ROMANCE ISN'T DEAD
Tim and Jimmy have been living together for several months, but Tim decides he wants more.
An established relationship story.
Written: March 2012. Word count: 1,715.
The last few months of living with Jimmy had been the best, the happiest in Tim's life. He felt his life had finally and totally come together. He felt whole; he felt completed. He felt as if he finally understood what life and love were about. Even having to change the bed three times in one day and clean up the bedroom and bathroom after Jimmy had been hit with a violent stomach bug hadn't dampened his enthusiasm for living with Jimmy, or his love for him.
They were right together; he wouldn't use the term 'perfect' as he wasn't so blinded by love to believe such a thing existed. He just knew he had found his other half and he didn't want to ever let him go. Living with Jimmy was wonderful, but now he realized he wanted more.
"Boss." Tim flicked the lock on the head door and moved purposefully to stand next to Gibbs, but facing away from him.
Gibbs glanced at McGee, somewhat puzzled not only by McGee tracking him down to the head, but by him locking the door. "McGee?"
"What do you think about gay marriage?"
Gibbs blinked and looked at the back of McGee's head. "You asking me to marry you, Tim?" he drawled.
McGee spun around and stared eyes wide, mouth open, and an aghast look on his face. "No, boss. Of course I'm not," he stammered. "Not that I think you're . . . Well, you're . . . But . . . But . . . But . . ." His cheeks were pink and sweat stood on his brow.
Gibbs forced himself no to laugh, zipped himself up and went to wash his hands. "Now, Tim," he said, when McGee followed him. "Shall we start from the beginning?"
"I want to marry Jimmy."
Gibbs shrugged. "Then marry him. Don't need my permission. I'm not his father."
"I know that, boss. But I just wanted to make sure you'd be okay with the idea. I know you didn't mind us moving in together, but I wondered if marriage was . . ."
"Was?" Gibbs dried his hands.
"Too much for you."
Gibbs nodded. "Yeah, Tim. It sure was. Three times too much." He smiled at the look on McGee's face and took pity on him. He put his hand on McGee's shoulder. "Tim, if you want to ask Palmer to marry you, ask him to marry you. Just -"
Gibbs sighed and put his other hand on McGee's other shoulder. "Just make certain it's what you really want, Tim. That you're doing it for the right reasons. Okay?"
They stood in silence for a moment or two, just looking at one another. Gibbs let the barriers he always erected when he walked into the building fall from his eyes for a moment and let McGee see things he couldn't say. "Okay?" he said again more quietly.
McGee nodded. "Okay, boss," he said, his voice a little shaky. "Thank you, Gibbs."
Gibbs squeezed his shoulder with one hand, patted his cheek with the other before turning and heading to the door. He unlocked it, opened it and came face to face with Ducky. "Hey, Duck," he said brightly.
Ducky looked at him, then looked over his shoulder to where McGee still stood. "Jethro? Timothy?" his voice went up an octave. "Is there something I should know, Jethro?" Although he spoke Gibbs's name, his gaze was still on McGee.
"Um, hello, Ducky," McGee said, pushing past the other two men. "I have to go." And he hurried off towards the stairs.
Ducky took a half step back and looked up at Gibbs. "Jethro?" he said, drawing the name out as he crossed his arms and stared up into Gibbs's eyes. "What is going on?"
Gibbs smiled and put his hand around Ducky's shoulders. "Tell you later, Duck," he said. "But it's nothing to worry about. Trust me." And with that he headed off in the opposite direction to McGee. He didn't need to turn around to know that Ducky was still watching him.
TWO DAYS LATER
Tim had taken the afternoon off work, without letting Jimmy why, to prepare things for Jimmy's return. He'd thought hard about how he was going to propose, what he was going to say, what the setting would be. He had thought about going out to a nice restaurant, having dinner and proposing, but even though Jimmy and he openly lived together and didn't hide their relationship, they were still private people. Thus he had decided on a romantic dinner at home, followed maybe by their favorite movie and then just before they went to bed, he'd propose.
He set the dining table up in the corner nook; put a white linen cloth on it, added place mats, silver wear, side plates, condiments and then a small glass vase with three white rose buds in it. He had two candles in sticks in the kitchen, but hadn't decided if that would be taking romance too far, if that would make it clichéd - something he didn't want it to be. He opened a bottle of their favorite wine and stood it on the sideboard, chose a playlist from the iPod and started it, before hurrying into the kitchen to prepare dinner.
