Saturday morning dawned bright, beautiful and busy as Tim's phone woke him up at the crack of dawn, reminding him that Tony would be there to pick him up in less than an hour. As he stepped under the shower at the ungodly hour of 5 AM, Tim was already smiling. Today was the first day of the rest of his life; one that was looking so sweet, he could swear he was dreaming. He thought back to the time back in May when he thought just that.
What had he done that had earned him this angel?
Tim had even talked to Gibbs about it some weeks later; admitted his fear because he needed someone to tell him if he really was dreaming.
"I'm just scared."
"Of getting hurt again, Boss. Of wearing my heart on my sleeve and getting it bled dry till there's nothing left…again. That I'll wake up and the last six months with her will have all been a dream."
"Word to the wise here, McGee; just let it happen. Just like you have been for the last six months. One day at a time."
The boss' advice had been spot on and Tim was grateful he'd taken that advice to heart. As he dressed now and drank his first cup of coffee of the day as quickly as he could, his heart rejoiced and his steps were light, moving about the apartment, gathering up what little he needed with his free hand. Setting his disposable coffee cup in the trash, Tim picked up his things and headed out, locking up securely as he went.
"Tell me again, why this dress rehersal is necessary, Abby! Come to think of it, why a rehersal of any kind is necessary when we're just getting married at the courthouse on Monday?" Pam asked in confusion
Abby and Ziva exchanged happy grins as they both cast their glances at the beautiful bride- to- be sitting across from them in the back seat of the limo that Tim had sent for them. "Pam, c'mon, relax, alright? You like adventure – just think of this as an adventure with us – two women you know you can trust not to let anything bad happen to you."
Pam's patience had run out and she was tired of cooperating with this game she wasn't in the mood for. She missed Tim, hadn't been able to spend any time with him away from work all week long and now the girls were bullying her into this wild goose chase after goodness only knew what – and in a limosene with dark tinted windows that she couldn't see out of, on top of it. Reaching for the window button, she started to push it down.
"Ah, Pam. Do you really want to rob Tim of whatever surprise he's got planned for you?" Abby asked softly. "We'd hate to see the look on his face if that happened."
"Tim asked you to do this?" She asked in surprise.
"Yup." The Lab Rat gloated.
"Pam, you should relax. This is a very comfortable ride, yes?" Ziva attempted to calm her friend as she recalled with relief, how Tim had called her two nights ago and asked her to do something she hadn't even thought of doing, in order to help Pam prepare for her big day.
"Ziva, can you and Abby get Pam to talk about what vows she thought of wanting to say at her wedding? I'm not sure she's ever thought of any ahead of time. But since this is all gonna be sprung on her without any notice, she should at least have the chance to recall them if she did. If you could let me know of anything else she mentions always having wanted at her wedding, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks. Ziva."
The Israeli had been more than happy to share with Abby, their quest for said knowledge so that their teammate could give his bride to be the wedding she'd always wanted, as much as possible. It had been a fun girls night of reminiscing and wishful thinking and had produced enough information to make Pam's day even more special. She was looking forward to seeing Pam's reaction when she saw how much Tim was putting into this day for her.
When the car stopped, Abby took out her makeup kit and pulled out a large hand mirror, which Ziva immediately took in hand, leaving Abby free to help Pam add some color to her face.
"What's this?" Pam asked even as she capitulated and let Abby do it for her.
"Part of the genuine dress rehersal. We need to see if the colors match, don't we?" Abby blithely explained, not even worried if Pam believed her or not.
Pam took a minute to think. She was surrounded by her friends who wouldn't let anything bad happen and who were very happy and excited for her and Tim both for their upcoming wedding and the expected baby. She couldn't stay upset with them. They'd done too much for her. Besides, they'd made it clear this was Tim's doing. She had the utmost faith in him so whatever he'd asked them to have her do, she'd do. Pam smiled and relaxed
Having been driven to the destination of Tim's choice for this; the big day, Tim got out of the car, a bundle of nerves, but equally excited to be able to pull this off for the woman he loved. Realizing that everyone on the team had come through for him in spades to help him pull this off, swelled his heart of gratitude even larger. Even now, obviously aware of his rising nervousness, Tony was giving him the space to think without dousing him with movie trivia or silliness like he'd be doing if they were bored at work. Walking together to the back gate and stepping inside, Tim was brought up short at the sight in front of him.
