Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 124

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

Chapter 124: Sleepy

The pregnant sleeping thing was kind of scary, at first. They’d been home from their honeymoon for three days, and caught the first case back at work.

So, long day. It was well past two when they got home. They were both dragging by that point, but she got in the door, stood in front of the of the stairs, stared at them, and then just sat down.


“Got to rest a little.” He was giving her his you’re worrying me look. “I’m okay, just really tired, and those are a whole lot of stairs.”

He eyeballed them, and sure he’s not planning on bounding up them or anything, but there’s only twelve, not like they’ve got more than two floors. “All right. Let me get your coat.” So he took both of their coats, turned his back to her to hang them up, and turned around and found her slumped against the banister, asleep.

This left Tim in something of a quandary. Wake her up? Let her sleep on the steps? (That can’t be comfortable.) Pick her up? Okay, that worked, so he carefully picked her up and took her to bed, becoming more disturbed by the fact that she didn’t wake up when he did it, or when he put her on the bed, or unzipped her boots and took them off. By that point he was starting to get really worried, so he put the blanket over her, and raced down the stairs to call Jimmy.

“Tim?” Jimmy didn’t sound very awake.

“She didn’t wake up.”

He could hear Jimmy rubbing his eyes. “I’m gonna need more than that. What is going on?”

“We got home, she fell asleep on the stairs, I picked her up, put her in bed, took off her boots, and she didn’t wake up!”

He can’t see Jimmy’s expression, but he’s fairly sure it’s screaming, I can’t believe you woke me up for this! “It’s normal, Tim. She’s pregnant, coming off a massive caffeine addiction, and been awake for nineteen hours. Even without that last one, she’s going to sleep hard, for at least the next three months. Sometimes Breena would fall asleep in the middle of conversations at the end of a long day. I’m surprised she didn’t drop off in the car on the ride home.”

“She was driving.” The silence on the other side stretched for a good thirty seconds until Tim said, “You’d be headslapping me if I was in range, wouldn’t you?”

“Yes. From now until the baby shows up, you drive home from work, got it? And get used to her being sleepy.”

“She’s okay?”

“She’s breathing, color looks good, heart beating, all the rest of that?”


“She’s just tired. It’ll get better around Valentine’s.”


“No problem.” Jimmy hung up, and Tim headed to bed.

Then it got kind of cute. Up until this point, Abby’s needed about thirty-five minutes of sleep for every hour he needed, so he almost never got to watch her sleep. Yes, they went to bed together, and they fall asleep together, but sometime in the middle of the night she’d usually get up, do stuff, and come back to bed later, and then, in the morning, they’d get up together.

But now, with Thanksgiving looming, Abby falls asleep pretty much every time she stops moving, and he actually likes the fact that he can just watch her.

He finds it especially cute when they settle down to watch TV, and she falls asleep in his lap.

She’ll be laying there, and he can watch and pet her to his heart’s content.

He just has to be gentle about it, because one time he did pet her a bit too hard, and woke her up, and okay, this isn’t literally true, but it’s true enough, she almost bit his hand off and made it exceptionally clear that “unless the fucking house is on fire and you are pinned under a beam and cannot carry me out” she is not to be woken up.

From there it got even cuter. Abby kept falling asleep at work. And well, if you’re known for being high-beam perky, bounding about with endless energy, and suddenly, less than a month after your honeymoon, you start falling asleep in your lab, and well, even with a lab coat on it was kind of obvious that Abby’s shirts were a whole lot tighter than they used to be, anyway, the scuttlebutt that raises is awfully accurate.

And the anonymous presents of goth-oriented baby gear are awfully cute, too. Apparently just the rumor of pregnant Abby flipped some sort of chemical switch among the assorted employees at NCIS, rendering them incapable of not buying little onesies, shoes, pacifiers, and hair bows all decked out in black with tiny little skulls on them.  (Official NCIS consensus: judging from the number of pink skulls/skulls with hair bows/hair bows with skulls Baby McGee is a girl.)

But since she isn’t “officially” pregnant yet, these present just appear on either his or her desk, usually with no note beyond a, “Thought this was so cute, had to buy it for you, hope you need it.”

They still weren’t telling anyone outside of Team Gibbs, and Team Gibbs played along, providing No-Caf-Pow in Caf-Pow cups, and no one outside the team knew Tim had switched to decaf for his coffee, though the three days he was biting the heads off of anyone who got too close to him caused some eyebrows to rise, but the rumors kept flying around.

However, no matter how cute Tim though napping Abby was, or how many baby presents mysteriously showed up, to anyone else who say, wanted to get the results back from some sort of trace, it was… less welcome.

“Talk to me Abbs,” Gibbs said, strolling into the lab on the last Tuesday in November, and stopped short, seeing only Tim down there. “Tim?”

Tim took the No-Caf-Pow out of Gibbs’ hand, sipped it, and then shuddered. “This stuff is nasty. I don’t know why you’d drink it if it didn’t have any caffeine in it.”

Gibbs stared at the decaf coffee next to Tim, his expression saying exactly the same thing about what Tim was drinking these days. “Where’s Abby?”

He nodded at Abby’s office, and Gibbs took two steps to the right, and saw her curled up on those fuzzy rugs she keeps in there, fast asleep.

“What do you need?” Tim asked.

“A functional forensics lab.”

“’Round about Valentine’s she’ll stop sleeping eighteen hours a day. Meanwhile, Major Mass Spec doesn’t like me setting him up, but I can read his print outs as well as anyone else. And he’ll be done in—” And Major Mass Spec beeped. “Now.”

Tim grabbed the print out and read over it. “Anti-freeze.”


Ducky and Palmer had been able to ascertain the vic had been poisoned and sent the samples to Abby. Abby had set them up with Major Mass Spec and set it running. A bit after that Tim wandered down to use the downstairs computers to run down financials and phone records, noticed Abby drooping, and told her to get a nap, he could keep an eye on Major Mass Spec.

“I guess it makes sense. It’s green and sweet and if you mix it with alcohol and put it in a glass, a drunk person would probably drink it without noticing anything was up.”

“Anything else?”

Tim shrugged. “If we can find the bottle it came from, we can link it to the stuff in the victim.”

Gibbs looked significantly less than thrilled. “Great. How many millions of bottles of anti-freeze do you think are in the greater DC area?”

Tim stared at the print out a little longer. His chemistry was a bit rougher than Abby’s but he thinks he’s on the right track. “Forget about the bottle. This came out of a car. If we can find the car, we can match it to the victim.”


“I’ve also got the vic’s phone records and financials done. Nothing interesting in there. I’m about a third of the way through his emails, might have something there, but still got to sift through a lot of data.”

The door to the office opened, and Abby walked into the lab, rubbing her eyes. She held out a hand, and Tim gave her the print out. She glanced at it. “Anti-freeze from a car. Older model. High-end European brand, probably a BMW or Audi. They use that pink stuff, which is pretty rare in this country.”

Abby got a kiss on the cheek from Gibbs. “Good work. Find anything else before your nap?”

She stretched, looking sleepy. “Nope. Looks like a pretty straight forward poisoning. The stuff under the vic’s nails was grease from his job. No interesting fibers on his clothing. The only finger prints on the glass were his and the bartender’s.”

“Bartender’s got an Audi, Boss.” Gibbs notices interesting antique cars; Tim notices high-end European ones.

Gibbs smiled, turned, and headed up. Tim looked at Abby and shook his head, “Not the bartender. Our cases never get wrapped up that fast. Someone siphoned it out of his car.”

She nodded. “Probably. So, go clear the bartender.”

He winked at her. “On it, Boss.”


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