McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.
Chapter 336: Boss
"You ready?" Abby asks as they pull into the parking lot.
He nods. "Ready."
"Kick ass and take names?"
He nods again, then wiggles his foot. "Boot shall prod buttock as often and with as much force as is needed to get these guys into shape."
Abby grins at that and kisses him. "You're gonna do great."
He sighs. He's been telling himself that all weekend long. He is going to do great. He's got big plans, little plans, and a bunch of in between ones, and it's time to go put them into place.
He kisses her, and squeezes her hand. She smiles at him. He takes a deep breath and lets it out, and then they get out of the car and head in.
For the last few months, Tim's been pondering what to do his first day as, apparently, Director of Cybercrime. He's talked to all of his Minions. He's got the beginning of a feel for them. They're starting to get a feel for him.
But he wants to make it absolutely clear that the status-quo-ante-McGee ended the minute Jenner left the building.
So they're taking a field trip.
To the range.
"Why are we doing this?" Of course the one asking is Stephen Manner.
"Teambuilding, Manner." Tim says crisply as the Minions all gather around him, ear protection around their necks, safety glasses on. "I know none of you are field agents. That's fine. But we are cops. It is our job to solve crimes and defend people. And if any of you ever need to defend yourselves or anyone else, I want you to be able to do it with something other than code."
He takes out his gun, (Personal piece, also a Sig. He carried for more than a decade, and he's not comfortable roaming about DC without a gun. He didn't realize how painfully naked he would feel on the ride home Friday night without his service piece, so that's just not happening again.) shows them how it works, explaining that yes, this is a loaded gun, when he's got a gun on him, it's loaded, and that it's in his desk when he's in the building and he carries when he's not in the building. Then he runs the target out to the full extent, and shoots a smiley face into it at 100 meters.
He brings it back in, and watches them all stare at it, wide-eyed, stunned. (Even Manner looks impressed, against his will.) The first time he was in Cybercrime they treated him like a rock star because he'd been a field agent and carried a gun. This time he's proving he can use it. "By the end of the year, you're all going to be able to do that, too. Handgun proficiency just got added to all of your to-do lists. We're geeks. That's fine. That's who we are, and we're going to be proud of it. But we're going to be the most dangerous geeks anyone has ever seen. We will code longer, harder, and better than anyone ever has or will, and if we ever need to, we'll back that up with physical force. Those of you who were here back in '12 remember what happened to James Hunt. For those of you who weren't, Hunt was one of us; he was undercover in the field. Our security was breached, his name was leaked, and he was tortured and killed, leaving a wife and six-year-old child behind. Not happening on my watch. On my watch, you will all be able to take care of yourselves, and you are never going to be dangling in the wind out there alone."
They all look pretty impressed by that.
"So, step one, let's get you some guns."
For the most part they're pretty bad at it. Cheerful, having a good time, but by any shooting standard, they're pretty bad. A real gun is a whole lot different than a simulation of one. He got to know each of them better, and more importantly got to see how they reacted when given a task way outside of their expectations. For two thirds of his group, he's pleased with what he's seeing.
By the time they get back to the basement, his guys are loosening up a bit. They seem to be getting a little more comfortable with him, and, for the most part, appear to approve of his field trip.
Okay, they'd seen fun, approachable McGee. Over the last two months they'd seen curious McGee. With the coffee they'd seen considerate McGee.
Time to bring out the hard-ass, and as he told Abby, apply boot (Technically, today it's a loafer. Unlike Tony he almost never wears boots to work. Of course, also unlike Tony, all of his boots are on the Doc Martin side of things.) to buttock.
Right now Cybercrime is a collection of desks in nice, straight lines, divided by cubicles. It's very tidy, very organized. And Tim has nothing against organized, he prefers organized, but this flavor of organized is not good for brainstorming, it's not good for working as a team, and it's certainly not good for how he wants his team to work. His office, in specific, and the basement, in general, is also woefully lacking in space to conference with 13 people.
First thing tomorrow, they're rearranging furniture. But for now, he's got them in a semi-circle in front of the coffee maker, desk chairs all around.
He remembers Gibbs telling him that most men just need a gentle whack to the pride to get them moving in the right direction. And he's about to apply said whack.
