Like I would be writing fanfiction if I owned these guys.
Also, I can't remember if McGee's parents' names are ever mentioned in the show so I made them up. If they do have names, let me know and I will change it. Just apologizing in advance. Hope you enjoy!
Chapter One: Welcome Home Thom E. Gemcity
"I'm surveilling my parents' house."
Tim wondered if that was crazier than talking to himself. Still, he had talked to himself in the past when he was alone. Now that he thought about it, he would talk to himself while he was surveilling. So…he thought he actually might be going a little crazy. Ah, well, it was an occupational hazard. Tim sighed as he watched his sister pull into the driveway and greet the dog as it exited the house.
Dog? Since when had his parents gotten a dog? He was sure that his mother or sister must have said something about it at one point. But whenever he was talking to them; especially his mother, he was thinking more about how he never spoke to his father than actually paying attention to what they were saying. His mother hated how they had grown apart. Tim realized that it must've hurt her a lot. He knew that he was selfish for it. He should've sucked it up a long time ago and visited for his mother's sake at least. Still, every time he thought that, he wondered why his father couldn't be the better man for a change. Could he not see how much his own wife was hurting over the rift between her son and husband?
Tim let out another sigh and put his hand on the door; for the ninth time in the thirty minutes he had been in his car across the street from his parents' house.
He still could not believe he was there. It had been seven years since he had last seen his parents. Seven years ago, Tim decided he was no longer going to stand for his father's disapproval. The easiest solution was to sever all ties; a clean break-up. From the beginning, his sister heavily disagreed. After every family holiday, she told him how difficult it was for Mom. But there was no amount of aunts and uncles and cousins that could keep them from crossing paths. So, he never went to another Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter or Fourth of July or any other excuse for a family reunion again. He would call his mom, meet up with his sister, and then drop by Grandma Pennny's at a later date. That was his solution.
He knew that just because it was the easiest way didn't make it the right way. Hell, that was the basis of most crimes he was helping solve. Still, he steadfastly held onto it.
Every now and then, he would see a father and son together—at any age—enjoying each other's company. And there was no denying that it hurt inside to see that. He never complained, though. He had no room to on Team Gibbs. He didn't miss that recurring theme: daddy issues were the norm. It saddened him to see Ziva's relationship with Eli deteriorate so harshly. He got a warm feeling inside when he saw Gibbs and his father communicating again. It heartened him that Tony seemed to have finally gotten his father's approval. And he prayed that, in the future, he wouldn't be like Abby: realizing things about his father after it was too late.
All of those revelations had been spinning through his mind for a long time. And then, when Grandma Penny finally urged him to call his father, he was pushed over the edge. He told himself the worst that could happen was his father rejecting his attempt to reunite.
It had gone a lot smoother than he would have ever dreamed. Both Tim and his father had been timid throughout the conversation, worried that the other might be pushed into anger. Neither man wanted to be the cause of a terminated phone call. This realization comforted Tim. Seven years was a long time; too long. Perhaps his father really did care about him enough to truly miss him. Though, it irked Tm that he still had to be the one to try and cross no-man's-land.
He let out one more sigh. No need to get worked up before going inside. His father would smell it a mile away and attack it. Tim pushed open his car door and stepped out. He squinted into the high-noon sun and pulled of his jacket and tossed it back into the car. Still, stalling, he checked his phone to make sure the volume was on in case he was called in. He even locked the car door manually with his key before turning to the house.
Seconds later, he found himself on the doorstep, fist up and ready to knock. Just as he was about to let the fist fall, the door flew open.
Tim smiled as Sarah hugged him with as much excitement as his dog Jethro did every time he came home. He returned the enthusiastic hug as he was pulled into the house. When he looked up, he saw his mother standing at the threshold of the foyer. He could see her heavy brown eyes questioning him about where she stood in this homecoming. Tim felt his heart leap at the sight of her. He could not remember the last time he was so thrilled to see his mother. But there was something about her. He suddenly remembered what it was…that look in her eyes as she gazed at him…unconditional love. It was something only a mother could give so naturally. And Tim missed it. He gently broke apart from his younger sister and took a step towards her. That was all the invitation his mother needed. She rushed forward and hugged him. Tim embraced his mother so tightly he actually picked her up off the ground. She gave a little laugh that turned into tears. She rested her head against her son's shoulder as he rubbed her back.
"Mom, don't cry," he said.
"I'm just so glad you came," she said, looking up at her son. She sniffed back her tears. "It's been too long." She kissed his cheek as she looked over his face.
"You didn't think I would come," asked Tim, with a hint of disappointment in his voice.
"Like I said," she replied. "It's been so long." She took a step back and looked him over. "Look at you. You're so grown up. Special Agent Timothy McGee."
"Mary? Mary, have you seen the leash?"
Tim froze at the sound of his father's voice.
"Dad! Tim's here!" Sarah rushed from the foyer and came back, towing her father behind her. The man stopped at the threshold of the foyer, looking from his daughter, to his wife, and finally to his son. His eyes rested briefly on Tim. And just the second that they were on him, Tim read a few different emotions in him: hesitation, stubbornness, and insecurity were the ones that shocked Tim the most though. But his father averted his eyes away too quickly for Tim to read further into it.
"Well, why are you all just standing in the doorway," he said, turning his back to them. He waved them forward as he walked off. "Come sit down. Offer the man something to eat. He looks like he hasn't eaten in a week."
Tim barely let out a frustrated sigh. His mother, Mary, lovingly linked her arm through his and led him the kitchen.
"John, where are you going off to," Mary asked of her husband as he walked into the backyard.
"Taking Riley for a walk," he called back, shutting the door behind him.
