Sunday, March 31, 2013

Grand Gestures and Day To Day Life 7.0.1

Want to start at the beginning? Head here.

A/N: Okay, I'm placing my official bet for where this season is going to start out. Here's some very dark pre-season warm up. Not sure if the plot bunny will bite again between now and 7.1, but if it does, you'll all be the first to know.

Michael's listening to a cover of Here Without You by 3 Doors Down.


Michael Westen is not the kind of guy who sits in a club listening to sad music pouting about a lost love.

His cover does.

And he's having a very hard time keeping himself divorced from his cover right now.

One hundred days that made me older, since the last time that I saw your pretty face.

It's been more than a hundred days, but not many. 103? 105? He forced himself to stop counting a while ago.

No. Michael Westen does not listen to sad music and pout. He does not sit, hunched, at a bar, hearing a cover band warbling about being separated from the one person who matters most. Michael Westen has not once done that, not for himself.

Though he does seem to have a lot of covers that do.

He played the game. He played it longer and harder than anyone before him, and likely anyone after. He's smarter, harder, more experienced, and more desperate than anyone who's ever played. He put everything he had into it, including the lives of the only people he loved, including his brother, and he lost.

"You can't have the job and the girl."

He lost the girl.

He lost the love of the job.

These days he's just going through the motions, because it's easier to pretend that he cares than it is to eat his gun. Because, no matter how tempting the weight of it is in his hand, let alone the taste of metal on his lips, he can't do that to his mom.

Of course, he might not have to.

He can see it in his handler's eyes. Once the thing with Card was wrapped, and it took a lot less time than anyone had thought it would, they were left with a man too dangerous to let go, and too broken to give anything important.

That's the point of this and all the other nameless missions they've sent him on. Idiot mission after idiot mission, nothing worth his time or effort. Lots of danger, little intel.

They've sent him off to die.

He's in... Hell, he doesn't remember what country this is.

They say this life is overrated.

Fuck it is. The voices around him are speaking Russian mostly. He's in Moscow. The drink is Vodka, and he's had way more than a few of them.

At the rate he's going, if he doesn't get killed, he's going to wash out in an alcoholic haze, like Sam did.

He read Card's files on him, got to see his psych evals. Words like damaged and broken were in there.

If he was broken before, he's fucking shattered now.

There's not a man sitting at that bar, not anymore. Now there's just... a job.

And the job needs to be done. And maybe he'll be breathing when it's done. And maybe it won't. And maybe, if he makes it to tomorrow, he might decide breathing matters.

Or not.

I think about you baby, and I dream about you all the time.

Maybe tomorrow he won't dream.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 44

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

44. And If We Can't Protect, We Avenge

Tony dropped Abby off at Tim's and then headed toward Ziva's place. He's not sure what to say to her when he gets there. Not entirely sure if he wants her to be there when he gets there.

He parks, sees her car, knows this has to be dealt with, and hopes she'll let him in enough to help.

He knocks on the door. It takes a few minutes but he hears her moving around in there.

She opens the door, in her bathrobe, and he can see pajama pants under it. She's looking sleepy and confused that he'd be there.


"Can I come in?"

"Yes. What is going on?"

"Just wanted to see you." He flips on the TV and pops the first DVD he finds into the player. She's staring at him, wondering why he'd be doing this. He knows it's unlikely her place is bugged. But it's not impossible, and Bodnar is at least as good as she is at this kind of stuff, so he's not tipping his hand.

"You missed our date night," he says, turning up the volume while sitting on her sofa and patting the cushion next to him, hoping she'll sit down next to him and just talk.

"Do we have to do this at one in the morning?"


She sits down next to him, looking exasperated. "I'm fine, Tony."

"Are you?" His eyes are soft as he asks. "Fine Ziva hangs out with us and plays laser tag and kills Palmer nineteen times in the first twenty minutes. Fine Ziva eats pizza with us, and laughs when we make jokes, and rolls her eyes with me when McGee and Abby get too cute." He leans in close to her, lips an inch from her ear, voice very low. "And fine Ziva doesn't shut us out when she's planning on killing someone."

He can see her understand why he's got the movie on now, and why the volume is on high.

"Tony." Her voice is soft, and she's staring him in the eyes. He's not sure if that look is angry, sad, or pleased.

I will hold him down...
His hand finds hers, and squeezes gently. "You are not alone. No matter what you do about this, we've got you. McGee is taking care of your computer right now, making sure your tracks are covered properly. Abby and Palmer are ready to make sure that when you're done with Bodnar, no trace of him is ever found. Breena will give all of us an alibi and access to a crematorium if need be. And if you want, I will hold him down while you kill him."

"Tony, you can't..."

"I can, and I will. I meant it, whatever you need, I am here for. And if you want this to be just you and Vance, we'll do it that way, too. But we can't help if you won't talk to us. So, please, talk to me."

And she did.

When Tim got home, Abby was still up.

"All done?"

He looks at her curiously and mouths the word, "Bugs?"

She shakes her head, no. After attacking Tim's computer, checking to make sure his place was safe was the second thing she did.

"For now." He sat down on the bed next to her.

"You're good with this?" she asks, holding his hand in hers.

He nods. "Yeah. He hired someone to spray bullets into a residential neighborhood during dinnertime on a Friday night to try and stop a peace deal. He killed Mrs. Vance. It was only luck the kids weren't there. Only luck a stray bullet didn't hit someone else. And he was trying to start a war by doing it. Thousands, maybe tens of thousands of dead people if that had happened. We can't try him without an international incident, and possibly war breaking out. I'm fine with this."



"Yeah. Look, I know Ziva's dad wasn't a saint. I know he screwed her over badly, more times and in more ways that we probably know about, and honestly, if it was just him, I wouldn't be fine with this, but Mrs. Vance... That's over the line. We protect our own, and if we can't protect them, we avenge them."

He nods at her.

"What'd you do?"

"Mostly just made it harder for anyone to see what she's doing. She won't tip him off if he's keeping watch on who is watching him. I didn't totally wipe her tracks clean. I'm thinking that when we catch him, she's going to keep looking for him, for at least a year, and periodically after that, that way if anyone better than me does get a hold of her computer, they'll see her hunt for him didn't stop when he vanished."

"Makes sense. Anyone gets a hold of her computer, they'll know you did it."

"Sure, but I don't think it'll matter. Hunting for him isn't illegal. She can claim she was working the case. I can claim I was helping. And, yeah, she's not supposed to be on that case, but I am, and as long as we're trying to bring him in, we're still on the right side of legal. And as long as she doesn't stop looking for him when he finally vanishes, that'll make it harder to pin killing him on us."

She nods at that. He gets up, gets ready for bed, and snuggles in next to her. And, while it's true that both of them understand the need for this, that on an intellectual level both of them know this is right, it's also true that both of them were still awake when the sun rose three hours later.

April 21, 2013 was the last time anyone saw Ilan Bodnar alive. He'd been in hiding for months at that point, but he came up on the facial recognition software on a traffic cam in DC.  

