Sunday, August 18, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 171

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

Chapter 171: Bikram Yoga

"I have been instructed by my wife and yours that I am to take you out and make you do something you consider fun this weekend, at gun point if necessary," Tim said to Jimmy as they got some lunch.

Jimmy rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, that's how I responded, as well. So, we have three options. Abby gave me a Groupon for Bikram yoga. She got it before she got pregnant, and had intended to use it with you, but it will expire before she and you can use it. We can do that, and if you think it'd be even more fun than watching just me try to keep up with it, we can get Ziva to make Tony come as well." That idea got a hint of a smile out of Jimmy. "Or we can go do anything else you might want to. Or I can tell them to shove it. I'm not going to make you go out if you don't want to."


"No problem."

"I'm driving her crazy, hovering around too much. Checking my email ten times an hour, waiting for the results of the genetic testing."

"When are they due?"

"Any day now, but probably Monday. And she wants me to do something to take my mind off of it. She especially doesn't want me just roaming around the house going bonkers"

"Anything you might want to do, I'm up for."

Jimmy smiles a little at that. "Ziva'd make Tony go, too?"

"Probably. She'd probably be up to going with us, too. I bet she'd love to see him try. I don't think he's ever done any yoga."

"And the way he teases us about it not being real exercise…"

"Yeah." Tim's nodding with a mean smile on his face, but that fades as he notice's Jimmy's attention has slipped away from him. "What are you hoping the results are?"

"I almost wish one of us was a carrier of the trisomy. If that's the case, then whichever one gets sterilized, and we can have healthy babies with an egg or sperm donor. We'd be able to… control it… you know?" He takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes. "If it was just random chance… The die can always come up snake eyes." He puts them back on again and ate a bite of his salad.

"I get that."

Jimmy reaches for his phone, stops himself, takes a deep breath, and says to Tim, "Sure, Bikram Yoga on Saturday, we'll bring Tony and laugh."


We're doing what?
"We're doing what on Saturday?"

"Hot yoga."

Tony's very rarely so flustered that he's got nothing to say, but sitting there in the car, heading to question the CO of their latest dead sailor, staring at Tim like he's insane, he's speechless. Then speechless goes away and a sly look crosses his face.

"I know what you're doing."

"Getting Jimmy out of the house so he doesn't drive Breena insane."

"Sure…" Tony nods, smug, not believing it at all.

"What do you think I'm doing, Tony?"

"Surprise bachelor party. I haven't heard anything from either about it, and it's got to be coming up."

"Ah." And Tim does look like he just got caught with something, because, well, they do have the surprise bachelor party in the works. He got the tickets yesterday, Jimmy got Ziva into the conspiracy, and Gibbs was supposed to be asking Vance about the van today or tomorrow, but that's not what's happening with this. "Really, Saturday, ten AM, hot yoga, with Jimmy. No surprise party."

That tosses Tony back into stunned, because of all the things they might try to drag him into hot yoga's just so far off the beaten path he's having a hard time wrapping his head around it.

Finally he comes up with, "Why?"

"Like I said, he's driving Breena bonkers, so I've been enlisted to get him out of the house, also because Jimmy likes it, and the sight of the two of us trying this should make him laugh hard enough to rupture his spleen, and he needs that."

"I get it." Tony sighs. While it's true that he's got no problem at all being the clown prince when needed, this involves something a little touchy for him. "You're supposed to do that in bare feet, right?"


"Think they'd let me wear shoes?"

It took Tim a second to remember why Tony might want shoes. Took him another second to remember that since Tony lost those toes Tim's never seen him barefoot. When they hit the beach or pool, he's always got some sort of shoes on.

"I think if you explained that you needed them for help with balancing, that it wouldn't be a problem."

Tony nods.

"Or you can skip them. I mean… We're not gonna look or anything."

"Kind of hard not to." Tony flashes him a self-depreciating expression. "Lost all five on the right and three on the left. It's not a big deal. Not like I can't walk or run, but it looks really wrong."

