Thursday, October 24, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 241

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

Chapter 241: Father's Day

“Everything still on schedule?” Jimmy asked Breena as he hopped into their car after Bootcamp.

“Tony texted three minutes ago. Abby’s awake. Kelly’s awake. Tim’s awake.”

“Good. You got the present?”

Breena rolled her eyes at him. “You think I’m going to forget the Father’s Day present when I’m driving to the Father’s Day gathering?”

Back in the beginning of June, after they had the c-section scheduled for the 18th, with, supposedly, the day they’d be coming home the 21st, Father’s Day, Abby had given the Father’s Day present she’d gotten for Tim to Breena, along with a promise to make sure he got it. Abby had been pretty certain that they’d be a bit too pre-occupied to remember it, otherwise.

Jimmy’d been talking to Tony about it. (Tony had asked what his weekend plans were, so he mentioned bootcamp, and that Breena had something special planned for him for Father’s Day breakfast, and then over to Tim’s to drop off his present.) And Tony mentioned that he and Ziva had the present that Tim and Abby wanted to make sure that Gibbs got.

And from there a plan was born.

It’ll be a pretty fast visit. Presents, quick dinner (Penny and Ducky are bringing it), and off again. They don’t want to cut too much into Tim or Abby’s rest time, or do anything that might stress Abby out, but an hour to exchange some presents, enjoy each other’s company, and have a good meal seemed like it’d be welcome.

And, of course, the dads in question do not, (they hope) know this plan is in the offing.

Jimmy shrugged at Breena. “Just checking. Getting her out the door can take a lot of attention, and I know I forget things,” he said, looking back at Molly, sitting in her car seat, babbling about going to Uncle Tim and Aunt Abby’s house and seeing the baby.

Jimmy flashed a quick text to Ducky, waited a few seconds for the response, and said, “Ducky and Penny are about ten minutes out.”

“Okay, and Ziva’s got Jethro, no problems?”

“None at all.”

“Great. So how was Bootcamp?”

“Fun. Different. I feel like I need instant replay when I go up against Ziva; she’s so fast.”

Breena smiled at that.

“She tells me Draga would like to join in, but wanted to see how we felt about it first.”

“And how do you feel about it?”

“Eh. I’d rather he didn’t join in, but can’t think of a good way to say it without sounding stupid.”

Breena was surprised by that. “Why not?”

“It’s just… If it’s just us and Gibbs or Gibbs and Ziva, it’s… not a pissing match. We’re bad at this. Maybe not on a cosmic level or anything, and we’re getting better, but, Tim and I, we’re still bad at it. And just the three or four of us is fun. It doesn’t matter that we’re bad and they’re better, and… Look, Draga’s probably a great guy. Ziva likes him. But I don’t need my ass handed to me on a weekly basis by some twenty-nine-year-old flyboy. But I don’t know how to say that and not be a jerk.”

Breena nodded.

“And on top of it, he’s new to DC. His last posting before FLETC was Colorado, so he’s not close to any of his friends, and is probably looking for something to do on the weekends, so I get why he might want to come along, but…”

“What’d Gibbs say about it?”

He didn’t. Just kind of looked at Ziva and shrugged. I’m sure there was more to that look than I was getting, probably something about their team dynamics and leadership and something with Tony, but Ziva seemed to get it, so I don’t think it matters if I got it all or not.”


“You sure it’s okay we stay for dinner?” Tony asks Gibbs as he and Tim ‘start to get ready for dinner.’

“Just making chicken on the grill and salad. Adding two more chicken breasts isn’t a problem,” Tim answers, though he’s the one on salad duty.

Tony heard a car pull up and grins. Tim’s talking to Gibbs about Bootcamp, so he missed the sound of car doors opening and closing, but he didn’t miss the sound of his front door opening, and Jimmy and Breena’s voices, as well as Molly shrieking, “BABY!”

Tim and Gibbs are both looking pretty surprised. Tony put an arm around each of them, steering them out of the kitchen and into the living room. “Or, how about we handle dinner, and you two relax and enjoy your Father’s Day.”

Of all the things Tim might have expected, surprise Father’s Day celebration was nowhere on the list. Sure, he’d decided he wanted to do those pictures for Jethro, but somehow the idea that Father’s Day would roll around and he would be a Dad hadn’t occurred to him, at all.

But he is a Dad, and he’s home, with his family, sitting next to Abby, who’s holding Kelly, opening a card, with, ohhh…. He really likes that.

It’s a tattoo idea. A small green dragon, this one properly fierce looking, not a ‘my little dragon.’ It’d go on his calf, with a slim knotwork band circling the rest of his leg. If they have other children there’d be room for other bands. Eventually, when they know they’re done with babies, they could close it off, with two bands one above and one below the main design, that would circle his leg completely, one for each of them.

Yeah, he likes that a whole lot.

