Title: Found Hope
Main Character/s: Timothy McGee & Jethro Gibbs
Summary: A case comes along that shows the team a part of Tim's past they didn't know.
Warning: Pre-Slash, language, and mentions of abuse
Tim stood with the others in the observation room as they looked at the woman on the other side of the mirror. Normally he would be right beside Tony or Kate, talking with them about the case or whatever current thing Tony and Kate were arguing about. But something about the case was bothering him.
Call it going with his gut.
There had been a series of brutal murders happening and they had found a suspect. Alexandra Williams. Everything pointed to her, but something just didn't sit well with him. And if there was one thing he's learned in his short time at NCIS so far, it was going with your gut. And his gut was screaming that Alexandra wasn't the killer.
He glanced over at the other two and rolled his eyes. What people saw as unresolved sexual tension, he knew it was just sibling rivalry. Tony was the older brother with Kate as the sister, and even after only being there under a year, he had been taken on as the baby brother. It sucked at times, especially when they both ganged up on him, but most of the time he loved it.
Tim loved his job, even more he loved the crazy family he's been adopted into. Tony and Kate picked on him, but he had his moments of getting them back, or Kate being on his side and them going after Tony. It was even better with the way they taught him things. Sure it was taught their kind of way, but he still learned and grew. Like when Tony would teach him a new Gibbs rule or even care the time Kate took a shot to his groin during training. How Kate got him to work out in the morning with her and then ended the day with defense—learnt his lesson not to hold back and to definitely wear a cup because when she started losing she fought dirty.
Just then Gibbs entered the room on the other side and Tim watched the questioning happen. Gibbs casually said Alexandra's boyfriend mentioned that he hadn't seen her the days of the murders and everything else they had. But it clicked on what was bothering him.
She didn't do it.
"We have evidence Ms. Williams. And any court is going to put you away."
When she just sat there silently, he shook his head and closed the file, getting up and leaving the room. It was only a few seconds later that he entered the observation room.
"What are we going to do now, Boss?" Tony asked but Tim spoke up before he could get an answer.
"She didn't do it."
All eyes turned to him and he couldn't stop the blush that came under the sudden and all attention. He still had his moments when he got really nervous, but he didn't look away. He knew he was right and when that happened, he didn't back down. Definitely not now when it came to an innocent woman's imprisonment.
"Boss, I know she didn't do it."
"And what makes you say that Probie?" Tony asked with a grin as if he thought Tim was going to make a fool of himself and get in trouble for doubting Gibbs.
Tim locked eyes with Gibbs and said, "My gut."
Gibbs stared back at his youngest and newest agent and couldn't deny the surprise he felt when McGee first spoke. McGee usually didn't speak up when it came to a case unless directed to or he had an idea he wanted to try. And even then sometimes that old stutter would come back.
Normally he wouldn't give in, but the fact that McGee even spoke up-a sign that McGee believed completely in his decision-he answered with his gut and nodded. "Alright, what do you want to do?"
He watched as McGee looked back at the glass before turning to face him again. "Just...don't let her leave. Give me a few minutes." And after giving the younger man a nod, he hightailed it out the room to go do who knows what.
Gibbs looked to his other two agents, raising an eyebrow. "If it was either of you, I would do the same."
"Yeah but...this is Probie!"
Shaking his head, he looked back at the mirror at Alexandra Williams and said, "And how is he to learn if he can't at least try? Besides, he said it was his gut."
"He was probably just hungry," Tony mumbled and Gibbs was satisfied by the sound of Kate putting her elbow into his stomach.
It wasn't long before McGee came back and he was surprised that when he asked what he had, McGee shyly shook his head in denial. And instead said, "Let me talk to her."
His first response would have been a big "Hell no," because he was way too new to try an interrogation, and by himself at that. Especially with the fact that he didn't even know what McGee had. He didn't like not knowing. But as he continued to watch McGee, he again did what he did best and went with his gut.
He nodded his consent.
Tim gave a small smile before nodding and exiting room. He wasn't going to wait around for Gibbs to change his mind. The fact that he even agreed at all surprised him, because he was new to being an agent and hasn't done an interrogation yet. Tim was even more surprised that Gibbs wasn't following him or making Tony go with him. He was all by himself.
And for that he was thankful.
"Uh…Boss," Tony said as soon as the door closed but he shook his head.
"He'll be fine."
The other two shared a look before Kate asked, "Are you sure Gibbs? Because I think at least one of us should be in there with him."
"He'll be fine," he repeated.
He hoped anyway.