April 22, 2013, a safehouse in DC, abandoned by Mossad in 2006 when it was compromised, burned to the ground. The official report showed that faulty wiring and years of neglect combined to cause the fire.

April 23, 2013 The Slater Funeral Home and Crematorium cremated one unrecorded customer, along with three bags of clothing, a tarp, a roll of duct tape, the carpet and upholstery of a van, and a knife.

No one ever asked any questions. And after it was done, no one at NCIS ever talked about it again.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 43

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

43. Ziva

Pizza and laser tag just wasn't as much fun without Ziva.

They all wanted to make sure she had space and time to mourn. But it had been three months, and she kept saying she's fine, but she hasn't been coming to play, and they miss her. And even if they weren't dating, yet, it's not like Tim, Abby, Jimmy, or Breena couldn't see where this was going to go eventually.

So, it was fairly natural when four sets of eyes turned to Tony, after Abby asked him, "So, what is Ziva busy with?"

"I don't know," Tony answered.

"You don't know?" Jimmy asked.

"She's not talking to me about it. She's just busy."

"Do you have an idea?" Abby asked, taking a bite of her pizza.

Tony didn't answer for a moment. His expression looked guarded. "Yes."

Once again, four sets of eyes stared at him, so he kept talking. "She said she wanted revenge. She has not gotten revenge. I'm going to assume getting revenge is what's keeping her busy."

The four of them were quiet for a while, it's not like that idea is much of a surprise. Anyone who's even marginally familiar with Ziva can do that math.

No, what has them quiet is what to do with it. Finally Breena said, "You mean she's tracking down the man who killed her dad so she can kill him?"

Tony nodded.

"Then we should help." This time the four sets of eyes included Tony's and they were staring at Breena.

Tony looked like he was about to say something, then he didn't. He stared at Tim as well, who also looked like he was about to say something but couldn't make his mouth form the words. Because while it's true that, should the need arise they will help Ziva with something like this, they don't TALK about it.

Finally Abby said, "We should."

Jimmy stared at the girls, and then at Tim and Tony. He also seems to get the whole, for-God's-sake-we-don't-talk-about-things-like-this concept. He swallowed and said, "If we're going to talk about this, I'm thinking in public is a bad idea."

Tim nodded at him, really fast.

Tim and Abby drive back to Jimmy and Breena's. They don't live particularly close, but if anyone has a secure space to talk, their backyard is probably it.

On the ride, Tim thinks about something that's been hinted about, but he doesn't know for sure. He's fairly certain what the answer is, and he thinks Abby does know.

"Gibbs killed the man who killed Shannon and Kelly, right?"

She doesn't answer, but the expression on her face as she looks away from the traffic at him says it all.

"That's all I needed to know."

They get to the Palmers' place about twenty minutes later. Tony, Jimmy, and Breena are already on the back porch. Honestly, it's a bit cool to be out there, but unless someone has a directional mic on them, and that doesn't seem likely, it should be safe to talk.

For a long minute they all stare at each other, and then Tim says, "Just, for the record, we're cops, so we're not even supposed to be thinking about this, let alone talking about doing it."

"Tim, we're family, and if she needs help, we're gonna give it," Breena answered.

"I'm good with that. I went to Somalia to get her back; I'm in on this, too. I want you to know how serious this is. We"—He gestures to the four of them.—"are all officers of the court, so just talking about this can get us at least fired or tossed in jail. We have a legal obligation to not look the other way when we see someone breaking the law or planning to, and conspiring to murder someone is way off in break the law land.

"Assassinate," Tony says. "This is personal for us, but it's political as well. We do this, it's an assassination."

"Fine, still completely illegal," Tim replies. "Breena, you get caught talking about this, and almost nothing will happen to you. Jimmy gets caught, and he goes to jail. You two still think this is a good idea?"

Breena and Jimmy look at each other. "We're in."

"Great." says Tony dryly, and Tim can see him thinking that Jimmy and Breena aren't exactly the first people he'd call in for help killing someone. Though, as Tim's thinking about it, they're more or less the poster couple for good alibis, and that's always useful. And Breena has access to a funeral home with a crematorium, and that's probably better than an alibi. "But the thing is, I don't think Ziva wants help. She's not talking to me about it. She's telling everyone she's fine. Happy as happy can be. Frolicking about in meadows of pleasantly busy."

"Does she know that help, real help, is not only available, but on offer?" Abby asks.

"I've already offered."

"How did you offer?" Breena asks.

"I told her whatever she needed, I was in for. She told me she needed revenge, and then we didn't get Bodnar, so no revenge. She hasn't said anything about it, or anything along those lines, since."

"Which probably isn't a bad idea. You want to do something like this, and get away with it, not having anyone else helping is a good plan. Especially if you're Ziva. If anyone knows how to do this..." Abby says.

"Yeah, but she has to need some sort of help, right?" Breena says. "If nothing else, she's got to find this guy. And having someone cover those tracks," she's looking at Tim as she says this, "would be good."

"I'll check her computer, make sure anything she's got on it is clean and impossible for someone else to find."

Abby looks at Tony. "Gun or knife?"

"I don't know. Gun?"

"If she goes with a gun, I can make sure, that no matter what, it's never traced to her or the bullets."

"If we get his body, anything too incriminating will vanish," Palmer says.

Abby shakes her head. "No body. A guy as connected as Bodnar needs to just vanish. You and I'll make sure nothing of him is ever found."

Jimmy nods at that.

"Which leaves you with the hard work," Brenna says to Tony. "You're the one who gets to tell her we're here for her, and convince her that if she's going to do this, to not do it alone."

Tony stares at them and says one word, "Gibbs."

"If we do this, we'll bring him in. He'll understand," Abby says.

"Vance," Tim says it.

"Will want to help, too. Hell, that's probably her plan. Her and Vance. Two people, who are really good at what they do. She'll be the knife, and he'll provide the cover. Rule Number Four," Tony replies.

"Rule number four?" Breena asks.

"Best way to keep a secret, keep it to yourself. Second best way, tell one other person. There is no third best," Tim answers.

"So, should we be letting her keep her secret?" Jimmy asks.

Tony sighs, they're all looking at him again. "For now. I'll find out what's going on, and if need be, we'll back her up."

The others nod.

They're getting ready to go, when Tim decides that secret or not for right now, Ziva's not all that great with a computer. "Tony, would you give Abby a lift to my place?"

Both of them look at him.

"No matter what, if we actively help or ignore it and let her do it on her own, she needs someone covering her digital tracks. I've got to get into her computer. Depending on how she's looking, she might be letting Bodnar know she's on his trail."

"I'll come with you," Abby says to him.

"It'll look weird enough if I show up at work at 1:00 AM on a Saturday when we're off. You show up too and..." his words trail off. They could be going there because having sex at work is kinky and fun. Except he should get on Ziva's actual computer to do this, not the lab computers, and they'd be in the lab if they were going to do that. "Home. It'll work better if you're at home."

