This is my first one-shot and also first time writing McAbby, so I hope I did both justice! Also, I'm not one to beg for reviews (haha, right.) But I would very much like to hear what you all have to say about this story! Please be kind, but I'm open to constructive criticism! Now on to the story! And a warning, if you get teary easily, you might want to break out the tissues now.
I don't own NCIS. If I did, I'd have McGee to fix my computer, Gibbs to watch my six, and Tony to... ;)
A long-worn John Coltrane record played on the vintage record player Tim's wife had given him for his 55th birthday. The gift had elicited a chorus of good natured jibes, along the lines of, "Timmy's getting' old!", "You old man!", and the like, from the party-goers. Tim chuckled at the memory. Looking back, he realized that he had always been an old soul, which in itself was humorous, being the techno-savvy man that the world knew Timothy McGee to be. He stood to gently remove the needle from its resting place and stopped the music, as he closed the lid to read the inscribed plate in the center.
"My Darling Timmy, Happy 55th Birthday, Love- Your Dearest Abby"
His fingers traced the letters one by one as a gentle smile crossed his face and he raised his eyes to look at a picture of the day she gave it to him, hung on the wall above. Abby called it their "family portrait". He sat in the center, wearing a ridiculous birthday hat that Abby whined until he wore, and he did, just to please her. His ever-beautiful wife sat perched on his knee, in a fitted black dress, long black hair tinged with gray left down around her shoulders, red lips poised to peck him on the cheek, and, even all those years later, her black studded dog collar. Even in the photograph, you can see her almost shaking from excitement. The kids, Jack and Caitlin, stood next to her, Jack grinning and Caitlin playfully rolling her eyes at her mother's antics.
Just to his left, forgetting they were posing for a picture, in the midst of telling a movie related, semi-obscene joke, stood his somewhat aging Italian Stallion of a best friend, Tony DiNozzo. Poised to deliver a swift but loving crack to the back of his head, his partner- now wife- Ziva had also most likely forgotten the picture being taken at that moment. Their daughter, Talia Maria, who inherited both her mother's eye for beauty and her father's sense of humor, was in Italy studying the Renaissance painters, but insisted that a cardboard cutout of herself be brought to the party and put in the pictures, much to the delight of her father and the amused dismay of her mother, which is why a cardboard Tali stood to the left of the ever-graceful Mrs. DiNozzo.
To Tim's right was a silver haired marine who, though he now walked with a cane, was still as deadly as ever, and a tentatively confident, curly haired medical examiner, sharing a quiet chuckle that Tim was later to find out was prompted by Gibbs' statement, "Well, I guess Rule #12 is pretty much shot to hell, eh?".
It was a happy, and once thought unlikely, sight to see these two men laughing together. Jethro Gibbs and Jim Palmer were not friends when they first met, or for a very long time after, but after Ducky's passing and Jimmy taking the job as Medical Examiner at NCIS, they were forced to interact and rely on each other on a daily basis. Soon, Gibbs came to respect the younger man's intelligence and unique insights, and Palmer learned not to be so afraid of the man's upfront manners and gruff exterior. They had become such good friends, that when Gibbs took three rounds in his right leg on his last case at NCIS, it was not Tony, Ziva, Abby, or even himself that took care of their friend in the following weeks, though they all would have, but Jimmy who stayed with the gruff agent. Once, Tony had said that Gibbs was even more dangerous with the cane his injury required, because, "Now he can crack you on the back of the head and trip you at the same time!" , which, if Tim could remember correctly, earned DiNozzo a first-hand demonstration by their former boss.
Tim, reluctantly, brought himself back to the present, grinning and chuckling from the memories.
Was that really twenty years ago?
Tim was jolted out of his reverie by the chime of the grandfather clock, probably a little too big and much too loud for his small writing room, chiming twelve discordant tones.
The aged man turned back to face his even more aged typewriter, thought about writing something down, but then turned away.
How did it all change so quickly?
Jimmy was killed by a drunk driver only a few years after that picture was taken. We were all distraught, he was so full of life, really coming into his own, but Gibbs was almost inconsolable. He had just lost one dear friend a few years before, and now to lose yet another was hard even for the stoic marine.
Gibbs was the next one to pass on, about seven years after Jimmy, though not before "Papa Gibbs" saw his three "grandchildren" married. He was ready to go, to see Shannon and Kelly again. The doctors said that they weren't sure why, that his heart just stopped in his sleep, but his team knew. He was Gibbs, he was ready, and nothing in the world could stop him from doing what he wanted, come hell or high water.
Tony died just that next year. Prostate Cancer. By the time they caught it, it was too late. True to form though, he went out like a champ, more concerned with how everyone else was dealing with his "imminent demise" as he so gently put it. The whole team, plus children and spouses were there in his small room, per his request. DiNozzo, he went laughing, and of course Ziva was right, his final words were, "I've seen this movie..." She followed him only a few years after, claimed also by cancer, this time of the brain. She fought through the sickness, so no one would find out. But, that was Ziva though. Fight through hell and back to spare her kids or any of us the extra pain.
Things were quiet then for awhile. We went on. Welcomed Talia into the family as one of our own. Had grandchildren. All things considered, we were happy, me and Abby.
My sweet, sweet wife passed only two years ago, after over 40 years of marriage and happiness. Believe it or not, it was a result of an enlarged heart, the irony not lost on anyone that knew her. Abs had the biggest heart of anyone I've ever known; a statement echoed to me countless friends and relatives.
Oh, Abby. How did it all change so quickly?
Timothy McGee, not stopping a few threatening tears from falling, couldn't remember how long he'd been standing there, remembering, but he was tired so he began to move his well-worn, aching joints towards the bedroom where he had spent so many peaceful, and almost as many stressful, nights as he continued musing.
He remembered this past Christmas, his sister standing with him in front of that picture, and her comment, "It looks like you're the last one, huh?" Ever blunt, he knew what she meant. He was the last on his team, his second family, to be… around. Like that was something to be proud of? She hadn't meant to hurt him, but still, it just hurt sometimes.
He shook those thoughts away. It didn't hurt tonight. Tonight, he felt strangely... hopeful. As he eased himself into bed and smiled a goodnight to the photograph of his Abigail on the nightstand beside, he couldn't help think of his gruff old mentor and how he slipped so peacefully from this world to the next.
Smiling again, ever so slightly, he thought, "You know Boss, I think you have something there," and then slipped into sleep.