Friday, August 30, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 194

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

Chapter 194: My Little Dragons

He was only three minutes early, which was, by Team Gibbs standards, two minutes late.

"Hopin' we'll start without you?" Gibbs asks as he drops his bag by the ring and toes off his shoes.

"By all means, you want to have a go at Jimmy, I'll hang out and watch," Tim says pulling out the tape and getting started on his hands.

Gibbs looks at Jimmy and seems to think about it. Then he nods. "Tim, pay attention. Jimmy, you're on defense."

"Again?" Jimmy's getting bored on defense. It's not playing to his strengths, and he finds it frustrating.

"You're on defense until you can figure out how to read someone's moves. You're so used to doing this with Tim you're getting lazy. No more of that."

"So, I'm on defense until I can read a fight. I finally get to the point where I've got a guy I can read, and you sub him out."

"You're not reading Tim. You've memorized how he fights."

"Tomato, tomahto."

Gibbs gives him the enough sass, get the hell in the ring and let's fight look. "Tim, watch, pay attention. You're getting lazy, too. You've got a routine, and he's got it memorized, so learn some new tricks."

Tim nods, leaning against the ropes, and settles in to watch and learn.

Having done this for two and a half months now, Tim's come to the conclusion that, as exercise goes, he actually likes Bootcamp. It's not boring. He's honing useful skills. The endorphin rush is nice. It's time with Jimmy and Gibbs, which is good, too. And it burns more than enough calories so he can have some sort of sugary treat after.

Just because he didn't use the dark chocolate fudge ice cream topping for the poem doesn't mean he doesn't have some ideas for it for later tonight.

He's thinking the reason he likes Bootcamp now, because it was just as much of a work out when he started at NCIS, is that he's finally doing it with someone who's about evenly matched to him. Or maybe it's the fact that he's relaxed enough with Gibbs now that he's not terrified of looking like an idiot.

Either way, as he, Jimmy, and Gibbs hit the showers, he's soaking wet with sweat, tired, a little sore, and all in all feeling really good.

Really, he doesn't remember what they were talking about. And by they he means he and Jimmy, Gibbs was mostly quietly listening, adding an occasional word.

But he does know that he pulled his shirt over his head, starting to strip off for the showers when he hears Jimmy say, "That's cute."

Which was when he remembered he had a whole lot more skin art than usual. "Yeah, thanks."

Gibbs looked up from unlocking his locker, but by that point Tim's back was to the lockers. One look from Gibbs got him to turn around. When he turned back, now sans pants and towel wrapped around his hips, Gibbs was shaking his head, looking like he was about to roll his eyes.

"It's not real, is it?" Jimmy asks.

"Abby drew it on me this afternoon."

"This is what you do when you're home alone?" Jimmy's got a sort of cocky my god you're such nerds look on his face.

"I wrote a poem for Kelly on her. We got talking skin ink to celebrate the baby. This was her idea for me."

"That supposed to be you and Kelly?" Jimmy asks.

Tim nods.

"You're so not a dragon."

"Uh huh. Okay, what am I?"

"I don't know," Jimmy shrugs, thinks for a moment, then grins, "a koala?"

"You want koalas, look in the mirror. I'm not that cute or fuzzy-"

"Especially not today," Jimmy broke in with smirk. Yes, his body hair is growing back in, and thank all that's good and holy, is past the god-awful itchy phase, but it's still pretty clear he shaved it all off.

"Not ever, really. Cute and fuzzy, that's you and Breena. If Abby thinks I'm a dragon, I get to be a dragon."

"Uh huh…"

Gibbs is still looking at his back. "When Kelly was little she had My Little Ponies." Jimmy's grinning, he knows what they are and where this is going. "That thing on your back is a My Little Dragon."

Jimmy and Gibbs laughed. Tim flashed them a I am so done with you idiots look and headed for the shower.

Twenty minutes later, he's out, drying off (carefully, he doesn't want to smudge the dragons too much). Yeah, they're cute. Sure, he doesn't want them burned into his skin forever. But Abby did spend two hours drawing them on, so he'll do what he can to keep them in good shape for as long as possible.

"So how long would that take?" Jimmy asks.

