So sorry it took forever to update this last chapter. But got sick Saturday night and spent all day Sunday in bed (wonderful way to start the new year don't you think?) and every time I tried to write, I couldn't get anywhere. But better now and got to writing. So, hope you like this last chapter and had a wonderful holiday. :)
Timothy lied in bed, against Jethro, and, though it was a bit creepy, watched the older man sleep. Jethro looked younger, peaceful, rested. So handsome yet adorable with his little snore. Their Christmas break had been going pretty well so far. Tim's spent some time with his family alone, giving Jethro time alone with Jack. He's spent some time with Tony, Ziva, and Abby and her friend. Ducky even stopped by a time or two.
Jimmy had left for a vacation with his family at the first opportunity since it had been a while since he's seen them.
Things had been going well. Except…for the fight he had had with his dad the other day when Jack brought Jethro's attention to the fact that he still hadn't moved the safe where he kept his gun. Tony, Ziva, and the rest of his family had been there and the comment out of his dad's mouth hadn't only surprised him, but the rest of his team and Sarah.
They were all in the living room, music playing and talking. Sarah was sitting on the floor with Ziva, talking about who knows what. Tony again was trying to get a story out of his mother while Tim talked to Jack and Jethro talked with his father.
Jethro excused himself and stood up to get a drink, offering to get some for others. Jack must have been watching him or just happened to glance at the bookshelf because he saw the gun safe still there.
"Leroy, you didn't move it."
"What?" Jethro turned to frown at Jack in confusion.
"The gun safe. I told you that I didn't want to be anywhere near it and asked you to move it."
Jethro looked at the safe and sighed before nodding. He went to grab it, Tony offering help but Jethro declined. The safe wasn't big, so Jethro could have handled it by himself. But just as he was getting ready to pick it up and most likely take it down to the basement, Tim's father spoke.
"Thanks for moving it though I'm not all that comfortable knowing that Tim lives in the same house with a gun."
Tim blinked as everyone froze and looked at Victor in confusion.
"Dad…" Sarah looked between Tim and their dad as Tim couldn't even finds the words to what his dad said. He was really confused. "Dad, Tim owns a gun. In fact, Tim's gun is in the safe with Gibbs'."
Victor turned to Tim with a frown. "Why do you own a gun?"
"What part of being an NCIS agent didn't you understand?" There, he found words.
"You said Gibbs was impressed with your computer skills. I thought you sat behind a desk and played with your computer."
"Not doing anything."
"Wasting your talent."
His hands fisted in anger. "So when I told you that Jethro saw talent in me, what did you think I was talking about?"
"That you did the computer work while they did the leg work."
Tim stood and shook his head. "The real work you mean."
His father didn't say anything, and that was answer enough. Copying Jack when he and Jethro had an argument, he walked around the couch and headed for the door, grabbing his coat.
"I'm going for a walk."
Apparently while he had been gone, spending a good hour over at Gladys' house for tea and talking to her about what happened, his team and Sarah had taken to filling his parents in on what he did at work. When he had walked through that door he had been barreled by his mother, earning a head slap from her for not telling her certain things. Like the time he shot that undercover cop.
'Yeah, thanks for telling them that guys.'
His father apologized and because he really did want a better relationship with his father, they had gone out by themselves for a drink and greasy bar food. They had talked about everything, he wasn't afraid to admit there had been moments when he wanted to get up and leave in frustration, but by the time they were done, it had been late and they both felt better.
It was Christmas Eve and Tim had to be at work at five to help set up the food and connect with the destroyer.
And he wanted to spend some alone time with Jethro for a bit since they haven't been alone together, apart from in bed, since the beginning of their break. Thankfully his sister was going to make herself scarce for half the day for him so that he could take Jethro to his apartment and just be with him. Of course Sarah thought it was important to mention that she would appreciate it if they changed the sheets before they left.
"You gonna stare at me all day?"
Tim blinked and realized those blue eyes he fell in love with at first sight were staring up at him. He smiled and leaned down, pressing his lips gently to Jethro's. After pulling back and resting his chin on his arm that was folded around Jethro's chest, he sighed. "Good morning Jethro."
Jethro's hand smoothed up and down his back while he raised the other to run through his hair. Tim's eyes closed on their own accord and his head turned into the caress. He would forever be teased into comparison to a cat, but who cared when Jethro's rough hands could caress him like they did. And if his content moan could be mistaken for a purr…didn't matter. It felt good.
