A/N: there will be a bit of ooc later in the story regarding the timeline and the characters themselves...possibly.
He'd anticipated some problems when he'd come into town tonight but he hadn't counted on this.
"Lemme go! Lemme go! This is kidnapping, you can't do this...lemme go!"
"No, I caught you fair and square. That means you have to grant me three wishes."
Seamus MacGruder groans inwardly; another freaking leprechaun fanatic and all because he'd told O'Malley that he'd dress up for the annual St. Patrick's Day Masquerade.
"Look, lady, I'm not a leprechaun." Seamus can tell that the woman isn't paying any attention to anything that he's saying.
"You had your hand on the pot of gold. That means you're coming with me."
He tries protesting one more time but she's not listening. "Now wait a minute, I can't just up and leave. I'm-"
Before he can blink, Seamus is handcuffed, gagged and slung over the brunette's tattooed shoulder. Seamus tries screaming when he sees the back end of the black hearse. Paying no attention to him, she throws him into the hearse and locks the door. She pulls out of her parking space, and drives for what seems to Seamus like an eternity. As the windows are tinted Seamus can't tell what streets they're on. He does note that they don't pass over any railroad tracks. And there aren't any thumps or bumps indicating construction sites.
It's not until the hearse starts slowing down that he feels any kind of discomfort and that's when he can tell that the area they're in has speed bumps in it. One...two...she finally stops the vehicle and Seamus breathes a sigh of relief. It lasts for the ten seconds it takes him to realize that she's out of the hearse and has locked him up inside.
Upstairs in the bullpen, Tim McGee curses silently as computer screen flickers for a few seconds just before he finishes printing the final pages in his report. Breathing a sigh of relief when the report prints out, he reads it over and quietly hands it to his boss for final approval. Tim had volunteered for tonight's late shift, telling Tony to take their teammate out for a St. Patrick's Day celebration, Ziva's first one since becoming an American citizen. Tony had grinned his approval and Ziva had been quietly amused but both were a bit worried about Tim as he'd grown increasingly quieter as the day progressed.
Tim knows that most of his tension tonight is not the faulty electricity; it's the argument he'd had with Abby regarding leprechauns. The forensic scientist has been insisting all week that the electrical issues they've been having are the work of the Irish jesters. Tim has been equally insistent that the bad weather, mostly snow and ice storms, has been the culprit and not some Irish spirit with mystical abilities.
Gibbs had kept quiet during their argument. He hadn't taken sides but he had given Abby a look that clearly stated, "Enough already." The Goth had stomped out of the bullpen and taken the elevator to her lab where she picked up her purse and locked the door as she left the building.
Gibbs looks up when Tim hands him the finished report. He knows that for some reason Abby's remarks regarding leprechauns have set Tim on edge. Tim walks away before Gibbs can ask him any questions and Gibbs reads over the report, not surprised by the precise way that Tim's presented the case that they'd just finished working on. What does surprise him is the fact that Tim doesn't leave the building once the report is handed in.
Gibbs watches with concern as the young agent heads for the men's room. Before he can follow however, the elevator doors open and out steps Abby
"Where is he Gibbs? Where's Tim? I've got proof that there are leprechauns and he's going to have to eat crow."
Gibbs raises an eyebrow when she says that she has proof that leprechauns exist. Abby stomps her foot as she says,
"Well, where is he Gibbs? Oh, never mind, I'll show you and then you can head-slap him for not believing me."
Gibbs stares at her, not daring to believe that she's trying to show him a real leprechaun. Abby pulls on his arm and he dutifully stands up to follow her. Tim comes out of the men's room just then and Gibbs can't hide his frown at how pale the young man is. Before he can voice his concern, Abby sees Tim and runs over to him. She immediately starts pulling the younger man to the elevator. Gibbs enters behind them, wondering what McGee might be getting himself into.
"Abby, what is this all about?"
McGee's question is echoed silently by Gibbs who watches both young people as Abby punches the button that will take them to the parking garage.
"This, McGee, is to prove once and for all that leprechauns do exist. When he grants me my three wishes, you'll wish you'd believed me too."
Tim stares at the floor of the elevator, for once not rising to the Goth's bait. Gibbs frowns when he analyzes just what Abby has said. Before he can question her about it, she's leading them towards her car.
