Tell Her

Chapter One

Tony entered the bullpen and looked from McGee sitting at his desk to Bishop, who offered a shrug to Tony's unspoken question as to why their teammate was intently staring at his computer.

"So McCouple, how is it having the little lady back in DC?" Tony asked.

"It's fine, DiNozzo. Now I'd like to get back to my work," Tim answered clearly not in the mood to talk about it.

"Work? What work? Did we get a case since I left my apartment?"

"It's called a cold case. You know those pesky files that sit around waiting to be solved when we catch a break between cases," Tim remarked.

Tony glowered. "I know what a cold case is McGruff."

"Good, then you can escort Bishop to the basement and help her pick one out," Gibbs smirked as he pass Tony's desk on the way to his own.

"Come on El. Follow Me. There's sure to be a good one for you to sink your teeth into," Tony led the newest agent toward the back elevators. They both watched their boss examine their co-worker and hoped he'd help solve whatever problem was ailing him.

McGee blew out a breath of frustration and went back to concentrating on his computer.

Gibbs eyed him speculatively. Something wasn't right. There was something that made him recall an event from his past.

It was after midnight, but Jack had no doubts about where he would find his son. He'd been giving his infamous silent treatment since he'd come home after jack broke up the fight he'd gotten into with the Winslow boy and his sidekick, Eddie Johnson. Jack couldn't understand why they just could all get along.

Maybe shooting off the rifle had been a bit of overkill, but it was the quickest way to end the scuffle. Leroy sure didn't appreciate it. Whether it was because he didn't get to finish the fight that he him outnumbered or if it was because the pretty red-headed girl might think he needed his daddy to protect Jack wasn't sure.

He'd never been a betting man, but given the odds he'd place his money on the latter. Still it was just a hunch. Regardless he decided he had to have a talk with his son.

He found him in the garage working by a lantern light, hunched over the engine of his dream car. It wasn't much to look at now, but given his son's determination it was bound to be a gem when he finished. He knew his son was aware of his presence, but was stoically ignoring him.

"It's a might late to be tinkering with that machine," he suggested.

"What's it to you? It's not a school night," Leroy answered without pausing in his work.

Jack sighed. Talking to him here wasn't going to get him anywhere. He looked out the garage door and up to the night's sky which was clear of all clouds.

"It's a nice night," he remarked.

Leroy stood and turned toward his father disbelievingly. Was he really going to stand there and talk to him about the weather?

Jack smiled, "Just thinking it's been a long time since we've gone fishing."

The teen shook his head and prepared to return to his work, but his father persisted.

"Humor your old man. When we get back the sun'll be up and you'll be able to see better."

Leroy heaved a sigh and cleaned his tool with a towel before placing it back in the tool box. He wiped his hands before taking the lantern done to search for the fishing gear. He didn't know why he was agreeing to join his dad on the adventure, but it was a little hard to see with poor lighting. He'd have to do something to improve that in the future.

It didn't take long to find the tackle box and poles. By the time he pulled them from the storage shed, Jack had the truck started. He laid them in the bed of the truck and slid into the passenger seat.

The ride out to the lake was quiet for which the young was grateful. Normally his father had a tendency to go on and on about one thing or another. Lately it had been concerning his attitude.

He thought back to the fight after school. He could have taken down both of those bullies, if his dad hadn't shown up with that blasted Winchester. Worse was seeing the new girl looking at him with that red hair shining in the sun and a hint of a smile he couldn't interpret was from admiration or pity.

His thoughts ended when the truck came to a stop. Both Gibbs men exited the vehicle. Jack took a pole, while Leroy grabbed the tackle box and other pole.

He had to smile seeing the old row boat still tied to the pier. He marveled that it was still afloat and wondered if it would stay that way once he and his dad got in it. Wonder of wonders it didn't take in any water as he rowed them out toward where he recalled his father's favorite spot to be.

Before they quite reached it, Jack said, "This is good." His son looked at his father to make sure he'd heard him correctly. But when Jack started baiting his hook, he shrugged and began to prepare his own.

They sat in silence for a while, before Jack asked, "You want to tell me what that fight was all about?"

The teenager sighed. It had been too much to hope that his father would let it be. "They were being their usual annoying selves."

"If it was so usual, why'd you let it get to you?" jack slowly reeled in his line before casting it out again noting that the bait was still intact.

"They weren't bothering me," was all the answer he got.

It didn't take a genius to connect the dots. He must've been fighting for the girl.

"You like her, huh?" Jack asked.

Leroy was too surprised that his father figured things out. He was always fairly observant.

"Maybe. It doesn't matter any way," he replied as he checked his own hook before casting it back into the water.

Jack wasn't sure if his son thought the girl didn't like him or if he believed he wasn't worthy of her affection. Either way there was only one thing he could tell him.

"Well the way I see it, you need to let that young lady know how you feel." He ignored the snort from his son and continued, "I'm not saying you have to pledge your undying love for her, but she needs to know that you care about her."

"If she can't figure it out, then she doesn't want to know."

"That's always been your problem, Leroy. You expect everyone to read your mind."

"No, I don't," the younger Gibbs denied.

"You might not believe it, but I know a thing or two about women. Whether you agree with me or not they liked to be told how men feel about them. I'll tell you this, too. If you don't tell her someone else just might and you'll have on one to blame but yourself if she's not around waiting for you to make up your mind."

Leroy didn't respond, but Jack could tell he wasn't disregarding his advice. A nice change from how things normally transpired between them. Now he'd have to wait and see if anything developed between the two youngsters.

Gibbs sat a moment mulling over the memory before standing and approaching his young agent's desk.

McGee looked up, his eyebrows raised in wonder of what the boss wanted.

"Have you ever gone fishing at night, Tim?" he asked a smirk playing at his lips and small sparkle in his eyes.