Monday, February 25, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 18

McGee centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

18. Asexual Teddy Bears and Diane

And then things went massively wrong. He was happily sitting in the lab, next to Abby, watching the train wreck happen, and then he was in the middle of it. 

The absolute last person he wants in his home is Gibbs' and Fornell's ex. Okay, maybe not the absolute last, if it's a question of say, Diane or his father, Diane wins hands down, but still, she's way, way down on his list.

She's bossy as all get out, which isn't something Tim really likes in a woman, hell, in people, because generally if you tell him to do something, he'll go do it. He likes making people happy, and being stuck in a room with a very unhappy person, who's also very scared and ultra-bossy is just not his idea of fun.

But, she said listen, so he listened. She wanted a shoulder to cry on, so his got cried on.

And, categorized under the heading of "no good deed goes unpunished," he got to wake up to the two scariest human beings he's ever known glaring down at him, with the single bossiest woman he's ever met, in his arms.

Not his finest hour.

Then he got to work, after Fornell made it pretty clear that if he was ever alone with Tim again, he was going to shoot him, and God, the stories... Seriously, does no one at NCIS have anything better to do than speculate on his love life? And why on earth does everyone assume he's the submissive one? He's not always, or even usually, the submissive one. Not to say being the submissive is a problem, it's not; he's had a lot of fun submitting. But still, if you think he'd end up tied up with Diane, you haven't studied how that kink works. Most dominant people in real life prefer the submissive role when it comes to sex. Really, who on Earth would think that Diane was attracted to Gibbs or Fornell because she likes men she can dominate?

And why does everyone always assume he's into kink? Okay, not that, under the right circumstance, and here he's thinking of with Abby, he'd mind being tied up, gagged with a stocking, though, really, stockings are ridiculously bad for that sort of thing, they're so stretchy it's hard to tie them properly, and if you do get one tied, it's impossible to untie one, you have to cut it...and... okay... probably better to stop thinking about doing that with Abby before he ended up embarrassing himself.

Palmer pulls him aside a few hours later and thwacks him, not very gently, upside the back of the head. "You know, one of the best techniques for maintaining a long-term relationship is not sleeping with other women!"

"I did not sleep with... Okay, I slept, but nothing else happened."

He thinks Palmer believes him and was just teasing earlier. But right now it's hard to tell because the expression on Palmer's face is very serious. "Doesn't matter. It's not about sex, well, it is, but it's not just about sex. Most women I know don't appreciate it when you spend the night lying next to another person, pressed up against them, listening to their stories. Hours of horizontal touch are for you as a couple, and no one else."

"I'll keep that in mind."

"Sooo... how are things going with Abby? Breena gave me an update after the reception. Apparently you two were absolutely darling dancing in the hallway."

"Either they're going fine, or I just completely destroyed them. I'll get to find out in a few hours when I can get into the lab on my own."

"Well, let me know. You doing anything for lunch tomorrow?"

"Don't think so."

"Good, you, Abby, and I will get something."

"Assuming she's talking to me, that sounds good."

Better to seek forgiveness than ask permission. That's repeating over and over in his mind as he trudges his way to Abby's lab. She had been teasing him about having the Ex-Mrs.Gibbs-Fornell in his home, and couldn't wait to find out what gossip he had. But that was last night, and this morning...

"McGee." She doesn't sound particularly pissed at him, but it's possible she hasn't heard yet.

"I am so, so, so sorry." He stops a few feet away from her, and she doesn't step in to him. Could be this is about maintaining a decent distance, which is something they try to do at work. Or she could be about to eviscerate him.

She grins at him, and he's on the verge of relaxing, but part of him thinks this might be the trap about to snap down and break his leg in two. "What are you sorry about?"

"Sleeping next to Diane."

"Diane? Huh. You're on a first name basis now? I suppose that happens when you sleep with someone."

Spoiiing, snap, yes, he was in the trap. He felt nauseous. "I am so sorry."

"You told everyone else you just slept."

"We did just sleep. She wanted to talk about her marriage, she cried on me some, and then we fell asleep."

"Then why are you apologizing?"

"Errr..." That left McGee completely flatfooted. "I'm supposed to?"

"McGee," and finally she stepped up to him, close but not touching, "you're a teddy bear. You're soft and warm and cuddly. You're a good listener. I am not in any way surprised that a sad woman, who is clearly still in love with Gibbs, and maybe her husband, a little at least, and possibly Fornell, would want to spend a night hugging you."

"Thank you."

