Monday, May 12, 2014

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 321

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

Chapter 321: McSuperfreak

"Okay, this guy's a psychopath!"

"Why are you saying that, Draga?" Tim asks as he's photographing the scene.

"Look at his browser history." So Tim goes over and does, reading over Drag's shoulder.

Then he laughs and shakes his head. "Not a freak, just a writer."

"They aren't one and the same?" Tony asks as he breezes in.

"Not this time."

"How do you know he's a writer?" Draga asks. "Because nothing about this says writer to me. Aspiring Hannibal Lecter, sure, but not writer."

"Because you haven't been in his bedroom, yet, so you missed the fact that he's got an MLA handbook; Eats, Shoot, and Leaves; and Strunk and White on his bedside table. This guy's a wanna be crime writer."

"You really sure?" Draga doesn't seem to believe that, at all. "I mean, I'm looking at an in-depth discussion of how boric acid reacts to human flesh."

Tim laughs at that, remembering some of the things he researched for his first book. "Yeah, you should have seen my browser history back when I was working on my first novel. Would have blown your mind."

"Would have blown his mind because you're McSuperfreak, not because you're a writer," Tony adds. Tim rolls his eyes. "Got this room done?"

"Just about," Tim answers. "Got a few more shots and I'm done."


"McSuperfreak?" Draga asks.

Tony winces, shaking his head. "You don't want to know, on like fifty different levels."

Draga's looking really curious about that, looking from Tony to Tim and back again.

Tim shrugs; he doesn't want to share, but Tony still needs a smack for making a big deal out of this, so he calls out, "Hey Ziva, wanna know what Tony was on the last time his computer crashed?"

Tony's eyes went wide as Tim did that. "You wouldn't dare!" he says very, very quietly.

"McGee?" Ziva asks, interested and curious, coming into the computer room where the three men were. According to Tony, his computer just mysteriously crashed one night, and the next morning Tim did something magical to it, and it started working again. She has been, suspicious, to say the least, as to the veracity of Tony's story about that.

Tony stares at him in a blind panic.

"Did you know he was on a file sharing site?"

Tony's giving him the I'm going to kill you slowly and no one is ever going to find all the body parts look.

"No, McGee, I did not," she says, little smile on her face; she's enjoying watching Tony squirm.

"Yeah. You'd think an adult, with a real income wouldn't need to share movie downloads," Tony's suddenly looking a whole lot more relaxed, yeah, they were movie downloads, but not the sort of movie Tim's implying, "but for some reason his cheap side kicked in and he decided torpedoing your computer was worth saving twenty bucks."

Ziva's not looking like she believes that, but Tony jumps on it like a lifesaver tossed to a drowning man. "They were uncut footage of the original Shining. You can't get them legally. Not unless you're willing to take out a second mortgage."

She stares at him coolly, and shrugs, seeming to file this in the men are weird column, and let it go to continue working the case. But as she heads out, she raises an eyebrow at Tim. He flashes her a just wanted to make him sweat look. She nods at that.

Tim turns to Tony as soon as she's gone, very smug smile on his face. "Wanna call me a freak again?"

Draga just looks at both of them and then says, "McGee, that was just not cool. That's… I mean… There's a code and… That was not cool."

Tim shrugs again. "Don't mess with the guy who regularly saves your marriage because you're so damn dumb with a computer you can't figure out how not to get infected with every piece of malware on earth."

"Remind me not to call you for tech support!"

"Hey, I'm great tech support! I'm the best damn tech support you've ever met. I make house calls and work for coffee. Just don't rag on me after. Especially not two days after. Especially when your wife is twenty feet away."

Draga snorts at that, looks back at Tony, and then finishes packing up their vic's laptop.

"So… are you a freak?" Draga asks as they're working their way through William Wade (the vic's) electronics.

