Friday, May 31, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 106

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

106: Errands

No one tells you that part of a wedding is running ten million errands the day before.

And no one tells you how hard it is to give a damn about them when you found out you’re going to have a baby less than an hour earlier.

What he’d like to be doing is sitting at home with Abby, maybe making love, definitely basking in the we’re-pregnant glow.

No one likes errands in DC traffic.
What he is doing is running back and forth to different airports. Sarah moved to New York three years ago, and she and her boyfriend Glenn were coming into Dulles at ten. His mom and Ben were coming into Reagan at one. Luca’s family was coming into Dulles at three. It’s his job to get them all picked up, to the Adam’s House, and settled in in time for the rehearsal tonight.  

And in between that, he’s also got pick up his suit. Sure, he had to put his reception suit together on his own, that’s not the sort of thing he could rent, but the formal morning suit he’s wearing for the ceremony, that he could and did rent, so he’s got to go get it.

Which means he’s spending a lot of time in Jimmy’s car (Tim switched cars with him, since neither he nor Abby has a car with a backseat.) enjoying the glorious joy that is DC traffic, and mostly just stuck in a sort of blank headspace where the only thing really going on is the immense shock of BABY.

It feels really weird. There’s this huge, everything in his life is about to go sideways immensity to it, but there’s also this sort of gentle blankness, too.

Part of him wants to jump around and tell everyone. Even strangers. He’s chatting mindlessly with the guy waiting next to him at the luggage carousel that’s been assigned to Sarah’s flight, doing the usual, glad-the-flight’s-on-time, who-are-you-waiting-for thing, and the guy next to him congratulated him on the wedding, but he’s feeling this desire to just talk.

He keeps it in check. With the exception of Gibbs, they aren’t planning to tell anyone until after they get back from their honeymoon. Won’t tell most of the world until the first trimester is over. Because if something happens… He quickly shuts that train of thought down. Just the idea of it makes him feel sick to his stomach, and he really doesn’t need that right now.

"Sarah McGee"
A crowd of people are heading toward the carousel, and it takes a moment, but he spots Sarah and waves. She waves back and a minute later he’s hugging her, and a few seconds after that she’s introducing Glenn, who Tim probably should have paid more attention to because this is the first of the boyfriends he’s been introduced to, but he’s kind of distracted.

Fortunately, as the groom, everyone expects him to be distracted.

As he was driving them towards the Adam’s House, Sarah mentions that they’re moving back to DC shortly after New Year’s, and that does get Tim to start paying attention to this Glenn guy, because obviously his sister must be serious about him if she’s not only living with him but moving to a different city with him.

Apparently he’s giving Glenn a pretty good version of his interrogation technique because Sarah sends Glenn to the front desk to get their key cards, pulls Tim aside, glares at him and says, “What are you doing?”

This is where it occurred to him that, just possibly, he hadn’t been making polite, introductory small talk. “Talking?”

“Like hell, you’re acting like Dad.”

Tim stared at Sarah, one eyebrow high, looking exasperated. “Please. Like The Admiral would even notice you’ve got a boyfriend, let alone take any interest in the guy.”

“He met Glenn when he was in New York for Fleet Week and likes him.”

That yanked the metaphorical rug out from under Tim’s feet. “What?”

Sarah calmly said, “He visits when he’s in New York.”

“When did that start happening?”

“When didn’t it happen? He always drops by when he’s within 100 miles.”

Tim sighed, shoulders slumping. “Of course he does. And let me guess, he has signed copies of all of your books in his office next to the flags and medals.”

Sarah looked a little chagrinned at that because the answer is yes.

Tim gritted his teeth a little and reminded himself that it is not Sarah’s fault that their dad is an ass, and that she doesn’t owe it to him to cut their dad out of her life, especially since, besides never being around, he’s always been nice to her. “And how is he?”

“He’s Dad. As long as you don’t expect him to be anything other than Dad, he’s fine.”

“Great.” He and Sarah had talked about that before. He’s fairly sure Sarah and Penny have, as well. If there is one thing he and his dad have in common, it’s the fact they both wish the other one was someone else.

“I take it we aren’t going to see him tomorrow?”

“Not unless something goes horrifically wrong.”

Glenn catches the tail end of that as he heads back with the keys. “What’s going horrifically wrong?”

Sarah takes his hand in hers. “Nothing. Just our Dad.”

“Is he okay?”

Tim’s a little surprised to see that Glenn looks genuinely worried, and his opinion of the guy rises.

“To the best of my knowledge, he’s as okay as he ever is. Let’s get you settled in. Then we can grab some lunch and go get Mom and Ben.”

“That sounds good,” Sarah says, and they head up toward their room. “So, tell me about the house? You all moved in now?”

And that got them on a comfortable topic.


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