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Title: As Long As I Have Your Heart
Pairing: Jimmy Palmer/Tim McGee
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Jimmy Palmer or Tim McGee, unfortunately, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***Tim sighed softly as he looked at his boyfriend sitting beside him on the couch; Jimmy apparently didn't realize that he was holding the magazine he was pretending to read upside down.
"Spill it," he ordered, taking the magazine from a startled Jimmy's hands and laying it on the coffee table. "We need to talk, and I think this is the right time."
He moved to slide both arms around Jimmy, letting the other man lean against him.
"What's wrong, Jimmy?" he asked, his voice soft and husky. "I know that something's been bothering you lately, and I wish you'd talk to me about it."
Jimmy sighed, sliding his own arms around Tim's waist and resting his head against his lover's shoulder. "I thought I was getting along fine, Tim. I really did. I feel like I'm beginning to put it all behind me. I do. But .... there are so many things that worry me. And scare me, too."
"Tell me about them," Tim told him, keeping his voice firm and steady. "Jimmy, there's nothing you can't talk to me about. Don't ever feel like you have to keep anything from me."
Jimmy nodded, then drew in a deep breath.
Tim waited patiently, knowing that his boyfriend would probably need time to get his thoughts together. It was never easy to talk about what he'd been through, and he didn't want Jimmy to feel uncomfortable.
"I keep worrying that I'm not going to be able to .... you know," Jimmy said, keeping his head down and looking at their clasped hands rather than at Tim's face. "I'm worried that you'll get tired of waiting for me, and that you'll find somebody who can give you what you want."
Tim couldn't speak for a few moments; he hadn't realized that Jimmy had those thoughts, and it shocked him to know that his boyfriend had ever entertained them, even for a moment.
"Jimmy, why would you think that?" he asked, unable to keep the hurt out of his voice. "Have I done anything to make you think I felt that way?" He had to know if he had inadvertently done anything that would make his boyfriend feel this way, anything that would push Jimmy away from him.
But Jimmy shook his head rapidly, finally looking up at Tim, his voice earnest when he spoke. "No! Tim, you've never made me feel like you were tired of waiting. Never."
He swallowed hard, then spoke again in a lower voice.
"I just .... I know you want us to be together physically, and I do, too. I'm just not sure that I can ever ..... can ever ...." He swallowed again, his eyes filling with tears.
Tim knew what Jimmy meant without it having to be spelled out for him. After what he'd been through, the brutal violence of the attack that he'd endured, Jimmy wasn't sure if he could ever have anal sex, even with someone he loved and trusted. And Tim didn't blame him for that at all.
How would he feel if he'd been the one to go through Jimmy's ordeal? He'd probably have an equally hard time letting anyone be close to him, including the man he loved.
"Jimmy, you know I wouldn't ask you to do anything you didn't want to do," he began, but Jimmy cut him off with more words, as though he hadn't realized that Tim had said anything.
"I know you aren't the kind of guy who's going to just turn his back because of that," he said, his arms tightening around Tim's waist. "I know it. I'm just scared that it's my own inadequacy that's going to make me lose you, Tim. it's not a reflection on you. It's me and my fears that make me worry."
Tim gathered Jimmy close against him, blinking back tears as he rested his cheek on his boyfriend's hair. He couldn't let Jimmy keep thinking like this.
It wouldn't do their relationship any good, and he had to put a stop to it.
"Jimmy, I understand how you feel," he began, one hand moving soothingly up and down Jimmy's back. He took a deep breath and let it out again, marshaling his thoughts.
"But you have to know that it's not that big a deal," he continued, meaning every word that he was saying. "Jimmy, it doesn't matter to me if we never have sex in .... that way. A lot of gay men don't. It's not the sex that's important to me. The physical side of our relationship isn't the biggest part of us."
Tim placed a silencing finger against Jimmy's lips when his boyfriend would have spoken, a slight smile curving his own lips as he shook his head to indicate that he wasn't finished speaking yet.
"You have to realize that you mean more to me than just the physical side of us, Jimmy," he said, his voice trembling a little with the words. "It's the emotional side of us that means the most to me. The physical side is just icing on the cake. It's the emotions that matter most."
Tim raised his hands to cup Jimmy's face, gazing into the other man's eyes. "I love you, Jimmy Palmer. I love you with all my heart and soul. And I always will."
There. He'd said what he needed to say, and he'd said it openly and honestly.
But something made him go on, as though he was unable to stop. He had to make Jimmy understand how he felt, had to get it across in no uncertain terms.
"It doesn't matter to me if we never have anal sex. It would be nice, and I'm sure it'd be a great experience for both of us. But it doesn't mean that much to me. And if it's not what you want, then I don't want it, either. "I just want us to be happy with each other, Jimmy," he whispered, his voice breaking.
Taking another quick breath, he continued, his voice soft but intense. "As long as I have your heart, then nothing else matters to me." The words were whispered, but they rang loud and clear.
Jimmy was gazing at him, his eyes full of love.
"I knew that was how you felt," he whispered, his voice breaking. "I knew it, even though I didn't want to let myself believe it. I'm sorry, Tim. I should have had more faith in you. In us."
Tim bowed his head to brush a gentle kiss against Jimmy's lips; when he raised his head, there was a smile on his face, and peace in his heart. "Jimmy, I love you. And I'll always love you, emotionally and physically. Don't ever doubt that," he murmured, his heart in his words.
He closed his eyes, resting his forehead against Jimmy's. He knew that the words he'd spoken were true; it really wasn't a big deal to him what the two of them did physically.
He was happy with their relationship, and he wanted Jimmy to be as well.
There would be no demands for more. Just having Jimmy in his life, in his arms, and in his heart was enough. It was more than enough. Anything else was a wonderful bonus.
He didn't know exactly where they were going from here, Tim reflected. The road they traveled might not be an easy one. But as long as he was on that road with Jimmy, he knew that they were headed in the right direction.