"Everyone comfy?" They've all drug their chairs out, gotten drinks, and settled in to see what he was going to do next. No one suggests he isn't ready, so Tim twists his chair around, straddles it, folds his arms on the back rest, facing them, and continues on, "In the last six months, I've hacked all of your systems. I got your personal computers at home, I got your work systems, I got your phones, and I did it multiple times." He sees signs of anger at that, some alarm, and a few of the brighter ones are starting to look a little sick. "It was a test. I wanted to see how good your security was. I wanted to see how aware of threats you were. And I wanted to see what you'd do if your systems were compromised." As soon as the word test fell off his lips ten of them start looking very nervous. Good, they should.
"Six of you failed. Completely and utterly. You did not notice you'd been hacked. Your security was sloppy and your safeguards insufficient.
"Four of you passed, barely. You noticed you'd been hacked, tightened your security, and didn't think twice about it.
"Two of you passed the test. You tightened your security, tracked the attack, found that it came from me. One of you talked to Vance. One of you talked to me.
"None of you had a system I couldn't get into, which means none of you aced it."
He sees ten of them blanch. Six of them look sick. Ngyn and Manner, the two who passed, are looking uncomfortable, too. Ngyn's taking this a lot harder than he had hoped for, she looks ready to hang herself because he was able to get into her system, and Manner's between annoyed and outright angry.
All in all Hard Ass McGee appears to be working.
He makes sure to take a few seconds to hold eye contact with everyone who isn't Ngyn or Manner and then says, "To say I was disappointed by those results is an understatement. You are Cybercrime. One of your primary jobs is to defend against cybercriminals. If I had meant business, I could have crippled all of your personal systems. More importantly, if I had meant business, I could have crippled NCIS on your watch. From what I can tell, the only reason that hasn't happened yet is because NCIS is such a small institution that no one knows we exist." He decides mentioning that no one's been able to get through the wall he built around NCIS after Hunt died is counter-productive to the mood of abject terror he's trying to instill right now.
"After almost all of you failed my first test, I decided to go and check over all of your resumes; I rechecked your references and transcripts. I know, that once upon a time, you were all top-notch talent." Okay, that's not exactly true. But they were all in the top quarter of talent, and he's trying to add a little pep talk to his slap to the pride here. "What I do not know is why all of you stopped being top-notch talent, and why only two of you even remember what top-notch talent even looks like.
"I know one other thing, the only people who are staying on this team are the top-notch talent.
"As of today, you just became Probies again. We'll talk one on one today and tomorrow about what I'll expect from each of you. But one thing is true, only two of you were even in the neighborhood of what I'm going to expect from you going forward.
"I wasn't kidding at the range. We're geeks. And we are going to be the best team of geeks anyone has ever seen. We are going to redefine what it means to be a Cybercrime operation. Right now we sit here, wait to find out that someone has broken the law, and then go after them. Not anymore. We are going to be hunters, searching for the problems before they become apparent. We're not just going to clean up messes, we're going to prevent them. Now, all of you back to your desks. Start packing your stuff up." Some of them look terrified at that, and it hits him that they may think he's doing a mass firing. "Tomorrow we're rearranging everything so we can work as a team." And he sees some relief cross six faces. "You've been off doing your own things for too long. We're rebuilding so we can work with each other. Meanwhile, I'll be dropping by to talk to you one on one about what I expect out of you for the next year."
Twelve sets of eyes just stared at him, but no one moved.
"Okay, speaking of what I expect, the correct answer right now is 'On it, Boss' or 'Yes, Boss' then you all get up and do what I've told you to."
Ten forced-sounding versions of "On it, Boss" echoed through the basement as the Minions began to move. Tim made note of the two who didn't say it. Ngyn, terminally shy, and Manner, who was probably horrendously annoyed at this whole thing.
Talking to everyone went, for the most part, smoother than he was expecting. Apparently a judicious application of hard-ass did indeed soften people up nicely.
Unfortunately a judicious application of hard-ass did not speed up physical plant. So, after being told that there was no possible way that they could get new light bulbs any time before February, Tim heads to the supplies cabinet, finds the damn light bulbs and a ladder, and shocks the hell out of his team by replacing them himself.
"What are you doing?" Hepple asks. (Though he can feel eleven other sets of eyes watching as he sets up the ladder below one of the dark lights.)
"Leading by example. This," he points to the lack of lights, "is a problem. Physical Plant says they can't get here until February, so I am fixing the problem myself instead of just ignoring it until someone else can deal with it."
Hepple nods at that, looking like he approves, and goes back to his cubicle.