"You sure?" He can see she's thinking of the same cover he is.

"Yeah. I shouldn't do this from the lab."

"I fit under her desk."

Tony looks really bothered by that, while Tim says, "Even we don't play that far out of bounds."

Abby nods. Yeah, there's already enough scuttlebutt about the two of them without tossing extra gasoline on the fire. "Okay. I'll see you in a few hours?"

"I hope so." He kisses her, and turns towards his car. After two steps he stops and turns back to her.

"You know the burner phone I keep on my workbench?"


"Go home, attack my work computer with it. Then kill it and get rid of it. That'll be my excuse for going in at one in the morning, making sure all of our computers are safe."

"On it, Boss." He smiles when she says that, and heads off.

One in the morning at NCIS is not nearly as deserted as he would have hoped. It's not that it's crowded, but there are people around.

He gets into the bullpen and turns everyone's computers on. If his computer got "hit," then he'd make sure everyone else on his team was secure, too.

He runs a fairly advanced sweep on all of their computers. Making sure everything is nice and tight. Abby had hit his computer with a pretty spiffy little worm. Enough that if it had come from someone else, it would have gotten his attention. Not so much as to get into anything interesting.

Then he sits down at Ziva's desk and gets to work.

She's leaving tracks like an elephant charging through a cornfield. It's not that she's particularly bad at this, it's just that there are so many people who are so much better at it.

It takes him close to three hours to get it all wrapped up and hidden.

He's standing up, stretching, turning off her computer, when he hears the elevator open. Shit.

It's Vance. Fuck!


"Director Vance."

"Working late?"

Lie or assume he's in on it? The knife and the shield. He can't quite read Vance's look, but he thinks Vance knows he's not here at four in the morning for kicks. "Security sweep, sir. Someone tried to hack my computer tonight, so I'm making sure we're all good."

"Uh huh." Vance does not appear to believe this, and he's wondering if he really is that bad of a liar. "And Agent David's computer was in need of extra security?"

"I worked on all of our computers."

"That doesn't answer my question, McGee."

He stares Vance right in the eyes and puts his trust in the idea that Vance is the shield for this op. "Yes. Badly."

Vance smiles, slightly. "Then I'm glad you were willing to come in on your off time to tend to it."

"Thank you."

"Are you done, McGee?"

"For now."

"Then I'll see you on Monday."

It wasn't until he was in his car, driving back to his place that he began to wonder why Vance would be in the office at 04:00 on Saturday.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 42

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

42. The Admiral

A/N: So, I liked Squall. But kind of like Hit and Run (which I also liked) cannon Tim and Abby aren't in the same place Shards Tim and Abby are. Sooo... I'm snagging some details from Squall, and ignoring others. (See post story note for more on that.) Anyway, this chapter might not precisely match up with what you saw on Tuesday night.

He guesses it was bound to happen sooner or later. For some bizarre reason Fate seems to enjoy tossing their dads at them, and since his dad actually is in the Navy, the odds were even higher than say two separate cases involving Tony's dad.

Doesn't mean he's happy about it.

Doesn't mean he couldn't have happily gone for the entire rest of his life without running into that man.

But it doesn't matter, because there's a job to do, and he's got to do it.

He stands in the doorway and watches Abby stab the dummy with a syringe over and over. Part of it is just for comfort, getting to watch someone who doesn't think he looks terrible, and won't make a snide shot about his love life. (He knows Penny told the Admiral about Abby, and he very clearly remembers being thirteen and his dad chewing him out about being fat and how he'd never keep a girl if he stayed that way.) Part of it is just liking to watch her work. She looks like she's enjoying this, but somewhat frustrated at the same time.

And part of it is wondering how much she knows about what happened today. He's guessing she already knows about the Admiral being on the ship, because if the look on Palmer's face when he realized what was going on was anything to go by, Jimmy had his phone out and was texting like mad the moment Ducky pulled the ME's van out of the parking lot at Norfolk.

She stabs the dummy again, and he's been lurking long enough. Time to get moving.

He and Abby don't argue. Not really, not about important things. Sure, fussing over what they'll watch on TV or what's for dinner happens, and she can get snappy and he gets sarcastic, but for big things, it just doesn't happen. They walk away, take the time to get themselves right, and then go back and talk.

And that works, for both of them.

Because they both need that quiet time in their own heads before they can let someone else in. And they both respect each other enough to let them have that quiet time.

So he walked out of the lab.

And it's not that she's entirely wrong. There are things he wants to say to the Admiral. But what she is wrong about is that it would make any difference. He doesn't need liberation; he cut himself free years ago; he needs acceptance and appreciation. His dad isn't going to give him what he wants, and since that isn't going to happen, spending more time yelling at him won't serve any purpose.

It's not that he needs to say the words, he has, and he backed them up with action. He needs his dad to hear them, and change because of them, and that just isn't going to happen.

Tim doesn't go straight home after work. For an hour he drives around, not really paying too much attention to where he's going, just letting the miles slide by.

This isn't just about him and his dad, it's also about Abby and hers.

And it's about empathy, and understanding the dad shaped hole in her life is a whole lot different than the dad shaped hole in his.

He gets to a stop light and fires off a text. Are you at your place or mine?

Yours. You ready to talk?

Yeah. Home in twenty minutes.

Have you eaten?

Not yet.

I'll order something for us.


They eat first. Just getting it out of the way. Not really talking, a few words here and there on incidentals, like making sure the new place gets the deposit check, and how she has to remember to file her taxes this weekend, and that it's Easter on Sunday, and she'd like to go to Mass early. Little things like that.

And when the leftovers are packed up, and the silverware washed, he leads her to his bed, because this is a bed sort of conversation.

They don't undress. Maybe this is a naked sort of conversation, too, but right now he wants clothing, he wants an extra bit of a shield between him and these words.

He lays on his back, on his side of the bed, and pats hers. She follows him, laying on her side, head propped on her hand.

"Have at it," he says to her. 'Cause honestly, he's not sure he can start this one.

"He's your dad, Tim. You'll miss him, miss the chance to have had him in your life. I don't want you to regret this."

"He's not my dad. If I've got a dad, it's Gibbs or my grandfather. He's just the guy who got my mom pregnant."

"I think he did a bit more than that."

"I don't think shitting all over my life counts."

He stares at the ceiling for a moment, and then turns to her, looking into her eyes as his hand caresses over her stomach. "If you're going to do this, it should be important to you. It should be like breathing." He rolls her onto her back and kisses her stomach, and then looks up at her, resting his chin against her hip. "If you're going to make a baby with someone, that someone and that child should be the most important thing in your life. It should be your joy, and the reason you get up in the morning and the reason why you want to come home at night, and not just some massive disappointment.

"And as far back as I can remember I have been a disappointment to that man. As well as I can remember, my mom and I were never, ever important to him."

He's staring at her, eyes and voice earnest. "And I have been standing up to him my whole life. I didn't go to Annapolis. I'm not in the Navy. I'm a Federal Agent. I'm a best-selling author. I've hacked every secure system that matters. I've killed people to protect others, and I've put killers away, and when none of that made me good enough in his eyes, I shut him out because I don't need someone who will never approve of me in my life.

