Chapter 31: Palmer's Hidden Talents
Two days later, they're in Abby's lab with Palmer, and needles.
"I hate needles. I really hate them," Tim says staring at the tray with the syringes on it sitting in front of Abby's computer.
Abby squeezes his hand. "You'll be fine."
"I'm good at blood draws. None of my patients ever complain," Jimmy says with a smile, soaking a cotton ball in alcohol.
"Jimmy, your patients are dead."
"Minor point. Roll up your sleeve and let's get this done."
Tim was starting to think that doing this in Abby's lab wasn't the best idea ever. First of all, neither of them knows how to wield a hypodermic, which meant getting Palmer or Ducky involved, and well, if it was going to be one of them, Palmer was the obvious choice. Secondly, he's wondering if Director Craig is going to end up down here wondering why NCIS ordered two STD panels as well as two HIV tests.
Tim rolled up his sleeve and looked away. There's a tiny pinch, a miniscule burning sensation, and Jimmy says, "Flex your fingers."
"That's it?" Tim stares at the syringe in his arm, the vial slowly filling with his blood.
"I told you I was good at this. You forget I'm a doctor, which means I worked with live patients. I spent six months working out of a clinic where 95% of the cases I saw involved blood draws of one sort or another. I can do this blindfolded in my sleep."
Tim wonders a bit what having Jimmy Palmer for a doctor must have been like. "Why does Ducky call you Mr. Palmer?"
"Because I wasn't a doctor when I started here. By the time I had my MD, the name stuck, and he's been calling me Mr. Palmer ever since."
"Huh." The idea of Jimmy finishing up medical school while working here was nothing that had ever occurred to Tim. "You have hidden talents."
"I'm a good cook, too."
"Is there anything you can't do?" Abby asks.
"I'm a terrible ice skater. Can't stay up on skates to save my life. That's why the idea of naked ice hockey was so terrifying." He swaps out one of the tubes for another one. "You're almost done; then we can get Abby."
A minute later, Tim was holding a cotton ball to the crook of his arm, and Palmer was taking Abby's blood.
A minute after that Palmer handed the last tube to Abby. "Here you go. Good luck on the results."
"It's pretty cool you're getting tested together," Palmer says while disposing of the sharps. "I had to do that quietly, on my own."
"Breena didn't get tested?" Abby asks.
"She waited until we got married. I had some skeletons in my closet that I had to make sure hadn't bit me, but she didn't."
Abby and Tim just stared at Palmer for a moment, then Tim said, "So that's what you meant about expectations being high."
He smiles a little sheepishly. "Yeah."
"I am really sorry you missed your honeymoon," Abby said.
"You have no idea!"
"I'm starting to get one. So, really, not until your wedding?" She seems amazed by the idea.
"Technically not until a week after." Palmer says a few extraordinarily rude things about Harper Dearing under his breath followed by, "Longest two years of my life. But so worth it, you've got no idea what releasing that kind of build-up is like."
Tim looks at Abby, quickly kisses her, and says to Palmer, "Nine years. I've got a clue."