The most beautiful Craftsman Style Rose Arbor he'd ever seen stood right where he'd envisioned on for the ceremony. This one had had been handcrafted from American Black Walnut, in that rich red brown shade Tim loved so much. With his mouth still agape in shock, Tim approached the arbor and stood in awe as he looked at it up close. Even beautifully adorned with Pam's favorite flowers, blue/white carnations, the arbor could be appreciated for the work that had gone into it. At the very top of the arch, Tim and Pam's names were engraved along with today's date – all inside a heart that had been carved around the necessary letters.
With latticed sides, the gentle breeze could be felt as you stood underneath the sturdy expanse of roof that, while wider than most arbor roofs, gave plenty of shade and rain protection. It was a work of pride and artistic beauty that literally bowled Tim over. He knew Pam would cry when she saw how much work Gibbs had put into this for them. It left him choked up as it was.
"Wow, Tim." Tony couldn't even express the words.
"Yeah." Tim agreed
Both of them watched as numerous hired landscaping crew people finished quickly setting out the flowers he'd arranged for the yard, the path Pam would walk from the side gate to the arbor, soon lined with flowers in an array of colors intermixed with her preferred carnations and baby's breath, the various flower boxes and pots they rested in, professionally wrapped in matching white to highlight the flowers' beauty.
Off-center from where the hired Minister stood waiting to perform the ceremony, stood two men who brought a smile to Tim's face. Oh, Pam was going to be in heaven! Even though Tim had spent the hours researching and finding everything he'd needed, it was still breathtaking to see how it all came into place, making the perfect backyard setting for this wedding.
"Hey, Boss." Tony called out, bringing Tim's attention to the man who'd helped him in ways the younger man had never even imagined.
From help making sure the house was a good investment and that he only offered what would be a nice offer but not too much; to this beautiful Arbor he'd only mentioned in passing, every single bit of this intricate puzzle come together, was so much more than he'd ever imagined, Tim, the writer, found himself speechless.
Gibbs smirked at him, knowing exactly what was going on in his head. "You all set?"
"Boss, I'm … I mean…"
"McGee." The older man quietly scolded.
"You're welcome. Now, pull yourself together. The ladies'll be here soon enough."
"Okay. Where's Ducky?" Tim wondered with a hint of disappointment.
"Dr. Mallard asked me to tell you he's here. He's just taking care of some things inside. "He'll be out here when Pam needs him." Jimmy said as he came from inside the house.
"Jimmy! You made it!" Tim exclaimed in surprise.
"You didn't really think I'd miss this did you? Great house, by the way." Jimmy offered as he warmly clasped Tim on the shoulder and calmly said hello to Tony.
Suddenly, it was as if a vacuum had been turned on, removing all landscaping crew from the yard almost instantly as the pair of bagpipe players began their lineup with The Highland Wedding as Tim had requested when he'd hired them. Taking their cues from the musicians, the men took their places in front of the Minister and turned so they could watch the others come in.
With their hair and makeup all done up and the appointed time at hand, Abby slipped a silk scarf out of her bag of tricks and ruefully smiled at her friend. "Sorry, Pam, but this is a must before we get out. I promise it'll only be for a minute or two. Can't spoil Tim's surprise for you though, can we?"
"Bring it on, Abby. Bring it on." Pam replied with a grin. Again, her absolute trust and faith in Tim guiding her reactions. He would never let anything happen to her. Come to think of it, neither would the rest of them.
With the scarf secured in place around Pam's eyes, the ladies exited the limo and headed toward their destination. "Dresses up off the ground, ladies." Abby piped in cheerily as they walked, their heels noisy on the concrete for about 100 yards.
"You hear that music?" Pam asked. "Isn't beautiful? I adore the sound of bagpipes. This song, Ode to Joy, is so heart stirring."
"It is very pretty." Ziva admitted."
Suddenly, Pam felt her ears being covered by strong hands. "Ziva?" she asked.
"Just one last necessary step." The Israeli answered quietly as she stopped moving and gently held Tim's fiancé in place while Abby opened the now perfectly oiled gate so they could make an entrance without any noise.
"Okay." Pam took it in stride as the music changed to an equally calm piece. " Simple Gifts" She murmered as she recognized the song. Her heart swelled at the realization that Tim must have put Ziva and Abby up to the task of getting Pam to talk about what her perfect full ceremony wedding would have included. She'd listed every song she'd dreamed of hearing played at her wedding at the time and now she was literally hearing them played for her – on her favorite instrument to listen to. It was a dream come true for her and she couldn't help but smile from ear to ear as she soaked in the love that went into putting this together – for her.
Stepping inside the gate, Abby and Ziva had all they could do to keep their surprise to themselves both at the beautifully done up backyard and at the pleasant surprise of seeing the newest arrival as she stepped up to them and grinned. Looking across the yard at the groom, the newcomer blew him a kiss and stepped behind the bride to be and quietly spoke.
"Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life, Pam."
As Sarah McGee took the blindfold off her future sister-in-law, she kissed her cheek and whispered. "Welcome to the family."
Stepping out in front of the bride to be, Sarah slid into place in front of Abby and Jimmy, her basket of flowers overflowing with the delicate carnations that matched both the boutinaes the guys were wearing and the ones intermixed along the walkway, as they now stood in place ten steps ahead of Ziva, while Pam was given time to adjust to the reality she'd just stepped into. Behind Abby, Jimmy stood an equally silent Ziva now having Tony beside her as they all waited to begin the ceremony that would change their teammate and friends' lives in a positive way.
With the beautifully done up backyard, the enchanting bagpipe music and the breathtaking sight of Tim waiting for her underneath the wonderfully crafted Rose Arbor, Pam couldn't stop the emotional tears from filling her eyes. Looking down the beautifully put together walkway with the gorgous border of all her favorite colored flowers, she couldn't believe Tim had arranged all this for her. He'd known she wasn't happy with the idea of a courthouse wedding. She was having trouble wrapping her mind around the Real Estate Agent letting them use a house on the market like this. It was all just so breathtakingly special, she found it hard to catch her breath, especially so, when the third song, Amazing Grace was begun on the bagpipes. She literally had to wipe the tears from her eyes as the music played.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" Ducky's voice reached Pam's ear from slightly behind her and she turned to greet him – to be met with the shocking sight of seeing him dressed in the Traditional Scottish Kilt
"Oh, Ducky!" She softly exclaimed. "You look so handsome! Thank you so much for agreeing to do this."
"It is my pleasure, my dear. I assure you." The M.E. soothed as he took her hand and laid it on his arm. "Are you ready to talk your walk that will begin your new life as Mrs. Timothy McGee?"
"I am." She almost purred. "I can't believe Tim arranged for all this."
"He loves you quite deeply, Pamela." Ducky reminded her. "Surely you can see that."
"Oh, there was no doubt before that he loved me. And there's definitely no doubt now." She answered almost in awe. "I don't know what I did to deserve such an awesome guy."
"You will do well to remember that, as well as the fact that Timothy is daily asking himself the reciprocating question." The M.E. gently advised.
Before she could reply, the The Bridal March had begun and the procession moved forward, each seemingly measured step bringing Pam closer to the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with; the man who'd fathered her child and would help her raise that precious gift of life and hopefully any that came later, into wonderful people. She felt like she was walking on clouds, her feet barely touching the ground but soon, somehow, she'd reached the place where Ducky kissed her cheek and stepped back so that Tim could stand beside her, his face a study of love and hope, excitement and pride.
Smiling back at him with her heart in her eyes, Pam took his hand in hers and looked to the Minister who smiled back and cleared his throat, obviously ready to begin the ceremony.
Pam couldn't remember the words spoken, they seemed to be delivered through a fog, her mind seemed to have turned on the muffling she couldn't quite fathom. She recalled Director Vance standing when the minister asked
"Who gives this woman ?"
But,with her heart pounding with love and excitement, she couldn't recall anything of the ceremony, it all passed in a blur. She didn't even hear what words she spoke.
Suddenly, it was over and the Minister was announcing that Tim could kiss the bride and the next thing she knew, her husband was kissing her more sensually than he'd ever kissed her before, whispering to her "I love you," as he finally pulled away and took her hand once more.
"I give you "Mr. and Mrs. Tim McGee!"
The bagpipe music began again, this time, the songs a touch livelier than the ones before the service, with Scotland the Brave and, Highland Laddie playing until the happy couple had reached the house and gone inside for a few moments alone.
No sooner had they stepped inside the house, than Pam threw herself into Tim's arms. "Oh, my God, Tim this is the happiest day of my life and it's all because of you! Thank you so much!"
"I'm happy you feel that way. I was afraid you'd be mad " Tim admitted even as he bent down to kiss her again.
"There's…no…way…" Pam tried to answer amidst the soul touching kissing being delivered to her mouth, 'that….i …could…be….mad…"
"Sssh." Tim whipered as he wrapped her up in his arms and kissed her with all the love and passion he held for her until they were both desperate for air and pulled away. "I love you so much. I'm so happy to be able to spend the rest of my life with you."
"I feel the same way." Pam replied quietly as she laid her head on his chest, safely cacooned within his loving arms.
"C'mon, let's go upstairs and change." Tim urged.
