AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRINGS: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Timothy McGee. Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard - past and unrequited - merely mentioned.
PROMPT: Why me?
WORD COUNT: 1,666
SUMMARY: Gibbs takes Tim to bed.
WARNINGS: Major character death mentioned.
NOTES: For slash4femme
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
"But why me, boss?" Tim asked. He found himself automatically falling back on the term he hadn't called Gibbs since Gibbs had retired some six year earlier. At that time Tim had become the senior special agent as three years before Gibbs's retirement, Tony had been offered, and had accepted, his own team in San Diego. Now, at the age of sixty-three, Gibbs still looked as attractive as the day Tim had met him.
Gibbs had his back to him and was dressing, pulling on his clothes at such a speed that Tim half expected them to rip. Even now, he still couldn't believe what had happened, had happened.
An hour earlier Gibbs had turned up at his door. With no explanation for his presence and without waiting for Tim to invite him in, he had stridden into Tim's apartment, slammed the door, pulled Tim into his arms and kissed him.
Less than five minutes later, with Tim unable to think let alone speak, they were on Tim's bed, naked, hands and mouths all but assaulting one another's bodies as they sought completion.
Shrugging into his overcoat, Gibbs strode towards the door. "You were here, McGee," he said, not even pausing as he left the room.
Seconds later Tim heard the front door slam.
He barely managed the short distance to the bathroom before he was violently sick. Seconds after he thought he'd thrown up everything he had ever eaten, he was hit by the kinds of cramps that had him scrambling to his feet and sinking down onto the toilet. He spent the rest of the night alternating between bouts of diarrhea and sickness.
When the new day dawned, he crawled back to his bed, made brief call to tell Dwayne he wouldn't be in that day, and pulled the covers around his body that was both hot and cold. Finally, teeth chattering and sweat pouring from his forehead he fell into a dreamless sleep.
Gibbs pushed the sander so hard over one of the struts of his boat it cracked it. "Fuck it!" he muttered, slamming the sander down and grabbing the bottle of bourbon. What had he done? What the hell had he done?
He shook his head. What he'd done wasn't the problem. It was what he'd said. How could he have said that? In his time he'd done a lot of things he wasn't proud of, he'd proved time and time again he was the bastard he'd always said he was. But this? He wasn't sure he'd ever said anything so cruel, so bastardly, in his entire life.
But what else could he have said? "Because I like you, Tim? Because I've always liked you? Always wanted you? Always been attracted to you? Because somewhere down the line I fel-" Shit, he was twenty-three years older than Tim; he was easily old enough to be his father.
And why now?
That was easy. Tim had turned forty a few weeks earlier, and somehow Gibbs had convinced himself that meant he was no longer the fresh-faced innocent boy he had always seemed to be, no matter what his chronological age had been.
He'd abused him. He'd abused their relationship. Sure he wasn't McGee's boss any longer, but he'd always known McGee would do anything for him. He'd always known McGee had liked him; wanted him; trusted him. And what had he done? He'd completely abused that trust. Why couldn't he have just been honest when McGee had asked him his question?
Why had he been dressing to leave anyway?
That one was simple. Because as he'd kissed McGee, as he'd stroked him, as he'd been touched and kissed by McGee, the guilt of what he'd done pushed away all the pleasure.
He was sixty-three. McGee was forty. That was far too big an age gap. In seven years he'd be seventy; he couldn't let McGee waste the rest of his life taking care of him. Waste the best years of his life on an old man. You could have let him make that decision.
"I know what he'd have said," he snarled the words aloud.
"You were here, McGee." The words came back to him, echoing around the basement. 'McGee' not even 'Tim'. God, he'd made it sound as if anyone would have done; made it sound as if McGee was cheap.
And neither fact was true. No one else would have 'done'. It had been Tim he had wanted. It was Tim he still wanted. "Oh, God," he murmured, sinking down onto a stool and putting his head in his hands. "What have I done?"
