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Feeding the Heart

by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 727
Rating: TEEN
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs
Category(ies): Character Study, Holiday
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: When McGee needs a favor, Gibbs finds himself in unexpected circumstances.

Author Notes: Day 10 of The 12 Days of Gibbsmas.

Chapters: 1

Feeding the Heart

December 25, 2004 1100

“Boss, could you do us a favor?” McGee asked tentatively. He’d only been at NCIS a short while and Gibbs intimidated him so much. He stammered even now.

“What do you need, McGee?” Gibbs asked, sighing. They’d been working on the case of a missing Petty Officer for the last week, putting in extra hours, a couple of all-nighters. But she was safe with her family now and would have no lasting damage. He should have been relieved but instead he was just tired.

“Um…my car battery is dead and there’ll be trouble getting a cab today.”

“Yeah?” Gibbs snapped.

“And Kate and Tony already left and I can’t get them on their cell phones…”

“Spit it out, McGee!”

“Could you drop me off somewhere? I can get a ride home with Kate.”

Now this was interesting. McGee and Kate spending Christmas together. They couldn’t possibly be dating. There was just no way!

“Come on,” Gibbs said gruffly, working on the possibilities. Kate didn’t have any close family locally, though there was a cousin somewhere. McGee had a high school or college-aged sister but his family was in New York. He considered all of the options as they walked to his car.

“Where am I taking you, McGee?”

The other man flushed darkly. “Um..The…um….Safe Haven Shelter.”

“The what?” Gibbs asked, but he knew.

“Safe Haven in Arlington. It’s a shelter…”

“For battered women, I know. I didn’t know you knew about it though, McGee.”

The younger agent shifted in his seat. “Kate has been going there for a while and she invited me. After we’re done, we’re going to find a place that might be open and get some Chinese.”

Gibbs gave McGee a slight nod. “I know just the place. You guys come over to my house afterward. I’ll help serve with you.”

He knew exactly how much he’d shocked McGee when the young man stammered out an “okay” and nodded.

Gibbs pulled up to the shelter, a converted office building, and followed McGee in. “Jethro!” someone called as soon as they were inside and he looked over to see Phil Grimshaw, his neighbor, dressed as Santa. Phil and his wife Melanie ran the shelter and had been his neighbors since he and Shannon had bought their house in the mid eighties.

Gibbs looked around, making sure there weren’t any children nearby before pulling his friend into a hug. “Phil. Merry Christmas!”

“Didn’t think you celebrated Christmas any more. Not since…” Jethro gave Phil a silencing motion and the man trailed off. Gibbs gave him a look that implored his silence and Phil nodded subtly.

“Well, I’m helping out this year. Last year I spent digging out a church. Beats sitting at home alone.”

“You do that too much, Jethro,” Melanie said, coming over to give him a big hug. “I’m so surprised to see you here. I know today is hard on you. You doing okay?”

He nodded, thankful for her subtlety. “Yeah, doing okay.” Belatedly remembering McGee, he introduced them to his neighbors. “Kate Todd is one of my agents,” he explained and they nodded.

“She’s serving now. Timothy, come with me and I’ll get you an apron and some gloves. Melanie turned to Jethro. “I take it they don’t know?” she asked in an undertone, masking her words with another embrace.

“No, and I don’t want them to,” he replied just as softly. She gave him an extra tight squeeze before stepping back.

“We don’t really need more servers, Jethro. Would you mind reading some stories to the children? We have a bunch of boys who could use the male influence.” She made her suggestion tentatively, as if she was afraid he’d refuse.

“Anything for you, Mel.”

Two hours later they found him on the ground making Lego and Lincoln Log structures with the kids, a bright smile on his face. He looked up as Kate and Tim gasped and gave them one of his rare carefree grins.

“Boys, let’s see if Katie and Tim will play with us! Katie, Tim, whatd’ya say?”

As his two newest agents sank into chairs, Gibbs caught each of their gazes in turn. “Merry Christmas, guys.”

Chapters: 1

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