"I know you loved your dad. I know you still love him. I know you miss him, and I know you wanted more time with him. And I get how important he is for your life, but my dad is toxic, and I don't want him in mine."

She pets him and smiles, gently, at him. "Then why did you call him after you saw Penny?"

"How did you know I did that?"

"You were sad for days after, wouldn't talk about it. So I did some checking around, found an interesting phone number, and went with it."


He's quiet, not sure what to say, he's honestly not entirely sure what made him dial those numbers last year. She waits, gently petting his hair, letting him think about it.

"Hope. We hadn't talked for seven years. I'd gotten onto the best Major Case Response Team. On the job less than a year, and I was on Gibbs' team. I called to tell him, thinking maybe that might..." His voice trailed off, remembering that call. He'd been so proud, and the Admiral shot him down in less than three minutes. "But it didn't. He just got on me about wasting my time and potential. And that was it. I was done with him. But Penny said he loved me, though evidence for that is awfully thin on the ground, and I was hoping that maybe seven years gave him some perspective. Maybe being gone would have made him decide he wanted me around.

"It didn't. I crack a case that saves hundreds of thousands of lives, protect his mom, my grandmother, and he's still pissed I'm not in the Navy. Pissed I'm not the guy designing the sort of weapon we stopped.

"He doesn't love me. He's never loved me. He was in love with an idea of who I was supposed to be, and when I didn't want that role, he got my mom pregnant again, but Sarah was a girl, so obviously she couldn't do it, so he doubled down on me. And by seventeen I was done. I quit Junior ROTC, I turned down Annapolis and said yes to Johns Hopkins, and I left his home and never looked back.

"I've mastered more skills than most people dabble at. I've got credentials out the ears. I've excelled at everything I've put my will to. And eight years ago I figured out that he was never going to pet me for it. I picked NCIS for him, the CIA and FBI both gave me better deals. NCIS was an olive branch, a compromise, but it wasn't enough. Being the best at what I liked was never going to be good enough for him."

She strokes his cheek, and he closes his eyes, then scoots back up to lie face to face with her as she rolls back onto her side.

"I hate this. I'm thirty-five, but he shows up, and suddenly I'm fifteen again. I won't be the man he wants me to be, and I hate feeling how disappointed he is in me."

She drapes her leg over his, and kisses him. "He's a moron."

He looks at her, smiles a little, it's a depreciating look, not a happy one. "Be nice if he was. But he's not. He's smarter than I am, probably than Penny."

"Then he's an asshole, which is worse."

He shrugs. "That's true, but... well, just like your body needs one, the world seems to need assholes, too."

She laughs at that. "Yeah. I suppose it does. He's good at what he does?"

"They don't just hand out flag rank to anyone. So, yeah he's good at that. An appallingly bad husband and father, but he's good with a fleet of battleships."

She takes his hands in hers. "And you were supposed to be good with them, too?"

"Yeah. I'm supposed to have command of my own ship by now. I should have a XO asking me for orders. I should have an Annapolis ring, preferably one commemorating beating the crap out of Army in football." He holds up a hand that's completely ring free. "He didn't want a son; he wanted a clone." She kisses his hand.

"What would I want with a ship?"

"No idea."

"I'm the only Omega in a long and glorious line of Alphas."

"Penny's an Omega."

"I'm the only Omega male in a long and glorious line of Alpha males. Girls can be Omegas or Betas or whatever. He's fine with Sarah. She can be a writer. She gets a poem published in the school lit journal, and he's got it tacked onto the wall of his cabin. I'm a fucking New York Times best-selling author, three times over now, and I'm not living up to my potential." He shakes his head. "God, I hate this. See, fifteen all over again. He sticks around too much longer and my skin is going to start breaking out."

"It's okay."

"No, it's not. It's really not. It's just the way it is, and it's not changing."

"Would you want it to? Be the man he wants you to be, or make him the man you want him to be?"

"No on the first, definitely no on that. And sure, who doesn't want their parents to love them?"

"Penny says he loves you."

"Penny loves me. And Penny loves him. So I think she thinks he has to love me. But I don't think he does, and even if he did, what does it matter if he loves me, if he can't be in the same room with me without disappointment radiating out of every pore?" A short bitter laugh escapes his lips. "I'd rather he was just mildly fond of me, but proud of who I am. Like Gibbs those first few years, he didn't get me, at all, but he at least noticed I was useful. I'll take that over being a disappointment any day."

"Nothing about you is disappointing." He smiles a little at that as well, but it's still not a happy look. "And anyone who isn't full on insane knows that."

"And yet he is. My great grandfather was the first McGee at Annapolis, and that was a big deal then, because it was during the Irish Need Not Apply days, but his dad was hooked into the Boston political machine, so he got in. He was a sub commander in World War I, basically the most dangerous job in the Navy at the time. He never made admiral because the Germans blew him to pieces in 1918. But my dad has his medals, and there are a ton of them, on display in his office at home. My grandfather was a First Lieutenant, three years out of Annapolis when Japan hit Pearl Harbor. He was there, one of the first men to get to a gun and shoot back. His ship sank, but didn't roll over, so he kept firing until there were no more shells, water up to his knees. He finished the war a Captain, but that wasn't enough, so he became a naval aviator. Between World War II and Korea, he was one of the men learning what to do with aircraft carriers. Landing on them, designing them to work better. He was an admiral by the end of Viet Nam. And when he died, back in the '80s, all nine hundred of his metals and flag ended up in my dad's office, in a display case, next to my great-grandfather's.

"You ever see Ferris Bueller's Day Off?"

Abby nods.

"If I had had a Ferris in my life, I would have tossed those fucking medals off a cliff." Tim shakes his head, half-trying to imagine what his dad would have done if he had done that. He guesses the odds are fifty-fifty that he would have gone hot and beat the ever living shit out of him, or gone cold and tossed him out of the house.

"He loved the fact that I was good at math and computers. Had visions of me working on artillery or something, coming up with new and better ways for the Navy to kill people. He hated that I was so 'soft,' and decided it was his job to spend the parts of my childhood when he was home 'toughening' me up.

"The summer I was fourteen, he took me on a boat every single day. Trying to beat the seasickness out of me, like being seasick was something I was doing just to piss him off. Ten hours a day on the weekends. I lost something like thirty pounds that summer, I was so sick. I'd be throwing up, and he'd be drilling me on trajectory arcs. My mom put a stop to it in August when she was buying a second set of new, smaller clothing for me. Why would I even want someone who does things like that in my life?"

"I don't know. I'm sorry."

He tilts his head a little, lifting his eyebrows, his expression saying nothing either of us can do about it.

"You know what really terrifies me?" he asks.


"That he did it, and I'm going to have to testify against him. His lawyers will rip me apart, angry kid getting even with his dad. They'll rip you apart, fixing the forensics because you're my lover."

