Thursday, May 16, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 91

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

Chapter 91: How Much?

“How much did Abby’s ring cost?” Tony asked Tim as they drove to question a suspect.

“What?” That question is so far out of bounds he doesn’t even know what to start doing with it.

“Ziva knows how much you spent on the stones, so I can’t get her a ring that costs less than that.”

“What?” He’s still stunned Tony is asking about this.

“Engagement ring for Ziva, I can’t get her less of a ring than you got Abby.”

“This is how you tell me you’re going to ask Ziva to marry you?”

Tony shot him a see, that’s what it feels like look. “I thought the fact that I’d do it sooner or later was pretty obvious.”

“Okay, yeah it was, still something other than, ‘Hey, I intend to outspend you,’ would have been nice.”

“Fine.  I’m going to ask Ziva to marry me, so I need a ring, and because you had the brilliant idea to take her gem shopping when you got Abby her ring, and because C.I.Ray already whipped out a huge stone for her, she’s got expectations now, and I can’t fall short of them. So, how much was Abby’s ring?”

"Your main engagement ring goal is to out romance me?"
Tim was staring at Tony like he couldn’t believe this. “Your main engagement ring goal is to out romance me?”

“No.” Tony thought about it. “Yes. If I don’t, then this is just routine for her, something she’s already seen.”

Tim laughed. “First off, taking her along was Gibbs’ idea. Secondly, you’re screwed, $15,300.”

“For a ring!?!” Tony’s eyes just about fell out of his head at that idea, and he pulled over and stopped the car.

Tim shrugged. “Gems came in at a little over 7,000 and the custom design work and materials on the ring was a bit over 8,000.”

“You spent three months of your salary on a ring?”

Tim grinned at Tony, enjoying this way too much. “Five after taxes.”

“What the hell is wrong with you?”

“Nothing. I had the cash. I wanted to get her the perfect ring. That’s what the perfect ring cost.”

Tony looked to the sky and said, “Why?”

“I did, however, get some intel for you.”

Tony’s eyes narrowed; he looked interested. “What?”

“She likes sapphires. But she wouldn’t tell me what sort of proposal she wanted.”


“So, besides determining you want to get her a ‘better’ ring than I got Abby, do you have any ideas?”

Tony sighed. “Shooting you in the head for spending so goddamn much.”

Tim snorted. “I wasn’t aware I was setting a ring budget for you. And if I had known that... I would have done exactly the same thing. She loves that ring. It is absolutely perfect for her. And she is going to wear it every single day for the rest of her life. So, get over how much it cost. Abby helped Palmer pick out Breena’s ring, and I didn’t feel any need to compete with that.”

“Because you blew it out of the water by a mile before you even got one of your stones picked out.”

Tim shrugged. “Really wasn’t thinking about it at all. What I was thinking about was spending months searching online looking at pre-made rings and thinking that none of them were right for Abby. But you aren’t marrying Abby, you’re marrying Ziva, who likes classic, elegant, beautiful things which you can just walk into a jewelry store and buy.”

“There is that.”

“And I highly doubt Ziva cares at all how much her ring is going to cost.”

“I care.”


Tony shrugged. “I just do. And I don’t want my dad looking at it and smirking about it. Man’s bought more engagement rings than Gibbs has, so he’s got ideas about what they should look like.”

“I can take you to where I got Abby’s gems, and the guy who’s making our wedding rings seems to know what he’s doing. The guy who did her engagement ring took three times as long as he said he would, so unless you do want killer filigree work way late, I don’t recommend him. So, besides expensive, what do you want to get her?”

Tony was facing in Tim’s direction, but not really looking at him. “It should be smooth and strong. She works with her hands, fights with them, so it can’t have soft, easily snagged bits on it. But it should still be beautiful and delicate.”

“Were you thinking diamonds?”

“I was, but if she likes sapphires, I should probably look at them. Plus sapphires would have the advantage of not looking anything like the ring C.I.Ray got her.”

“Good plan.”


Tony thought for a moment, then he looked at Tim, curiously. “You just had fifteen thousand dollars lying around?”

Tim shrugged, watching traffic speed by. “Yeah.”


He turned his eyes back to Tony and squinted a little, the sort of gesture that means, I’ll answer this, but don’t get to deep into it, okay?  “First off, it took me almost half a year to even get the stones. That’s a good chunk of time to save. Secondly, I do have another job.”

Tony was staring at him, looking a little suspicious.

“They actually pay me to write mysteries. It’s not just a hobby.”

“Oh. Right. Gemcity. Does that pay well?”

Tim shook his head dismissively, this is what he doesn’t want to get too into. Sure, he hadn’t been subtle about the cash on the first book, but after losing everything he’s been a whole lot pickier about how he spends his money. Tony’s probably noticed he’s got a good watch and wears expensive stuff when they aren’t at work, and that their apartment is awfully nice, but it’s not like he’s bought a new Porsche recently. “I’m not Rick Castle, but I do okay. So, you given any thought as to what to do with the ring once you’ve got it?” he asked, turning them into more comfortable territory.



“And, besides the fact that our year anniversary is coming up, I don’t know. Hard though this might be for you to understand, McWordsmith, some of us don’t have an easy time coming up with poetry and spilling out perfectly formed verse about why we love our girlfriends.”

Tim smiled. “I asked if she still had the Marilyn dress, talked about the two of us going out for Halloween as Monroe and Miller, she looked at me and said, ‘Weren’t they married?’ and I just grinned, whipped out the ring and said, ‘Will you marry me?’ I left the poetry for other days.”

“So, wait, you write her love poems, but didn’t to ask her to marry you?”

$15,000 designed for her ring.
“She knows I adore her. She’s got a box full of poems I’ve written her. So, no, I didn’t feel a need for a long, drawn out, here’s all the reasons you’re perfect proposal. Of course, I was also holding a designed specifically for her fifteen thousand dollar ring. That might have spoken louder than words.” Tony punched him on the shoulder while Tim grinned. “Guess you’ll just have to keep working on getting your words right.”

“You’re an asshole.”

“Oh come on, Tony! How often do I get to do this to you? If Palmer was here, he’d be smirking at you, too.”

“He would. I should ask him what he said to Breena. At least that way I’ll know where the outer lines of way too sappy are.”

“That’s not a bad idea. You wanna borrow Abby for ring help?”

“I might. Or maybe not. I have a feeling she’d think anything I’d like for Ziva would be boring. Breena probably has closer jewelry taste to Ziva than Abby does.”

“Might be true. Still take one of the girls, they talk to each other, so she might have more information about what Ziva wants than I do. And even if she doesn’t have specific information, she’ll probably have a better feel for what Ziva wants.”  


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