There’s a gift certificate for it, but no set appointment date, which makes sense because he knows this’ll take a while and he’s got no desire to wander off long enough to get it done, not now. But eventually… Oh yes.

He kisses Abby. “I really like it.”

“Good.” She nods, and there’s a hint of a little smile on her face. He hugs her tight and kisses her again, trying to get across how pleased he is, and hoping maybe some of his joy could rub off on her and light her eyes back up. But the best he gets is a little glimmer of… something, maybe it’s joy.

He passes the sketch around, and everyone seems to approve, though Tony makes a crack about never getting him out of the kilt once he’s got something on his leg to show off.

He laughed at that. “No point to having them if no one ever sees them.”

Ziva looked at him, amused, cool smile on her face. “I wouldn’t say that. Sometimes it’s nice to have a secret that only intimate friends get to see.”

Tony smiled at that, looking a little cocky, and Breena added, “That’s right, you have one, too, don’t you?”

Tim takes a minute, thinking about exactly how much of Ziva he’s seen, and how he’s never, ever seen a tattoo, so where said tattoo would have to be, and laughed a little at that.

“I stand corrected, Ziva. So, what is yours?”

Ziva smiled wide and mysterious. “Like it’s exact location, what it is, is a secret.”

“This started as McGee’s idea,” Ziva said as Tony handed Gibbs a nicely wrapped rectangle.

“Then he passed it off to us,” Breena added, “Because there was one bit that they weren’t able to get for themselves.”

“Then we got it for safe keeping and timely delivery,” Tony wrapped up.

Gibbs slipped his finger under the pretty silver paper (He’s thinking Breena was in charge of wrapping as well as whatever the last bit was, because he cannot imaging any of the boys, let alone Abby or Ziva owning or using silver paper with little pink and white flowers on it.) and carefully ripped it apart at the tape.

Under the paper he found a three part frame, and in that frame was three pictures. The first one was him with the boys at Tony and Ziva’s wedding. The last one was him with his girls, also at Tony and Ziva’s wedding. And the middle one, the one Jimmy and Breena must have taken, was from the hospital. He’s holding Kelly in one arm, and Molly is sitting in his lap, his other arm around her, looking at her cousin, very gently touching her face.

All the girls got kisses (including the two baby ones), and the guys got some affectionate hair ruffling. He got to Tim last, and looked at him with a combination of thanks and what inspired this?

Tim just shrugged a little, and said, quietly. “You mentioned not having pictures. I know we’re not them, but… Thought you might have like having some.”

Gibbs nodded, smiling, and sat down, looking over the shots again.

Ducky, sensing this was probably too much emotional touchy, feely stuff for the guys in this crowd to be comfortable with, suggested that they grab some dinner, which seemed to make everyone more comfortable.

And so, dinner, grilled chicken (not cooked by Gibbs), salad (not made by Tim), watermelon, and cupcakes were had and enjoyed, as well as some adventures in fathering stories from Gibbs and Jimmy.

As they were cleaning up, Tony pulled Gibbs aside and said to him, “You don’t need to come in tomorrow.”

Gibbs gave him the Really, you sure? look.

“Unless someone turns up dead, I’m good with Ziva and Draga. Stay here, be a Dad, it’s good for you.”
Gibbs looked from Tony to Ziva, not able to put the idea into words, but still getting across, Tim and Abby aren’t my only kids.

“Yeah, but they’re the ones that need you right now. I’ve got work. Someone dies; I’ll call.”

Gibbs nodded at that.

And of course, less than ten seconds after that nod ended, his phone, Tony’s phone, Ducky’s phone, and Jimmy’s phone all rang at once.

Tony got his first. Dead Marine out at Quantico.

And so, as quickly, and as much of a surprise as Father’s Day was to start, it ended. And to Tim it does feel pretty weird to watch them head out, getting ready to go and find the dead man’s killer, and not go along.

Breena, Molly, and Penny stuck around to make sure everything got cleaned up. Penny mostly kept an eye on Abby and Molly, keeping the little girl occupied and making sure she wasn’t too rough with Abby or Kelly.

Tim was putting away the extra food while Breena rinsed off the cutlery, sticking it in the dishwasher.

“She been like this the whole time?” Breena asked, and he didn’t need any clarification that she’s talking about Abby.

“Pretty much.”

“When’s her next doctor’s appointment?”


Breena nods. “Make sure you mention it to her. This isn’t normal.”


“She still bleeding heavily?”

“Maybe? Why?”

“If her iron levels are off, that can depress mood.”

“I’ll mention that, too.”

“Good. She’s going to get better, Tim.”

“I know. But the girl who designed that tattoo’s not here right now, and that scares the hell out of me.”

Breena nodded. “You gonna be okay on your own tomorrow?”

“If I’m not, I’ll call.”

“Even if you are, give me a call anyway. After nap time we’ll swap. You take Molly, and I’ll get Abby out of the house for a bit.”


Breena hugged him. “No problem.”

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