Tim awoke in late afternoon and lay in the sunlight thinking. Last night he had been too over-whelmed to think properly. In the first place he had been over-whelmed by Gibbs being in his apartment, kissing him, touching him, being in his bed, making love to him. Because despite the speed of it, despite the almost at times brutality of it, that is what they had done. Beneath the brutality had been a gentleness Tim had never dreamed Gibbs possessed. And in the second place he had been weighed down by what Gibbs had said to him before he'd left. "You were here, McGee." Again he heard to the words.
But this time they didn't make him want to throw up. This time they made him want to make Gibbs see he wasn't there just to be used. He wanted to show Gibbs he wasn't going to be used by anyone, not even by the man who had been his boss for many years. Two could play at that game. Smiling to himself, he pushed the covers back and headed for the bathroom.
"Mc - Tim?" Gibbs stared at the man standing outside his front door. "What -" The next second he found himself in his hall, with McGee's mouth on his, McGee's arms around him, his body pulled firmly against McGee's.
Five minutes later they were naked, on his couch; hands and mouths all but assaulting one another's bodies as they sought completion. Apart from the words he'd said in the hall, neither had spoken.
Now he watched as McGee pushed himself to his feet and began to sort his clothes out from Gibbs's own. Gibbs just watched him as he stepped into his shorts and trousers and pulled his tee-shirt and sweater over his head.
Finally when it looked as if McGee was going to walk out without saying anything, Gibbs forced himself to say, "Why?"
McGee began to walk towards the door of the lounge. "You were -" But he stopped and under Gibbs's gaze, his shoulder slumped.
Gibbs was on his feet and moving towards McGee when McGee turned around and stared at him. Gibbs gasped as he saw McGee's eyes glinting with unshed tears. "Tim?" he whispered.
McGee shook his head and dashed the back of his hand over his eyes. "Why?" he asked, his voice gruff. "Why, Jethro? Why me?"
Vaguely aware of the absurdity of the fact that he was still completely naked and McGee fully dressed, Gibbs wet his lips, as his mind began to argue with itself.
The truth or another lie?
As he stood there he remembered what Ducky had told him just before he'd died. He'd told him that life was too short, that you only got one chance to say certain things. One chance to tell the truth. One chance to say something that may bring you happiness.
He had warned Gibbs not to do what he'd done: waited until it was too late. And as he'd reached behind Gibbs's head, gently pulled his head down and brushed his lips over Gibbs's, Gibbs had known what Ducky had always kept hidden from him.
Whether he'd ever have been able to return Ducky's feelings for him, had his oldest friend told him how he'd felt, even to this day Gibbs didn't know. It had been over a year since Ducky had died with him holding his hand, smoothing back his hair and murmuring words Ducky had long since ceased to hear, and he still didn't know. He thought he would have done; he'd always loved Ducky and he still missed him so much. But he still wasn't certain he would have done - for Ducky's sake.
He knew he wasn't an easy man to love. He knew he wasn't an easy man to live with. He knew he wasn't great on commitment. And he couldn’t have taken Ducky into his bed without being completely sure that was it. That he would love Ducky for life and that he'd never treat him badly. He couldn't have done that; he'd loved Ducky that much.
But he'd changed since Ducky's death. The words Ducky had said to him had helped change him - not forgetting the fact he was getting older. And while he knew he still wasn't the easiest man in the world to love, that he still was something of a bastard, he had mellowed. He was ready for the kind of love that only men like Ducky and the young man who stood in front of him could give him. The kind of love they would expect in return.
So even though he still didn't know whether he would have given Ducky what he'd wanted for their entire friendship, he did know that Ducky had spoken the truth when he'd told him 'you get one chance'. As he stood looking into McGee's wide, still slightly damp eyes, he knew what he had to say. It was the only thing he could say; for both of them.
He took a step closer to McGee and held out his hand.
After a second or two McGee took it. "Why, Jethro?" he whispered once more. "Why me?"
Gibbs swallowed hard and made the hardest decision of his life. "Because I love you," he said his tone soft and somewhat gruff. "Because, Tim, I love you."