Tim rolls his eyes, both at the question and that Draga'd ask. He's not sure if this is part of Draga being the no privacy generation, or if he's just not got a very well-developed sense of appropriate. (Or maybe all that time on an aircraft carrier where you can't help but know everything about everyone else is coming into play.) Whatever it is, he's just staring at him, waiting for an answer, so Tim says, dryly, "I doubt I'm into anything that'd make you blush. Tony's vanilla."

"Uh huh. So, you're saying I need to ask Palmer to get an unbiased opinion."

Tim chuckles at that, imagining Jimmy's face if Draga wandered down to autopsy to ask that. "If you do, let me know what he said."

He and Ziva are heading off to talk to Wade's CO when she asks, "So, what was it?"


"Uncut footage of the Shining he would have not just told me about, for hours, but he would have dragged me over to watch it."

There are certain, tacit, unspoken agreements their little family has. One of those agreements is that, while it is true that Tim is tech support, and that he will fix up whatever issues Tony or Jimmy's computers 'mysteriously' develop, Breena and Ziva won't ask what caused the problem, but, if it's anything troublesome, he'll tell them about it.

He assumes that Tony and Jimmy have a similar deal with Abby, everything is confidential, unless keeping it confidential would cause real problems.

"Nothing bad."

"I know that. Lesbian cheerleaders or curious Catholic school girls?" Say whatever you like about Ziva, she knows Tony inside and out.

Tim nods, small smirk on his face, mostly expressing that he thinks the level of secret Tony thinks is necessary in regards to this is silly. "Curious lesbian Catholic school girls."

She shakes her head. "Why do men do that?"

"Look at porn?" He thinks that one's fairly obvious and is surprised she'd ask.

She's giving Tim her, do you think I'm an idiot? look. "I know why men look at porn. Why do they think it is such a big, dark secret?"

"I don't know why Tony thinks it's some sort of deep, dark secret. I know a lot of guys don't want to get yelled at because of what they like. And I know a lot of women aren't cool with their guys looking at it."

Ziva rolls her eyes. "I am not a lot of women."

"I know it. He does, too. But it's like being afraid of spiders, it's deeply ingrained behavior."

She's still looking frustrated and kicks at the carpet on the floor of the car.

He sighs, signals, switches lanes and then says, "I don't know if this is Tony's thing, but… most of us have had this experience. You're home, decide you want some…" he flails around for a second for a good euphemism, "quiet time, and in the midst of said quiet time, as you're enjoying yourself, your mom, sister, girlfriend, or wife suddenly decides that she needs you right that second, and for whatever reason you don't have the door locked, and she walks in, sees what you're doing, and has a fit."

Ziva thinks that's pretty funny. At least, the way she's gasping for breath between episodes of hysterical laughter indicates that.

"Who caught you?" she finally asks, wiping tears from her eyes.

"Not saying."

"Oh, come on, you have got to. You cannot tell a story like that and not say."

Tim rolls his eyes. Long experience with Ziva has taught him that he can answer the question, or have her investigate it. Might as well answer, because he's got no idea how Abby might answer it if Ziva asks her, but he's sure, like with the Diane rumors, that whatever version Abby comes up with will be significantly more salacious than what really happened. "Penny."

Ziva's quivering she's laughing so hard.

Tim nods, and says sarcastically, "Oh yeah, single best day of my life. The three hour long lecture about how pornography objectifies women was torture. Now, this was the same women who was fine with me dressing up in her shoes, and actually flat out told my dad, while I was listening, that if I was gay it was fine, who prefaced the lecture with the longest twenty minutes in the history of time on how self-pleasure was fine and normal and natural, but a teenage, heterosexual male looking at pictures of naked women, oh noooo! End of the world."

Apparently, Ziva thinks that is a riot, too. Much more laughing ensues. Finally Ziva gets calmed down enough to say, "I didn't think Penny was that… restrained?"

"Good word. And no, she's not. You can do pretty much whatever you want with a real person, but ogling pictures of them turns sex into a commodity and that wasn't cool with her."