Eight toes?
"You lost eight toes?" Tim's staring at him utterly shocked. "You said a few! Ducky said you were fine. I'm sorry. I just… I didn't know it was that bad."

Tony shrugs. "Ziva knew. I'm sure Ducky did, too, he was still my medical proxy then. Didn't want it getting out beyond that. You do need them for balance, and I didn't want to find out that NCIS would sideline me for missing toes."

"That makes sense."

"But I can't really hide them in a locker room, or anywhere else I'm supposed to be barefoot."

Tim nods. "Look, Jimmy and I aren't going to say anything about them to anyone. And I'm sure if you tell the instructor you're missing eight toes that shoes won't be a problem. And if you don't want to… Yeah, we were both thinking beating you over the head with how hard yoga really is would be funny, but if you don't want to go, that's fine."

"Oh… it's fine to make fun of me for being clumsy but not for being a cripple?"

Tim flashes him a look best described as Duh! "Well, yeah. I thought everyone knew that."

Tony rolled his eyes. "I'll be there."

"Ziva's invited, too."

Tony shook his head. "Remember when she got that third speeding ticket?"


"Well, Saturday is driving school for her."

"Oh. Wow."

"Yeah. But if she can manage to not scare the instructor into early gray hair, then she can get some of those points off her license."


Tony pulls into a parking spot. "So, what do I need to bring for this?"

"It'll be hot, like hundred degrees, so something light and easy to move in, but probably not shorts."

"Why not shorts?"

"Because you don't wear briefs and if the legs on your shorts are tight enough to keep you from flashing everyone when your leg is up, they're also tight enough that you won't be able to move easily."

"McGee, assuming there will not be people lying on the floor between my legs, I don't think I can get into any positions where the leg of my shorts will result in me flashing anyone."

"Then wear shorts. Bring lots of water. Don't feel embarrassed if you can't get into most or even any of the positions, I probably can't either, just keep trying."


'You're gonna need all the help you
can get.'
Saturday morning they walked into the studio and were greeted by a rush of hot air.

Tony took one look at Tim and Jimmy and said, "Okay, doing this in a hundred degree room is cheating on the sweating thing. Playing poker in this heat would make you sweat, and that doesn't make it exercise."

"It's hot to help you loosen up and stretch," Jimmy said as he headed to the front desk.

"Uh huh."

Jimmy grinned at him. "And trust me, you're going to need all the help you can get."

Tim had told Tony to wear something light, cool, and easy to move in, and then promptly forgot about it because they got to the location of Colonel Phelps and he switched out of weekend mode and into case mode.

So, it wasn't until that morning that it occurred to him that he didn't have any good hot yoga clothing.

Well, that's not quite true. But as he's changing Tony looks at him and says, "Your pajamas?"

Technically the answer to that is yes. He's in a pair of very light cotton knit pants and an MIT t-shirt with the sleeves ripped off.

Jimmy's in something that looks a whole lot like boxer briefs, and nothing else. It's really tight, pretty short, and Tim, even if he was as cut as Jimmy, could not possibly image ever wearing anything that revealing in public.

Tony's got on gym shorts and an NCIS t-shirt, and from what Tim can tell is trying to not look directly at Jimmy, who is, for all practical purposes, naked.

"You sleep in that?" Jimmy asks.

"No, I watch TV, lay around the house, and write in this. I sleep naked, unless I'm on a case, which is why he knows these are my pajamas."


Tony's looking at Tim. "I thought this was something you do."

"Yoga is something I do. Yoga in public in hundred degree heat isn't."

"You do it in your PJs?" Tony asks.

"No. I do it at home, first thing in the morning, with Abby. So it's not like I get out of bed, put clothing on, do it with her, then take the clothing off, get a shower, and go put more clothing on. Unless it's cold in our room, I do it naked."

Jimmy's nodding at that. "Easier to make sure your form is good that way."