Seamus blinks when the rear door of the hearse opens up again and he kicks out with his feet barely missing hitting Gibbs. The older man motions for Tim to free the captive while he turns to Abby; Tim unlocks the cuffs and releases the gag from Seamus's mouth. Seamus starts coughing from the dryness in his mouth and Tim reaches into the hearse for a cup that he knows Abby keeps inside. Then he hustles over to the nearest water faucet and fills the cup returning to Seamus's side.
Seamus sips cautiously out of the cup, glaring at Abby while he does so. She glares back at him and Gibbs asks Abby just what she's done.
"He's a leprechaun Gibbs; I nabbed him before anyone else could. He had his hand on the pot of gold at O'Malley's and I caught him counting it just like in the legends. So you better be prepared to grant me my three wishes buddy."
"It ain't gonna happen lady. I'm not a leprechaun. I'm wearing this get up as a favor to the owner of O'Malley's. We have the masquerade every year and the gold you supposedly caught me at is actually chocolate pieces that we use for drawings during the course of the night. I was re-filling the cauldron for more patrons to try their luck at winning the prizes."
"He's right Abby. O'Malley's has been doing that for the last 20 years. I used to don the costume myself when I was in college. It made for some great tips that night too."
Tim grins as he recalls some of the girls flirting with him earning him a gentle head smack from Gibbs who isn't smiling as he turns and stares at his gothic scientist.
"You kidnapped an innocent man Abby. Why would you do that?"
"It was to prove a point Gibbs."
"Which has been disproven. Meet me in my office in five minutes. McGee, would you please take the un-leprechaun's statement and then drive him back to his place of employment?"
"I'll be happy to Boss. Sir if you'll come with me?"
Seamus follows the young man to the elevator and they ride up to the squad room. Seamus looks around and gives a low whistle when he realizes just where he is.
"As you know, you're entitled to press charges against Abby if you want to sir. I'm sorry; I didn't get your name?"
"Seamus MacGruder and you must be Timothy McGee. O'Malley told me that the gold in the pot gimmick was your brainchild. That once he started doing that and the masquerade, he saw an increase in sales for the week."
"It's more a play on the leprechaun idea. Only instead of three wishes, they get three free drinks to be doled out over the course of the next month."
Seamus nods and gazes thoughtfully at the young man as he quickly types up the statement and prints it out for Seamus to read. Seamus reads it over but doesn't immediately sign it. Instead he continues to look Tim over, and sighs when he sees the almost invisible green ring on Tim's right ring finger.
"How long has it been Tim? How long since you've been back to the Emerald Isle?"
Tim glances around the room then sighs as he says, "Over 20 years now. I was caught almost 30 years ago and couldn't bring myself to leave."
"Why not? You're the true son of Eire."
"I'm the disowned son of the Lord and Lady. I have no powers to go back and truthfully, I have no desire to return."
Seamus looks at the honesty in Tim's green eyes and sees something else inside.
"You poor boy, you fell in love with your captor."
"No, not my captor. If it had been just her, I'd have come back years ago; when she died."
"Who then? And how can you still be tied to her?"
"Because of her wishes."
Seamus leans closer and sees the agony on Tim's face. "You couldn't save her without dishonoring one of her wishes, could you?"
"No, and it's been tearing me apart for several years."
Seamus pats Tim on his shoulder and says, "Let me sign this and then we'll head over to O'Malley's. I think we need, or maybe you need to talk."
Tim nods and waits for him to sign the report. He then sticks the report in a folder and locks it in his desk before taking Seamus back to O'Malley's. Seamus listens carefully to Tim's story, shaking his head when he thinks about all Tim has been through as a former son of Eire. Tim looks at Seamus as he pulls up to O'Malley's Bar and Grill.
"You're a former son yourself, aren't you? It's why you can see the ring."
"Aye lad, the difference is I'm married to my lassie for the past 50 years now. She made a final wish, asking me to marry her and live with her forever. What happened to your little girl Tim?"
"She'd made two wishes and her one wish was that I protect her father while he was overseas. When I went to do so, she and her mother were killed; she still had one wish left when she died."
Back at NCIS Gibbs stares at Abby wondering just when his Goth had progressed from an innocent to this...this...kidnapper of innocents. Abby just stares back at him obviously convinced in her own mind that she's done no wrong.