Tim took a deep breath before opening the door and stepping inside, softly closing the door instead of letting it bang shut like Gibbs had let it. He silently walked over to the chair, picked it up so it didn't scrape on the floor and took a seat, gently scooting in so he was closer the table. Not once did he make a too loud of a sound, he didn't even say a word.
He became comfortable before finally looking at the Alexandra and saw that she was watching him curiously. Tim just gave her a warm smile but continued to wait. It wasn't long before she asked, "Who are you?"
"Agent Timothy McGee, ma'am."
Alexandra blinked at the soft spoken man, and the formal way he spoke to her. She had never been spoken to like that before and if she has it had been a long time ago. Something about the younger man calmed her, but she was in an interrogation room. Who knew what their techniques were? Instead she asked, "Well what do you want?"
"You didn't do it. I don't believe you did."
She automatically scoffed. "If you think this good cop bad cop routine is gonna work then you're mistaken."
"This isn't what this is. My boss just presented the evidence that we had so that maybe you would confess."
She frowned and jerked her head to indicate him. "Then what are you doing?"
"Letting you know that I know you didn't do it."
Tim allowed Alexandra to continue watching him, skeptical and thoughtful. He gave her almost a minute before looking down to take a deep breath. What he was about to say was bound to get a reaction, and not just from her. "When you're in an abusive relationship, it's like your own personal prison."
He caught the surprised then guarded look that entered her eyes when he looked back up. But he continued. "You love them, and everything is great, then things start to go down hill from there, usually once you start living together. Yelling and maybe throwing something, but you push it away to them just having a hard day at work. You try to fix it by being good, not starting an argument."
He could see her wanting to deny it, but he could see it was true. And no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't stop seeing the buried memories.
"Then one day something sets them off and they hit you in which they either apologize right away or the next morning when they remember. Either way they promise never to do it again. You believe them because you love them so much, everybody has bad days, but deep down...you know it will."
Alexandra was staring at him with tears filling her eyes and as he continued to speak he saw her hand start to reach to his. One abuse victim to another.
"The abuse continues, and you think it can't get worse. But it does. They start abusing you emotionally and mentally and eventually it takes its toll. It can only be yelled and said so many times before you start to believe them; that you're not worthy, that you're lucky to have their love, that you shouldn't do this or that or you'll be punished."
He softly rubbed the back of her knuckles as her hand gripped him tightly.
"I know you didn't do it Alexandra," he said softly as he watched a tear fall. Tim reached out to wipe it away, her turning into his hand as if starved for a caring touch instead of an abusing one. "But I also know that you know who did."
She looked into his caring yet pained green eyes and found herself nodding. She wasn't alone. "Yes."
"He wanted to play a game."
Gibbs watched his younger agent and again felt that deep burning rage. After Alexandra Williams had told them of her boyfriend's idea of a game, he, Tony, and Kate had gone to get the son of a bitch while McGee stayed behind consoling Ms. Williams as she had broken down halfway through telling them what her boyfriend did and made her do.
He was a little thrown that he hadn't picked up on Ms. Williams abuse, but then again he didn't pick up on McGee's past abuse either. Again he felt that anger burn through him. When he had watched his agent start to talk about abuse victims, he had been skeptical and wondered if he had just let his agent walk in there and give their suspect an out. But as he watched and listened to Tim and the way Williams responded to him, he didn't just realize that Williams was abused, but so had Tim. And that was...not okay.
Tony and Kate had picked up on it too, and he didn't even need to tell them that they needed to keep it between them. They kept it in the interrogation room. He wasn't going to have Tim's past spread around the building as if they were in high school, not to mention he was sure that after opening up about his past, he wouldn't be able to handle Abby's kind of care. No, it stayed with them.
Tim seemed to be holding up though. He was finishing his report like the rest of them and was even joking along with the others. Tony and Kate had obviously agreed they wouldn't try to talk to Tim about it unless he brought it up, that they would just act as if it didn't happen. And Tim seemed relieved.
But Gibbs himself couldn't act like it hadn't happened. No, he...needed to make sure his boy was alright.
"Go home," he announced.
"Thanks Boss," Tony grinned before looking to Tim. "Hey, Probie, you want to go grab a drink with me and Kate?"
"Kate and I," Tim and Kate corrected and laughed at Tony's grimace.
"Don't do that. That's creepy."
"I think I'm gonna have to pass tonight, Tony, but thanks." He gave him a warm smile. "Thank you."
Tony smiled back as he knew Tim was thanking him for more than just offering a night out. "No problem Probie. You get some rest, can't have my favorite probie all tired tomorrow. You're still coming out for a game of basketball with the guys right?"
"Yeah," he nodded.
