Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 230

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

Chapter 230: Almost Time

Maternity leave feels really strange.

Abby’s not sick, she’s not doing something else like vacation or getting ready for a wedding or taking care of Tim.

She’s just home.


And it feels really odd.

Like usual, a minute before the alarm went off she hit it and spent a few more minutes snuggling with Tim, and then they went off script. Usually they both get up, some mornings (depending on how long and intense snuggling was) they get a shower together, some mornings he gets his shower while she handles breakfast for them, then gets hers after they eat. But usually somehow the clock rolls from 6:20 to 7:30 when they leave for work.

This morning, he got up, got his shower, and she just laid there, dozing. She’s tired. She’d really like to be sleeping, but everything hurts after a few minutes in any given position and getting from one position to another is such an effort that she can’t really keep shifting around easily enough to stay comfortable, so she can’t really sleep.

She watched him get dressed (always a treat) and he brought her some breakfast, and then headed off to work.

So she’s home, alone, with nothing to do, and it just feels really weird.

She thought about going to the pool, but getting dressed, getting into the car, driving all the way there, and then walking across the parking lot seems like more effort than it’s worth. Though that did remind her of movies in the tub, and without Tim in there, she could probably get the water deep enough to float a little, and maybe that would let her get a decent nap.

It was worth a shot.

“The set up right now is temporary. Once Gibbs retires we’ll rearrange again,” Tim’s saying as he shows Draga his new desk.

“It’ll work. Now what?”

“Paperwork.” Tim already had the stack of mandatory paperwork all new NCIS hires have to fill out on Draga’s desk.

Draga looks at it, and cocks an eyebrow. “Let me guess they want everything but my cholesterol count?”

“I think that’s on the 55-88-A.”

“Purple one, half way down. They also want your resting heart rate, blood pressure, height to waist ratio, and a few other things, something about the Federal Wellness Initiative,” Tony adds as he and Ziva walk into the bullpen. Draga doesn’t look like he’s sure if Tony is kidding or not. Tony got that line off deadpan enough that if it wasn’t for the fact that Tim knew he had made up the 55-88-A he’d have bought it. “Everything look comfortable?”

“Yeah. Compared to a cockpit this is tons of space to work in.”

Tony nods. “Then get to it. Until those are done, you’re not allowed to be on a case.”

Gibbs breezes by, clipboard in hand, dropping it on Draga’s stack of paperwork. “Bring ‘em with ya. Dead sailor in Appomattox.”

And like every other time, they all grab their go bags.

Gibbs looks at Tim and shakes his head. “Not you. You’re staying here. Appomattox is three hours away.” Gibbs hands Tim a sticky note with the vic’s name, Robert Simms, on it. “Financials, phone records, you know the drill.”

“On it.”

Tim's been trying to get her to buy a new one
but she really likes this one.
Abby got a text around lunchtime. Gibbs grounded me.

Sent you to your room?

J Dead body out of Appomattox. They went off to investigate. I’m here running data.

Keeping you close to home.

Looks like it.

Anyway, for once I’m going to have the data dealt with before they even get back with a body. Looks like I’ve got a pretty good shot of being home for dinner, anything you want?

Not really. Been feeling kind of nauseous all day.

Sorry to hear it.



Nothing worth mentioning. Two in the last hour. It’s just often enough to keep me from really sleeping.

All be done soon.

Thank GOD!

Let me know if you think of anything you want.


Love you.

Tony's cell.
An hour later he’s flashing a text to Tony. Simms kept sending texts to a burner phone.

What about?

No clue. It’s a code I haven’t cracked. Looks like a book code though.

So you want every book in the house, too.

Wouldn’t hurt. Though if you feel like really looking, narrowing it down to the books that look like they get used a lot would be worthwhile. There’s a ton of these texts, so unless Simms had the book memorized, he had to use it a lot.

You know, I think you’ve just found Draga’s first real assignment. I bet he’d be good at that.

I think you’re right on that.

Anything interesting in the financials?

Still working on it. BofA’s being pissy about not having a proper notification of death since Ducky and Jimmy aren’t back yet.

Half an hour later, Tim got a text from Draga. Anything to suggest Simms had any connection to Iowa?

Yeah. I’m looking at a Fodor’s Iowa and either Simms was exhaustively researching vacation plans or this is the code book.

Nothing in anything I’ve got suggest any connection to Iowa. Give me the ISBN.

Ten digits flashed up on Tim’s phone.

Thanks. I’ll go see if there’s a copy locally. Be careful with it, we’re going to go over it with a fine tooth comb for trace and prints.

No problem.

Broke it!
He sent the next text to the whole team: Broke the code. Simms was buying something, a lot of it, and selling it, probably on base. Financials show he had storage unit in Norfolk.

Tony: Norfolk?

McGee: He’s stationed out of Norfolk.

Gibbs: What was he doing in Appomattox?

McGee: Mom died two years ago. It used to be her house. He inherited it.

Ziva: Any ID on the burner phone?

McGee: Nope. And its old enough I can’t even trace where it was sold. Whoever has it bought it like ten years ago.

Draga: Flip phone?

McGee: Maybe or a really old flat one.

Nothing popped up on his screen for several minutes so he sent another one to the whole team: ???

Ziva: Draga noticed that the bystander who found the body had a flip phone.

McGee: Got a name?

Ziva: Alvin Burns

McGee: Send me a picture of him. I’m on it.

Half an hour after that, he knew one thing, whoever the bystander was, his name wasn’t Alvin Burns. No one even remotely resembling the guy he had a picture of was called Alvin Burns. But he had Tom and Co. in the lab searching the facial recognition software for a match.

He sent his next text to Gibbs. Guy who found the body isn’t named Alvin Burns.

Got an ID?

Not yet. Lab’s working on it. He touch anything?

Borrowed Ziva’s pen.

We can run prints when you get back.

Good. Go home Tim.


Day’s done for you. Go home.

Only six, Jethro.

I know. Go home.

On it.

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