"You do know that by all rights I should have you fired? As it is, you'll be suspended for the next two weeks without pay. You've tied my hands on this Abbs. I have no choice but to carry it out. And it'll be in your permanent record as well."
Abby frowns as she listens to what Gibbs is telling her. "If he'd been a real leprechaun I wouldn't have had to worry about getting fired as they don't have the same rights we do. And besides, I could have made a wish and would have gotten out of it."
"I doubt that the wishes work in quite that manner Abby. From what I remember reading as a child, they were quite mischievous. If you asked him to make sure that you didn't have to have the record as it stands he could arrange any one of our deaths and think nothing of it."
Abby pales at that statement. She hadn't thought of that particular scenario in her effort to prove to Tim that leprechauns actually exist. Gibbs sighs and motions for her to sign the line where she agrees to the suspension. Abby reluctantly signs the report and looks up at Gibbs who is shaking his head in disappointment.
"Just…not another word tonight, Abbs. Go home; I'll give you a call later in the week."
Abby leaves and as she does, Tim pulls back into the Yard. He turns the car off and leans back in his seat, resting his head on the headrest as he does so. The conversation with Seamus has done little to relieve his tension where this particular day is concerned; the one day that his two worlds collide. He sighs and opens the car door, intent on handing his report in to Gibbs and then leaving. This one day out of the year is when he is at his most vulnerable. Most years he managed to leave early enough to avoid unnecessary contact with the one human he is still connected to. He steps off the elevator and stops when he sees Gibbs still in the squad room.
"What are you doing back here, McGee?"
"I had that last minute report to hand in boss."
Tim reaches out and hands Gibbs his report, and as he does, his ring glints green against his pale Irish skin and he knows danger is imminent. The strange thing is the ring's powers couldn't be called upon by anyone other than the lady or the lord of the Emerald Isles and he felt his gut twist in anticipation and he knows that at least one of them is close at hand.
"Boss…" A creak from above startles him slightly and as he looks up, one of the overhead lights starts to hurtle down from the ceiling right above Gibbs and Tim knows that if it falls on him, it can cause him a serious injury…or worse kill him. With lighting quick reflexes, he darts forward and manages to push Gibbs out of the way before the debris comes crashing down on the spot where Gibbs had just been standing.
"McGee! Get off of me!"
Tim pushes up on his hands and clambers to his feet, but as he does the ring burns bright green once again and when he looks up, he sees a faint green figure with flowing flame red hair standing on the balcony above gazing down at him. She smiles before dissipating and leaving him standing there over his boss. When he finally looks down, Gibbs is staring at his hand with wonder and Tim knows that the man had seen his ring blaze in all its emerald glory.
Tim sighs and extends his hand to help Gibbs rise to his feet. Vance comes rushing down from his office and stares in shock and disbelief at the light fixture. He runs a concerned look over both agents, neither of whom are responding to his presence.
"You two all right? What the hell just happened?"
"Isn't it obvious Leon? The light fell and luckily for us both, McGee was here to save the day."
"Lucky for both of us?" Vance's eyebrows can't rise much higher.
"Well yeah Leon, it'd be hell trying to explain death by light fixture to SEC-NAV." Gibbs quips as he hands their reports to him. He then puts a hand under Tim's elbow, guiding him to the elevator. As soon as they're in motion, Gibbs hits the emergency override and Tim sighs knowing what Gibbs wants to talk to him about.
"I need you to explain to me what I just witnessed in there." Gibbs states quietly.
Tim nods as he says, "We…can we talk at your house boss? I…I don't want to be in here if something happens. I can't guarantee your safety if this thing falls."
Gibbs nods and sets the elevator in motion again. Tim sighs as he sags against the wall. Seeing the Lady he knows that she's telling him that she's gunning for Gibbs. What he's not sure about is her reason why. She hasn't bothered with him in over 20 years; why is she starting now?
As for Gibbs, he's still trying to wrap his mind around the fact that Tim's right hand no longer shows a band of green. If not for the faint bruises he can feel forming from where Tim tackled him, he could almost think he imagined the whole thing. As it is…he looks at the young man beside him who once again is looking pale and washed out.