And while Tim's sure that's true, that's generally something he's not paying all that much attention to. Naked Abby doing yoga is vastly more interesting to him than what his own body might be doing.

Jimmy looks at both of them and shakes his head. "Leave your shirts. Really, it's going to be hot in there."

While it's true that the front desk area was hot, the actual studio where they'll be doing the yoga is sweltering.

It's really, really hot.

It's like a sauna with good lighting and mirrors.

And Tim's not entirely sure that the sixty-four ounces of water he brought are going to be enough. And Jimmy was right, this is definitely a shirt free zone. And he's certainly debating stripping out of his pants, too. There's a little button on the fly of his boxers… He'd probably be covered enough, and still be wearing way more clothing than Jimmy.

He's reaching for his waistband when two more members of the class walk in. Girls. From the looks of it, they're fourteen and seventeen. So, pants are definitely staying on. And in what he's thinking of as his first 'Dad' moment, he's feeling a very strong desire to wrap Jimmy in a towel and not let him come back until he's got some pants on.

Apparently this Groupon was for an introductory class, purposely kept small so that each member could get lots of one on one attention, so it's the three of them, the two girls, and the instructor, who is also female and maybe twenty-two.

So, it's not like he can hide in the back or sort of blend in. But Jimmy's looking pretty loose and comfortable as the instructor gives them the little get-to-know-Bikram pep talk, Tony looks ready to die from a combination of heat and embarrassment, the girls keep staring at them (especially Jimmy) and giggling. Tim guesses he's somewhere in between and that's okay.

And then they get started.

It's starts off easy enough, even Tony can handle Half Moon pose's easy side bend, but it ramps up pretty fast from there.


There are twenty six poses used in Bikram yoga, and for the vast majority of them Tim was hearing Tony muttering under his breath, "You have got to be fucking kidding me," along with "Ow ow ow ow ow!" and "My God, Palmer, how the hell are you doing this!"

And Tim sincerely agrees with the last of those. Okay, yes, he's only been doing this for five months, and Jimmy's been doing it for years, but still… How? Human bodies were not meant to get into some of these positions and yeah, he can see Jimmy's struggling a little with some of them, this isn't his usual discipline, but all of his moves are slow, controlled, and graceful. And sure he may not have the full range of extension the instructor does, but Jimmy also isn't a twenty-something girl.

Meanwhile Tim's mostly just pleased he hasn't managed to fall on his ass (or in the case of the Standing Separate Leg Stretching pose, his head), yet.

And he's fairly certain Tony's just pleased that he hasn't died.

They're about half an hour into it when Tim notices something else. Yes, this was designed to make sure they all get a decent amount of one on one attention, and yes, the instructor, Jamie, has been working with each of them, and okay, it's true that Tony's worse than the other four of them, but he gets about five times as much attention as the rest of them.

And he's not that much worse than Tim is.

He's bad at it, no two ways about it. And even if he wasn't eight toes down, the fact that he's got all the flexibility of a piece of plywood is not helping things, but even without the toes he does have a decent sense of balance, is generally good at any sort of sports, and is pretty strong. So, there's no chance that he's the worst yoga student Jamie's ever seen.

But he's getting a lot of one on one attention and some really intensive encouragement.

After they wrapped up, and were heading back toward the locker room, Jamie came over to Tony, looking up at him adoringly, standing a little too close, and said, "You know, if you ever want some one on one help—"

Jimmy cut in with "He's getting married in April."

"Oh." The expression on her face fell, and she shrugged and walked off.

Tim rolled his eyes. "You know, I was almost as bad as you were at this, and no hot girls are coming up to me to offer tutoring."

Tony grinned at him. "When you've got it—"

"And the it he's talking about is a naked ring finger," Jimmy adds.

"She'd have hit on me even if I was wearing a wedding ring!"

"Uh huh… That's why she sprinted off when I mentioned you were engaged. One thing you're going to have to get used to, women rarely hit on married men. They see that ring and run away. And if you flirt with them while wearing it, they get creeped out."