Gibbs watched them, silently proud. He knew Tony and Kate looked at Tim as a younger brother, and he had a feeling that after what was discovered about Tim, Tony was about to take his role as big brother a lot more seriously. And judging by the look Kate threw Tim as the two were leaving, she too was going to take it more seriously.
Soon it was just him and Tim left and after turning off his computer, he grabbed his coat. "Tim."
He watched amused as the younger man's head snapped up at the use of his first name and he stared at him wide-eyed. "Uh, yeah Boss?"
"Okay." Gibbs swallowed at the immediate agreement, he didn't even know where Gibbs was taking him and yet he automatically agreed. "Where to Boss?"
They started heading to the elevator, riding it down. "I tell my agents that my door's always open, and I'm saying it to you. Thing is, something tells me that you wouldn't look up my information to find out where it is in the first place." At Tim's bashful smile he knew he was right. And it took him a few seconds to look away from that smile. "So, you're going to follow me to the house."
Again with automatic trust. It was something else. Surprised the hell out of him the easy way Tim put his trust in him right off the bat. Not even Tony or Kate automatically trusted him when he brought them on.
A while later, they pulled up to his house. "I like your house, Boss," Tim said as he looked around, following him up the walkway and to the porch.
"Thanks," he said opening the door, smirking at Tim's confused look.
"You don't lock your door?"
"Aren't you worried about burglars?"
Smirking a little, he grabbed a few beers and then led him to the basement, giving a genuine smile when he heard Tim's gasp. "Like?"
"Yeah. I didn't know you built boats, Boss." Tim walked over to the half finished boat and smoothed his hand over the wood after getting a nod from Gibbs. It was smooth and so beautiful. He wasn't one for boats, he had horrible seasickness, but he could still appreciate a good boat and the one in front of him was. "When did you get into them?"
"...Years ago," he answered as he sat down on a stool. "Picked up a book and got interested. Figured I'd try one."
"Obviously you took to it," he said admirably. "What number is this?"
"Three. Between cases and sleep, if takes time."
"So you sell them?" he asked, nodding his thanks for the beer.
Tim looked around the basement, frowning. "Uh, how do you get it out of here?"
His only answer was a smirk and he was sure he wasn't the only one to ask that question. Probably wouldn't be the last either. Tim continued to look at the boat, smoothing his hand over the wood and feeling the smoothness. The work really was well done. As he finished making a circle around it, he casually spoke. "So I'm guessing you want to talk about earlier."
Gibbs took a drink of his beer before answering. "Do you want to?"
A shrug was his answer, the younger man looking down at the bottle in his hand. "It's in the past. I mean, I obviously haven't forgotten it, it's something you can't, but I'm also over it."
"What happened?" he asked softly.
Again Tim shrugged. "It was a mistake. I was young. I was a little younger than the rest of my classmates in college with skipping once in middle school and once in high school. Halfway through my junior year, I met this...guy."
He stayed silent when Tim sent him a nervous look, wondering what his reaction would be. But he had already suspected Tim was at the very least bi when they met, and then figured it was a homosexual relationship that he was in that turned abusive. Not that women couldn't be the abusers, but it didn't strike him that it was that. Now it was only confirmed. Gibbs gave an encouraging nod to Tim to let him know he could continue.
Tim sighed before doing so. "We dated and it quickly got serious between us. I fell hard in a short time, and so did he. So when senior year came, we decided to get one of the apartments that belonged to the college together instead of a dorm room. It was easy, fun, and exciting at first, we were happy."
"Then the abuse started," he said when Tim seemed stuck.
He nodded. "It was an argument here and there, and I knew that was normal. Every couple has arguments, and we had had plenty before we moved in together. So it wasn't a big deal. Then one day during an argument he threw a vase at me, of course I ducked in time. He apologized afterwards and said he'd never do it again, actually did it when I was cleaning up the mess and cut myself on some glass. I assured him everything was fine, but..." He shrugged and Gibbs recalled what he had said to Ms. Williams.
"But deep down you knew it wasn't fine and that it would happen again."
"We were fine for maybe two to three weeks before we argued again. And this time, instead of throwing something..."
"He hit you," he finished and watched sadly as Tim nodded. Again he felt that rage inside him, but held it back. "Why didn't you leave?" he asked instead. He never understood how someone could stay in an abusive relationship. The first time you were hit, you get out and never talk to them again. Even threaten to press charges if you have to. One hit was all it should take.
"I was in love with him," Tim said, breaking through his thoughts. "I loved him, and he loved me. And, it's easy to forget the bad when there's good that follows. He'd shower me with attention and apologies and love."
