Monday, June 17, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 123

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

123: Back To Work

“You’re back!” Ziva seemed pretty happy to see him as Tim strolled into the bullpen.

“I am back.”

Ziva hopped up out of her seat and wrapped Tim in a long and enthusiastic hug.

“I’m happy to see you, too, Ziva.” He’s flashing Tony the what the hell is going on look, while patting her back.

Ziva pulled back looking him deeply in the eyes. “Do not ever leave again!”


“She was on phone records, financials, and emails, the whole time you were gone,” Tony added, sounding amused.

How do you do it?
“How do you do it? It’s so boring.”

Tim rolled his eyes. “You were looking through by hand weren’t you?”


“And Gibbs kept yelling at her for being too slow. Search faster, Ziver! It only takes McGee half an hour to do this!”

“I’ve written programs to automate most of the searching.”

“That’s what you do over there?”

Tim smiled. “Some of it.”

“You’re looking good. Did you get some sun?” Tony asked, leaning against Ziva’s desk.

“Little bit. Spent a lot of time walking around Charleston and Savannah.” Turns out that pink skin wasn’t entirely sex flush. Mostly sex flush, but yeah, they both got a little sunburned. 

“So…” Tony said.

“So… what?”

“Come on, show us!”

Tim got his phone out and began to flick through photos.

“Not that. Abby posted photos of the trip. The new tattoo.”

“Who says I got one?” Abby had posted the who’s a great tattoo artist question, and she posted shots of her new ink. Tim preferred to keep his under wraps. So she didn’t post pics of it.

“Come on McInked, we didn’t just meet you. Show us number four!”

“It’s number three, Tony. I didn’t actually get the heart with Mom in the middle.”

“I knew that. She didn’t.”

Ziva laughed. “You think I didn’t know that.”

“Why would you know that?” Tony asked, but Tim's pretty curious about that, too.

“Once again, I talk with Abby and Breena.”

“You guys talk about my tattoos?”

“We talk about everything. But Breena thought the idea that you would get one to impress Abby was really romantic, and that’s how we got talking about your tattoos.”

“How did she get the idea that I got a tattoo to impress Abby?”

“You didn’t?” Ziva is looking at Tim curiously and then glanced at Tony.

“No. Not entirely. It was mostly for me. I’d been thinking about it for months before I got it.” Now Tim’s looking at Tony.

“I tell you she likes guys with tats. Two minutes later you’ve got one. It was a pretty obvious assumption.”

“Rule number eight.” Gibbs said as he joined them. “Good to see you back, McGee.”


“Thought eight was never take anything for granted,” Tim said.

“That, too.” Gibbs just stares at him, expectantly. 

“How do you even know? You aren’t on Facebook.”

Gibbs smiled. Tim rolled up his sleeve and unsnapped his wrist cuff, showing off the Dragon-red lip print.

“You got a wrist tattoo?” Tony looks puzzled by that.

“It’s a good place for it.” He resnapped the cuff. “The first place she suggested I put it hurt too much to think about, let alone do.” Tony and Gibbs got what he meant and cringed slightly at that idea. “It didn’t hurt too bad. I don’t use my wrist for much, so healing up isn’t an issue. Which, you know, matters when you’re talking about a healing flesh wound during your honeymoon. I know it’s there but it usually isn’t visible, so I’m still in line with the dress code. And her lips fit nicely there. All around win. Why, you think it’s too girly?”

Tony nodded. “Wrist tattoos are kind of girly.”

Tim quickly glances around, but right this second it’s just the four of them. “Then I’ll be kind of girly. I’m a cop with a pregnant wife. My masculinity is proven at this point. Catch me up on this case you’ve had Ziva staring at a computer screen for days on.”

He’d been at his desk for three minutes. Literally, he’d just sat down, turned on his computer, and opened the records Ziva had been wading through, when Abby came bouncing up.


So he looked.

Nothing looked new. Yeah, her hair was still long. (And long, red-streaked ponytails were almost painfully cute.) Yes, she had a new tattoo, but since he’d been with her the whole time since she got it, that wasn’t much of a surprise. Sure he hadn’t seen her in a lab coat in a bit over two weeks, but that didn’t seem trip-up-to-the-bullpen-grinning-like-the-Cheshire-Cat worthy.

“What am I looking at?”

She unclipped her ID badge and held it out to him like a trophy.

Then he saw it and grinned, too, feeling a flash of pleasure: new pic of her, taken today, and under it, Abby McGee.


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