They enter the parking lot and Tim's ring flashes green yet again. He looks up and sighs when he sees the Lady waiting for them by Gibbs' Charger.
"You need to come home Timothy. It is past time; your charge has died, her wishes died with her. Come home son."
"No; she may have died but her wish was not just for one day or one year." Tim's side of the argument is all that Gibbs can hear and he's wondering just who or what the younger man is referring to.
"It's okay boss; I won't let her harm you." Tim's voice is meant to reassure and Gibbs frowns at the implication that he is in danger.
"My mother." Tim says flatly. He glares at Jade as he says, "If you're going to try and hurt him, at least let him see who he's up against."
Gibbs catches his breath at the beautiful woman who materializes beside him. Always a sucker for a red-head, he runs his gaze up and down her green clad body.
"Hello Gibbs. Nice to finally meet you." Deep forest green eyes run appreciatively over Gibbs' suit clad form and he almost shivers at the desire he sees in her gaze. He takes an involuntary step back, sensing something dangerous in the way she's staring at him. Tim steps between them, breaking their eye contact. Tim is even paler than he had been, and is swaying in his effort to keep the two apart.
"He's still protecting you, even after all these years." Jade stares at her son as he tries valiantly to remain on his feet. "Why Timothy? You aren't obligated to her anymore. She's been dead these 20 years."
Tim grits his teeth as he fights the blackness that threatens to overwhelm him. Jade's powers are weakening the little defenses he has left and he blinks to clear his vision.
"I didn't take an oath to protect him for one year or even one day; I promised to protect him for the rest of our lives. Not her life Mother. Our lives; his…and mine."
Tim sighs as he gives in to the blackness. Gibbs catches him and gently eases him to the ground. He glares at Jade who stares back at him with something indefinable in her eyes as she sinks to her knees beside Tim and runs a hand over his face. Gibbs watches as color slowly starts returning to Tim's too pale features.
"Who are you, really?"
"You honestly have no idea do you Gibbs?" Jade shakes her head, knowing now that her son has never revealed his true identity to the man he's been protecting for so many years. Despite Tim's protests to the contrary, she and her husband Deven had been certain that Gibbs was keeping Tim captive. She looks closer at the green band on Tim's right hand then stares in surprise at Gibbs' right hand; at the almost imperceptible blue band that is identical to the one on Tim's hand.
"Ohhh Timothy, you didn't…but you did. You…he…you need to talk to my son Gibbs. He has a story to tell and you need to listen to him."
Gibbs frowns at her in confusion, "What are you talking about?"
"Listen to the story, Gibbs. Listen not with your head, but with your heart. You might be surprised by what you hear." Jade caresses Tim's face one more time and then reaches out and gently caresses Gibbs' face as well. Even as he tries to resist, Gibbs can feel the gentle warmth of her touch. It's the last thing he remembers as darkness overtakes him.
Warm arms surround him, hold him close and he snuggles closer. Callused fingers trace over his face and caress his neck. He sighs, not wanting the dream to end. He's fantasized about waking up in these arms for so many years now.
The voice is just as sleep-roughened as he imagined it would be. He blinks as he stretches and stops as he realizes he isn't dreaming. There actually is a sleepy eyed, warmly breathing Leroy Jethro Gibbs sharing his bed.
"Oh my God I'm gonna kill her!" Tim exclaims as he scrambles over to the far side of the bed, an embarrassed flush rising up his face as he waits for the wrath of Gibbs to overtake him.
For his own part, Gibbs is almost amused by how fast Tim leaves his embrace.
"I take it that you don't normally wake up in someone else's bed?"
"I…certainly not my boss's." Tim retorts as he looks around the room for any sign of his clothes.
Gibbs looks around the room and sinks deeper into the mattress. For some reason, he's not really perturbed by the fact that he woke up in his bed with Tim curled up next to him. He sighs as he senses Tim's almost panic stricken state.
"Calm down McGee I'm not gonna shoot you."
"Not right now anyway."
"No, I don't need to shoot you; your mother maybe, but you're not to blame."
"I'm not so sure about that." Tim mutters as he drapes a blanket around his hips.
Gibbs turns his head and looks at him across the pillows. "So, talk to me."
"What happened last night? Why you were so energy drained? The green band on your hand? And what does any of this have to do with me?"