"Riley is our dog," explained Mary to Tim. She pulled out a chair for him and raised her eyebrows at him in a silent command to sit down.
But he didn't sit. He just stared out the back window, watching his father leash the dog and then away. He shook his head in mild disgust. "He hasn't seen me in seven years and that's the best he can do?"
"Honey," said Mary, placing a hand on his cheek. "You know how your father is. Just give him some time. He'll come around."
"He's had seven years, Mom," Tim snapped at her. He quickly closed his eyes. "I'm sorry, Mom. Maybe I should just go."
"No," said Sarah, yanking him down into the chair. "If you leave now, you two will never make up. And then this will just go on and on forever. I'm tired of being an only child, Tim. And what about Mom? I've been telling you for years that this isn't fair to her at all."
Tim leapt up to face his mother. "She's right. I owe you an apology, Mom. I should've come by a long time ago. I—".
"Not another word," she said. "Now sit down. I was just about to make your sister and father some lunch. And I have to agree with John on this one: you look like you haven't eaten in a while."
Tim's jaw dropped. "I lost weight because that's a good thing. In case you don't remember, I was a little overweight before."
"A little," teased Sarah.
"Sarah," snapped Mary.
"She's right, Mom. Besides, you should've heard all the comments Tony would make—".
Tim was about to reply with a joke since Tony wasn't around to defend himself, when he realized how much of his life his parents knew nothing about. And an awfully important part of his life at that. At the thought of NCIS, he suddenly felt alien in his former home. He had changed so much. His life was so unique to anything he had ever imagined it would be as a boy in this house. Not only did his parents not know about his life…they no longer knew him. The title Special Agent only told part of it. "Sorry, I thought Sarah would've told you everything by now."
"Well, she barely told us anything," replied his mother sharply. "Because you asked her not to."
"Didn't think she would actually keep that request," retorted Tim. "Besides, I thought you would spill the beans about everything since you were actually involved in a case. I was sure it would be the talk in the family for decades."
"I can keep a secret," said Sarah, with the most innocent face ever.
"What are you doing here, anyway," asked Tim. "I thought you had a job with a printing press in Baltimore?"
"I do," said Sarah. "But it is the weekend and when Mom told me that you were supposed to stop by today, I had to come and see this."
"You're making this sound like it's some sort of showdown between me and Dad," said Tim sourly.
"That's because it is."
"C'mon Sarah, don't make this any worse than it is."
Sarah laughed. "Tim, you haven't changed at all. I can still be the bully over you."
"Alright, alright," said Mary from her position at the counter. "I almost forgot how badly you two bicker when you're together. Tim, milk or water?"
"Milk," replied Tim. He had a gripping feeling of nostalgia. He suddenly wished that he could go back to his childhood, where Mom was always serving his favorite sandwich with milk, and his worst fear was Dad's disapproval. He realized then how much he missed his family; home. It was easy to call NCIS home and family. So much had happened there; he had grown there to become the man he was today. And while, yes, Dr. Rachel Cranston had pointed out that he was lacking a soul mate, he knew that he was still more content at NCIS than he had been anywhere else in his life. Even this home; here, the disapproval spurred him to get away as quickly as possible.
The backdoor opened. Dad had returned. Tim didn't even turn around to meet his gaze. He kept his eyes fixated on the sandwich, only glancing up to meet his sister's eyes. He was slightly comforted to see that they were as nervous as he felt. So, his sister really was being a bully; she had her own insecurities about this reunion.
"John, we're out of Heineken," she said. "Looks like you'll be drinking milk today."
"Nonsense," said John. "I'll just run out to the store and get a six-pack."
Mary moved into his path, squaring her shoulders and hips. "Absolutely not. As long as Timothy is here, no one is leaving this household. We could all use a good visit."
Tim felt like he was twelve again; his mother having to stand up for him. He couldn't take it. He was a federal agent, for goodness' sakes!
"Dad," he said, standing up. "Could we please just…visit? Mom and Sarah have been keeping me updated on everything, but it's not the same as…well…hearing it from you. Tell me about everything…starting with how Mom talked you into getting a dog."
The kitchen was silent and tense as John looked at his son. He then took his plate from the counter and went to the table with it. When he sat, Tim sat. When he took a bite, Tim took a bite. Sarah and Mary just watched with bated breath. After another minute of silence, Sarah couldn't take it anymore.
"You two are so stubborn!"
Tim actually smiled. This was the only place in the world that he was considered stubborn. At work, surrounded by the likes of Gibbs, Tony, and Ziva, he was the only level-headed person there. He was the one rolling his eyes at stubbornness or at a silence between two people that no one could stand or even begin to fathom.
"What are you smiling about," asked Sarah, annoyed.
"Nothing," murmured Tim. "Just thinking. So, Dad, the dog?"
"I'll make you a deal, Timothy," he said, wiping his mouth with a napkin. He looked his son squarely in the eye. Tim was proud of himself for keeping the contact. Still, that was expected with all the practice he got with Gibbs. "I tell you a story and you tell me a story."
"Deal," Tim readily agreed. "Do we get to name the conditions?"
"Yes," replied John. "And I ask first."
"But—". Tim stopped when his Dad raised a hand.
"Now listen, boy. I've been thinking a lot about this question for a few years now." He heaved a breath. "Are your coworkers as dysfunctional as you write them in your book?"
Tim's jaw dropped, his Dad smirked, his Mom giggled, and Sarah barked out a laugh, even as Tim sent her a death glare that Gibbs would be proud of.
Please review! Like it so far, or not? Need a beta? Lemme know, I appreciate the constructive criticism.
Once more, if they gave McGee's parents' names, I don't remember. Tell me and I'll change it.