Gibbs felt his teeth grind as he thought about that. Yeah the bastard showered him with "love" and attention, but at the cost of a slap or punch or god knows what else.
He couldn't hear anymore of that, so asked, "When did you finally leave?"
"...When he tried to rape me."
His body tensed at those words and almost prayed Tim would let the guy's name slip so he could hunt him down and kill him with his own hands. The thought of anyone trying to violate Tim made him sick and he wanted to punch something. Preferably the bastard who tried to rape Tim.
"I had actually planned to end it that day. Got as far as, "I can't do this anymore," before he yelled and accused me of cheating with someone. Someone I found out later he got into a fight with and put in the hospital. What he didn't know was that my dad had planned to come visit, as a backup because he had finally talked some sense into me. I was in the middle of packing when he came home. When he asked what I was doing, I figured I'd get it over with even though dad wasn't there. He yelled at me, accusing me of being a slut." Gibbs noticed the shake in his voice and reached out silently to grab the beer from his hands before he dropped it. He pulled Tim closer, to stand between his legs and it seemed to help him know that he wasn't alone. "I couldn't even get a word in before he decided to throw me down and start attacking me.
"I tried to fight," he said in a voice that begged Gibbs to believe him. "I did. But I was already nursing a few bruised ribs and I was heavier than I am now." He looked at Gibbs then. "In high school and the beginning of college, I used to be slim and fit, but he would always slip in a comment here or there about how he wished I had a little more curves, that he loved having something to hold onto when we cuddled. So I put on a little weight, to please him, but he still wanted more."
"So you put more on," he said encouragingly, softly rubbing his hands up and down Tim's arms. It pained him to hear that Tim wanted to please his bastard of a lover enough that he would risk his health to go from slim and fit to overweight. And he had a pretty good idea that it meant he ate whatever he wanted and stopped exercising; the fastest way. That was not only bad for his health, but it cut down on recovering time. He had a pretty good idea that if he had stayed himself, a bruised rib would have healed faster than it did at his then weight.
"Yeah," he whispered with a nod. "After he stopped attacking me, I thought that he would apologize and clean me up, the very least go away or back out and leave me alone to take care of myself. But he didn't. He started to... He started to..."
Gibbs rubbed his arms more and pulled him closer. "It's alright Tim."
"He was about to...rape me...when my dad came in. Turned out he didn't lock the door when he came home, so focused on punishing me for something I didn't do." He took a deep breath before continuing. "Dad heard his yelling and my cries and didn't even hesitate to come in. Dad took him out with one punch before tying him up and taking care of me. He called a family friend that was a detective to help us and take care of my boyfriend. He and I didn't want it going public. I didn't want anyone finding out, especially my mother and sister. I know mom suspected the abuse, but dad and I definitely didn't want her to find out about attempted rape.
"Thankfully the guy he accused me of sleeping with and put in the hospital was so rich and popular because of his dad that the case focused on that more than what he did to me. Mom just kept thanking that I didn't get hurt when it hit the news, that though she felt sorry for the hospitalized boy, she was just happy it wasn't me. Felt kind of bad that we had to keep lying about what I went through. But it worked for the best. To this day she doesn't know, just my dad and Danny."
"Detective Danny Sportelli. He's actually my godfather. He's great, although his protectiveness had skyrocketed that day." He chuckled and Gibbs found himself smiling a bit.
"I worked to get my life back with their help. It was slow going, but I got my life back." He could tell Tim was spent and let the younger man lean down and lower his head to his shoulder. Gibbs wrapped his arms around Tim and rubbed his back, trying to soothe him. "I had help to see what I needed to do, and I had help afterwards. But Alexandra...she had no one to stand by her and encourage her to take that first step of leaving. Of understanding that she is good enough, that she does deserve better than what Michael was giving her. No family, coworkers didn't know anything about her personal life, and friends were a big no no. Hopefully though, I can help her."
Tim pulled back at that so that Gibbs could see him. "I know you have a rule about once the case is done, it's done, but I can't leave Alexandra alone. I offered my help and I plan to help her get her life back."
Gibbs stared at the young man between his legs and had the strongest urge to kiss him. That bottom pouty lip was temptation to the straightest of men, but Gibbs wasn't completely straight. He occasionally took a male lover when the urge came and the urge was strong then. Tim was so strong to get his life back after being in hell for who knew how long. He honestly didn't want to know how long Tim stayed in that relationship. He was just so strong.
"You did good Tim."
"Thanks Boss," he smiled and it lit his face. Suddenly he looked down and blushed when he realized his position. He pulled back with a little chuckle. "Sorry. I'm practically in your lap."
"I don't mind," he said and watched Tim snap his head in his direction to stare at him wide-eyed.