Abby looks deeply non-plussed by that idea. She has yet to meet a defense lawyer she couldn't chew up and spit out, so she takes the conversation in a slightly different direction.

"You think he did it?"

"Not really. I'm not feeling it."


They lay there quietly for a few breaths. Her fingers trace down his arm, gently stroking his palm. She kissed him, and he sighed, enjoying the comfort of that touch.

"What was your dad like?"

She smiles, he's been gone long enough that she can enjoy the good memories without puddling up. "He was sweet and gentle. He'd put you in mind of Palmer a little. Curly, brown hair, sometimes inappropriate stories, glasses. He loved cars. They ran a car salvage/junkyard, and when something cool came in, he'd snag it and rebuild it. Deaf, so the house I grew up in was either really quiet, or very, very loud. Music and movies loud enough to feel them, that sort of thing. Or long conversations done entirely by hand." She signed at him for a few seconds, getting the point across. "He had a really expressive face. Lots of looks, like Gibbs. Both he and my mom could read lips and talk, but if it was just the two of them, they preferred to sign.

"I rebuilt the roadster, and the Harley, and he was the guy who taught me how to do that.

"I was a little girl in the south in the '70s so I was supposed to be pretty and polite and find myself a husband right out of high school, and he told me that was complete crap. His girl was going to college and making a life for herself. I didn't have to be a blonde debutante. I could be as weird as I wanted to, and he loved me for all of it."

Tim smiles at her. "That's the kind of man I am going to be for our kids."

"I know."


A/N: So, I write ahead. (Granted I couldn't do all of this one before I saw Squall, but got a good two thirds of it done ahead of time.) And at this point I've got more than 250 more pages of this story, and John McGee needs to be around for some of them. So... he's not dying in the Shardsverse. What was the actual case about? No idea, but not a dead doctor. Likewise, I need more of an edge from Shards John McGee, so he's considerably more of a bastard in my version.

I really enjoyed Tim and Adam together, but it doesn't fit in this story, so, alas, the absolutely brilliant "You work with Ziva? All day? Every day? Really?" scene that's been bopping around in my mind isn't getting into this. (Though it might end up being a stand alone at some point.)

This chapter also marks the end of me trying to base what I'm doing on the cannon. We're into all imagination land from here. Will I continue to incorporate stuff from the actual show? Oh yeah. Especially back story details, yes indeed. But I've got story to tell and I don't want to wait for each new eppy to update.

Happy reading everyone!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 41

McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here. Once again we've got a Mature Audience Only tag on this, so skip if you don't like explicit sex.

41. Homecoming

Before his relationship with Abby, Tim got off about four times a week. And "about" had a lot to do with the caseload, how often Tony showed up at his place, how the writing was going, stuff like that. The busier he was the less interested in sex he tended to be.

But most mornings, if he had a little time, his shower didn't just involve getting clean. (Or you could say some parts of him got *very* clean.)

Since Abby, that number has jumped to seven. And he really likes seven. He especially enjoys the fact that it's seven, and he's not doing himself. Not that he's not good at doing himself, just that it's a whole lot better when she's doing it.

So, he's not exactly relishing Afghanistan.

Getting an edge.
By day three of no orgasms, he's getting something of an edge. His tolerance for stupid mistakes and minor annoyances is dropping. By the end of day three, he's come to the conclusion that Gibbs never jerks off. That's his best bet for why he's always so intense, because Tim's starting to feel it himself. He's not nearly as laid-back or mild-mannered as he usually is. But Gibbs is just the same as he always is, if anything, he's a little more laid-back than usual, because apparently being in a war zone where there are snipers and IED's hidden all over the place and people want to kill them is relaxing to him.

So, by the middle of day three, when they are getting ready to finish this, Tim is majorly looking forward to getting home.

Then Dex got shot, and that meant he was stuck in Afghanistan even longer than they had expected.

Day four, when he should be on a plane heading home, but isn't, because Dex can't travel yet, he's getting turned on by stupid things. Supposedly there are women around here somewhere, but he hasn't seen one. Instead he's noticed the arched doorways on the local mosque look a little like a stylized vagina, and that's getting to him.

Day five, there's not much to do. Tony and Ziva have taken care of the stateside part of the case. They've got their end wrapped up. So all they've got to do is wait for Dex to get stable to travel. It's not a terrible wound, but they want to make sure all of the anesthesia is out of his system before putting him on a plane. So, mostly, he's sitting around, trying to keep himself from fantasizing too much about the last time he and Abby made love.

He'd taken the picture of the pendant, put it into Google Image Search, and came up with who it belonged to in about eight minutes. He looked at her and said, "So, all night, huh?"

"We'll just have to find something else to do for the next ten hours," she replied with a smile.

And so they did, putting those fuzzy white lambskin rugs in her office to good use.

Day six, Gibbs keeps giving him these looks, and he doesn't exactly know what those looks mean, but between the looks and getting shanghaied into this trip in the first place he's almost pissed off enough to hit him for it.

Why would Gibbs bring him to Afghanistan? It's not like he relishes this kind of thing under the best of conditions and super-hot girlfriend at home does not equal best of conditions. Plus Tony and Ziva both like to travel; they enjoy dangerous places and roughing it. Meanwhile Tim wants Abby, a soft bed, and a hot shower.

18:00 (DC time) on day six and Dex is cleared to travel. Finally, they're on an airplane heading towards Germany, and in less than twenty hours will be home, where Abby is.

Where Abby is naked, in bed, wet and wanting, and not touching herself, waiting for him to come home and... And he forces himself not to think about that, or the pictures on his phone which he's been aching to see, but has not seen because if architecture is giving him a hard on, porn starring his favorite person on earth is going to kill him.

Gif from
In Germany there's privacy. So, of course, in Germany they're more or less running from one packed plane to the next. He has literally enough time to pee and nothing else before getting on the next plane.

He tries to sleep in the air. Trying to get himself closer to his normal schedule. And it works, sort of. He can't really sleep on a troop transport. Unlike Gibbs, he never acquired the ability to sleep anywhere, anytime, at the drop of a hat. So he falls into a dreaming three-quarters doze.

He's aware enough of where he is to pull out of the dream of fucking Abby in her office on those fuzzy white lambskin rugs before he gets off.

Gibbs just grins at him when he wakes up, and he growls a little, wondering if he was talking in his sleep. He was talking in the dream, saying some really fabulously, exquisitely, just full on filthy things to her while she rode him. He's hard as a rock and thankful that because of the position he's in and his jacket on his lap, no one can see that.

He's more thankful that he woke up in time and won't have to spend the next however long in slowly drying shorts, with Gibbs, who is full on smirking at him and enjoying this way, way too much, as a seatmate.

Dex stares up at him, big brown puppy eyes, and he pets him. Dex settles his head on his paws and yawns, falling back to sleep.

That's not a bad idea, so he goes back to sleep, and this time, doesn't dream.

Do I look like I want to go to Afghanistan?
It's 15:30 when they land, and Gibbs says, "Go home."

