Timothy McGee has always been the butt of every joke. As far back as he could remember. The kids had teased him in junior and middle school, and by high school even some of the teachers were getting in on the act.
Tim was smart. Tim could even do sports. But mostly Tim was smart, and that put him in the category of geek, regardless of the fact that he was on the wrestling team, or that he wore all the coolest clothes he could afford to buy... well Tim just wasn't in the cool crowd, and that was that.
It hadn't been so bad when he went to MIT. Everyone else there was a geek too, and he didn't have to spend all his money on cool clothes, because no one really wore anything cool, so he was able to save up to buy a brand new computer. He'd loved being at MIT.
Of course then there was the Navy. And Tim really did like working with the Navy, because even if they teased him, they respected him too, and that was okay.
NCIS... now that was a whole other kettle of fish. Tim loved puzzles, and every day at NCIS was a puzzle. Even when they weren't working an active case, there were puzzles to be solved.
Like exactly who was the mysterious red head they kept seeing with Gibbs... could it be 'ex-wife' number four, as DiNozzo kept calling her, because 'even if they aren't married yet, if they ever were, it'd never last'. Tim doesn't know exactly what Tony has against her, but he doesn't seem to like her. Or just who was Kate's new boyfriend. Or what was Abby's new tat, because she always seemed to be getting new ones and it was had to keep up.
But even as much as Tim loved the puzzles, it seemed he'd reverted to past president, because once again he seemed to be the butt of every joke.
Gibbs had made him a member of his team, but most days, he didn't really feel it. He tried. He really, really tried. But Tony was always pulling pranks, and Kate was no better, even if she wasn't pulling them, she certainly never warned him. Gibbs only ever really said good job when he did something with computers, or that one time he'd told the secretary of state of 'stick it'. Not that he cared to repeat that. And he knew Gibbs wasn't a very... forward... guy when it came to stuff like that, but Tim was the kind of guy that needed to hear he'd done good... maybe being on Gibbs team wasn't the right thing for him but he refused to quit, if Tim was ever going to be accused of anything, it wouldn't be of being a quitter.
Tim wasn't expecting the evening call out. 2000 hours... his shift had ended two hours before. And he'd left as soon as it was over, because it was his birthday, and he had plans that involved dinner and a movie, and the cake his mom had sent him, and yes he was alone, but still, couldn't he have his birthday in peace? It wasn't like any of them had remembered.
Only Gibbs was in the office when he arrived.
"Kate and Tony aren't here yet, they're going to meet us there." Gibbs barks. And Tim expects that they'll be taking the van, but they end up in Gibbs car. Tim is almost shocked by the fact that Gibbs sticks to the speed limits.
Gibbs doesn't give him the opportunity to ask questions though, and as soon as they stop, he's pushed towards the back entrance of a bar he doesn't recognize, but then he wouldn't, he's not the kind of guy who goes to bars or clubs a lot.
He's expecting Gibbs to start explaining what's going on any minute then, but when he doesn't and Tim considers asking he doesn't get to, because he nearly falls on his ass when lights come on, and a shout of 'surprise' goes up.
Tim looks back at Gibbs, but the older man is giving nothing away on his face.
"Happy Birthday McGee!" Abby grins, giving him a big kiss, and Tim is sure everyone knows that she's using tongue, but he's too busy trying to breath once she lets him go that he doesn't have time to be embarrassed.
He's pushed around from person to person, Kate, Tony, Ducky and even Gerald is there. Kate gives him a kiss on the cheek, and he knows damn well he's blushing afterwards. Tony slaps his back, and gives him an almost hug, and teases him about Kate kissing him.
Tim doesn't think he's ever had a party thrown for him before, not since he was eight, and told his parents he didn't want one. The thought that these people did this for him... well if Tim didn't think Gibbs was watching he'd probably cry, because it gives him a burst of pride so much bigger than anything has before, he thinks he's going to overflow.
He dances with Abby, and Kate, and digs into his presents with glee. He'd been expecting a few gag gifts, especially from Tony, but there were none.
Tony gave him a beautifully painted NCIS crest.. Tim isn't sure, because the signature is written in dark ink, and half hidden in the paint, but he thinks Tony may have painted it himself.
Kate had bought him a shirt. It wasn't as flashy as he'd normally wear, but he promised to wear it to work the next day.
Abby though she'd teased him she'd bought him a voucher for her favorite tattoo parlor had actually gotten him a very cool computer program he'd been after for months.
Ducky and Gerald had gotten him tickets for the local concert hall, they were seasonal so he could use them for any shows he wanted to see.
He doesn't want to look at Gibbs when he opens his present, but it seems rude not to, especially when he finds out what's inside. It's defiantly hand made, a picture frame very intricately designed, and carefully stained in dark mahogany. Gibbs tells him it'll fit Tony's painting. And if Tim didn't already think so he'd be sure now, Tony painted it himself. But he is left wondering how Gibbs knew what Tony was giving him, and what size it was.
McGee is having so much fun, he forgets about the time altogether, until they all start to realize that it's after midnight and they are working the next day.
"Take tomorrow of McGee." Gibbs orders him gruffly, and Tim thinks maybe despite himself Gibbs actually likes him.
"Hey can I have the day of too?" Tony asks cheekily.
"No. You can come in and work a double shift." Gibbs said, with a smirk.
"Awww boss..." and Tim knows full well Tony won't have to work a double shift, well unless a case comes in that can't wait, but Tony does such a good job of whining that he almost thinks Gibbs should make him work the double shift.
Gibbs brought him, and so he offers him a ride home too. Tim thinks nothing off it when Tony seems to be coming along as well, but he recognizes the street names well enough to know that Tony's apartment is closer, and yet Gibbs goes straight to his place.
"Night Probbie!" Tony calls gleefully as Tim gets out of the car, and Tim thinks he sees Gibbs smack the back of Tony's head but he's not sure.
He gets all the way inside before he realizes he left his jacket in Gibbs car, and he hasn't heard it pull away yet, so he thinks he has time to grab it.
He's half way out the door before he realizes that the reason the car hasn't moved yet is that Tony and Gibbs are making out in the front seat. Tim thinks maybe it's a new thing, but the way they look at each other when they pull back tells him it isn't.
Gibbs eyes find Tim's though, and he'd deathly afraid for a moment that he'd about to lose his job if not his life, but Gibbs just smiles at him, and Tim nods, message received and understood, Tim won't tell anyone, and the jacket can wait.
Timothy McGee had always been the butt of every joke, and hell maybe he still was, but maybe it wasn't so bad, because he had a job he loved, friends who liked him, and Gibbs trusted him not to say anything about his secrets. If only he could convince Abby to let him see *all* her tattoo's he figured life would be pretty close to perfect.