"Yeah. Anyway, most of us have had something similar happen, so we tend to be cagy about what we're looking at when we're on our own."

"But Abby knows what you like."

"Yeah, she… Wait, why do you know that?"

"We talk."

He glances away from traffic to give her his, really? look. "You guys talk about what kind of porn we watch?"

"Of course."

Tim winces and rubs his forehead. "Really?"

"Yes. We talk about everything."

He sighs.

"We don't tell you guys about it, though."

"Small favors." He supposes he's not allowed to get upset about this. He thought it was an absolute riot when the girls added stuff to Tony's honeymoon box, so the idea that they were talking about all of the intimate details of Tony's sex life was just fine with him. "Really, everything?"

"Yes, McGee, everything."

"And, everything doesn't freak you out?"

"Why would it freak me out? You like what you like, and that's it."

He squeezes her hand. "Everything has freaked a whole lot of women out."

Ziva nods at that. "As I said, I am not a lot of other women. But, you don't hide what you like from her."

"No. I don't."


"I did the first time we dated, because we didn't know each other that well then. But we know each other a lot better now, so I knew it wouldn't freak her out, and that she'd probably like it. She did…" He thinks about the other reason, which is… very personal, but… maybe useful… especially seeing what Tony and Ziva are doing with marriage counseling and all… "You like porn or smut?"

Ziva's surprised he's asking that, but answers anyway, "Yes."

"You watch it with him?"


"You read it to him?" If the girls really do talk, then this idea won't shock her, because he knows Breena and Jimmy do that.


"Okay, here's the deal. I like porn. I don't care if it's objectifying, not anymore." Okay, that sounds really bad. "I mean, I don't think it is," he can see Ziva's not particularly interested in this debate, "but that's an argument I can have with my grandmother, later. Or not, because… Anyway… But I like sex with Abby a whole lot better. And I'm not a machine so there's only so much sex I can have. So, I think it's important that if I am going to be getting off, that I do it with her."

"You don't…" Ziva's hand gesture is unmistakable.

Tim rolls his eyes. "Not saying I don't, just, not very often. And not if there's any shot of real sex with her. Not saying there's anything wrong with jerking off, either, but… if I blow off some steam after dinner, I'm not in shape for anything at bedtime, and being in shape for bedtime matters.

"Anyway, the reason I mention this is because she isn't freaked out by what I like, it doesn't have to be an either/or thing. We can watch it together, or if it's smut, read it together, and that's a lot of fun and has led to a lot of good things."

Ziva nods at that. "And, if I wanted to get him to share…"

Tim's eyes go wide. "Ummm…" Obviously he and Abby somehow negotiated this, but he's not really remembering who brought it up or why. Probably Abby, because that's more an Abby thing, but he just doesn't remember the first time it happened. "Read him your favorite story?"

"It has two men in it."

He probably didn't need to know that about Ziva. "Okay, don't read him that! That'd freak him out. But, you get my point."

"Yes. I do."

Two days later, Tim's picking up some files from Jimmy, when Jimmy asks him, "Okay, so why is Draga asking me if you're a freak or Tony's just vanilla?"

"Oh, God, I didn't think he actually would. There's something seriously wrong with that kid."

"Tim…" So Tim explains how they got there. Jimmy seems to agree with Draga that what he pulled on Tony was a very low blow. "So, you're telling me I need to think twice about calling you when my computer dies."

"I didn't actually do it. And it's not like Ziva doesn't know what Tony's into. Hell, not like Breena doesn't
know what you like, either. And, because they talk about 'everything' apparently the girls all know what all of us are into, too."

That's not news to Jimmy. He knows what the girls talk about. "Yeah, but there's knowing and there's knowing."

"Fine." A few beats go by. "So… what'd you say?"

"What?" Jimmy looks up from collecting the files for Tim, surprise in his face.

"I'm curious."

"I told him to mind his own business."