By the time Tim's done, they can all see easily and the basement is suddenly looking significantly less dungeonish. (And with more light it is clear that it's also in need of a new coat of paint and the janitorial staff has been slacking off. There really shouldn't be cobwebs in the corners.)
And of course, it's after he's done that Manner drifts by and says, "We had so few of them to cut down on the heat and glare. They get really hot and make it hard to see the screens."
"We're moving around tomorrow, so we'll find spots that don't cause too much glare. As for heat… Physical plant says they can get here in February, so when they do, we'll upgrade to LEDs. There's no reason for us to be stumbling around in the dark down here."
Manner doesn't seem impressed, but he drifts back toward his cubical, which he may or may not have been packing up.
That ate up pretty much the whole first day. He was putting the ladder back when the clock hit five. He knows they usually leave at five, so he's curious as to whether or not anyone will be there when he gets back.
"Okay," He gestures and they all drift forward again. He takes the white board he had written What kind of coffee do you like? on and tacks it to the wall outside of his office.
"Last of today's changes. Come Monday we're on twenty-four seven. Crime doesn't just happen on a nice, tidy nine to five schedule. So, names on the board, write down whatever hours you'd like to work best. I don't care when they are, as long as there are fifty of them a week." He sees Manner about to chime in, "And yes, that fifty hours includes your lunches and breaks. Actual working time will still be forty hours, though we're going to be having a chat about overtime and comp time in the not wildly distant future.
"You don't have to decide what hours you want tonight. Go home, talk with your families, figure out what times will work best, stick some hours up there by Friday end of work. For times I don't have a lot of coverage, we'll use the same sort of on call system we have upstairs, skeleton crew rotating through and one or two of you on call if there's a rush/someone calls in sick.
"All right. That's today. Tomorrow we're rebuilding the office and going over the new vision for Cybercrime.
"Wednesday, we get back to work."
This time he hears a collection of variations on the theme of 'On it, Boss,' as they all wander off, some to fill in hours on the whiteboard, (He makes a mental note to get a big one to stick in the center of his soon to be conferencing area. Yes, there will be upgrading as soon as he gets his hands on his budget and requisition forms, but for right now, he feels like he can spare the pocket money for a big whiteboard. Plus, they're just always good to have around.) most to grab their gear and head home for the night.
With everyone gone, Tim heads into his office for the second time ever. He got in in the morning, put his boxes on the desk, and then turned right around, headed out, waited by the coffee maker, and got everyone together to explain their field trip.
He stands in the door, looking around. He's got an office. Of his own. All his own.
And while he's sure that Manner had already been in to measure for curtains (The front and left walls are both glass with vertical shades.) he hadn't paid much attention to the idea of an office.
Right now, it's a moderately sized room (twelve by ten) with a desk (Big desk, more than enough room for two monitors, keyboard, writing space, pictures… It's at least half again the size of his desk upstairs.) desk chair, two book shelves on the back wall, with two file cabinets between them, a blank wall to his right, and two more guest chairs along the left wall.
So, right now it's really empty.
Kind of odd that there's no computer in there, what with the whole it's the office of the Director of Cybercrime, but there's also a packet of paperwork for him to fill out on the desk, so he's hoping that there's something in there about how he gets a computer for himself.
He'll get to them soon enough.
He's just standing in there, looking around. He figures tomorrow, when everyone else is setting up their new work stations, he'll set up his as well.
But he does put his pictures up. That helps it feel a bit more like his.
He looks over his shoulder from putting the skull picture on the corkboard between his book shelves and above the filing cabinets to see Abby standing in his doorway.
"Nice," she says, grinning at his space.
She touches his door, fingers tracing over the small black and gray plastic name tag that reads, Timothy McGee Director of Cybercrime. "A real door?"
He shrugs. "Looks like you get all the fancy toys." With the exception of the main lab door, all of hers are sliding glass.
"Probably not much chance of any sort of chemical gas leak down here."
"I'd imagine it's pretty small."
She's looking at the blinds, fiddling with the plastic wand that opens and closes them, smiling, and then turns to him. "You know, your desk will never, ever again be that empty or clear."
Right now, the only thing he's got on it is a box of his stuff and the stack of paperwork. So he nods. He can't imagine it will ever be this empty in here again.
"And… as of… tomorrow, the next day… you'll have them working twenty-four, seven right?" By 17:10 or so the Minions were out of the office. So, he is, currently, in possession of a mostly empty office in a deserted Cybercrime basement.