"You speaking from a lot of experience here, Palmer? Do a lot of flirting behind Breena's back?"

"No, I've got a better source than that. Breena's book club meets at our place every six weeks, and they have a really easy time forgetting I'm around. I listen in."

By that point they were in the locker room and Tim drifted off, looking forward to, for the first time he can ever remember, a cool shower.

No, it wasn't like he'd been planning on looking. He's been in a locker room plenty of times with Jimmy and never looked. Just like in the restroom, not looking at the other guys' privates is part of the guy code, but it's a tiny locker room. So, he's practically changing on top of Jimmy, who is, of course, also naked. Which means when he turns to grab his shirt, he does see naked Jimmy.

And suddenly why Jimmy doesn't have a problem with the zipper on his fly when having sex in public is very apparent. His pubic hair can't be more than a quarter of an inch long, so obviously getting snagged in the zipper isn't an issue for him.


He didn't realize he'd said it out loud until Tony, who was limping out of the shower, said, "What?"

"Nothing." He pulled his shirt over his head and found his wrist cuff.

"Didn't sound like nothing." Jimmy added, looking at him curiously, finishing drying off.

Tim rolled his eyes, looked down pointedly, then looked away and snapped the cuff shut. "Just realized why zippers aren't a problem for you."

Jimmy followed what he meant and shrugged a little. "A side benefit of not being wild and woolly."

"Side benefit?" Tony asked.

"Well, the main one is that she's not picking my hair out of her teeth, which means her mouth heads down there a whole lot more often."

"Ah." Both Tim and Tony nod at that.

"And well, it makes everything look bigger, which is kind of nice, too."

"I suppose you do what you have to," Tony said as he starts to dry off.

"Oh please, Tony, you're not setting any records." Tim said.

"You've seen enough dicks to know, McGee?"

"Not live, but yeah, I have." Both Jimmy and Tony stared at him. He shook his head and rolled his eyes. "Don't you two even try to tell me you don't watch porn. Remember, I'm the guy you call when your computers mysteriously stop working after visiting certain sites. I know all your dirty little secrets."

Jimmy just sort of shrugged, and Tony looked really disturbed by that, which Tim found amusing because, well, Tony had nothing particularly troublesome on his computer (the kinkiest he gets is trios with two girls), but Jimmy's got some pretty wild stuff on his.

"Oh, and on that subject, google whatever it is you like plus Tumblr, and then don't leave Tumblr. You'll end up calling me a lot less often about your computers being clogged with malware."

They nodded and went back to getting dressed.

"What's Tumblr?" Tony asked a minute later.

"Fandoms and porn."

"So, geek heaven?" Jimmy said.


"No wonder you knew about it," Tony added.

A minute later, while Tim's tying his shoes, Tony asks Jimmy. "Isn't it kind of prickly?"


"You know, you trim down there, is it kind of itchy?"

"Only if you trim it too short. Shaving is where prickly and itchy becomes an issue."

"You shaved it all off?" Tim asks. Yeah, he knows some guys do that (once again, he watches porn) but he never thought any guy he knew would.

"Yeah. And, the first eight hours after were really, really good. Everything is so soft, and so sensitive, and well, Breena really liked it, and… if she's bare, too…" Jimmy appeared to be remembering something he really enjoyed. "Anyway… Until it started to grow back, it was incredible. Then it started to grow back, and imaging wearing skin-tight briefs made of sandpaper, that scrape against you every single time you move, and I mean every time you shift, step, hell, breathe, and it feels that way for like three days."

Both Tim and Tony were cringing at that idea.

"So you never did it again?" Tim asks.

"Not saying that." Jimmy smirks. "Really, those first eight hours, excellent. But I don't do it if I've got work anytime soon. And Breena did find some lotion that makes the hair grow in slower and softer, so that helps. But, ummm… if she's not willing to lick or suck all of you, it's probably not worth the growing back in period."

Tony nods. Tim does, too and decides he's dressed enough to head out of the locker room.


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