So he does.

He texts Abby when he gets into his car. Just landed. Hour from your place. Her apartment is closer to Andrews than his is, so that's where he's heading.

A minute later he gets one back. :)

You wearing a skirt? He types when he gets to the next stoplight.


Take your panties off before you get home, unless you want me to rip them off of you.

His phone buzzes, another text, but he's driving so he forces himself to ignore it. Forces himself not to let the image of her in a tiny, little skirt, no panties, legs wrapped around his hips as he fucks her through the wall distract him from the cars around him.

At the next stoplight, he picks up the phone.

I wasn't wearing any. Haven't for two days. Got a Brazillian wax day before yesterday.

He groans at that. There was another text.

Got an erection?

He types quickly. Since Germany. Am driving. Getting on 95 in a minute. Gonna make you come so hard you see stars.

The light is just changing to green when his phone buzzes. He's four cars back so he reads the text.

Just once?

He types fast. As many as you can take.

And then he's got to drive again.

When he gets to her place, he scans the parking garage but doesn't see her car. He growls a little at that, but grabs his bag and heads up to her apartment. He tosses his things into the living room and stands there, waiting.

Just got home. Where are you?

He paces around the living room, not sure what to do with himself.

Finally, after three minutes his cell buzzes. Five minutes out. You still dressed?


What are you wearing?

Blue button down, green cargo pants, black jacket, sneakers. He'd packed for four days and ended up out for six, so this clothing was on its second wear.


Black knit boxers.

Everything off.


He strips down and wonders how fast he can get a shower. Hasn't had one in close to thirty hours and the clothing he's been wearing isn't exactly fresh.

But she'll be home in three minutes, and he's not that fast. In three minutes all he can get is wet. And she knows he's been on a plane for more than twenty hours, and that the trip lasted two days longer than it was supposed to, so it's not like he's had the chance to get a shower recently or has an overabundance of clean clothing. She would have told him to get a shower if she wanted him to. He's fairly sure of that.

He's pacing the living room, naked, phone in hand, waiting to see if he'll get another text. An idea hits, he can look at the pictures now. He opens his email and begins to look. He'd had thousands of ideas of what might have been in those pictures and most of them were wrong, and none of them were nearly as good as seeing what she had sent him.

He's on the seventh shot, her naked, fingering herself, eyes closed, back arched, chest flushed, looking like she's about to come, when he hears her hand on the door knob. He put the phone down, fast, and yanks open the door.

Last time he saw that skirt.
He looks at her, eyes hungry, body aching for her, cock leaking, and pulls her close. He registers that she does have on a little tan plaid skirt, a white tank top, and her nipples are hard, and then he was kicking shut the door and lifting her into his arms, as she wrapped her legs around his hips.

Her lips and tongue meet his as his cock sinks into her. He groans, loud, almost pained, so happy to be back in her.

"Fuck! Tim!" Her voice is breathy and she locks her feet together on the small of his back while wrapping one arm around his shoulders and tangling her hand in his hair.

He savors being fully in her for a few seconds and then takes two steps, backing her to the wall.

"Gonna fuck you through the wall."


And there was nothing even remotely soft, or tender, or gentle about what came next. Just fast, hard, licking, biting, touching each other as much and as fully as they can, all at once, firework sex. And like a firework, it was over a lot faster than either of them really would have liked.

He was leaning against her, breathing hard, still holding her up, feeling, honestly, embarrassed.

He grins sheepishly. "Okay, that wasn't quite how I had planned that."

She smiles gently and kisses him, stroking his face. "How did you plan it?"

He lightly licks her bottom lip. "Among other things, I envisioned you getting off and me lasting for more than thirty seconds."

She laughs and kisses him again, looking amused. "Good thirty seconds?"

"Fast thirty seconds. I missed you." He kisses her, lips slow and lingering.

"I noticed." She kisses him back, another slow lingering kiss. "I missed you, too." She squirms a little. "I'm noticing something else."

"Yeah, me, too." He's not going soft. And he's not feeling much of what could be called any sort of desire to pull out or go to sleep. In fact, he's still feeling awfully turned on. He thrust against her again, and yep, that felt really good.

She sighs as he does that. "That's nice."

"That's a fucking miracle."

"I'll take it."

"Me, too!"

He thrusts a few times, enjoying it, making sure he's not going to go soft, and when he's feeling pretty sure that he's good to go, he puts her down and drops to his knees.

He unzips her boots and takes them off, sure he'll forget about them if he doesn't take care of them now, then tugs off her skirt and just looks. She's perfectly smooth and hairless, pink lips peeking out between soft white skin. "Ohhh..."

"You like that?"

Tim looks up at her, impossibly wide grin on his face, then kisses her mound, tongue tracing over skin that he'd never seen before. "That's at least a quarter of getting off in thirty seconds." He licks again, fingers following the path of his tongue. "So soft." His fingers slip down further, caressing over the now hairless outer lips, feeling her silky smooth and wet.

His tongue starts to follow. She pulls on his hair and he looks up at her again.

"You sure?"

That stops him. He's staring up at her, a very puzzled look on his face. Okay, yeah he doesn't particularly like going down on her when she's on her period, but she stopped menstruating when she went on Depo, so that shouldn't be an issue. "Why wouldn't I be?"

He watches her slip a finger between her lips, and if it was possible, that made him even harder, and come back wet with his cum.

"Oh." Hmmm... Yeah... That... Screw it, naked and impossibly soft and, God, naked Abby pussy in front of his mouth. No way he's not going to kiss her. "You've swallowed enough of it over the last year. Doesn't seem to have done you any harm." And then he sucks her finger into his mouth.

She lets out a startled half-moan, half-laugh at that, and when he let go of her finger and began tonguing her clit that sound morphs into all moan.

It isn't like he's never tasted it before, though the lingering traces of it on her mouth after she's gone down on him is somewhat different from licking it off her skin. It isn't bad, didn't taste like much of anything really. Sure, he's not saying he wants to drink a glass of it or anything, but it isn't poison, either.

And there is something deliciously kinky about licking it off of her. About spreading her legs, seeing it dribble down her thigh, knowing it's his cum, on her, in her, and he's getting to lick it off. That hit a few buttons he didn't know he had.

There certainly is a thrill at how slippery and wet she is, how open and inviting, and how his fingers could just slide in, stroking her mercilessly, because by the time he had gotten them involved in the action he wanted to get her off as hard and fast as he could.

There were the sounds she was making. The sweetest, hottest music ever, dancing through his mind as he licks and strokes, feeling her get tighter and move faster against him.

Her hands clench in his hair, pulling him closer, letting her fuck his mouth, letting him feel how much she's missed this, wanted it, needed it.

Her thighs begin to tremble, and with a sharp, sudden spasm, he knows she's done. He holds her, tongue pressed gently against her, feeling her body shake, and grins.

He lets her come down for a minute, until most, but not all of the quivers had stopped, and then pulls back, standing up, kissing her deeply.

