Anna was a slender woman with sandy blonde hair and a kind smile. She worked in town as a secretary for one of the law offices. McGee's father reminded the whole team of Sarah and he owned the only hardware store for ten miles. It was easy for the team to see which child had inherited what for each parent.
It had been a needed break from the case to sit back and relax for a little while. Ziva remarked that it was a welcome relief to have a well cooked meal after eating junk food for so long. Tony had quickly started asking for stories about McGee's childhood, which his father was more than apt to tell. McGee groaned and put his head in his hands as his father started to talk about the time when Tim had been only seven and had decided to take apart the lawn mower to see how it worked and couldn't put it back together correctly. The stories continued despite his protests.
"We were so worried after he crashed his Camero that we didn't get him another car until he was about to leave for college," Anne said as she finished the story of how Tim had crashed his car when he was sixteen.
"Hey, that wasn't my fault, you know how those stupid coal trucks are," McGee added defensively.
"Yea, one second they're not there and then they're on top of ya," Mr. McGee said.
There was silence for a moment and Abby glanced over at McGee only to see him staring out the kitchen window at the forest behind the house. Anne smiled as she saw what her son was looking at. She leaned over and whispered something to him causing him to smile and chuckle.
Abby wondered why McGee had been staring out at the forest as if it were an old friend and what his mother had secretly told him.
Two days later they caught their killer. A jealous lover had driven all the way to D.C. to kill the Lieutenant and had driven back to Jonesville, convinced that she had brought justice through murder.
It was Friday and Gibbs had called Director Shepard to update her on the case. She had been satisfied and given them the weekend off. The team had packed up and been ready to leave, until McGee announced, "Hey, we don't have to leave, besides you guys haven't seen the best part of Jonesville yet."
"And what would that be Probie, the Happy Mart?" Tony asked, wanting nothing more than to get out of the small town and back into the big city.
"Don't be stupid Tony," McGee countered.
"What's the best part McGee?" Abby asked in excited curiosity.
"It's a surprise, you'll just have to come and see," he said with a grin.
"Well I'm game, I love surprises, well unless they're bad surprises and then not so much," Abby said as she jumped to McGee's side.
"I think I will come too," Ziva said as she moved to stand by Abby.
"Oh come on, it's probably got something to do with computers or something," Tony said.
"Wrong Tony, the place we're going is outside," McGee stated which made Ziva perk up. She had been merely curious as to what had gotten McGee so happy and excited; now it seemed as if she would enjoy the trip as well.
"Come on Tony," Abby said with a pout.
"It'll be fun Tony I promise, no computers or anything like it," the young man said with an encouraging smile.
Gibbs grinned as Tony groaned as he realized he was outnumbered and wasn't likely to get any help from Gibbs who had decided to finally join the group.
"Not you too, boss," Tony said exasperatedly.
"Well I can't just let them wander off DiNozzo, they might get lost somewhere," Gibbs said.
"Do not be a part popper Tony," Ziva said.
"Its pooper, Zee-vah, and I guess I'm outnumbered so fine, but this better be the greatest surprise ever Probie," Tony said with a frown.
"Don't worry, it will be," the younger man said with a triumphant smile.
"We've already seen your parent's house McGee," Tony said as he sulked in the back seat.
"I'm aware of that," McGee said as he parked the car and got out.
"So where are we going Timmy?" Abby asked.
"It's a secret Abs," McGee said as he began to walk towards the forest.
"Are you taking us hiking McGee?" Ziva asked.
He laughed "Yea something like that."
They had made it a ways into the forest and Gibbs was getting fed up with feeling like they were on a wild goose chase. "McGee, where the hell are you taking us?"
"You always did have great timing boss, we're almost there," McGee said as he came to a stop.
"In front of them was a fast flowing creek with a steep bank that went down a few feet and was way too wide to just step across.
"Yay it's a creek, can we go now?" Tony asked and Abby elbowed him. "McGee said we weren't there yet, be patient."
"Thanks Abs," McGee said as he moved over to large tree that stood by the bank. He unloosed the end of a rope swing and tugged on experimentally.
"You've got to be kidding me, that thing won't hold us," Tony said, worried that McGee was so adamant about showing them whatever it was that he was going to break his neck.
"How else do you suggest we get across, you're welcome to take your chances with the creek, but there are snakes that live in the water," McGee said as he held onto the rope and jumped off the ground and allowing the rope to carry him to the other side.
"I wanna go next," Abby exclaimed with all the excitement of a five year old. She caught the rope as it was swung at her and laughed as she swung over into McGee's waiting arms.
"I haven't done that in forever, I'm glad I wore pants today," she said. "Come on Gibbs, you gotta try it," she yelled back at the three standing a world away.
The three others crossed, with Tony being the only one who almost fell back into the muddy water.
"You ok?" McGee asked as Ziva finished steadying him.
"Oh yea I'm just peachy," the older man said sarcastically.
"That's good, come on," the young man said before he turned and ran off.
Abby, Ziva, and Gibbs took off after him, leaving a grumpy Tony behind. "Dammit all I wanted to do was go home and watch Magnum P.I. but no can't do that," he said before he ran after his friends.
Trees passed by him in brown and green blurs, he could hear his friends chasing after him, their feet pounding on the soft carpet of grass. He couldn't help the smile that spread across his face; he had wanted his surrogate family to see this side of him for so long. The opportunity had never presented itself until now and he was glad that Sarah had given him permission to take the team to their secret place. No one but he and Sarah had ever been there before. All their parents knew was what he and Sarah had told them, that there was a magical place deep in the forest and parents weren't allowed there.
McGee skidded to a stop, in front of him stood the large castle that he and Sarah had worked on diligently for the better part of eighteen years. It still looked magnificent despite having seen it so many times.
"What is that?" he heard Ziva ask. He turned around "That is a fortress that Sarah and I built," he explained. They all looked at him as if he had lost his mind.
"Looks like a tree house made out of a mish mash of old wood, tree branches, and rope," Gibbs said as he stepped closer to examine the so called fortress.
McGee looked at the so called tree house before looking at his friends. "Um well yea…but you gotta look at it closer, get past what you see and use your imagination," he said, secretly hoping they wouldn't think he was crazy for taking them out to see what they called an old tree house.
"Timmy it's beautiful," Abby said as she moved to climb up the wooden ladder. "You're right it is a fortress."
"Abby, don't you could get hurt," Tony tried to warn her but she blew him off.
McGee walked over to Ziva who seemed to be trying very hard to see what Abby and Mcgee were seeing. "Just close your eyes and imagine it Ziva, it's there if you believe it is."
Tony and Gibbs watched as Ziva closed her eyes and concentrate as Abby watched from above. "Come on Ziva, you gotta see it, it's incredible," she whispered.
Ziva gasped as she opened her eyes and Tony and Gibbs looked at eachother, feeling as if they were missing out on something amazing.
She turned to look at a grinning McGee. "What is this place?"
"It's called Cathia," he replied.