Tim sighs as he flops back against the headboard. Gibbs winces when Tim's head bounces against the wall.
"You weren't supposed to know; I hadn't intended for you to find out."
"Find out what Tim?"
"Abby wasn't entirely wrong, there are leprechauns out there." He turns his head and stares directly into Gibbs blue eyes as he states, "I know because I am or rather, I was one."
Gibbs blinks at Tim's statement then starts laughing. "You're too tall to be a leprechaun Tim. Not to mention…" For the first time in eight years, Tim interrupts him.
"I told you, I haven't been one; not a true son of Eire for over 20 years now. Not since I failed to save her." Tim's quiet statement stops the laughter. Gibbs stares at him, not daring to think about what the young man is saying. Tim looks at his hands, at his ring which is softly glowing in the nearly light room.
"I'm sorry Gibbs. I tried to save her; honestly I tried but…"
Tim sighs as he remembers that first day, almost 25 years prior…
He hadn't meant to stop in the yard, but the childish laughter held him in its thrall. He inched closer and saw her then; a beautiful little red-haired child with bright green eyes and an enchanting smile. He balanced on an anemone, watching as she played on the swings with her mother. A few minutes passed and the woman walked inside telling her daughter to stay in the yard.
Timothy bounced over to a dandelion, and giggled at the dust he created as he landed. Two seconds later he found himself staring into the green eyes of the little girl.
"Hello, I'm Kelly Gibbs. Are you a fairy? What's your name?"
"No little one, I'm not a fairy. I'm a leprechaun. I'm called Timothy."
Tim watched as her brow furrowed in concentration. "But there is no pot of gold in our yard. Daddy says that lepercans look for pots of gold and that those are usually at the end of a rainbow."
"Your daddy is a wise man and I have no need for gold; at least not the monetary kind."
"What other kind of gold is there?"
Tim remembers smiling at her question. "She was really inquisitive…always questioning everything."
Gibbs stares at him, "Yeah, she did. She wanted to know it all…as much as I was allowed to tell her." he swallows hard over the lump in his throat, "What…what did you tell her?"
"That she was holding the gold in her hand."
Kelly's eyes had brightened at the thought of a flower, even a dandelion, being gold. Then Shannon had called her name and she'd run into the house, holding the dandelion out to her mother.
"Mommy look it's a lepercan."
"Leprechaun, honey and that's nice. Did he grant you three wishes?" Shannon couldn't see Tim as she hadn't been the one to find him and didn't believe her daughter's story but indulged her just the same.
Kelly pouted for all of two seconds, "No, not yet…I haven't decided what I want yet. Do you think I could make a wish for daddy?"
Shannon smiled at her daughter, "I'm sure you could. Tell you what; you eat your lunch and then we'll write down your list of wishes. Then you can pick your top three." Gibbs inhales as he remembers the notebook he'd found shortly after their funerals. On one of the pages had been a list of wishes. Stars had surrounded several of them and then there had been the numbers…
"They weren't in any particular numerical order. I couldn't understand why she had those three numbered."
"One of them was that you would be protected from harm." Tim says softly and as Gibbs nods Tim continues. "She amended that one…"
She'd had a nightmare; had woken Tim from his sleep with her screaming for her father. Shannon had come into the room at a run and pulled her into her arms, murmuring that it was only a dream. That's when Kelly had met Tim's eyes from across the room. She'd stopped sobbing long enough to ask if it was okay to make her first wish.
Shannon had agreed and from his position tucked up on the kleenex box on her desk, Tim had nodded also. "I want…I wish for my daddy to be protected for the rest of your lives." Tim had stared at her, not sure he was hearing what she was inferring.
Kelly nodded, "I want daddy to be protected for the rest of his life and the lepercan's life."
That's when the ring first started glowing. Tim had stared at his hand in disbelief.
"Your ring doesn't glow all the time. Hell I didn't know you even had one on until last night."
"I…your life has to be in jeopardy…you have to be in danger of dying…"
Gibbs thinks about the explosion he'd been in, the one where he'd temporarily forgotten his team and only remembered Shannon and Kelly. The coma that had been a result of the explosion and then running to Mike and Mexico. "That was your doing?"
"I...yes." Tim hangs his head.
"You saved my life Tim."