Really? is loud and clear on Tim's face. Gossip is the bread and butter of NCIS, keeping all hands happy and running smoothly. The idea that Jimmy wasn't contributing to it didn't sound right to Tim.

Jimmy rolls his eyes a bit. "I told him that if he really wanted to know, he needed to talk to Abby and Ziva, because, you know, I've never had sex with either of you and wasn't planning on starting anytime soon, in that I'm both married and straight, and for that matter, could not physically care less how kinky you are or how not kinky he is."


"Fine. I may have also said, that if you were going to ask me to bet, I'd say you were pretty far off the standard path. I mean, you wear kilts and makeup, and have how many tattoos now? And, come on, you're married to Abby! Not that Ziva's boring or anything, but... different sort of thing. And that Tony on a really frisky day went looking for a redhead to go with his blonde and Asian lesbian cheerleaders."

Tim snerks at that. "Well, that at least explains why he's been looking at me weird all day."

"Yeah, well, I'm gonna be looking at you weird all day, too. Why on earth would you tell him to talk to me when he's standing twenty feet away from Tony's wife?"

"He suggested it."

"Now, I'm gonna be looking weird at him, too. Why would he think that I'd know?"

Tim just stares at Jimmy. "Because you do?"

Jimmy shakes his head. "God, talk about conversations I never expected to have." They stand there for a few more seconds before Jimmy says, "So... um... what would you say about me?"

"Uh…" Tim thinks about it for a second, working on some sort of shoe related comment, and then comes up with an even better one. "Out of deference to your wife, whom I both respect and adore, I have no comment on that subject." And then he smiles, pleased and cocky.

Jimmy whacks him on the shoulder with the back of his hand. "Yeah, you know it's coming and think about it and come up with a good answer. I got blindsided."

Tim shrugs with a smirk.

Jimmy stands there, thinking, fingers tapping on the files in front of him. "Actually, what would you say?"

"Jimmy?" That's a much more intimate question than Tim's expecting.

He half-shrugs. "You know more about me than any other guy. Draga asks you if I'm a freak, what's your take?"

"Uh… I don't know. I don't spend a lot of time pondering your sex life."

"Yeah, I know, but…"

"Like Ziva told me, you like what you like, not a big deal."

"Even the shoes?" He had given Jimmy a lot of ribbing about the shoes back when they hypnotized him.

"Doesn't freak me out, if that's what you mean. I mean, I don't get the thing with the shoes. They're shoes..." Which are awfully low on the list of things that turn Tim on. He likes the whole finished effect of an entire outfit, and yes, as of yet, there has never been a time when he wasn't in favor of just stockings and stilettos, but he figures most guys feel that way, and he knows that's not how Jimmy likes shoes. Of course, he doesn't actually know what it is about shoes that Jimmy likes. "So, do you wear them, or like looking at them, or is the feet in them, or…"

Jimmy brushes that aside. "I don't get tattoos."

"I don't like tattoos, not like that." He thinks about that for a moment. "Okay, I liked getting the first one like that, because it was... you know, kind of dangerous and wild and so not 'me.'"

"Your first tattoo is computer code. That was dangerous?"

"Says the guy who breaks out in hives at henna. It felt dangerous to me. But that wore off about the time it had healed up. I know some people get off on them. Some people really like getting them. But, that's not me. I like the kind of people who tend to have them. The actual tattoos I can take or leave. But they usually mark people who are into the same things I am. But everyone wears shoes. You're not narrowing down the pool by picking shoes."

Jimmy shrugs. "As long as I can remember, I liked them. I always knew what all the women around me were wearing. You like butts, right?"

Tim nods.

"Do you remember choosing to like butts?"

"Nope. Just, 'round about the age of eleven I started noticing them."


"So, you like shoes on girls?"


"What about on their own? Like just sitting in a box?"

"They're significantly less interesting to me then. Mostly, if I'm staring at them in a store, it's because I'm thinking about them on a woman."

"Do you do anything with them?"