"Oh, god, no. Not actually getting this tattooed on. Just the outline was two hours with a Sharpie. It'd be even longer with a tattoo gun." He touches the knot on his right arm. "That was four hours and nine minutes, and that was long enough."

Jimmy looks at Gibbs, who is sitting down on the bench, putting his briefs on, and thus, very naked. "Why don't you have any? Getting them is traditional military, right?"

"Nothing I ever wanted burned into my skin."

"Not your unit insignia?" Tim asks.

"Thought about it. Never got drunk enough to do it. Shannon didn't like 'em, either."

"Breena likes them. You ever going to get one?" Tim asks Jimmy, while pulling on his boxers.

"Nope. My body already has a hard time fighting off infections. Last thing I need to do is open myself up to one by getting an intentional flesh wound."

"Good point."

"I liked the way the henna one looked before my skin broke out in hives."

Tim buttoned his shirt. "Sharpies might be an option."

"Got enough on my plate, don't have time for lying around letting her draw on me."

Tim shrugs. "Feels nice. Doesn't have to take hours."

Gibbs is just watching the two of them have this conversation, pretty stunned to see them actually talking about this. It occurs to Tim that this is the first time Jethro's actually worked out hard enough with them to join in on the locker room conversation after.

"How nice?" Jimmy asks, grabbing his jeans from the locker.

"I've got My Little Dragons on my back. How nice do you think?"

Jimmy nods, pulling his pants up. "So, you let her shave you, or you do it yourself?"

"Both of us. And you were right, totally worth it."

Gibbs has a look on his face best described as, mildly surprised but feeling like he should have known Palmer would be into that, too.

Now Jimmy's nodding sagely, slipping on his socks. "You get Abby to tell you what she put in Tony's present?"

Tim smirks, reaching for his wrist cuff, enjoying the memory of that. "Yep."

"Gonna tell?" Jimmy looks up at him, pausing in his dressing to pay attention to the answer.

"Can't. Sworn to secrecy. Breena tell you what she put in?" Tim asks, fastening his wrist cuff.

Big, wide, somewhat condescending but very happy smile on Jimmy's face. "Oh yeah."

"You got sworn to secrecy too, didn't you?" Tim asks as he grabs his jeans out of the locker.


Tim's combing his hair when he notices something, Jimmy's getting ready to leave, with no glasses. Then it hits him, Jimmy wears contacts to fight, and he must have kept them in.

Then something else hit him. "Which do you like better, glasses or contacts?" He wears the glasses at work, but as Tim thinks about it, he's noticed that Jimmy's been wearing the contacts on weekends and off time.

"Why are you asking?"

"Got my eyes checked Friday. Twenty/thirty in the left, twenty/thirty-five in the right. I don't need them yet, but corrective lenses are on the horizon for me."

"Once I could get them in and out fast, I liked the contacts better, but, when I'm at work, I never know what we're going to run into, and I like the extra layer of protection the glasses offer. Plus, I get something on them, and I can get them off in a tenth of a second."

That made sense to Tim. "You don't wear contacts, do you?" he asked Gibbs. They've all seen Gibbs' glasses for close up work, but he's not sure if Gibbs has distance vision issues yet or not.

Gibbs shakes his head and hands Tim his glasses. He squints through them, noticing that Gibbs is awfully farsighted. "They're trifocals. Top does distance. Bottom close up. Middle's plain glass. And I don't usually wear them because anything further than eight feet and closer than fifty is still in sharp focus."

"Add sniper to the list of skills we're replacing."

Gibbs glares a little at that, not enjoying being faced with the fact that he can no longer hit a target at 3000 meters, but nods because it's true. "We're seeing the first of the FLETC candidates Monday, right?"

"Yeah. Karen Howard."

"Can she shoot?"

"Don't think so. Not like that, at least. She's the computer wizard."

"The baby out of CalTech?" Before the wedding the four of them had gone through the five names Tim's contact at FLETC had sent over, and decided on three to get to know better.


Gibbs nods, takes his glasses back from Tim, and says, "See you Monday."

The three of them were dressed by that point, so they headed out of the locker room and went their own ways.

No comments:

Post a Comment