"Besides, if you want to keep us quiet, I can't think of anything likely to cause more talk than you sleeping with Diane."

"I was in Autopsy... God... The stories..."

"I started five of them." She beams at him.

He looked startled. "Why would you do that?"

"It was fun." She smiled brilliantly. "The stories everyone else was making up were just so blah... You woke up on the sofa with Diane, completely dressed. Like you'd be on the sofa or dressed if you two had been at it!"

Good memories.
"We've done it on the sofa," he says, a knowing look on his face and some very good memories in mind.

"Yeah, but we certainly weren't dressed after, were we?"

"Good point."

"Just because the ex-Mrs. Gibbs-Fornell... Gorbell? Fibbs?... looks at you like a big, warm, asexual teddy-bear, doesn't mean I do. And I will never, ever be mad at you for comforting a hurting person."

Tim took a half-step closer to her, leaning his back against her desk so he could see the doorway. From there he takes her hand in his, and whispers in her ear, "So, how do you see me?"

She kissed him, quickly, you never know when someone, like, say, Gibbs, will manage to get into the lab without making a sound. "You are big and warm and cuddly. But you definitely aren't asexual." Her free hand gently ghosted along the front of his trousers and he closed his eyes and sighed. "You're the ex-Wilderness Scout who's forgotten more about knot tying than I've ever known. And you're the guy who is never scared to play games. You, McGee, are a whole lot of fun." He smiles at that. "And it's Diane's loss that she'll never get to find that out."



"How would you feel about not keeping this quiet anymore? I think we've tortured Tony enough with my mystery woman."

"Rule number twelve be damned?"


She thinks about it for a while. "I'd like that. But not right this second. Maybe wait a little while for the scuttlebutt on you and Diane to die down."

"I can do that. Jimmy wants to have lunch with us tomorrow."

"As long as no one else gets killed or kidnapped I think that can be arranged."

19. Lunch With The Palmers

On Saturday they met the Palmers for lunch.

"So, does this count as your first real date?" Breena asked after they ordered.

Tim looks at Abby, feeling a little perplexed at the question. It occurs to him that he's not even sure what would constitute a 'real date.'

Breena smiles. "You know, first time out in public as a couple?"

"Nah. Anyone who saw us in that diner knew we were a couple." The hour or so they spent talking and making out wasn't what anyone would call subtle. "But this is our first time out with someone else as a couple."

"Well, congratulations anyway. And thank you for taking Jimmy into your confidence."

Tim's amused that Breena would thank him for that, but it pleases him as well. This whole trust thing has some nice side effects. One of which was being at a decent restaurant with Jimmy and Breena, getting to know Palmer's bride.

Tim can see why Jimmy loves her. She's warm, friendly, beautiful, and as the four of them get talking shop, smart as a whip. In some ways she puts him in mind of Abby. They have similar joyful personalities if very different aesthetics.

At one point, when the girls excused themselves, Tim said to Jimmy, "We are insanely lucky men."

Jimmy smiled and nodded. "Trust me, I know it. So, the rest of the world going to learn about your luck anytime soon?"

"Yeah, I think so. I'll let you know when it's not a secret anymore."

"Good. What do you think Gibbs is going to do?"

"I think he'll be fine with it. He might already know, but Ziva's not sure about that."

"Ziva knows?"

"She caught us at the wedding."

"Not that hard to do. Take a hint from someone who's done this a few times, don't wear cologne if you're planning on a secret quickie upstairs. Actually, for as long as you want to keep this a secret and can't keep your hands off her, skip your cologne."


"Yeah, she hugged me and Breena right after her toast. And you were busted!" Jimmy beams at Tim as he said that, enjoying this way too much.

Tim gives Palmer a somewhat guilty smile and shrugs. "It was fun."

"I'll bet. Anyway, Ducky danced with her right after that and noticed, too. He asked me, and I didn't say anything, and then the thing with Diane happened, and he was really pissed at the idea that you might have been fooling around on Abby, so I let him in on what was going on."

"He didn't let on that he knows, at all."

"He's good at that. Think about it, he's known Gibbs forever, and do you know anything about Gibbs from before you started at NCIS?"

"Only the bits I could get out of Tony."

"Exactly. You want someone who will take a secret to the grave, go to Ducky."

"Hey, what are you two gossiping about?" Breena asks as the girls come back.

"The excellent secret keeping skills of one Dr. Donald Mallard," Jimmy says with a smile and then proceeded to fill the girls in on the increasingly less secret nature of Tim and Abby's affair.  

No comments:

Post a Comment