Chapter 70. Arizona
In retrospect, driving through Arizona, at night, in a Porsche, with no lights on was probably a bad idea.
But the moon is edging toward full, the stars are a million miles closer out here than they are back in DC and with the headlights on you just can’t see the desert all that well. It’s more than light enough to drive, and he’s got the running lights on so other drivers (not that there are any) can see him well enough.
The only good luck on this was that when he saw the flashers in his rearview mirror that he had only been going ten over the limit.
The cop who pulled them over looks to be, maybe, and Tim thinks this is a generous assessment, seventeen-years-old.
This is probably what he looked like to Tony when they first started working together.
He rolls down the window and sees the cop, Jeffery, according to his name tag, but for some perverse reason Tim’s thinking of him as Opie, do a double take. Whatever he was expecting to see in that car, it wasn’t Tim and Abby.
He stammers a little. “License and registration.”
Tim hands them over, and Opie checks them out. “Excuse me, sir, do you know how fast you were going?”
Opie blinks, not expecting that. “And did you know you were driving with no lights?”
“Yes. You can see better without them.”
Apparently that also wasn’t the answer he was expecting. He stares at the car, sees Abby grinning at him, and says, “Can I check your trunk?”
Tim sighs. “No.”
Opie’s not happy about that.
There’s nothing illegal in the trunk. But he doesn’t want this wet behind the ears noob going through his computers or sex toys. Let alone having to deal with getting everything repacked.
He didn’t bring his badge or gun with him. It’s a crime to use his badge for anything other than ID, like to try and get free stuff, and he’s sensitive to how people react to seeing it, so unless he’s on duty he doesn’t keep it on him.
“Do you have a computer in your car?”
That also threw Opie—Jeffrey—for a loop.
“Go onto the Federal Agent Database. I’m Special Agent Tim McGee, NCIS, badge number,” and he rattled off the digits.
“If you’re a Federal Agent, where’s your badge?”
“Not here, for the same reason you don’t get to look in my trunk.” Okay, sure that reason would be, I’m on vacation, but he doesn’t much mind if Opie thinks it’s some sort of special op.”
“Abby Sciuto. I don’t have a badge, but I’m in the Federal Employee Database as well, S-C-I-U-T-O, NCIS, Lead Forensic Specialist.”
Opie heads over to his computer and twenty minutes later, he comes back. “Okay, you two check out. Please, turn your lights on.”
“Fine.” Tim flicks them on.
“You can go.”
And he drove off.
“Someone better be dead,” Tim said as one lone eyeball opened just enough to confirm that yes, Tony was calling him at 5:22 in the morning, or, more relevant, nine minutes after he and Abby went to bed.
“That someone’ll be you if I don’t have an answer for Vance immediately as to why a LEO out of Dolan Springs, AZ was looking you up last night.”
“I didn’t bring my badge along, and I didn’t want Opie looking through the trunk.”
“Opie?” He lost Tony on that one.
“Could we maybe do this when I’ve had more than three minutes of sleep?”
“Where are you?”
“Okay. Just give me the really fast version. What happened?”
“Traffic stop. LEO wanted to search my car. I didn’t want him doing it. Told him I was an officer. He checked. He backed off. And we went on our way.”
“Fine. I’ll let Vance know, and he can calm back down.”
“Good.” Tim hung up and went back to sleep.
“Are you awake now?” Tony asks.
Tim’s watching him on Skype. “Yeah.” It was five in the afternoon where they were, eight where Tony was. They’d decided to spend the day sleeping, and then get ready for the evening.
Ziva pops into the picture. “Hello, McGee.”
“So, what’s the story? Why was Opie checking you out?” Tony asks.
Tim tells him and wraps up with, “And that’s why you don’t drive a Porsche though Arizona at night with no lights on.”
“What do you have in your car you don’t want a cop going through?” Tony asks.
Tim smiles. “The sorts of things I’m not telling you about, either.”
“Why are you driving at night?” Ziva wants to know.