Three quarters of an hour later he put the starters on the table, checked the chicken and potatoes were cooking well in the oven and hurried into the bedroom to change into a fresh shirt and casual trousers. Just as he was tucking his shirt into his trousers he heard the front door open. He quickly checked he had the box in his pocket, glanced in the mirror, licked his lips, swallowed hard and hurried back out into the living room.
"Hey, Tim!" he heard Jimmy call. "I'm home."
He hurried across the room and out into the hallway, catching Jimmy in an embrace and kissing him. "Hey, Jimmy," he said after a fairly short kiss. "Look will you do something for me without asking why?"
Jimmy in the process of taking off his coat and putting his bag on the floor, looked at him. "Of course I will, Tim. I'll do anything for you." He smiled, the smile Tim knew he reserved solely for him; at the sight of it Tim found himself falling in love all over again.
He tool Jimmy's arm. "Go and have a shower and change into something casual but not too casual, then meet me in the sitting room. Will you do that, Jimmy?"
Jimmy's smile broadened. "Of course I will, Tim." And he kissed Tim on the cheek before heading off to the bathroom. Tim marveled, not for the first time, at the open trust Jimmy seemed to have in him. How many people would have just acquiesced without at least attempting to find out why?
Twenty minutes later, hair still slightly damp from the shower and polishing his glasses on his sleeve Jimmy, dressed in similar clothing to Tim, came into the living room. Tim was waiting for him with a glass of wine in each hand. He handed one to Jimmy and when Jimmy took it, kissed his cheek before raising his glass. "To you, Jimmy," he said.
Jimmy shook his head and smiled. "No, Tim," he said firmly. "To us."
Tim smiled and clinked his glass against Jimmy's. "To us," he repeated, taking a sip of the fine wine.
Jimmy also drank and then looked around the room. His gaze came to rest on the table where two candlesticks with flickering candles in them now stood. "Tim?" Tim opened his mouth, but Jimmy beat him to it. "Or is that something else I'm not meant to ask about?" His voice was heavy with affection and a touch of humor as he gazed at Tim. His look told Tim that he was completely unconcerned by the fact that Tim was hiding something from him, albeit in plain sight.
Tim swallowed hard. "Would you mind, Jimmy?"
Jimmy beamed. "Of course not, Tim. I trust you. I love you." And he squeezed Tim's hand.
Tim linked his fingers with Jimmy's and led him to the table, even going so far as to pull out Jimmy's chair for him. At the gesture Jimmy's eyebrows did creep up his forehead and Tim found himself blushing. But Jimmy's hand on his arm and the look on his face reassured him and told him that Jimmy didn't mind in the least.
It was over the chocolate mousse, which they ate while holding hands, that Tim decided to make a small change to his plans. He knew he couldn't just sit down on the couch with Jimmy and watch the movie he'd picked out. He'd never concentrate. The idea of proposing after an hour or so of sitting on the couch, holding hands and kissing from time to time had seen the perfect romantic ending to the romantic evening. But now he thought it wouldn't be right.
The mood was right now. And he wanted to propose now. He let the spoon fall into his bowl, wiped his mouth with his napkin, put his hand into his pocket to check the box was still there before bringing Jimmy's hand to his mouth and kissing it.
"Jimmy," he said.
"I have something I want to ask you."
Jimmy smiled at him. "Well?"
Suddenly Tim was hit with a moment of uncertainty. Was it a foolish thing to do? Should he look to change what already worked? Would Jimmy actually want to marry him? Should he wait longer? Was he sure he was doing it for the right reasons?
One look at Jimmy's face, into the eyes that shone with the love Jimmy had for him, brushed all the uncertainties away.
He pulled the box from his pocket and opened it. Nestling on the black satin were two simple, plain gold bands. "Jimmy," he said, pushing the box towards Jimmy. "Will you marry me?"
Jimmy's smiled increased and Tim saw a hint of a tear glisten in his eyes as Jimmy leaned across the table and kissed Tim hard on the mouth. "Yes," he said, several moments later, "Yes, Timothy, I will marry be honored to marry you.
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