Saturday, March 23, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 38

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

Chapter 38: Today It Wasn't Me

"Hey Breena."

"Hi Abby, what's up?"

"Could you come to the lab?"

"Sure. Why do you need me at the lab?"

"It's a surprise."

"Okay, I'll be there in half an hour."

Abby felt sick to her stomach as she hung up. But she wanted Breena driving happy, relaxed, alert, and paying attention to the traffic, not in a blind panic worrying about Jimmy.

Two minutes ago, the Team had headed out to go get Jimmy and Ducky, and she knew that if Jimmy did come back, Breena would want to see him right that second and he would want to see her. And if he didn't, she'd want someone to hold her and cry with her, and for that matter, so would Abby.

There was no way she was going to let Breena sit at home, wondering where Jimmy was, waiting for the knock on the door... Well, no, Breena wouldn't be worrying about that knock. Jimmy's a medical examiner, not a cop. But ME or not, that knock could be coming.

But it wouldn't, not like that at least, because Abby was going to make sure Breena was here, with her, with family, not having to face the wait alone.

Breena got there half an hour later, and Abby can tell by the way she's dressed, cute top, flirty skirt, heels, that she's thinking this is some sort of anniversary surprise Jimmy's come up with.

And she can see, just as clearly, that look of pleased curiosity fall apart as she lays eyes on Abby and sees the fear.

She wraps her arms around Breena and says, as carefully as she can, because she doesn't want to start crying, "Jimmy went missing a few hours ago. Gibbs and Tim and Tony and Ziva found him half an hour ago, and they're out getting him back."

She feels Breena stiffen, feels the shivers start, but she doesn't cry, she just asks, "Missing how?"

"Someone kidnapped him and Ducky."

Breena looked up at the ceiling, took a very deep breath, let it out slowly, and began to pray. And that didn't sound like a bad idea to Abby, so she joined in.

Two and a half of the longest hours in the history of time passed until her cell buzzed. Four words, from Tim, and they felt better than almost anything he'd ever told her.

Got them. Everyone's fine. She showed that to Breena who began to sob as soon as she saw them.

They headed up to the Bullpen to wait for them to come home. And it was another very slow two hours before the elevator pinged, and Breena ran to it, waiting right in front of the doors. Before they had opened all the way, she rushed into Jimmy's arms, clinging to him, and he was holding onto her for dear life, face pressed against her shoulder, babbling about missing their anniversary, and finally she pulled his face up, and kissed him soundly, then stopped, looked at him for a long time, kissed him again and said, "It doesn't matter. You're alive." Everyone else filed out of the elevator, Gibbs providing an arm for Ducky to lean on, and the doors shut, giving them some privacy.

No one said anything when Tim walked straight up to her, wrapped his arms around her, while she rested her face against his chest, her hands rubbing his arms, and waist, the sort of touch that seemed to be testing, making sure he was really there.

They usually aren't any more affectionate at work than they were before they started dating. Mostly because it's work. But today no one looked, and no one snickered, when she kissed him hard and frantic, and then took his hand and led him to the stairs toward the parking lot less than a minute after they got back.

They didn't talk, because the best he could say to her was, "Today, it wasn't me," and that's not good enough for either of them.

If sex is a language, and she's fairly sure it is, what happened when they got home, barely in the door, was mostly an expression of fear, and reminding yourself that another day has passed without the worst happening.

They aren't strangers to the up against the wall quickie. Likewise, fast and hard isn't something new either. But today's terrified edge was new. She hadn't realized how scared she was until Tim had gotten back, and she hadn't realized the fear wasn't just for Ducky and Jimmy until he was walking across the Bullpen toward her.

And right now, the only thing easing that fear is touching all of him, as much and as quickly as possible, and feeling him touch her, knowing that hands and lips, cock and tongue, all on her, are real and alive and him.

In bed after, wrapped around each other, still awake, was in many ways more intense than the sex. Sex makes your body produce happy chemicals that help shut down fear and sorrow.

There's still nothing they can say to each other. No good reassurances that will mean anything, or even begin to approach true. Comforting lies aren't, not when both of you can do the math.

Palmer's nine months anniversary also means it's the nine month anniversary of the explosion. And especially with Palmer and Ducky going missing today, the danger of their jobs, his more than hers, but hers certainly isn't safe, is fresh in both of their minds.

She can feel the weight of all the people they've buried together over the years, and the fact that there is no magic protective shield that will keep any of them safe, and as that settles into her mind, she begins to tremble, and cry.

Tim holds her tighter, still not saying anything, but eventually she notices the tears she feels aren't hers alone.

In the morning they got up and forced fear into the background, because there's nothing that can be done besides pushing it aside and moving forward.


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