I am so terribly sorry to all of my readers for how long it took me to update this! Thank you so much to all the people that favourite, reviewed or alerted this story. It's thanks to you guys that I kept writing it. I re-discovered this in the depths of my computer files and though it was time for an update. Hope you enjoy!
McGee trotted after Leigh as quickly as he could. He was reluctant to talk to her, especially in the state he was in, but what was he going to do when Gibbs was sitting behind him, watching? And besides, part of him did want to talk to Leigh, just to see her. He missed her, and he wanted to know if they were ok.
He caught up to her as they made it to the porch and smiled as he tapped her on the shoulder.
Liz turned and just stood there for a moment. "So you know?" she asked gently, gesturing at his tear streaked face.
McGee laughed lightly. "Yeah, Tony told me. Listen, Leigh-"
He didn't have a chance to finish his sentence, because Leigh leapt at him in a jumping hug, wrapping her limbs around him and knocking him backwards. They both fell back onto the grass, and Leigh sat triumphantly on McGee's stomach.
Letting out an 'oof' as all of his air left his body, McGee stared up at the woman on his stomach and couldn't help but grin as he saw her scowl. Leigh would never change, and she had never been any good at scowling.
The little woman began punching his arm. "How many years, Timmy? You turned into a real cop, and you didn't call me? I haven't heard from you since college!"
McGee was laughing too much to push her off him. "A real cop?"
Leigh crawled off Mcgee onto the grass and sat up, folding her arms beneath her breasts. "Yes, a real cop."
Sitting up as well, McGee couldn't keep the grin off his face. "I'm a special agent, I'll have you know."
Leigh gave him a look, flicking her hair out of the way. "Very special, I'm sure."
McGee rolled his eyes. "I see how you and Tony got along. What about you? Are you still doing music?"
Nodding emphatically, Leigh grinned. "Yep, I was playing professionally for a while, but I dropped out to look after the kids."
McGee's mouth dropped open and his eyes widened. "Kids plural? I know about Jasper, but you've had more?"
Leigh laughed, a light, tinkling noise that was completely infectious. "Yes, Timmy! Three of them. I had twins just after college, Rico and Imogen, and I just adopted a baby, Jarred."
McGee just couldn't stop gaping. "Three? Adopted? Whoah…"
Laughing again, Leigh got to her feet and stuck out a hand to help McGee up. "Yes adopted, and yes three. Jarred was abandoned by a young teen mum, so we took him in."
Getting to his feet with the minimal help that Leigh's arms offered, McGee brushed himself off. "Well, we always said it was going to be you guys that would adopt." he said easily.
Immediately, the atmosphere got tense. The slightest mention of the old group had them both looking for a way out.
"Look Leigh, I'm going to try and stay away from this one, ok? I'll just do more harm than g-"
For the second time that day, McGee was cut off by Leigh. She held up a finger. "Don't you dare!"
McGee looked taken aback. "Wha-But-"
Stormclouds seemed to have gathered in Leigh's face, and her eyes were thunderheads. "Don't you dare even think about blaming yourself for this, and don't you dare, drop out." She punctuated each phrase with a stab to his chest with her finger, her voice cracking like lightning. "You didn't protect her once, your bloody well going to do it this time. You are going to find who did this to her, Timmy, and you're going to make them pay. Say it!" She stepped forward quickly, forcing McGee to take a step backwards.
McGee's face slowly lost its hopeless look as Leigh's words sunk in. She was right. He was going to do it right this time. "I'm going to find him, Leigh. I'm going to find him."
Immediately, Leigh's stormclouds cleared, and she barrelled into him for another hug. "Good."
McGee wrapped his arms around her, resting his chin on her head as he thought.
"It's good to see you again Timmy." she murmured into his shoulder.
McGee smiled. "You too, Leigh."
Breaking off the hug, Leigh gave him a bright smile and turned to go into the house.
Gibbs watched as McGee watched Leigh walk into the house. His eyes narrowed to catch the tightening of his jaw, something Gibbs recognised as McGee's resolve strengthening and his stubborn streak settling in. Smiling slightly, Gibbs stood and waited. McGee would come and talk to him, he knew it.
Mere moments later, McGee spun on his heel and marched over to Gibbs.
"Well?" Gibbs asked.
McGee's eyes flashed as he spoke. "I'm going to find who did this to her, Boss. I'm going to find them and I'm going to make them pay."
Gibbs nodded towards the Tony and Ziva. "Go."
Nodding quickly, McGee turned and walked over to the pair.
Gibbs felt a small smile turn his lips as he watched. McGee was strong and confident. It was a good sight to see, and a rare one. He meant to change that fact.