"Shut up," he mumbled when he heard Jethro chuckle, only opening his eyes a fraction to look at the amused yet smug expression on Jethro's face. He rolled his eyes at the smugness, even though it was valid. Because aside from his mother who had a bit of a habit to coddle him, treating him as if he was the baby of the family instead of the oldest, Jethro was the only one who could get him to act like this.
He stretched against Jethro, smirking in return when Jethro gave a moan to the feel of them against each other, and quickly slid off the bed before Jethro could do anything. "Come on. Get up. I've got plans for us today."
About an hour later, after all three men were showered and dressed, they were sitting in the kitchen, eating their breakfast and drinking their coffee. Couldn't forget the coffee.
"So, what do you boys have planned today?" Jack asked after he finished his half of the newspaper, Jethro still reading his. Tim had been editing a bit of his new book he was working on.
"Jethro and I are going to go out, probably be gone for half the day."
"What are we doing Tim?" Jethro asked.
The doorbell ringing saved him from answering. "I'll get it. You start cleaning up," he said and quickly pressed a kiss to Jethro's cheek before leaving and answering the door. "Hey Gladys," he greeted with a smile, taking the woman's coat after she stepped in and he closed the door. "How are you?"
"I'm fine. I hear you have a few toys left that need to be painted before they can go to the hospital tonight. Came to offer my help."
"Oh, that's great. And perfect. Jethro and I will be gone for half the day and I don't really want Jack left alone."
He smiled at the soft blush that dusted the older woman's cheeks. "Don't you worry about him. I'll keep him company and he and I will get those toys done in enough time for them to dry and be ready for those children."
"Thanks Gladys." Tim gave her cheek a peck before leading her to the kitchen.
"Hey Gladys," Jethro greeted while Jack turned in his seat and beamed.
"Well, hello, Gladys."
"Hello Jethro. Jack," she said with a smile and took the seat beside him. "How are today?"
"Oh, I'm fine. Though these two are leaving me all by my lonesome today."
Tim covered his laugh at the sad look on Jack's face and the way Jethro rolled his eyes. Gladys just smiled and patted Jack's shoulder. "No worries. I'll be keeping you company today. Here to help with the last of the toys."
"Wonderful!" He turned to Tim and Jethro. "So, when are you two leaving? Should be soon isn't it?" The look Jack was giving them was known around the world. A guy giving them the signal to beat it so he could be alone with the woman.
"Yes actually," Tim said, turning to Jethro. "Let's go. We have things to do."
They said their goodbyes and were soon on the road, Tim driving and Jethro in the passenger seat. It was really simple to get Jethro to let him drive when it wasn't work related. Just kiss him to distract him, grab the keys, and run. A simple snatch and run.
They got out of the car and walked up the steps, Jethro's arm around his shoulders while Tim wrapped his arm around his waist. His breath hitched when Jethro kissed his neck, nibbling his ear. "And where's Sarah?"
"She's, uh, she's with, don't stop, with some of her friends."
Jethro pushed him against the door when they reached it and kissed him with such abandon he wasn't able to quiet his moans. Not that he wanted to. Only time they were really able to make out was in bed and even then they had to be quiet because of Jack on the second floor. Now…now he could be as loud as he wanted.
"Timmy," Jethro growled as he grabbed the back of Tim's thigh and pulled it up to his hip, pulling them closer and letting him feel his erection. Tim groaned and let his head fall back, thumping against the door and giving his lover the opportunity to trail his lips down his neck. "Tim, open the door."
He snapped to attention and turned, biting his lip when Jethro molded to his back, and quickly opened the door, throwing it open. Tim grabbed Jethro and yanked him inside, and moaned as he was soon thrown against the now locked door. Jethro didn't hold anything back and Tim didn't bother being quiet.
If they ran into his former neighbor when they left when it was time to… Well it would be like old times.
Gibbs whistled as he walked up to his front door. He was in a damn fine mood after the day Tim gave him. And he couldn't help it if he had a bit of a strut in his step with how good he was feeling.
Tim really knew him. After the week they've had; arguments with family and visits with people from left to right, they really needed some alone time. And not alone time that consisted of a pullout couch, no lights, and having to be quiet in fear of being heard.
Instead, Tim gave him over half a day of privacy in the apartment to do what he or they wanted to. And he did. He took Tim on just about every surface—of course Tim took about an hour before they left to clean the apartment for his sister, with his help—and even spent two hours just lounging on the bed, watching a movie. Well, Tim watched a movie cuddled up next to him while he read a book from some of the books that Tim had left behind. It was pretty decent but he had half paid attention to what he was reading as he also took to just watching Tim as his focus was on the movie. Taking pleasure in being able to make Tim purr as he ran his fingers through his hair and his hand down his back.