“Better view, no traffic. Oh, by the way, if you thought it was good at one twenty, one forty is amazing.”
“You were driving the Porsche at one hundred and forty miles an hour?” Ziva looks stunned, and Tony’s jaw has dropped.
Abby, just getting out of the shower, wrapped in a towel, crouches next to the screen. “Hey. No, that was me. He didn’t get over one thirty.”
He kissed the tip of her nose. “I might have gotten over a hundred and thirty, but you distracted me.”
“Okay, that’s enough of that!” Tony cuts in, “Did Opie get you going that fast?”
“Nah. We did that in Texas. McGee made sure we knew where the speed traps were going to be so we didn’t get caught. But that was the night before, last night we were going kind of slow.”
“Yeah, not driving one hundred and thirty miles an hour or more with no lights. I wasn’t trying to get out of a ticket. I just didn’t want Opie messing with our stuff. We were going eighty-five.”
“Pretty zippy, McSpeedracer.”
“Speed limit’s seventy-five out there. Not too fast.”
Abby turns the computer to the side a bit so her getting dressed isn’t in view, and Tim moves with it. “Anyway, is Vance pissed?”
“No. There was no complaint or anything. He just wanted to know why you and Abby got looked up last night.”
“And you’re in Vegas now?”
“Yeah. Figure we’ll spend a few days messing around here, then head north and west. Hit Portland and Seattle, then back east again.”
“Going to come home married?” Tony asked.
Abby’s not dressed enough to get back into frame, but they hear her say, “Oh no, we’re making all of you come to our wedding.”
“And Gibbs would pout if you got married without him,” Ziva added to Abby.
Abby laughs at that idea. “There’s something I’d love to see. Gibbs pout.” She looks at Tim, smiling. “Think it’s worth it?”
“No, because if he’s going to start pouting, he’s also going to headslap me with a brick. Gibbs likes to spread unhappy all over the place. Plus Jimmy and Breena really would pout.”
“Good point.” Abby nods.
“And so would Harper,” Tim added.
“Another good point.”
“Who’s Harper?” Tony asked.
“Abby’s niece. Got to meet her in New Orleans.”
“You have a niece?”
“Luca and Melody’s daughter. She’s fourteen. Tim’s got three step-brothers and like seven nieces and nephews.”
“Really?” Ziva asks.
“And you have never mentioned them?” Ziva asks.
Tim shrugs. “I’ve only ever seen one of them. They aren’t family so much as a bunch of kids who call my mom, Granma.”
“Okay.” Tony gets that. He has no idea how many nephews or nieces he might have if he was to count the kids of all his step-brothers and sisters. He shifts the topic, “So, Vegas, then what?”
“Portland, Seattle, thinking North Dakota—“ Abby says, popping back into view, wearing a cute black lace cocktail dress.
“Abby, what on earth is in North Dakota?” Tony asks.
“Cool ghost towns.” Ziva and Tony look at each other, both of them silently saying, ‘Of course’ with their expression. “And then back east again.”
“Sounds good. Keep posting pictures, we’re enjoying them,” Ziva says.
“You should have seen Gibbs looking at the ones from the Goth club. You’ll appreciate this, McGeek, he was quoting Firefly.”
Tim grins for a moment, then thinks about that. “Tony, why can you recognize Firefly quotes?”
“Palmer held a gun to my head and made me watch it.”
Tim narrows his eyes, disbelief in his gaze. “Nope, not buying that.”
“Fine, I like movies, and if you like movies you’re at least vaguely aware of Joss Whedon, and if you’ve run into Joss Whedon, then you’re more or less required by law to watch Firefly.”
“Uh huh… We’ll talk more about this later. When we don’t have a dinner date,” Tim says.
“You have a date?” Ziva asks.
“Yeah, and I still need to get ready.”
“Who do you even know in Vegas?” Tony asks.
“Big surprise, talk about it later,” Abby finishes, grinning, and switched off Skype.