Tim thinks about her apartment and the furniture in the living room-kitchen area. The table isn't very stable. The sofa's too low for what he wants to do next. The kitchen counter on the other hand...

"See stars?" he asks.



She nods, smiles, and kisses him again.

He doesn't break the kiss, but begins to head them into the kitchen.

She does break the kiss. "Kitchen?"


"What are you thinking?"

"Putting you on the counter and fucking you blind."

Two steps later, they're in the kitchen and a second after that he does have her on the counter. And yeah, it's just about hip high on him, wonderful.

He slips into her, fast, and slides back out, slow. She leans back on her elbows, legs wrapped around his hips, as he strokes her breasts through the tank top. It's almost perfect.

"Sit up."

She does, and he takes off the tank top.

"Perfect," he says kissing her shoulder.


He pulls back to look her in the eye. "God, yes, I can feel you and see you, and," he thrusts hard into her, "you feel so fucking amazing. Missed you, missed this, so much."

She arches up to meet his thrust, sighing as his hand slips down.

He's moving slowly, fingers teasing, cock stroking long and smooth. He's watching his body slip into hers, watching his fingers dance on her skin, and he loves the pictures, but seeing this live, feeling it, is so much better than any picture could ever be.

She pulls his head up to look in her eyes, and kisses him hard, tongue moving fast and frantic while his hips slow down even further. He's softly gliding against her, pulling out until only the tip of him is touching her, and then easing all the way back in.

Abby leans back on her elbows again, and he follows her, kissing and nipping at her nipples. Gently stroking with his tongue and then pulling with his teeth. She's rocking against him, eyes closed, mouth slightly open, breathing fast and hard.

"Wanna make you come slow."


"Just gonna keep doing this, nice and slow." His thumb is moving over her clit, firm, focused, but not fast, and his cock keeps easing in and out. His mouth moves back to hers, and with his free hand he pulls her up so they're chest to chest, lips to lips.

"I want you to feel every inch of me. Feel how hard you make me. Feel how much I want you. Feel how every single night I was dreaming of you. Dreaming of you wet and tight on me. Dreaming of your taste on my lips." He licks his lips, still able to taste her, and then kisses her, also wet and slow.

He can feel her body growing tight on his, and she's squirming, because in this position she can't really thrust or increase the speed. Though she can use her legs to pull him into her faster, and does.

"Slow, baby. Just let me do you." He strokes his right hand through her hair, knotting his fingers in it, holding her head still, and kisses her again, deep and soft. "Promise, I'll make it worth your while."

And if tied up and spun out is what gets him off harder than anything else, this is what does it for her. Long, slow, achingly slow strokes, the sort that take control and patience, and right now, he feels like he can do this all night. He can go as long as she might want him to.

So he does.

She falls back to her elbows, head back, mouth open as she moans a little with each breath. He shifts her left leg over his shoulder, so he can slide in a little deeper.

"Oh, God, Tim. Fuck baby." Her cheeks and chest are pink, nipples hard, face looking like she's somewhere between exquisite pleasure and sharp pain.

"Please!" Her hands and feet are clenched and he slows down a little more, thumb barely moving, more pressing against her than any sort of friction. He doesn't stop moving, but he goes so slowly she eventually starts to relax again.

She's moaning now, and it's not precisely a happy sound. It's more a I-was-a-second-from-climaxing-why-did-you-stop-this-is-torture sort of sound.

He's kissing her leg, right hand stroking her nipple, left starting to speed up again, going back to that slow, firm grind. "I've got you, Abby. Gonna make you come so hard it'll be worth a six day wait."

The last time he did this, the last time he had the control to do this, was after Palmer's wedding. He'd already gotten off three times and felt no sense of urgency, so he wanted to see what would happen if he just went slow on her. And she bit him black and blue and scratched his back bloody and came so hard she passed out.

And he can feel his own arousal building, so he knows he doesn't have the control to spin this out as long as he did then, but he can probably get pretty close.

He can feel her tense up again, and again he slows way down, barely moving, but keeping pressure on her clit and nipple. And if she wasn't supporting her weight on her elbows, he's fairly sure she would be clawing his back to ribbons, and he'd be enjoying every second of it.

And again she relaxes.

He starts to slide against her again, long slow strokes, all the way in and all the way out. She's moaning with every breath, and skin pink from her stomach to her forehead.

Her eyes are closed, so he watches himself fuck her. Watches her body, wet and glistening, take him in, and drag against his as he eases out.

He's starting to moan with each stroke, feeling his balls start to creep up and his thighs tense. He forces himself to keep going slow, he'll wreck it if he starts thrusting like crazy, so he keeps pulling all the way out, pushing all the way in, and rubbing his thumb in firm slow circles.

He changes the angle a little. Getting his knees into the motion. Pushing up as well as in.

"Fuck!" she more breathed it loudly than spoke. She pulls her head up, opens her eyes slowly, and stares at him.

That starts to undo him. She's so tight against him, and her eyes are glazed with lust, pupils wide with excitement. He eases back in again, getting that angle again, and begins to move his thumb just a hair faster.

"Don't stop!"

"Not this time."

He speeds up just a little, jaw clenched, shoulders and thighs and back tight, he probably looks like he's in pain, too, but it feels so mind-blowingly good.

She makes these little fast inhaling sounds, followed by a harsh shuddering breath. He flicks his thumb just a little faster and feels her go very tight, and then ease over the edge, her body rippling and twitching around him, moans verging on sobs slipping from her lips.

And that does it for him. This time is slow burn fireworks, blowing their way up his spine and down his legs, through his balls and centered on his cock, and this is the homecoming fuck he'd been dreaming about.

The bad thing about a mind-blowing fuck on the kitchen counter is you can't exactly collapse in a boneless heap with your lover.

He ended up on the kitchen floor, back against the cabinet the pots live in, her foot on his shoulder, his forehead and lips pressed against her calf, as they both just sort of laid around and rested.

Eventually she felt like moving and ended up on his lap. They sat there, snuggling, his fingers petting her hair, her head on his shoulder, neither of them talking, just enjoying touching.

And eventually, the kitchen floor is cold and hard, and the cabinet isn't very comfy, the handle poking him in the shoulder, and his feet are starting to fall asleep because she's sitting on his legs, so he says, "I should get a shower."

She sniffs him. "Not a bad idea."

He laughs, and she stands up.

A few minutes later they're in the shower, and he's groaning with pleasure again. "I love hot water! Oh... God. I don't know who invented the hot water heater, but he was a genius!"

"No stalls, no privacy, no hot water," Abby said, fingers on his hips, watching him throw his head back and let the water flow over him.

He wipes the water out of his face, and steps a little forward, so it's mostly hitting his back and shoulders. "Yeah, I don't recommend Afghanistan for vacationing. Dex and Gibbs had a much better time than I did."

"Dex got shot."

He grins. "Exactly."

She looks up at him, eyes narrowing a little, thinking. "You're bad luck for dogs. Jethro got shot. Dex got shot."