He had really needed that time alone with Tim, especially with the conversation he needed to have with his father. After he had asked Ducky for help with his father, he had left the house for some late Christmas shopping while Ducky talked with his father.
He walked into the house after awhile and headed down to the basement where he heard laughter. Both men laughing and he could tell that they hadn't really gotten far with the painting. Mostly due to the bottle of bourbon that was sitting between them.
"And by…and by the time I got there," his dad said between laughs, "Leroy had fallen asleep, he left the gate unlocked." He slowly quieted to chuckle, where he paused. "I don't remember what happened next."
Deciding to make his presence known, he spoke as he finished walking down the stairs. "Well, I spent the next 25 hours trying to round up 26 missing sheep.
"Hello, Jethro," Ducky greeted. "Your father has been regaling me with stories of his youth."
Jack smiled. "We have a lot in common."
"Naïve heartbreak, tales of adolescent…chivalry. And fond memories of skinny-dipping as children." And it set both men into laughter. Gibbs didn't bother to hide his amusement.
But he stopped Ducky from pouring another glass by plucking it out of his hand. "Come on, getting late." Besides, Ducky had to drive home and he wasn't even sure how much he'd drank so far.
"Time to go," Jack announced.
Ducky stood. "Yes, there is Christmas shopping to be done and a roose to be goasted." He chuckled. "A goose to be roasted," he corrected with his hand offered to Jack
"A pleasure to finally meet you."
"Pleasure is all mine."
"I'll walk you out."
They walked up and out of the basement and Ducky put on his coat as Gibbs shut the door.
"What a sweet, lovely man, Jethro, and certainly much warmer than you depicted him, and in many ways more accessible than you are."
"Please," he sighed. "My dad?"
"You understand I cannot make a firm diagnosis on the basis of such a short meeting." He followed Ducky as he went into the living room. "But there is most definitely something wrong."
"Well, how bad?"
"That's an interesting question. I doubt what you experienced was any kind of dementia. I mean, despite his disorientation, your father shows no signs of impaired recognition, has no trouble solving problems. He certainly doesn't have any symptoms of motor aphasia."
Gibbs stared at his long time friend and when he didn't go on he asked, "What the hell is wrong with him?"
"Something far more old-fashioned, I believe. Your father…is under significant emotional distress, the kind one sees when one loses a loved one or…I mean, has he experienced
any kind of trauma recently?" When Gibbs looked a bit lost at the question, Ducky turned to grab his bag. "Well, it's nothing personal, Jethro, but I don't think he came here for your uplifting holiday cheer. Martha Stewart, you are not."
"Why'd he come?"
"Well, the answer to that question is not in my purview. You are, when all is said and done,
the investigator. I prescribe some phone calls back home, on your father's behalf. They just might prove enlightening."
He had done just that when he had been able to, and after talking to Ms. Hannigan, who had recommended calling the sheriff, he had taken a bit of pleasure to inform the woman that his father was hitting it off with their neighbor when she asked how he was doing and if he was enjoying her care package. If the woman sounded bitter, jealous, and hung up a bit roughly, well…all the better. And if Tim was amused and called him childish, even better; because all he had to do was kiss that pouty bottom lip and he was nicely flushed and distracted.
Walking in the house, he saw his father sitting on the arm of the couch, staring at the lights on the tree which was lighting the room along with the two lamps. Silently he hung up his coat and went into the kitchen to grab two beers. He went into the living room and handed the beer.
His father took it. "Not very traditional."
"Yeah, it is." He sat down on the couch beside his father and looked up at him. "Let's talk."
Something in his voice must have tipped him off because Jack turned to him. "You called Betty Hannigan?"
"She told me to call the sheriff."
Jack silently stood up and went to the other side of the couch to sit down. "Ed sent you the report?"
"Uh-huh." His father was silent, looking forward. He didn't really like that look on his face. "How about you fill in some of the details?"
Gibbs just took a drink of his beer as he waited his father out and was rewarded after a few minutes. "He rumbled up in an old fastback. Whole town could hear him."
"Dirt-kicker looking for trouble."
"I guess," he shrugged. "The Dobson girl was in the store. She had a friend visiting. I never got her name. He said he come there to rob me. He had a gun, Leroy. I told him to take anything he wanted from the register, but…the girls were in the corner, crouching, terrified. He turned after them and…"
Jethro put his arm on the back of the couch and his hand on his father's shoulder, letting him know silently that he was there for him. "Well, that's not the first time you've fired that Winchester."
