"Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye."
Green eyes…baby face, innocence that he hasn't encountered in over 20 years. Too young, he tells himself as he rolls over, pounding his pillow, wondering why now after all this time is he seeing someone else's face in his dreams. He yearns for that innocence in his life again and just as desperately doesn't want to see that innocence destroyed by his own jaded existence. He's seen too much, done too much to kill the look in those eyes, in that face. He just doesn't dare to get too close. He makes up his mind, he'll keep his distance, he'll watch and teach but he wont, he can't take the risk of exposing himself to those eyes.
Thoughtful eyes…long since deceased, watching and waiting for that perfect opportunity to intervene in her beloved's life. Three failed marriages, countless love affairs, and still he lives alone in the house that he'd built for her and their daughter. One boat after another goes under construction, lovingly crafted and then, for seemingly no reason, though she knows or thinks she does, just as painstakingly pulled apart as he starts anew. Tonight he seems different; tonight he didn't drink as much and he didn't work on the boat that long. Yes! He's sleepless for the first time in ages. He's thinking about something or someone. She has to find out whom or what has created this difference in his sleeping pattern.
Days pass and he's certain that he's lost his ever-loving mind. He can almost feel that sweet hot breath against his neck, holding him or being held by him. No, he can't do that, he can't think that way! And yet, a part of him yearns for that feeling again. The boat, his bourbon, his two crutches and neither of them are working for him. He frowns as he planes down yet another board, then starts smoothing it, gathering what small comfort he can from the familiar task. He flops down on the cot he keeps in the basement, reflecting on the day and the case trying in vain to avoid thinking about those wide green eyes and that innocent face. Exhaustion overtakes him and he finally falls asleep.
She can see him wondering why, why the person who keeps him from sleep is affecting him so strongly. She smiles through ghostly tears, wanting to see who this person is. Whoever it is needs to be strong and supportive and tender and loving all at the same time. This person needs to see beyond the gruff exterior of her beloved. It's why so many have failed, why so many will continue to fail because they cannot see or accept the wounds that are scarring his heart and soul. No one has come close except for the one. Stephanie had almost breached that barrier when a case came up and he shut down. It was too much for her to handle and he accepted the divorce without a fight. Now however he's restless in his sleep, he's starting to feel again and he doesn't want to accept the reason why.
Another day and they close the case. He's not expecting to see the object of his thoughts in the squad room and when he hears that the young agent is coming for lunch with Abby, he has to swallow the bitter bile that coats his throat at the thought of the two young people together. He watches the innocent eyes widen with surprise that he would know about the young man's degrees. He's not about to admit that he had Chris Pacci look into the other man's background. Pacci had been quick to relay the information, delighted as always to help him find out not only about the degrees, but also the fact that he knew the agent had gone to a tattoo artist and gotten a small tat put on his butt. Pacci didn't know what the tattoo was, but it didn't matter even if it had shocked DiNozzo into silence.
She watches unobserved as he sips from his coffee cup. The smirk on his face when he'd told his female agent about the tattoo that green-eyed man had gotten. There was a sense of almost pride in his voice when he'd relayed the man's degrees. Is that it then? Her marine has fallen for another man? Is this the reason for his discomfort and sleeplessness? She watches as the smile fades once the young man leaves the room. She decides to follow the younger man, to learn more about him and is a little disgruntled when he stops at the forensics lab. She likes the young Goth, she does, but she also knows from personal observation that while the Goth can bring a smile to her beloved's face, she's not one for settling down and she's afraid the young man is in for a bit of heartache in the weeks ahead. If however she could get her beloved to comfort said young man when it does happen…
He's never spoken to anyone about the small tattoo and he twists slightly as he looks in the mirror. Mom encased in a heart, delicately entwined in the petals of a rose. He'd gotten it the day after his mother had passed away. Even now, after all these years, his dad didn't know about it. Well, knowing his dad he might know about it, but if he did then he's kept silent about it. His Marine buddies had all known but no one had said anything to him as most of them had a tattoo somewhere on their bodies, usually honoring a family member or the Corps. When Pacci had told him about the tattoo Tim had gotten, it had taken a quick phone call and he'd been a bit surprised to find out that the tattoo was almost a mirror of his own. Timothy, in his mind he called him Tim, out in the open he called him McGee. In his heart he was starting to call him something more.
Weeks pass and then it happens. The case she's been waiting for, the one where her beloved can finally open his heart and mind. The Watson girl touches her loved one's heart and soul. It's time for him to open his eyes now as well, to the green eyed man who has been working so diligently by his side. Her beloved appreciates hard work and despite his harsh words earlier that day, it hasn't stopped the younger man from completing the tasks at hand. Not just the Watson case but the computers that needed upgrading and in this heat…but how to get him to convey his feelings without it being obvious to the other two members on his team. She smiles to herself. There are five words he's uttered to only two others, herself and their daughter. Now to get him to say them to Tim.
"You belong to me now." He can't help himself, the words come out almost unbidden and horrified at the thought that he's given away his deepest feelings, he watches those green eyes lift to his and he catches his breath at the hope within. How had he missed it? Why hadn't he seen it earlier? As he rounds his desk a small smile on his face he hears the other two agents gently smack McGee on the back of the head. Not daring to look up from his computer, he reads the reports on the Watson case, and looks over at McGee who is still sputtering a bit from the head smacks.
Picking up his coffee cup, the air conditioning finally kicks in and he tells Kate and Tony to finish their reports and go home. Once the other two have left he then looks at Tim who is looking lost after all the commotion.
"You need a lift?"
"I can take a bus." Tim replies softly and an invisible spectator moans in disappointment.
"I never said that I would take you to Norfolk." And bright green eyes look at him as Tim slowly nods in agreement. Following Gibbs to his pickup, Tim is silent on the short drive and Gibbs doesn't dare slow down in case he's misread what he thought he saw in those emerald green eyes. They disembark and as he leads Tim into the house that used to be a home Gibbs can feel something sprouting inside himself.
He closes the door and turns to Tim who has stayed silent and inhales again when he reads what is shining out of those eyes. Hope, anxiety, desire, hunger and something else is in that gaze. Something that months, weeks even days ago might have sent him running for the hills. Now however, it's like a veil has been lifted from his icy blue gaze, letting his eyes finally see what his heart saw all those months ago. Not an agent, not just a man, but a soul searching for the same thing that he's been trying to find. That special someone he can come home to night after night, day after heart-wrenching day. Someone who can finally understand where he comes from and not judge or hide or let him hide who he is anymore.
"So when you say I belong to you?" Hesitant, yet hopeful love is starting to shine in those deep green eyes.
Gibbs swallows hard as he asks the question he's only asked one other person. The one person who smiles through ghostly tears as her beloved steps closer and whispers in Tim's ear "Can I belong to you too?"