"Monday. We shift to full time on Monday." He's starting to guess where this is going, and a grin is spreading across his face, as well. They've certainly christened her office, might as well do his…
"So… this is a rare opportunity, then." She's facing him, wicked smile on her face, but her back is to the door to his office, she hooks her foot onto the door and kicks it closed. With a snick, it does. One more click and it's locked. Takes a few twists, but the vertical blinds all shut.
He sets the box on the floor, paperwork on top of it, and closes on her, pulling her against him. "Very rare."
"Excellent." Her arms wrap around his neck, and she feels him lift her, and then set her on his desk.
He kisses her, wet and soft, lots of explicit promise from his tongue.
She's moaning quietly, a soft breathy sound that he knows well and loves, as her hands find his belt.
"Quick?" he asks.
"Heather expects us back usual time," she says between kisses.
He nods, thinking that means they've got fifteen minutes, nibbling her collar bone, hands trailing up her legs, noticing that she's got a skirt on today. His fingers brush her pussy, skirt and a thong. He smiles at her, seeing the glee in her eyes. She definitely planned this for today.
Her legs cross around his hips, keeping him close and snug, while her hands unfasten his belt and jeans. "Been thinking about this all day," she says nibbling his bottom lip, unbuttoning his shirt, rubbing her hands and lips over his chest.
He pulls her head up, kisses her, shoving her skirt out of the way, making sure her lab coat is pushed back enough. "God, I love you so much!"
"You mean you haven't been thinking about this?"
He shakes his head, and then groans as she pushes him back a step, pulls his dick out of his boxers, and bends forward to kiss it, lips wet and soft, tongue playing on the tip.
She jacks him slow and steady with a wet hand. "You mean, all day today, you've been thinking about work…"
"I'm not anymore," he says through gritted teeth, watching her hand slip over his dick.
He pushes her back a bit on the desk, so she's lying down, hips on the edge, and drags the thong to the side, giving her pussy a good long, wet, sucking, licking kiss. Then reaching back, he grabs his desk chair, pulling it to sit on, and placing each of her feet on one of the arms.
She moans as his mouth dips to her pussy again, body rocking up to meet him, and that's all the confirmation he needs.
He's licking hard, fast, fingers thrusting. There's nothing teasing about this. Sure, he'd like to lay her out and feast on her here, spread out on his desk like his own private, kinky Boss and Secretary porno, but… But it's not happening, not tonight.
Though he thinks she's on the same page, because he's hearing her say, "Oh, God, Yes, oh sir! Yes! Please, sir, get me off, sir!"
She's wet and eager, probably really has been thinking about this all day, and it's only a matter of minutes before words slip into deep breaths and high pitched moans, and just as she's cresting, as her body's pulling tight and her fingers are clenched on the far edge of his desk, he stands up and slips into her, setting her off, reveling in the wet, tight, pulsing grasp of her body on his. Doesn't take him long to follow her, few fast, hard, deep thrusts, hoisting her legs up, around his waist, arching into her at full out speed, and then he's shuddering and twitching, glowing with this.
For a moment, he rests there, head on her chest, bent over his desk, the heels of her boot scratchy on the small of his back. When his heart stops pounding, and her breathing calms down, he kisses her gently on the throat, feeling her lightly stroking his shoulders.
He stands up, about to step back when he notices a snag in their plan. He's in a very empty office. Very empty. And the nearest bathroom is fifty feet away.
She ducks her hand into her lab coat pocket and pulls a few out. "Don't let it be said that I'm ever unprepared."
He kisses her, grinning, and in a minute, they're wiped up, and his shirt's buttoned and tucked in again.
"You ready to head home?" she asks, and he takes the paperwork and nods.
They're in the elevator before he asks, "You ever going to do that again?"
"You want me to? I don't think you'll ever have an empty office again."
"True…" He's on the fence, because his door does lock, and he does have the blinds, so… as long as they were quiet, they probably could get away with it.
She sees him thinking about it and says, "One day, when you're not expecting it, I'm going to head in for an 'important conversation,' and then I'm going to gag you, and ride you in your office chair."
His eyes close at that, and he bites his lips. Then he kisses her, hard, once more.
The door to the elevator is just about to open. She gently pats his dick, and then, just as they slide apart says, "So, how did your first day go?"
And, as they walk toward her car, he tries to answer.