"You saved your life…I couldn't get out of the car to warn you that something was wrong."
Gibbs thinks back to that time period. It's still a bit hazy, but he distinctly remembers something warning him that he was in danger. His gut he'd thought at the time. But then he remembers something else…a flash of blue as he'd dived for protection. He stares at his hand, the one that the Lady had stared at the night before.
"Tim, can you see a ring on this hand?"
Tim nods sadly and Gibbs looks at him. "What has you so upset?"
"Tim, what is the significance of the ring?"
"We're bound to each other…" Tim whispers softly. "Soul-bound by a wish from a little girl."
"I…we…I can't explain it." Tim exclaims and heads into the bathroom.
Gibbs waits the equivalent of a heartbeat before following him. He makes it to the edge of the bed before the Lady reappears. Again she's clad in a long green dress that flows as she moves, almost as if it's a living breathing part of her. And once again he finds himself unmoved by her beauty.
"So, explain it to me." he demands somehow knowing that's why she's appeared.
"So impatient, Gibbs not to mention forceful. I'd almost be willing to take you as my consort but Tim and Deven would kill me." The flirty look on her face disappears at his next words.
"Not if I kill you first…so explain it." He's not really sure what he's expecting her to say; he's more concerned with the young man who has yet to emerge from the bathroom.
"Twenty five years ago, your little girl made a fateful wish. If anything bad happened to her or her mommy, you and Timothy would be able to find and protect each other."
"Tim's not that old." Gibbs protest is met with a soft smile.
"My Timothy is years older than you are Gibbs. Several hundred years older in fact; but this is the first time that he's been soul-bound to anyone. None of his other charges wanted anything but material things. Your daughter wanted to keep her daddy safe and in return, she wanted his protector to have protection as well."
"And that bound our souls how?"
"Now that, I'm not sure about. The only thing I can figure is that in responding to Kelly's wish, Timothy's own heart became involved as well."
Green eyes shyly looking at him from beneath a swoop cap; glimpses of loneliness that had echoed within his own lost and lonely soul. Gibbs draws in a deep breath and lets it out again,
"Tim, gear up!"
A towel clad Tim appears in the bathroom doorway. "What…oh…hello Mother."
"Gibbs needs to know, and I think you need to tell him how you ended up with matching rings Timothy. You wouldn't have become soul-bound to just anyone."
Gibbs extends a callused hand towards Tim who takes it as he steps closer, "What happened? Why did you decide to stay with me all these years? From what I've heard, you could have …you should have gone back home years ago. Yet you stayed, why?"
Tim looks at the far wall, then at his mother before returning his gaze to Gibbs. "I met you, once, and that was all it took. I knew that I couldn't leave you. No matter that you didn't feel the same way; I couldn't, I just …I couldn't."
He sits on the bed and Gibbs can't help but reach out and pull him closer. "When Tim? When did we meet and why don't I remember it?"
"Kelly's second wish…the one where we became bound…she made as her soul headed for heaven. We…I was still in leprechaun form but you didn't see me, because you were grieving too much. I was clinging to one of the carnations on her coffin when you put your hand on it."
He'd broken down, crying his heart out at the double loss. A flash of green had briefly caught his eye and he'd looked up but couldn't see past his tears. Seconds later, he'd seen his dad arrive and anger had hardened his heart and dried his tears at the sight of Jackson Gibbs with a woman on his arm.
"I decided that I'd become human and try to protect you that way. It would mean giving up the life I'd led as a happy-go-lucky leprechaun and …"
His mother interrupts, "You were never a typical leprechaun Timothy. You always preferred flowers to metal when it came to a pot o' gold."
Tim glares at her. "I told my parents that as of that day, I wouldn't be coming home. I had no desire to go back to the parties and dancing. I wanted…I wanted…"
"You," Tim replies softly. "Even if I could never have your love I wanted to be able to be near you. So, I watched over you and protected you over the years. I used the rings as a way to warn you...or your gut anyway."
That gut feeling, the one where he'd been watched yet not in a threatening way, brings Gibbs gaze to the man beside him.
"You waited a long time…"
"You had a lot of revenge in your heart. I couldn't reveal myself until it started to fade."
"Then, Norfolk wasn't an accident." Gibbs says, thinking about their first meeting so many years ago.