Pam nodded as Tim scooped her up and carried her up the stairs, while she threw her head back and giggled. "My husband, the romantic. I wouldn't change him for anything."
"Glad to know you approve." Tim answered cheekily.
Pam reached an arm out and swatted him on the arm, bringing forth yet another smile from him, his eyes shining brightly with happiness. When they reached the bedroom, Tim set Pam down and lifted the hair from the back of her neck, so he could nibble and kiss along her neckline and back on up to her mouth.
"Tim, we have guests."
"Who aren't expecting us back down for at least thirty minutes." Tim whispered.
"That was so beautiful!" Abby gushed as she and Ziva stood with the rest of the wedding party after Pam and Tim had gone inside. "I always knew Tim was a romantic guy, but this? Wow."
"He pulled the details together very nicely." Ducky volunteered. "I rather enjoyed fulfilling my part in all of the festivities."
"Your part's not over, is it Duck?" Gibbs asked with a smirk.
"You're very right, Jethro. As a matter of fact, if you'll excuse me, I must get ready for the other piece of my part in the festivities."
"Eat something first, Duck." Gibbs instructed his friend.
"I have already eaten, my friend. I shall be fine. " the M.E. replied as he disappeared around the side of the house in his pursuit of his next part to play in this celebration.
Around them throughout the yard, the landscaping crew was back momentarily as they rearranged the flowers so that they now bordered the yard with no further need for the path. They left as quickly as they'd returned. Amazingly enough, no sooner had the yard crew gone than the catering people arrived and quickly set up three serving table and four eating tables. Once the tables were set up, table cloths were almost instantaneously draped over them, place settings nearly dropped into perfect place, and everything set within ten minutes; a well-oiled machine working with the utmost precision.
While the music resumed, the group smiled at Ducky's inclusion into the bagpipe players as the rest of the team slowly migrated toward the tables, all wanting the chance to sit down after the hectic events of the past week and especially the emotional ceremony they'd just been a part of. Before too long, the happy couple returned to the yard, amidst a rousing round of applause from the team that couldn't help but give them some gentle razzing yet rejoice with them.
Tim was quick to thank everyone with the utmost gratitude and yet couldn't get to his sister quick enough. "Sarah, I'm so glad you could be here. You'd you manage it?"
"Director Vance and Agent Gibbs pulled it off, Bro. I'm just happy to be here." Sarah beamed up at him as he hugged her.
"Me too, Sis. Me too."
"I hear I'm gonna be an aunt." She teased.
"Who told you? No, wait, the better question would be who didn't tell you, right?" Tim playfully groaned.
Sarah laughed. "No one, silly. She's not exactly staying the same slim Pam she's been since you introduced us, you know. A woman notices these things about her her brother's girlfriend."
At Tim's look of embarrassment, Sarah laughed again. "Relax, big brother. Believe it or not, I'm really happy for you. And I'm so looking forward to being an aunt. I'm thinking of transferring back to the states when this school year is over."
"If that's what you want, Sarah, that would be great. We'd love to have you close by again." Tim reassured her.
"Then I'll be here." She smiled back as she pecked him on the cheek. "Congratulations, Tim. Awesome job today." Before he could say anymore, she slipped away and returned to the group, leaving room for Pam to join him once more.
The afternoon passed in a lazy enjoyment of the delicious meal set before them by the caterers and the jovial spirit of the day. No one was in a rush to end it, but eventually, the afternoon began to grow shorter in shadows and Tim wanted to let everyone have the chance to enjoy their evenings after the wonderful way they'd helped him pull this amazing feat off for Pam.
With the hired bagpipers excluding Ducky, long gone, having left a mere thirty minutes after Pam and Tim came back outside, Tim felt it was time to draw the festivities to a close. After all, he and Pam still had a house to explore, in more ways than one and his patience on that score was running out.
Standing to his feet, drawing Pam up along side him, he picked up his glass and tapped his fork up to it, to gain everyone's attention. When he had everyone's eyes on him, he looked at each of them in turn with a grateful smile before he spoke.
"I just wanted to say, from the bottom of my heart. "For everything you've helped me with in putting this day together, for all of the support you've given Pam and I since the beginning, Thank you."
"That goes double for me." Pam said. "You guys accepted me in Tim's life without a second thought; at least that you let me see, anyway. I've come to treasure each and every one of you and I'm honored to be able to see that you've come to think of me as part of your family. Thank you so much!"
"Hear, hear!" Tony cheered. "To family!"
"To this family!" Gibbs threw out there unexpectedly.
"Hear, Hear!" All of them chorused from the bottom of their hearts.
After all, that was one thing that would never change; the fact that they were a family.