Thursday, May 9, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 84

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

84: A Conversation Among Men

“Have you figured it out, yet?” Palmer asked Tony as he sat down with his lunch.

Tony looked at Jimmy and then at Tim. “Okay, you two have to quit starting the conversation without me and then expecting me to know what you’re talking about.”

Lunch in the break room.
“Hey, I don’t know what he’s talking about, either,” Tim said, biting into a cucumber stick. The five of them were grabbing a quick, guys only, lunch in the break room. They do that about once a month, and found they liked it.

Gibbs showed up a second later. “Valentine’s day. What are you getting Ziva? Right, Palmer?”

“Exactly.” Jimmy shot Tony the he knew what was going on, and he wasn’t even here for the first question look.

“It’s just flat out creepy when you do that, Boss,” Tony said.

“What is ‘creepy’, Anthony?” Ducky added as he sat down with his lunch.

“The way he just shows up and immediately knows what is going on.”

Tim thought about that for a moment, and then something clicks. Gibbs knows sign language. “You read lips!”

"Ya think, McGee?"
Gibbs smiled a little. “Ya think, McGee?”

“Yeah, I do.”

Tony shook his head. “Details, McGee. You’ve been at this more than ten years now, and you’re still missing things. He came up behind Palmer.”

“Window behind you, Tony, the way the sun’s hitting it is making it reflective.”

Gibbs smiled, wider this time, looking deeply satisfied, while Tony turned around to check.

“So, have you figured it out?” Tim asked Tony.

“No. Did I mention I hate Valentine’s Day?”

“By my count, seventy-four million times since Christmas,” Jimmy replied.

“Well, it keeps getting closer, and I still don’t know what to get her. Christmas was hard enough, and now I’ve got come up with something romantic and meaningful, and I’ve got to do it in the shadow of this dork who went and designed his own tattoo for his first Valentine’s Day with Abby.”

“Ziva doesn’t like tattoos,” Tim added.

Custom Throwing Knives
“No but Abby does, and I’ll have to design my own custom throwing knives… Oh.”

“And DiNozzo’s out of the dog house,” Gibbs said. “What’re you doing Palmer?”

“Hopefully walking around with a new baby instead of a very crabby, insanely pregnant wife. If Molly’s still not out, I have no idea what I’m going to do because by that point she’ll be begging me for Pitocin, and nothing short of that is going to make her happy. What did you do when Shannon was insanely pregnant?”

Gibbs shrugged. “Wasn’t Valentine’s Day when she was at term.”

“Thank you, that was remarkably useful. How about you, Tim?”

He winked. “Quiet night in.”

Jimmy just stared at him. “Sex. You’re giving her sex? You give her sex all the time.” Then he seemed to notice the other three are there. “Which we will talk about later.”

Tim nodded, and then saw the other three are staring at him, looking curious. “Not just sex. And we can leave it at that. Gibbs, what are you doing?”


“It’s ten days away, how can you possibly know that?” Tony asked.

Gibbs just stared at him.

Tony thought about it some more. “Are you ‘working’ or is this like your own personal Halloween?”

Gibbs just smiled. Then he said, “Duck?”

“Vivian and I have tickets to Roman-style Luprical festival at the Smithsonian.”

Flowers, check. Mr. Palmer
where's my toga?
Tim actually knew about that one and said, “Really? Leather whips, running through the crowds naked, orgies, ripping apart goats with your bare hands to eat the raw flesh while drunk?”

“Well, you certainly wouldn’t want to do that sober, now would you? However, Timothy, you are thinking of a Bacchanal, and that will only happen if things go especially well.” And with that Ducky grinned, and then went into a dissertation on the Festival of Luprical, how it was the forerunner of the modern Valentine’s Day, and that yes, there were whips, but they were made of flowers, and the idea was to lightly tap the ladies with them as a blessing of fertility.

“And will you be properly togaed for this?” Palmer asked.

“Of course, Mr. Palmer, one does not attend Luprical in a suit.”

“Quiet night in?” Palmer asks as they head back toward work, the others well ahead.

“Pitocin?” Tim counters with.

“Fine. Mix tape. I recorded some covers of her favorite songs.”

Tim scrunches his eyebrows together. “What are you, seventeen?”

“No, I don’t mean I went on Amazon and bought some of her favorite songs, I mean I recorded them, myself.”

“Oh, that’s right, you sing.”

“Yeah, and I’m damn good at it, too.”

“That’s kind of cool.”

“Thanks. So, what does quiet night in translate into.”

Just add chocolate.
“Japanese calligraphy brush, dark chocolate, and a poem I’ve been working on for three weeks now.”

“You’re going to write it on her?”

“That’s the idea. Tell it to her. Lick it off her. It’ll be good.”

Palmer nods, approving.

“So, how is Breena doing?”

“She hurts all over, has to pee every ten minutes, is so swollen you can leave finger prints in her calves, and can’t sleep. She’s miserable.”

“Maybe it is time to write that script.”

“I’m so tempted. Believe me, but her doc says this is normal, and if she does go past the 15th they’ll induce.”

“Think she’d like some extra company? We’re not busy tonight.”

“I’ll ask when I get home. Sometimes she’s going stir crazy and wants to see people. Sometimes she just wants to rest.”

“Let us know.”

“I will, back to the paperwork,” Jimmy says as he hits the down elevator button.

“Yep,” Tim agrees, hitting the up one.


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