“Didn’t you have a wooden Nativity scene over here for the holidays last year?” The silver haired regular asks, Jethro Gibbs. He’s got these blue eyes that notice everything, they seem to see right through you and over the past year and a half you’ve learned not to lie to him. He always knows.
“Oh. My ex has it. He won’t give it back, so I’m saving for a new one.”
“Saving?” He’s a man of few words, but he’s always kind to you.
“Yea, the Nativity set isn’t cheap. They’re all hand carved so none are exactly the same.”
“Who makes them?”
“Willow Tree. My mom has the same set. Gave me my first Wiseman.” You say glancing over at the empty space sadly. You know you’re not going to see it again, Tyler isn’t the kind to let you have anything you really wanted back when he didn’t have what he wanted. You.
“I want his name.”
“Why?” He sighs and you bite your bottom lip. Those blue eyes piercing into your soul.
“Tyler Grisham.” He nods, tucks a few dollars into the tip jar and makes his way out of the coffee shop.
You don’t see him for a few days and you’re a little worried about him, not that you don’t think that Jethro can handle himself. He moves with an air of confidence and with the military haircut you know he was trained as something.
One week later he comes into the coffee shop again. He’s carrying a box that he places on the counter as you pour his coffee into one of your to-go cups.
“Jethro.” You breathe with a small smile on your face. “You’re alright.”
“Why wouldn’t I be?” He sounds surprised.
“I told you my jerk of an ex’s name. You seemed like you were going to go pay him a visit. Unfortunately I know now what kind of man he is.”
“Didn’t think I could handle myself?” He asks with a small smirk.
“No, I do. I just, okay I was a little worried.” You admit softly. “What’s this?” You ask changing the subject and tapping the top of the box gently.
“For you.” He admits softly handing over the money he owes.
“For me?” You’re surprised. You wouldn’t have expected him to ever bring you anything. He nods and you open the box.
“How?” You breathe, inside the box is the wiseman your mom gave you along with the rest of the set, carved and painted. They’re not quite the same but you can tell a lot of time put into these.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t get all the pieces back. He lit them on fire.”
“You didn’t have to do this.” You can tell that they’re handmade. You’re almost positive that they were made, not by the people at Willow Tree but instead by him.
“Thank you.” You give his hand a squeeze and pass him back his money.
“No. That was a gift.” He tells you softly, putting his money back on the counter. You bring his cup around to him and before he can take it you give him a tight hug.
“Thank you Jethro.”
“Gibbs. Call me Gibbs.”
“My bad.” He chuckles and you give him his coffee. “Seriously. Thank you. For trying to get the whole set back, for rescuing this guy and for making me these ones.”
“Yup.” You can tell that he’s embarrassed and you don’t want to push it. You give him a quick kiss on the cheek then go back to the other side of the counter. He smiles softly then glances back at you before leaving.
Tony: You should cut yourself some slack, EJ. What’s the saying? That which does not kills us makes us stronger. I think Nietzsche said that. The thing to remember about Friedrich Nietzsche, of course, is that he died in an insane asylum. That’s probably not the best way to start a pep-talk, huh?
Is it okay with you if you do one where McGee tells the reader he broke up with Delilah just to be with them?
You most certainly did not hate Timothy McGee. You couldn’t bring yourself to as you watched him and Delilah laugh and embrace.
You smiled and held back tears until you got home. You were really happy for them. He was so loyal to her, and she was so loyal to him.
But, you paused as you lowered your purse, were you actually happy?
“I have no future here.” You tell Gibbs, hand crashing onto the elevator button. “There’s nothing waiting for me here.”
But no one is around to hear.
Gibbs observes you, paternal gaze piercing your own until you look away in shame.
“It most very certainly is.”
You cannot hold back tears any longer. “Gibbs, I love him. I love McGee.”
“I know, (Y/N).”
“A-and to see another girl so happy with him… I mean, Delilah is nice… but I… I just…” you hiccup and run a hand in your hair.
“The two of them being so happy, and you’re alone in the equation.”
You freeze, except for your sniffling and blushing.
“Go home. Pack.” You look up as Gibbs says this. “I’ll have the director transfer you to another branch.”
You walk around the airport, headed to flight A14. New Orleans awaits! You’ve watched Princess and the Frog with your niece about thirty times to prepare yourself. Disney movies serve as a great distraction from heartbreaks.
Your phone rings as you enter the gates. “Hello?”
Your heart stops and hardens, and your eyes manage to only give way to one tear. “Agent McGee.”
“Gibbs only just now told me you were being transferred. Why didn’t you tell me-”
“I want you to be happy.” Your words pour out.
“I want you and Delilah to be happy. You’re so… you… I…” you inhale a raspy gasp and shake your head, clearing your mind. “Don’t talk to me, McGee. You’re breaking my heart.”
“And you’re breaking mine.”
“Stop!” You whisper into the phone, biting your lip. “Stop, stop, stop, don’t.”
McGee sighs from his side. “Look, don’t get on the plane, we’ll talk this out-”
“There’s nothing to talk about, Special Agent Timothy McGee, and you’ve made that very clear. Goodbye.” Your thumb slams into the ‘End’ button.
You walk among the busy streets. Mardi Gras is a happy time of the year, you tell your neice when your family comes to visit. Your heart has mostly healed, except the occasional night of wondering what has become of Timothy McGee.
Laughing, you point at a man selling sweets and treat your niece, hoisting her into your shoulder. Across the street you see a sight that freezes you.
You take her off your shoulders and hold her on your hip, hurting the other way from a heartbreak.
No. No. No, echoes in each step you take.
“Auntie, he’s yelling for you!” Your niece chides, clutching to your coat.
“Shh, no, he’s an old friend.”
“Why are you hiding?”
You rush into a bakery shop. “It’s complicated, hon.” Your heart is pounding, not only from running.
McGee ducks in, scanning for you. His green eyes freeze you.
He approaches you, walking now. “Hey.”
“What are you doing here?” You swallow, lowering your voice and knowing better then to let your small niece wander off. “Are you on your honeymoon?”
“Oh, shut up, McGee.” You say, attempted snarl becoming a sob. “Your wife won’t want you out long-”
“There won’t be a honeymoon.” He interrupts, reaching for you but stopping. “And I don’t have a wife.”
You stare at him.
“Auntie,” the little one interrupts, “You said the ’S’ word.”
“Sorry, love.” You kiss her cheek and set her down, making sure to hold her hand. “What happened?”
“I broke up with her.”
“Broke up. With. Delilah.”
You swallow hard, letting the child hug your leg. “Why?”
“Why do you think?” He steps closer to you. You blink for a mere moment. New Orleans is crowded a musty, and brings a smell of parades. McGee brings a smell of solitude and books and fresh air and green parks and your home.
“W… why?” You say, lips suddenly dry and face suddenly hot.
“I loved someone else.” He says, taking a cheek of yours in one long hand. “She moved to New Orleans.”
“Isn’t that auntie (y/n)?” The girl asks, reminding you you have to take her home.
“Yes.” You say, unsure who the answer is directed to.
You turn away from the hotel and walk to the agent standing on the sidewalk, who smiles and takes your shoulders.
McGee only smiles and looks at you, then leans down closer to you, and he not only smells like the home you remember, as you hug his neck and closes the gap between your lips. He tastes like home, too.