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Title: Hope For the Future
Pairing: Jimmy Palmer/Tim McGee
Table: 5, 12_stories
Prompt: 04, Hope
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.
***"Do you make New Year's resolutions?" Tim asked Jimmy as the two of them stood by the sliding glass doors in Tim's living room and looked out over the twinkling lights of the city. "I usually don't, because I've found that I'm not good at keeping them."
Jimmy shook his head, glancing at his boyfriend. "I used to make them all the time when I was a kid, and then when I was in college. But you're right -- I never kept them, at least most of the time, so I quit making them. It was just one more thing to feel guilty about not doing."
"Resolutions aren't meant to be kept," Tim said soothingly, sliding an arm around Jimmy's waist. "I don't think that anybody who makes them ever keeps the majority of their resolutions -- nobody I know who still makes them does, anyway."
"I've always felt like they were just unreachable goals that people wanted to strive towards -- even when they know that they won't achieve them," Jimmy murmured, leaning back into Tim's embrace. "But I guess I could make a couple this year."
"What would those resolutions be, if you decided to make them?" Tim inquired, raising his brows. "If you want to make some resolutions this year, I've got some goals that I could probably try to meet. Maybe it's time for both of us to get back into the swing of that."
"Well, my main one would be not to be held hostage by another crazy person!" Jimmy said with a laugh, shaking his head ruefully. "I still think about that more than I should, even though it happened a while ago. I guess an experience like that never really goes away."
"No, it doesn't," Tim told him, his voice sober. "I'm just glad that you're okay, and that it hasn't stuck with you to the point where you're scared to go in to work, or something like that. I'd probably be terrified to be around the elevators at work if it had happened to me."
"No, you wouldn't!" Jimmy laughed wryly, shaking his head. "You're a lot tougher than you give yourself credit for, Tim. You'd square your shoulders and walk past the elevators every day, and you'd make yourself use them even when you didn't need to. You're that kind of guy."
"Okay, you're probably right about that," Tim admitted. "But that's mainly because of my mom. She's always told me that old saying about having to get back up on the horse after you take a fall. If that had been me, she'd have told me not to let my fears win out."
"I'm not going to do that, either," Jimmy said, sounding determined. "I've always tried not to let my fears get the best of me. And really, it's not the elevators that scare me. It's wetsuits -- and hoses. Every time I see somebody out watering their garden, a shiver goes down my spine."
"You're a lot stronger than so many people would have been in that situation," Tim murmured, pressing a gentle kiss against Jimmy's cheek. "I know you never expected anything like that to happen to you, and I hope it never does again."
"And if it does, I hope you're there to rescue me," Jimmy said softly, turning his head so that their lips met for a brief moment. "If I hadn't been able to think about you and our future together, I don't know if I'd have made it through. You saved me, Tim."
"You saved yourself," Tim corrected him, shaking his head. "You might have been thinking of me, but it was your own strength that got you through that situation. I'm just glad that I could give you something to focus on, and reason to get yourself out of there."
"If I hadn't been able to focus on you, I don't know what might have happened," Jimmy said softly, closing his eyes. "You gave me hope, Tim. A hope that nobody else could have held out." His voice had gained strength as he spoke; Tim couldn't doubt the sincerity of his words.
"So what are the resolutions you intend to make this year?" he asked softly, trying to change the subject. He wasn't comfortable with speaking about himself in some kind of heroic mold; that wasn't why he had joined NCIS. He didn't think of himself in that sort of light.
Jimmy held up a hand in front of him, raising his fingers as he counted off his resolutions. "One -- to tell you every day that I love you and that I'm glad you're in my life. Two -- to be thankful every day that we're together. And three -- to not look back with any regrets."
"That's three resolutions! I only had two!" Tim said, holding up his hands in a gesture of defeat, laughing as he did so. "Now I'll have to think of a third just so I can keep up with you! That's not fair!" But even as he spoke, he knew what his third resolution would be.
"So, what are the two that you made?" Jimmy asked, tilting his head to the side, the light of curiosity in his eyes. "It doesn't matter that you only have two. If they're bigger resolutions than mine, they might be harder for you to try to keep!"
"I don't think any resolutions could be bigger than yours," Tim said softly, raising a hand to stroke gentle fingertips down Jimmy's cheek. Jimmy leaned into the caress, a smile on his face, the beautiful smile that made Tim's heart turn over when he saw his boyfriend's dimples.
"My resolutions are going to be easy for me to keep," Jimmy told him, his voice soft and husky. "I don't think it's going to be any hardship at all to tell you that I love you every day, or to be grateful for having you in my life. I think about those things all the time."
"My resolutions are going to be pretty easy to keep, too," Tim told him with a smile. He held up a hand just as Jimmy had done, counting on his fingers. "One -- to tell you that I love you every day. Two -- to think about you with a smile every day. And three -- to keep you in my life forever."
Jimmy sniffled, raising a hand to wipe at his eyes. For just a moment, Tim felt dismayed -- he had meant to make his boyfriend happy with those words, not make him feel as though he had to cry! But Jimmy was smiling at the same time, a smile that went directly to Tim's heart.
"Hey, you're not supposed to be sad when I say things like that," Tim said with a tentative smile. "I was hoping that hearing that would make you happy -- the same way you made me happy when you said it. I kind of felt this glow around my heart. I wanted you to feel that, too."
"I do," Jimmy whispered, his voice slightly muffled. He placed one hand on Tim's heart, his smile making Tim feel that he could melt into a puddle on the ground at any moment. "What you just said gives me so much hope for the future. It just caught me by surprise, that's all."
"It gives me hope just to be spending New Year's Eve with you," Tim said, his voice a little choked. "This time last year, I was standing here looking out of this very window, wondering if I was going to spend all of the holidays alone for the rest of my life."
"You know something? I was doing the same thing," Jimmy whispered, his dark gaze focused on Tim's face. "I was looking out at all the bright lights and wishing that I had somebody to enjoy them with, and to ring in the new year. And this year, my wish came true."
"Was one of your resolutions last year to find somebody to bring in this new year with?" Tim asked with a soft laugh. "I didn't make any resolutions last year, other than to try to learn how to be happy on my own. Now I don't have to do that -- and I'm glad I don't."
"I didn't make any resolutions last year, other than to stop feeling sorry for myself," Jimmy told him, his dimples flashing again as he smiled at Tim. "I was all down in the dumps because I was feeling alone. I'm glad that I don't have to feel lonely during the holidays any more."
"Last year, I was hoping that I'd meet somebody so I wouldn't have to spend another New Year's Eve by myself," Tim said softly, his gaze holding Jimmy's. "I didn't make a resolution to find somebody to love -- it just happened. Fate, I guess. And fate couldn't have made a better choice."
"Fate handed us both a lot of hope this year," Jimmy said, raising a hand to stroke his fingers through Tim's hair. "And I don't ever want to let go of it. I want to keep that hope in my heart through all the years ahead of us. For our whole lives."
"That sounds like one of the best resolutions I've ever heard," Tim whispered, feeling a lump rise to his throat. "For both of us. It's one that I'll do my best to keep -- not just this year, but every year in the future. For the rest of our lives."
Jimmy nodded, smiling again as the two of them leaned towards each other. Neither of them realized that the new year began when their lips met; they were lost in their kiss, lost in each other, and lost in their hopes and dreams for the future that they would have together.