"Dogs are bad luck for me, too. And Jethro got shot because he was trying to rip my throat out." He touches the four tiny scars on his throat left over from their first meeting. "If he had played nice, I would have, too."

She shakes her head and reaches for the shampoo. "Turn around, I'll do your hair."

He does, and sighs happily as she starts to rub her fingers through his hair.

"What's the plan for tomorrow?" Abby asks.

"Back to work. Taking Dex home. Hopefully it's a paperwork day."

She nods at that.

"You?" he asks.

"Probably paperwork. Deposition at two."

They spent the next half-hour like that, talking, getting clean, Tim enjoying his first hot shower in a week.

They get out of the shower and dry off. He's getting ready to start shaving, but she stays his hand.

"Tomorrow's soon enough. I like you stubbly like this, not really a beard, but long enough so it's not prickly. It feels nice."

He smiles and puts the razor down. It's been maybe three days since he shaved last. And yeah, it's a little itchy, but if she likes it, twelve more hours won't hurt.

In the bedroom, he slipped into a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt, enjoying how soft and comfy they are. Nothing about Afghanistan is soft, and he likes soft. She wraps up in her robe, it's long and black and silky, covered in white and pink cherry blossoms. He spends a long minute just watching her. Skin pink from the hot water, hair down, curling a little because she's towel dried it but not brushed it out yet.

He sits on their bed, relishing the easy intimacy of this moment, and the overwhelming comfort and rightness. Rule number eight: never take anything for granted. And right now, he isn't.

"Is there any food?" he asks, looking in the almost empty fridge. He's not feeling much interest in salad dressing, left over Caf-Pow, or turkey slices that are probably a few days past their prime.

"Ice cream," Abby says, opening the freezer, chin on his shoulder. "That's about it. It's lonely eating here without you, so I ate out."

He nods. Grocery shopping tomorrow. But for tonight, ice cream for dinner will do. It's Chocolate Moose Tracks, which is probably his second or third favorite, but since she doesn't much like his top two, (Coffee and Mint Chocolate Chip) and he's not huge fan of her favorite (Cherry Sorbet), it's what they usually get.

They settle onto the sofa, one container of ice cream, two spoons, and the remote. "Did you watch the Walking Dead while I was away?"

"I had to do something to pass the time."

"Was it good?" He's queuing it up on the DVR.

"So good."

"Okay, don't spoil for me."

She feeds him a bite of the ice cream, and then curls up against him as he wraps his arm around her. And that's how they ended the night, snuggled on the sofa, sharing ice cream, watching the Walking Dead.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 40

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

Image from:
40. Texts From Afghanistan

He's lying on his cot, not sleeping. Sleeping would be a hell of a lot easier if he wasn't on a cot, two feet away from Gibbs, in fucking Afghanistan, where he most decidedly does not want to be.

His phone is on silent, but he feels it buzz.

Bedtime? It's a text from Abby.

About twenty minutes ago. You just getting up?

Yeah. Check your email.

He does. There are ten new emails from her. He opens the first one, and it's a picture she took of herself snuggled into his bed, on his pillow. He smiles a little at that, and then goes to the next one. The next one takes a second to open. It's got some sort of mild encryption on it. Same basic pose, her in bed, laying snuggled up with his pillow, but this time the comforter is back enough so he can see she's wearing the cobalt blue silk teddy with the white lace trim he got her a few days earlier.

He opens the third one, and this one takes a few seconds to open. A little more encryption. This one's a panties shot, and yes, she's wearing the panties that go with that teddy. Her hand is splayed open against her inner thigh, thumb on her mound, index finger just dipping under the hem at her leg, but what really gets his attention is the tiny, probably dime-sized, wet spot on the crotch.

He hasn't gotten that hard that fast without a girl actually touching him since he was fourteen.

He shuts down email really fast and finds another text from her.

Like what you saw?

You are evil. Gibbs is sleeping two feet away from me!

Then you'll just have to be really quiet.

I'll have to just be really frustrated. I'm not jerking off with him right next to me.

Why not? You can be quiet.

Not that quiet.

So go to the head.

Communal showers, communal head.

No stalls?



Yeah. No privacy, at all, until Germany, two days from now.

Poor baby. Did you look at all of them?

Just the first three.

There's some really good stuff in there.

He grits his teeth, wanting to groan, not wanting to wake up Gibbs as he images what really good stuff might be.

This is not helping with being frustrated.

How about this: I won't touch myself until you get back, and when you do, we'll tear each other's clothes off and fuck like bunnies.

I'm sensing you do not grasp the concept of how male sexual frustration works.

Maybe not. ;) But I certainly get teasing and anticipation. And it's not like four days of no sex is a record for you.

True enough.

So I'll be home, in your bed, wearing the frilly lacy things you've bought me, not touching myself, waiting for you to get home.

You are killing me.

:P So what is your record?

On my own or with a woman?


Seven days on my own, eighteen months with a woman. You?

Six weeks on my own, ten months with a guy.

Six weeks?

Gave it up for Lent once.

Huh. I had the flu for the seven days.

LOL He can imagine the look on her face as she laughs at that. So, lack of sex aside, how is it going?

Hot, dry, people want to kill us, same old, same old. You?

Lot better than that. How's Dex?

He's a Labrador in a war zone with a job to do, and Gibbs is doting on him. He's happy as a clam.

You ever want another dog? German Shepherds live ten to twelve years, and Jethro was already six when he got him. He had died last year.

No. Loving something I was going to outlive by fifty years once was enough.

I get that.

How about you? The new place will let us have one, you want a pet?

A kitten?

I'm allergic to them.


Eat your computer wires.


See Ferret.


You can't get them wet.

Why would you want to get a chinchilla wet?

I wouldn't. But if they get wet they get sick.

That makes no sense. They're animals that live outdoors, in the jungle, where it rains.

Look, that's what my mom told us when my sister wanted one. They make bad pets because if you get them wet, they die. He waited, but no new words popped up. It occurs to him that just possibly his mom wasn't telling the truth about that. She wasn't exactly a pet person, and didn't want any sort of small furry thing living in their home. Are you laughing at that?

No. Just couldn't figure out what to say to it. Anyway, I don't think we're getting a pet.

Probably not.

So, Gibbs is sleeping?

He's laying down, his eyes are closed, and he's snoring. If he's not asleep, I don't know what asleep is.

What I'd give to see that. Take a picture?


Come on. You know you want to.


He rolled onto his side and aimed his phone, and without opening his eyes Gibbs said, "Take a picture and die, McGee. Tell Abby goodnight and go to sleep."

Apparently, I don't know what asleep is. I've been ordered to go to tell you goodnight and go to sleep.


Love you.

Love you, too.


A/N: Okay, I absolutely adored Seek. Best episode of the year. I loved the fact that we get confirmation that Tim still writes, and the look on his face when Gibbs says they're going to Afghanistan is priceless. And you can see Gibbs is enjoying taking him way too much. (More on that in a later chapter.) That's exactly the way I would have written that scene, but they did it for me! YAY!