His hands slowly ran down until they rested on his hips, giving a squeeze. He honestly didn't mind his weight now, or if he continued to lose weight so he was slim and fit again, he would enjoy his body either way. He's been attracted to Tim for a while now, there was just something about him.
He was a fighter. Without even knowing about his past, he knew Tim was a fighter. He had to be to be a green rookie and still be able to keep up with his team, especially him. Even most trained agents couldn't be in his presence for too long and not only did Tim stick around and keep coming back, but he always did things fast and beyond expectations. Hell, he did things you didn't even think of and did things without needing to be told most of the time. And now knowing something from his past...
"I'm not making you, I'm not forcing you. You can say no Tim," he softly said as he stared into those big green eyes. "You can say no and we'll just go back to drinking beers and maybe do some sanding."
Tim stared into those steel blue eyes that has been the sort of anchor to his life since first seeing them. He hadn't told Gibbs what he discussed with Alexandra.
"Does it get better?" she asked.
"In time," he assured as he gently rubbed her arm while her head rested on his shoulder. He knew the team was out, hunting down Michael. "In time it'll get better. It won't go away completely, but yes, it'll get better."
She wiped away some of her tears and asked, "How did it get better for you?"
She didn't need to be coddled about the truth of her recovery, so he answered truthfully. "I had family. My dad and godfather helped a lot. And because my mom and sister didn't know, still doesn't know, they helped with normalcy. But it wasn't just them. I had a therapist and it took almost a year for me to stop jumping or freezing in terror at the slightest touch." He could tell she felt dishearten at the mention of family since she had none. "Don't worry. You'll get through this, you just have to have hope and keep your strength. One day you're just going to remember this as a dark moment in your life, but a moment that you've moved on and strengthened from. And then you'll meet someone, someone wonderful and trustworthy, someone who sees you and believes in you."
He was shocked at the face that flashed through his own mind.
"Someone you're going to love and who loves you back. The right and true way."
"...That was beautiful."
Tim gave a small smile. "Thanks. Hope I can be a writer someday."
Alexandra chuckled. "Well, I'm sure you can do it."
And just like that, they moved out of the interrogation room and up to a conference room, passing the time with talk on anything and everything. It wasn't until Gibbs came up to tell them that Michael was going to jail without bail, that Tim escorted Alexandra back to her apartment.
"What if... What if I don't want to go back to drinking beer and sanding?"
Those blue eyes darkened even as those lips quirked up and he was pulled closer. "Then I'll do this." And closing the gap, Gibbs' lips were pressed against his own and he went weak in the knees. A strong arm held him close while the other rose to cup his cheek. The kiss was soft and sweet, gentle, and Tim just continued to melt.
It had been years since he had a kiss like this. In the seven months of Kenneth's abuse there hadn't been a kiss like Gibbs', not even when he was trying to make up for the abuse. He hadn't dated after that because he was either recovering or trying to become an NCIS agent. Not until Abby and even with Abby it hadn't been like this. Abby was all about passion and lust and whenever Tim tried to keep it light she'd find a way to harden it. If he wanted a peck he usually got the cheek and if his lips went anywhere near her lips then tongue was immediately involved. It was hard when they finally made it to the bedroom because while he tried to be gentle and loving, she wanted fast and hard. The breaking point for them was when she brought out the handcuffs and suggested she be his dom.
No. Not after Kenneth.
When he denied her that, they ended it.
No, Gibbs was the first to kiss him like this since the beginning of his and Kenneth's relationship, and even compared to him it was a thousand times better. It was melting him from the inside out, he was surprised he wasn't a pile of goo already.
"Tim," Gibbs mumbled against his lips, causing Tim to smile.
"Can I have more?" He went completely limp at the question and Gibbs caught him with a chuckle. "You alright?"
"Yes," he whispered, staring at Gibbs. "Yes, everything's great."
And it was.
A/N: This chapter was going to be "Destined", a requested fic. But as you can see it's not. It's because I completely blanked out when I tried to write it. I just couldn't figure out where to start, where to go, or even how to end it. So, for now that fic idea is postponed until I can figure it out or gone if Yum2 decides to give it to someone who can write it. I'm leaving it up to Yum2.
Anyway, this is the last of "Unleashed" and I hope you enjoyed the ride. Yeah, it was a angsty for an ending, but hey, what can you do. Instead of "Destined" coming to me, this did instead.
PLEASE REVIEW! They're appreciated.
And if you didn't know, I have a new poll up on my page so check that out if you want. Thank you everyone who alert, favorite, and reviewed this. I had fun and I hope you did too. :)