Tim smiles as he carefully enters the house carrying a gift in his hand. Knowing that his lover won't be home for several hours yet, he showers and changes into some loose fitting sweatpants. Then he sets the gift up in a dark corner of the backyard. Their love for the stars is just something recent they've discovered and Tim smiles as he remembers the conversation.
"What are you staring at Tim?"
Strong arms wrap around him and he leans back into the warm embrace. "I'm looking at the stars."
He hugs his lover's arms to him and replies, "I like to clear my mind at night and watching the constellations is one way I can."
"Orion and who else?"
Their resulting conversation had led to one of the best nights Tim remembers having as they'd searched the attic for a telescope. The search had actually led to Gibbs opening up to him for the duration of their search; the older man talking freely about his lost family.
When they'd found it, one of the mirrors had been cracked and Gibbs had thrown it away, but Tim had gone back later and retrieved it, taking it to a friend of his who specialized in fixing telescopes. He knew that in the long run Gibbs would appreciate having it fixed. Not just because it was an antique, but as it was a link to Kelly as well.
A cup of coffee appears in front of him and he smiles as he turns.
"Hey, I didn't hear you come out."
"You were rather deep in thought." Gibbs smiles at him and he returns the smile easily.
"I was thinking about the first time we found out that we both like stargazing."
Gibbs nods his smile slipping a bit as he remembers the loss of the telescope, one of his last links with his daughter. Tim leans closer and wraps an arm around his waist. Using his coffee cup he points out the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. Gibbs smiles as Tim uses the Latin words for the famous constellations.
Gibbs lets Tim lead him further out into the yard. "Big bear and little bear…I bet as a kid you made up all kinds of stories about the stars."
Tim chuckles softly, "It was one of the few times I truly felt a connection to my dad. We could go out and camp under the stars. I can't tell you the number of nights that I fell asleep in his arms watching the stars chase each other across a moonless sky."
Gibbs smiles as he remembers teaching Kelly about the constellations and how they'd often taken his tent and camped out in the backyard while Shannon would watch protectively from the porch. He clears his thoughts as he asks Tim what stars they would be watching that night.
"Hmm what other constellations are out tonight?"
"Aquila might be up as it is August, but we might need a bit of help seeing her."
"The mighty eagle soaring high in the skies. She used to be Kelly's favorite. She loved the Latin word for eagle and insisted on calling all eagles Aquila after that."
Tim looks at him, "Hey, let's see if we can find her okay?"
Gibbs hangs back a bit and looks up into the sky. He squints slightly as he looks at the moonless sky. One nice thing about living where he does is that he doesn't have a lot of neighbors and therefore there aren't a lot of lights interfering with his view of the sky. As it's a moonless night, the stars are twinkling just that little bit brighter to his naked eye.
A faint glittering catches his eye and he spins towards the corner where Tim had set up the present earlier that evening. He swallows hard when he sees the telescope erected in the darkest corner of the yard.
"Go look." Tim encourages softly.
Gibbs lightly touches the telescope and Tim can tell that the older man is having a hard time holding back tears as he blinks several times before he finally looks in the eyepiece. Tim starts to move back inside when Gibbs asks him to stay.
"Watch the stars with me Tim."
Tim nods and steps closer. Gibbs slides an arm around his waist and tugs him into his embrace. Tim lets the older man hold him, saying nothing when he feels the hot tears coursing down his neck. After a few minutes, Gibbs clears his throat and says he's going inside for a few minutes. Tim knows that the older man isn't one for showing his emotions; for him to share them is even rarer and lets him have the time to recompose himself.
Tim takes advantage of Gibbs absence to lean in and look through the eyepiece; Aquila is indeed soaring in the night sky and to the upper left is Delphinus the Dolphin. September is just around the corner and the stars are changing. Vulpecula the Little Fox is barely coming into sight yet another indicator of the changing seasons.
The rustling of leaves brings Tim's head up and he can tell that the wind is picking up. He picks up the telescope and carries it to the back porch setting it up so that they can still watch the night sky from the relative safety of the porch. Not hearing anything from the kitchen he slips inside the door and looks around for Gibbs.
The older man is staring at nothing in particular and Tim knows that he's remembering the family that he'd lost so many years ago. Tim puts an arm around him and leads him onto the back porch. Gibbs sinks down onto the swing and Tim sits beside him waiting for the older man to say or do something.
Suddenly Gibbs stands up and walks over to the telescope. He looks through the eyepiece for several minutes and then he motions for Tim to come closer and when Tim does he places a hand on Tim's cheek.
"Thank you Tim."
Tim sits back in the larger of the lounge chairs, watching almost protectively as Gibbs continues stargazing. Two hours later, when Gibbs turns around, the younger man is sound asleep in the chair. The older man sighs contentedly as he lies down beside Tim and wraps him in his embrace. He allows himself a small kiss on the top of Tim's head and soon follows him into sleep.
A/N: Delphinus the Dolphin, Vulpecula the Little Fox, Aquila the Eagle, Ursa Major the Big Bear, and Ursa Minor the Little Bear are all constellations that can be seen in August-September in the Northern Hemisphere. Of course many other constellations can be see during this time, but for the purpose of this challenge, I chose those particular ones. Orion the Hunter was mentioned, but is of the Greek origin and not Latin like the others.