"No. It's not the first time I killed somebody, either. But it's the first time I saw the face. Twenty-three. Had a kid, somebody told me."
"Looks different from up there in the cockpit, huh?"
"From up there, it doesn't look like much of anything. You pull the trigger, feel the release, nothing. I never even thought about it much. Now, that's all I think about." Jack stared at him for a second before he asked his question. "How did you do it all these years, son? I need to know."
He thought about it and had to ask, a small part of him really needed to know. "This why you came?"
"That and because it's Christmas."
Personally liking the answer, he answered honestly. "It's not supposed to be easy."
"Nobody said it would be, huh?"
Shaking his head, he continued to rub his thumb over his dad's shoulder. "It helps that I have Tim."
"You really love that young man."
Smiling as he could imagine the way Tim would beam if he heard that, he nodded. "Yeah, I do."
"That's good Jethro. You keep that young man happy." He smirked as he recalled how they had just spent their day but turned his attention back to his dad when he spoke. Also so that he could prevent himself from getting hard at the memory. "Son, how would you feel if I asked Gladys to dinner sometime after Christmas?"
Gibbs stared at his father and shook his head. "Would be worried if you didn't, dad."
"Good," he nodded. "Now let's go. Gladys invited us to come over to eat before we leave for the hospital and meet Tim."
Tim was so glad he wasn't alone here. There were kids and families everywhere and thankfully Director and Mrs. Vance along with his family, Tony, Ziva, and Abby were helping entertain the families and kids while they waited, with food and/or a short tour of the bullpen.
Tim had gotten an order set with the parents on the destroyer and went to find Abby, Fisher, and his aunt as they were first. Momentarily stopping when his mother stopped to squeeze the air out of him with pride and happiness at what he was doing. Thanking her and leading the three to MTAC, he entered the room and smiled at Fisher's amazement.
"All right, Fisher. Right this way, my friend."
The little boy looked around wide eyed. "What is this place?"
"This is a very special room that only a few people know about. It's a magic room called MTAC."
They stopped in front of the floor to ceiling screen and Fisher looked to his aunt. "Aunt…?"
"Don't look at me."
"See," Tim said as he knelt down in front of the boy, "Santa told me very specifically to bring you here."
"Why? What's gonna happen?"
"Well…let's make a Christmas wish and see if it comes true. How about that? Want you to shut
your eyes good and tight. Got 'em closed?" At Fisher's nod, he stood and went behind Fisher, turning him to face the screen, and whispered in his ear. "All right. Now, I want you to think of the one thing you want for Christmas more than anything else in the entire world. You ready?"
Fisher nodded and after nodding to the tech who was working that day, and happy to help them, she turned on the connection and Fisher's mother appeared.
"Fisher, baby, is that you?"
The little boy's eyes flew open and he went closer to the screen. "Mom!"
Tim smiled and stepped back and away to give them their moment.
"I love you, sweetheart. Merry Christmas." She was beaming, just like Fisher. "Look at you. You are getting so big. I got all the mail you sent, all your artwork; your pictures."
"I'll make you more."
"I can't wait. I have told everybody here all about you, about how proud I am of you. We're going to have a big Christmas dinner here tonight." She leaned closer to stage whisper. "But I'd rather be there instead."
"I wish you were, too."
Tim watched mother and son having their wish come true and smiled. Abby gave his cheek a kiss for his work. "You would make a great Santa."
"I guess you just have to believe."
"…I do believe."
Tim met Jethro and Jack at the hospital and with the help of the nurses, they distributed the presents with a "Merry Christmas from Santa" tag and spent some time with the staff, handing out a warm dinner.
They introduced Jack to the ones they knew and spent some time in the maternity ward, rocking babies back to sleep when they woke cranky, in need of a change, or hungry.
He was so exhausted by the time they made it home, but it was all worth it in the end. All that joy. Slipping into bed next to Jethro, sighing in content when Jethro's arm came around him, he slipped his leg over Jethro's waist. Tim looked up at him from Jethro's chest.
"I love you Jethro."
Jethro looked down at him with a smile that always took Tim's breath away. But the pure love and happiness that shined through those blazing blue eyes that most people called ice and hard just left him completely breathless and he thought his heart damn near stopped.
"Love you too Tim."
A/N: Kinda feel bad that I left out the Secret Santa bit between Tony and Delores in Human Resources. It was so sweet how Tony got her something that she couldn't get as a kid.
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