Tim McGee came home from school early and walked in the kitchen door.
"Hey mom!" He called.
"Hey Timmy, how was school?" Evie asked her eight-year-old son.
"Mrs. Dalton wants me to skip a grade." Timmy said smiling. "Can I please?" he asked.
Evie smiled sadly at her son, "Of course, but you know the rule." She said.
"I won't tell dad I promise." He said.
She hugged her son and made him a snack.
She missed the days of being a strong detective, but Shane would not allow her to go back to work after he had found out about her infidelity. He made her use her being pregnant as an excuse for her to quit and become a full time mom. Although they had never told Tim about his conception. Shane McGee had always been cold towards the boy and hated the fact that he was smart.
Moreover, Tim was smart. Really smart.
If Tim's headmistress had her way Tim would be moving to junior high at eight he was to be moved up to the 6th grade. Evie had managed to hide his appetite for knowledge.
He knew his son liked learning and had, for a while encouraged it, 'my son will join the Navy and be a credit to the McGee name.' That was until he found out Tim hated the water and got chronically seasick whenever he was on a boat.
Shane McGee did not look at the boy after that. He did everything expected of him as a father but every time he looked in those piercing blue eyes, he knew Tim was not his child and each time it ate away at him.
Evie and Shane fought more and more until she found out she was pregnant again. This time Shane knew the child was his and when Sarah was born, he was ecstatic. Sarah was his preferred child and he did not care who knew it. He took credit for Tim's achievements as his father but that was as far as his reach into his son's life was.
After Sarah's birth, Shane took a desk job in the Naval yard at Alameda California.
Tim tried everything to get event the smallest piece of praise from his father, but he had learned long ago it was never coming and he also learnt his mother was not allowed to give him any sort of comfort when his father was around. The only source of love he got freely was from his grandmother, who hated the term grandmother so he called her Penny.
Penny doted on her Grandsons achievements and to be spared from his father's wrath he took to going to her house after school to do his homework and kept all his books in a den he had built in her back garden.
However, being stubborn in nature, Tim still tried every day to win his fathers love and approval.
Today was no exception.
It was Shane McGee's birthday. Evie had made him a cake and Admiral McGee, his wife and daughter had gone out for dinner. Tim had been sent to Penny's as usual, as Shane said, "I don't want the boy around to ruin my day."
Sarah at six months old had scribbled her father a picture that had delighted him no end and when he had got home, he had framed it and placed it on his desk.
Tim got home just before ten. Penny had dropped him off and he had quietly gone to his room and collected the handmade card he had been working on for a week. He had added glitter to the seascape the frigate he had drawn freehand was astounding in its detail. Penny had been overwhelmed at Tim's talent and assured him it was more than good enough to give to his father.
Tim knocked quietly on the door to his fathers study.
"Yes." Shane called.
Tim opened the door and stood inside waiting, Shane looked at him, "Report." He said.
Tim took a step towards his desk; he gave a small hopeful smile seeing his sister drawing on the desk already in a frame.
"Happy Birthday Sir," Tim said and handed Shane the card.
Shane opened the envelope and looked at the card. Then he ripped it up and threw it in the bin. "You can do better." He said flatly.
"Yes Sir, Thank you Sir." Tim said.
"Dismissed." Admiral McGee said and Tim fled the room.
He lay on his bed sobbing as his mother walked past his room.
"Timmy?" She said putting her hand on his shoulder.
"Momma. Why does he hate me?" Tim sobbed.
Evie's heart broke for her son. She could not tell him, it would ruin too many lives.
Tim grew up not, totally understanding why his father felt the way he did about him, but he had learnt where he stood.
Sarah was the apple of his parents' eye. They looked at her with praise and awe in everything she did, and to be honest, He looked at her in the same way. He was loyal to his little sister and as she grew, did everything he could to keep her safe.
As much as he loved Sarah, he felt jealous when his parents doted on her and looked at her with love, whereas his father looked at him with a well-disguised intolerance and his mother would look at him with guilt if he did something that Sarah grew to call his 'other personality' side.
Tim was twenty-two now, Sarah was fourteen, and this was to be his last visit home.
Tim knocked three times on the door and Sarah answered, "Are you sure he's out?" Tim asked apprehensively.
"Mom took him to the market; she says you have two hours." Sarah told him.
She quickly grabbed the boxes from her room and helped him clear his room out.
Tim packed his boxes into the rental car he had hired for the occasion.
Sarah lifted the last box into the car as her mom and dad pulled up.
"What are you doing here?" Shane McGee yelled at Tim.
"I'm just collecting the last of my stuff." Tim said.
"Good, about time you got out of our hair!" He said.
Tim flinched; he had hoped they would at least be sorry to see him go.
"Tim," Evie said reaching out to her son.
Tim looked at her upset, "Don't worry mom, I'll be fine, I've been accepted at NCIS, I'm going to FLETC, I'll send Sarah my address."
Shane looked at his wife as Tim got in the car and drove off.
"NCIS, isn't that where HE works?" He asked.
"I don't know." Evie lied.
She knew... she had followed Jethro's career. She had cried when she had read about his wife and daughter and had thought about letting him know about his son. However, fear of her husband finding out was too great. She had kept clippings thought so if Tim ever found out about his father she could then tell him what she knew about him now.