Title: Sweet Little Boy
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Tim, Gibbs, a smattering of the others. Slight McAbby.
Summary: A case revives some of Tim's darkest memories, and Gibbs learns that his youngest agent's childhood was anything but idyllic.
Warnings: Abuse, disturbing imagery
Challenge(s): Why Are You Torturing, McGee? Challenge NFA
From the author's desk: You may have read some of my other stuff on here in other fandoms (Rurouni Kenshin, especially) when I was still known here as IceAngelKaoru, so I'm not new to writing or fanfiction in general, for that matter. I hope you enjoy my first NCIS entry here on FFN.
Warning: This story will contain the sexual abuse of a child. If you do not wish to/like to read something of this nature, I suggest you please turn back now.
Disclaimer: NCIS and its characters are the property of Donald P. Bellisario and his associates. This was written for non-profitable entertainment purposes only. Any Original Characters (OCs) are mine to claim.
Sweet Little Boy
Special Agent Timothy McGee was once again asleep at his desk, the dark circles under his eyes a testament to the lack of sleep he'd been suffering for the last three days, and the look of anguish on the kid's face indicated he wasn't getting any peace while he slept either. Tony and Ziva left already; Tim had stayed behind, saying he wanted to finish his report. Unfortunately, his apparent exhaustion had once again made him pass out at his desk.
I don't like this.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs' famous gut was twisting. There was something about the case they had just closed that had deeply affected his youngest agent.
A Marine's wife had died at Quantico, and her husband became the prime suspect when they discovered signs of abuse littering Leah Kline's body. The most heartbreaking moment, however, had come when McGee had discovered Kline's eight-year-old son, Toby, huddled under his desk in his room, covered in a blanket with his hands over his ears.
Gibbs had been impressed with the way Tim had surprisingly stepped up to the plate and gotten Toby's trust, getting the boy to talk, and reveal the sad truth that it was his father who killed his mother, and how he'd heard the whole thing from upstairs under his desk.
"Daddy was screaming at Mommy a lot. And Mommy was screaming and crying a lot too," the boy said when asked how he knew it was his father. "Daddy always screamed at Mommy a lot."
The rest of the case had been very much open-and-shut, as the evidence also showed that Lieutenant Jacob Kline was indeed the killer. They had finally managed to track him down and bring him into custody.
Toby had been handed off to Social Services. Gibbs had been worried that McGee wouldn't be able to let Toby go with them—they had bonded, and McGee had shown an obvious mistrust for the agency that was taking their charge—but he seemed to understand that it would be best for Toby to go with them instead of keeping the boy with him, and hadn't argued, simply giving the child a long hug and his card, telling him to call anytime he wanted to talk.
It wasn't just Gibbs that had noticed the similarities between the boy and the man either. Abby had been the first to dub Toby "Mini McGee," and no one had missed that the kid was obviously quite gifted when he'd quickly solved the Rubik's cube McGee had given him to play with, and a perfect little gentleman, if a bit on the shy and quiet side, very much the way Gibbs would have pictured a young McGee. It had seemed fitting, since their team had already previously had a "Mini Gibbs" and a "DiNozzo Jr." in their care.
Gibbs shook his head slightly, coming back to the matter at hand. Something was seriously wrong with his youngest agent, and the tortured look on his face while he slept was giving him cause to worry.
Maybe there's something in his file?
Gibbs pulled up the employee database, and went to his team roster, double-clicking on McGee's name. Looking through the file that came up, Gibbs found nothing that seemed to answer his question. His psyche profile noted that he had been to therapy after a traumatic childhood event, but it didn't elaborate any further than that.
"L'ggo…" came a quiet mutter from the sleeping agent. "Le…Le'ggo m'ma…"
There was such anguish in that voice. Gibbs walked up to his youngest agent's desk, and put a hand on the kid's shoulder, shaking it gently to wake the sleeping man.
Timothy McGee was both blessed and cursed with an expressive face. The kid didn't have to ever say much to indicate his mood. And while that was a good thing when it came to interpersonal relationships, it also meant that when something was wrong, his face could never lie, no matter how much he verbally denied it.
Gibbs remembered the worried look Tony had sent in his direction when he'd left for the night after Tim had declined his and Ziva's offers to go out for a late dinner.
Kid may be a genius, but he kinda sucks at taking care of himself when he needs to most, as Gibbs also recalled that the younger man hadn't eaten anything at lunch, and had quite obviously skipped dinner with his friends.
Tim was becoming more agitated in his sleep. "McGee. C'mon McGee, you need to wake up. Wake up, McGee."
Tim sat up suddenly with a loud, gasping, choking breath, back ramrod straight and eyes wide in terror and disorientation.
Gibbs kept his voice soft but firm, calming Tim down with commands to breathe, to take slow deep breaths, telling him it was a nightmare, he was at NCIS, in the squad room, at his desk.
What kind of nightmare would haunt someone like you, McGee?
I'm trembling, Tim noticed as he focused on his boss's soft voice, trying to breathe normally again.
He could still see her dead, once-bright eyes boring into him. One last shudder ran through him, and finally he was calm again.
Tim swallowed, and glanced at Gibbs, who had now backed away and was leaning against the filing cabinet between his and Tony's desks.
Tim nodded silently, his stomach churning at the memory of the nightmare rushing through his head.
"Sorry…sorry to bother you w-with…that, boss," he murmured.
God, I'm so tired, Tim thought, his body feeling drained and heavy as once more, Toby Kline's young haunted face came to his mind's eye, morphing into his own face as a child.
He shook his head. No. Don't think about it. You need to block it, Tim. The case is over. That time is over. It was…
"Chinese take-out sound good to you?"
Tim blinked at his boss owlishly. "What?"
"Dinner. We haven't eaten since lunch, and I'm hungry. Chinese take-out sound good?"
Tim never thought it was possible for his stomach to growl and churn at the same time when food was mentioned. "I should probably stick with a soup. I'm not feeling too great."
"Well, you look like hell, McGee. I can't imagine you're feeling much better," Gibbs cracked a knowing smile in his direction.
"C'mon. I'll treat you, There's a place I know that does a great hot and sour soup."
Tim smiled faintly at his boss. The idea of being alone right now didn't sound appealing, and Gibbs' company was better than Tony's any day.
Why not? "Sure, boss."
The two men stood, each packing up their things for the night. Tim picked up his bag, stuffing a couple things from his desk inside, when his hand came across the Rubik's cube Toby had solved.
I forgot this was still in here.
Tim picked it up, rolling it over in his hands a few times, before putting it back in his backpack, Toby's face flashing in his mind for the umpteenth time.
"You coming, McGee?" Gibbs called from the elevator bank.
"Y-yeah, boss. I'm coming."