Sunday, August 18, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 168

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

Chapter 168: Spooning

They talked for hours, and made love again, this time for both of them, and maybe things weren't different or better, but they were closer to normal, so that seemed like a good step.

Tim feels like, at least in regards to the flu, that he's pretty close to healed up.

It's fairly late, they've just had sex, and he's very pleasantly sleepy, but not completely wiped out. He's actually feeling really good, and is just waiting for her to get back to bed so he can snuggle in close and fall asleep.

For the last five days she's been spooning him, which has been nice, he likes getting cuddled, too, but he's ready to get back to their routine.

So he was a little pouty when she slid into their bed and tapped him on the shoulder, indicating she wants him to roll over, back to her.

He did, feeling a little disappointed. "I wanted to hold you."

She scooted up behind him, threading her arm under his. "You've got my arm."

"Not the same thing," he said, kissing her fingers.

"I know. But right now the curve of your back is exactly the right shape and size to support Kelly and it feels really good. Way more comfortable than the pillow." She usually sleeps hugging a pillow, and until last week it had been providing sleep support for Kelly.

He can't exactly argue with that, so he squeezes her hand, and tries to settle down, but he's missing her body against the front of his. "Feels kind of weird."


"Yeah, you're supposed to be in front of me. My lips are supposed to be on your shoulder, your chest is supposed to be against my arm, I should be able to feel your breath on my hand."

He feels her shrug. "This is really comfortable." He doesn't disagree with that. That's part of why he likes being on the outside, having her to hold onto is really comfortable.

"Okay. Just isn't what I've got in my mind as sleep."

"You'll get used to it. Not like this'll work for much more than another month."

"I know. Just… I miss the way your hair smells."

She thought about that. "Lift your head."

He did, and she flipped the pillow around. "Now you've got my side of the pillow. Better?"

"Yeah." He twined his fingers with hers, pressing them against his chest, and settled into sleeping.


He was about three quarters gone, in that stage where he wasn't quite dreaming but was very vividly imagining things when he noticed that sort of gentle rustling feeling against his back wasn't something he was imagining.

It brought him all the way back up to awake, and he just lay there, holding Abby's hand, feeling Kelly doing whatever she was doing, and suddenly it was really okay that he couldn't smell Abby's hair.

He lay there, awake, feeling Kelly… kicking? Swimming? Getting a little stretch? It's fast and fluttery, and the last two days start to slide into perspective, the past starts to ease back to where it belongs.

The past won't change, can't change, but it can't own him either. He can feel it, two lives, two insanely precious lives pressed against his back. Two lives who depend on him to be functional. Who depend on him for love and peace and home, and he's got to be able to do it.

And maybe the thing with his Dad isn't done. Maybe it'll never be done. That John didn't love him will always be there. Just like losing her parents will always be there for Abby, and losing Shannon and Kelly will always be there for Gibbs.

But just because it isn't done doesn't mean he can't leave it behind him. Doesn't mean he didn't build a life, a good, solid, strong life around that hole.

Nothing changed. Maybe he understands it better, and that's something he'll need to deal with, but when it comes down to it, nothing changed. Time to live like that.

Go forward. Be the husband and father and man his dad wasn't.

Kelly settled down, and he let his mind drift among images of playing with his girls.

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