Jimmy looks bothered by that idea. "Like what? Wear them?"

Tim nods. "Or anything?"

Jimmy's looking at him very curiously, what the hell would I do with them besides wear them?, and Tim's staring back with if you don't know, I don't need to enlighten you on his face.

"I don't wear them. They look dumb on me."

Tim thinks about that for a second, and then realizes exactly what Jimmy just said. "So, wait, you actually know that?"

Jimmy looks at him, long and cool. "I've seen you in eyeliner, nail polish, and a skirt, and you're going to act surprised by me in pumps?"

"Not judging or anything... Just didn't expect it from you."

"Just like with drugs, I've tried just about everything, at least once. On me... I look like Klinger from MASH. Not sexy at all. On her..." Jimmy nods happily, "much better! I like the way they look on her, and I like the way they feel against me if she wears them when we're fooling around. Especially, if we're doing it fast and public, she usually keeps them on, and those are some good memories"

"I get that." Granted not for shoes, but he figures liking Abby tied up is probably a kin to that. "I get liking almost getting caught."

Jimmy chuckles at that. "Yeah, but you suck at it. I've caught you twice already."

"You walk into my house without knocking when the girls smell like that, what do you expect?"

Jimmy shrugs.

"Like you weren't doing the same thing as soon as you could once you got home."

He grins at that. "Not the exact same thing."

"Uh huh." Tim's doubting that intensely. Then he notices that Jimmy said, 'exact same.' "You get all the way to bed?"

He smiles again, enjoying that memory. "I did tell Breena to wear that perfume with caution."

"Told Abby something similar."

"Found out Sunday night the other scent was just as good. Different, but…"

"Yeah. I can guess. Gonna start saving up for a big one?"

"I don't know. Variety is nice. Checked the website, that lady makes like two hundred scents; I made a list of ones that looked good. They sell the massage oil, too, suggested eight ounces of that to one of those little vials I got Breena. Might be a very good Valentine's Day present."

Tim thinks about that, nodding, enjoying the idea of rubbing some sort of silky, slippery oil all over Abby that smells like that perfume. Yeah, that's going on the list.

As he was thinking about that, and scents in general, he gets out his phone and makes a quick note for the McGee Dragons. Lady Skye is an alchemist, maybe perfumery is how she made her fortune and used it to move onto bigger and better things.

"Are you actually making a note of that?" Jimmy didn't go along on his little mental trip for how he got from massage oil to perfume? alchemy? kind of related, right? Beguiling magical scents that make spying easier, scents that pull the truth out of a man...

"Yes." He tucks his phone back into his pocket. "For the story. Been trying to think of how Skye made her fortune, and perfume would be a good way to do it. I'm not writing down what you're thinking of doing for Valentine's Day."

"Good, cause that'd be kind of creepy."

Tim nods, agreeing on the creepy factor for that. "Why you thinking that far ahead?" Jimmy flashes Tim his think about it for a second and it'll come to you look. And it did. "Oh."

"Yeah. Anna'll be out mid-December, so Valentine's Day, in addition to Molly's birthday, will probably be around when things start happening again, so…"

"I get you."

"Yeah. If there's ever a year where you don't want to muff Valentine's..."

"No kidding. Speaking of presents, Abby said something to me about you guys sticking Molly's Christmas presents at our place... Take it from someone who mastered it, she's too young to peek."

"Not like that. If Anna hangs around the way Molly did, she won't be coming out until Christmas, so, if the presents are at your place, that means someone who's actually had six hours of sleep in a row will be in charge of making sure Molly gets them."

"You're putting me on assembly duty, aren't you?"

"Of course. I can barely plug my phone in to charge with a new baby in the house. Let alone a new baby, a twenty-two month old, and Christmas all at once. So, this year, you're putting together the toys."

Tim salutes. "Yes, sir." He takes the files from Jimmy. "I should probably get these up before I get head slapped for messing around."

"Up you go."


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