Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 104

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

Chapter 104: October 30th

“Earth to Tim!”

He jerked a little at the sound of Jimmy’s voice, sloshing his coffee.

“You’re a million miles away. Thinking about the wedding?” T-minus two days, and his last day at work until the middle of November.

No, not really. Thinking about Abby, wondering if the pregnancy test would turn positive, wondering about a baby, flashing between images of a little girl and an little boy.

He shrugged a little, said, “That, too,” and returned to stirring the cream into his coffee.

Jimmy nudged him over a few inches so he could get to the creamer and began to doctor his own coffee.


“Eh.” He shrugged at that, too. No, he’s not nervous about getting married. His vows are another subject all together, though.

“Vows still killing you?”

Tim turned to lean back against the counter in the break room and face Jimmy. “Yeah. I’m a writer. I’m a good writer. People pay me money to put words on paper and express thoughts. I’ve got a book’s worth of poetry I’ve written for her. And yeah, some of it’s dumb, but none of it is bad, and she loves all of it. This shouldn’t be so hard.”

“So, what’s the problem?” The only issue Jimmy had had with his own vows was cutting them down. He could have happily gone on for a good half hour, but Ducky had, after reading them, gently suggested that he needed to cut at least half and better yet seventy-five percent of what he had, because no one, not even Breena, wanted to stand there for that long.

“How do you wrap up a life in, at most, a minute?”

“You’re not writing a eulogy, Tim. This is a wedding. You live the life, and your vows are just the broad outline of how you’re going to do it. Stick the pen in your hand, think about how much you love her, and let yourself go.”

Tim blinked slowly, remembering Palmer’s vows, and sighed. “Jimmy, I say this as someone who loves and respects you immensely, but you have no filter between your brain and your mouth, and you really needed one for your vows. You went on for six minutes, and yes, Breena loved them, but everyone else was silently begging you to get done. And if I take your advice and just let go, I will sound like a moron, blathering away Hallmark Card style in trite, and likely rhyming, verse, and it will be a disaster.”

Palmer raised one eyebrow and took a sip of his coffee, then said dryly, “If the reports I got from Ziva are right, you have no idea what my vows were because you were only paying attention to Abby.”

“I caught enough of them. What was the thing about butterfly kisses?”

"She loved that!"
“She loved that!”

Tim nodded, that was true. Sure, he hadn’t been paying much attention to Jimmy or Breena, but even he noticed the fact that Breena had been staring at Jimmy, completely enraptured as he said his vows. “Yes, she did. Everyone else cringed, but she loved it.”

Jimmy smiled smugly. “And when it comes to your vows, that’s all that matters.”

Tim sighed, fairly sure he can’t make himself ignore everyone else at his wedding the way Jimmy did. “When we’re alone together, I may indeed, actually, probably will let go and blather away and be happy as a clam about it, but not with forty other people watching.”

“Okay, Tony.”

Tim rolled his eyes and drank some of his coffee. “Don’t start that.”

“Stop acting like him if you don’t want me to rag on you. He’s too cool to say what he really feels. Fine. News flash, you aren’t and never have been. I’m not either. And no one expects either of us to be cool about getting married. We’re allowed to be soft and romantic and sappy about it.”

Tim thought about that for a moment; that actually was a pretty good point. “You might be. You go off blathering away and what happens? Nothing. Ducky shrugs a little at you, and starts talking about the history of wedding vows. I’ve got to work with Gibbs and Tony and Ziva.”

“Come on, what’s the worst that happens? He calls you McRomeo for a few days, and Gibbs slaps you upside the head during the reception? Like that’s a problem.”

That was probably true, but when it came down to it, it was an excuse. “It’s a problem for me, okay? I want it to be beautiful and meaningful, and…” he looked around for a moment, trying to find the right word for this, “real. It’s too important to be mushy and sappy. And it’s got to deal with the fact that there’s darkness here as well as light. That it’s not all going to be good times, and I’m still going to be there. That this is me, laying my life at her feet, giving her my everything, and building a life with her forever.”

Jimmy smiled, warmly. “That sounded just fine to me.”

Tim snorted. “I’m not marrying you.”

“Thank God.” Palmer sipped his coffee. “You said, ‘too.’ What else has you standing in front of the creamer just staring at it for two minutes?”

Tim thinks about it for a second, but decides Abby won’t mind him talking to Palmer about this. “Did you and Breena plan to get pregnant?”

Jimmy grinned at him. “Oh.” He laughed a little. “Yeah, I remember this. The only time in your life where you’re sitting there thinking, ‘Come on period, show up faster!’”

“More like, ‘Don’t show up at all,’ but yeah, that’s the basic idea.”

“You know they have tests now that’ll tell you a week before her period’s due.”

“Yep, got one sitting in the bathroom already.”

Jimmy laughed. “How long have you been trying?”

“Six days.”

He rolled his eyes and slapped Tim on the shoulder. “Please. Took four shots before we got Molly.”

“You two start right after you got kidnapped?”

“Month before actually, but that certainly added some… intensity to it.”

Tim grinned. “Intensity, there’s a good word for it. If she hadn’t been on Depo last summer, we’d probably have a kid by now.”

“It’s what we’re built for, you know? Make more life, and nothing sharpens that need more than almost dying. We didn’t even get into the house the first time. We were in the car, in the garage, and nothing mattered more than that at that second.”

“Yeah, I remember that. Hell, you almost getting killed got both of us thinking along those lines…” He remembered the frantic up against the wall sex when they got home that night. Smirked a little at the idea that Palmer was doing pretty much the exact same thing at the exact same time, and then pulled his mind away from sex to what sex does. “I can feel it every time I’m not really thinking about something else. Is she pregnant? Did we just make a baby? Am I about to be a dad?”

Jimmy squeezed his shoulder. “I’ve done this twice now, and I can say getting surprised is a lot easier to deal with than planning it out.” For Labor Day, Team Gibbs was on call, so they had gotten together at Jimmy’s for a cook out. No calls came in, and shortly after everyone had sat down for dinner, Jimmy and Breena announced they were expecting a second baby in May. 

“New baby was an accident?”

“Not exactly. Not really trying yet, but not really doing anything to prevent it either. But since we weren’t charting, there wasn’t any sort of waiting with baited breath, trying to make the calendar go faster sort of thing.”

“Okay.” Tim gets that and could see how that would be appealing. And really, they have sex often enough that it’s not like there’s any shot of missing an ovulation unless he gets sent away again, in which case it wouldn’t matter.   

Maybe, occasionally, there’s something to be said for low tech.


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