Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I own none of the NCIS characters.

Gibbs had a dilemma. A big one. He'd only been with James a month and he'd had been asked –told- by the Director to go to a conference in North Carolina with DiNozzo. As usual with this job, he'd just been told he was flying out the next morning at 6. It was a three day conference, but he would be gone 4, due to transportation issues. He had no idea what to do with James.

At first he thought he would take him with him, and although he knew James wouldn't object, he didn't want to take him out of school. And then he had to find someone (or some activity) to watch James whilst he was there, which was even less unappealing. Of course, he then had to look closer to home. He'd ruled out Palmer straight away – there was just… no way. He wasn't even going to consider it. Ziva wasn't an option either – he had a few 'conservations' with James about it. He just didn't quite 'get' Ziva yet. He'd also dismissed him staying with Abby; he didn't really want James spending his evenings bowling with the Nun's.

That left him with Ducky and McGee. Ducky, though well meaning, could ask some awkward questions. And Gibbs didn't really want James to feel scrutinized the whole time he was there – even know he knew James got on with Ducky. In addition, he had his mother to look after, which could be inconvenient. So McGee it was.

After assessing the situation some more, as James and McGee got on really well, he became convinced that he had come to the right conclusion. He wasn't entirely sure about McGee's ability to deal with James and his attitude, but he had to give the Probie the benefit of the doubt. Besides, he dealt with criminals for a living – how hard could James be?

The squad room was filled with the gentle (and in Tony's case, violent) tapping of keyboards. They were typing up the report of their latest case.

'This report is a piece of pastry.' Ziva announced to the room.

'Cake, Ziva.' DiNozzo corrected. 'Piece of cake.' McGee chuckled.

'Something funny McCakey?' DiNozzzo whipped around to ask.

Gibbs, seeing an unstoppable bout of DiNozzo jokes coming on, took action. 'DiNozzo, check in with Abby. See how she's doing rounding up the evidence. Ziva, go see Ducky, see if he needs any help.'

DiNozzo flung himself at the elevator, but Ziva stopped. 'But Ducky has Palmer with him today Gibbs. I shall just ring him instead, yes?' One look at Gibbs had her scrambling to catch DiNozzo's lift downstairs.

'McGee, I got a favour to ask you.'

McGee looked up, puzzled. Gibbs, a favour? 'Yeah boss?'

'What you doing the next four days? Starting tonight?'

'Urm,' McGee began, wondering where this was going. 'Working, then if we don't catch a case, just staying around here for the weekend. Why?'

Gibbs paused; pleased his idea was going to plan. 'Could you look after James for a few days? DiNozzo and I have to go to a conference.'

'Oh!' McGee exhaled; looking after his bosses' kid could be a risky move. But he got on well with James, and if he could say so himself, he was secretly pleased Gibbs had asked him and not Ducky. In addition, James could try out his new gaming key board – he'd been eager to when he told James about it at their last gathering. Besides, how hard could watching James be?

'Sure thing boss. How's it going to work?'

Gibbs had let the team out early tonight – unless anyone took any detours, they should have been home by 7. He himself had stayed on a little longer, as he was planning on picking James up at 7.15. He worries for a bit at the painful sensation of, for however brief a time, leaving his child. After having a quick chat with Jenny to finalize the next day's plans, he headed out.

James was in a very good mood, Nicki (known to the boys as the 'conditioning' coach) hadn't been there, and the whole session had been run by Simon. James had just finished telling Gibbs that he'd managed handstand walking for half the floor tonight, Gibbs wasn't entirely sure how that looked, but he guessed he couldn't do it.

'I have to go away tomorrow. For work.'

'Oh.' James' face fell for a fraction of a second.

'I've arranged for you to stay with McGee. I hope that's ok.'

James face lit up at that. 'Yeah! Do you think I could try out his new gaming keyboard?'

Gibbs didn't let his relief show, but he was glad he'd averted an attitude crisis.

'I'm sure you could.' Gibbs grinned.

Gibbs was satisfied that he'd left McGee with everything he needed to look after James for a while. He'd seen McGee look a little flustered by all the information he'd given him, but McGee knew he'd have to figure out anything he didn't understand by himself – he'd been working with Gibbs long enough to know that. Gibbs decided to order Chinese for diner, he was having take-outs a lot less now James had to be careful with his diet due to the vast hours of gym he was doing.

Around 9.30, Gibbs got a text from McGee telling him James had been in bed for half an hour. Something seemed a bit off, so he gave him a ring to double check everything alright.


'What's up?'

'Nothing. I was just letting you know what's going on.'

'You sure?'


'Spit it out McGee.'

'Is it normal for to still be awake? He's been there a while and he's just switched the light back on.'

'Don't worry about it McGee. Yeah, that's normal. Just leave him to it.'

'Um, sure thing, Boss. Night.'

'Goodnight Tim.'

Author's Note: I'm trying to finish a few ongoing stories at the moment, but I seem unable to come up with the ideas to finish them. I'm guessing this is writer's block? So, anyway, here's what I have so far. Feel free to review, and/or PM me with ideas about what could happen!