"It was…if only because I hadn't thought you'd be the one to show up. I figured you'd send Tony and Kate, but then you were there too."
He'd had dreams prior to their meeting but after that day his dreams had been haunted by those same shy green eyes. Night after night, the lonely emerald green eyes showed up. It struck him now, that they hadn't been Shannon's or even Jenny's. They'd been this man waiting patiently for him to awaken. To see the love that awaited him if he chose to reach out for it.
Jade smiles, misty-eyed as realization strikes the human her son had fallen in love with so many years ago. She nods in approval as Gibbs gently strokes Tim's face, tracing the green eyes that have haunted him for so long. Tim sighs under Gibbs' ministrations, needing that touch that he has always desired. It's strange to think that after all these years, he is here with the man that he's bound to but a small part of him fears that it's not true, and his mother has orchestrated something that can trap him forever on the Emerald Isle.
A head slap brings his gaze back to Gibbs, who murmurs in his ear, "I told you eight years ago that you belong to me now; that hasn't changed just because our…my… feelings have. Regardless of what your mother may think, you are not leaving here. And if she thinks otherwise, we'll find another way to keep you here. I've lost Shannon and Kelly, I'm not losing you Tim."
"There is a way, Gibbs for you to keep my son by your side forever." Jade says. Tim looks up at her, not daring to think about what she might be planning.
"What does it entail and does it put Tim in danger?"
"It's not dangerous…per se. It's a quick trip to Eire…for all of us." Jade's comment has Tim catching his breath and Gibbs looks at him before responding.
"What's the catch?"
"Those rings you're both wearing end up on the left hand of the other man. In essence it means a bond of marriage." Jade looks at the two men as she says it.
Tim is staring at his hands, not daring to see the look of …he doesn't know what emotion to expect from Gibbs. Disgust? Revulsion? A large tanned callused hand comes to rest lightly over his clasped ones and he raises his worried green eyes to gaze at the crystal clear silver blue ones that are looking at him.
"I won't force this on you Gibbs; not to say that I couldn't, or that you wouldn't enjoy it, but Timothy would never forgive me if I coerced you into something you don't want to do." Jade's voice barely penetrates the concentration between the two men.
"Do you want this Tim?"
"The better question is do you want it? You need to realize that if we do this, you will be bound to me for the rest of our natural lives. If we do this, I may not be able to protect you anymore."
"You're bound to him Timothy. You have no choice; the bond created by Kelly Gibbs will not stop just because you create a stronger one. The difference is that each of you will feel when the other is in danger now; providing of course that you both decide to commit to the ceremony." Jade knows what her son's answer should be; she also knows that it will hinge on Gibbs' response.
"Will it restore Tim's health?"
"Timothy's health will be completely restored and his energy refilled as well. You need to understand-,"
"Let's do it." Gibbs no-nonsense answer brings a smile to Tim's wan features. This is the Gibbs he knows and has loved for the past two decades. Jade sighs and with a slight wave of her hands all three of them are gone...
(48 Eire hours later)
Gibbs wakens slowly, savoring the feel of the warm body lying next to his. He looks at the green band now gracing his left hand and is pleasantly surprised to see the soft green color slowly fading from sight. Tim's hand caresses his chest and he can see the blue band fading from Tim's hand as well.
"It's still there; we can decide if we want to have them be solid or not. I thought that you'd prefer to tell the team about us before we do anything else though."
Gibbs nods thoughtfully and looks at his companion snuggled up next to him on a blanket. The bond between them has strengthened in the past 48 hours and Gibbs knows that soon they'll have to return to reality. Tim's color has returned and so have his energy levels, as evidenced in the loving Gibbs has received over the last 12 hours. He sighs replete, and Tim cuddles closer as they watch the sun rise over the Emerald Isle.
"Don't worry Gibbs; the nice thing about being a part of the Isle is that time has no passage. When we go back, we'll still be at your house on Saturday morning. Two days here will be no more than two hours there."
"So that means we go back and I can ravish you for the next 24 hours?" Gibbs quips.
Tim blushes and nods then looks thoughtfully towards the far horizon. Gibbs gently squeezes Tim's hand and quietly asks, "What?"
"So, do you think we should admit to Abby that there is such a thing as a leprechaun?"