Fan fic, original fic, fic recs, and artwork by Keryl Raist.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Shards To A Whole: Chapter 418: Strut
McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.
Chapter 418: Strut
"Good weekend, Dr. Allan?" Jimmy asks as his assistant heads in.
Allan nods as he hangs up his jacket and rolls up his sleeves. "Very. Starting to feel like I'm getting the lay of the land."
"I take it you didn't get lost this time?" Allan has been working on getting around DC, so each weekend he's been setting a list of places to go and see, and as of yet, he has not had a weekend where he didn't end up somewhere he didn't intend to be.
Allan smiles. "I successfully used the Metro to get to the Zoo, the Smithsonian, then down to Alexandria, and back to my place."
"Good job. Next thing you know you'll be debating getting rid of your car and finally qualify as a real Washingtonian."
"Wouldn't mind not paying for parking. Though, I was thinking I might like a bike."
Jimmy nods at that. "Good exercise, easy to take with you…"
"Oh." He thinks about that for a second. "Those are cool, too."
"So," Allan looks at Jimmy, already in his coveralls, "I take it we have customers today?"
"Indeed, Dr. Allan, indeed." After it falls out of his mouth, and Allan's heading off to grab his coveralls and gas the van, Jimmy wonders briefly if he said that last bit with a Scottish accent. He shrugs, if he did, he did. Allan already thinks he's kind of weird.
It's okay; six months into working for Ducky, he thought Ducky was kind of weird, too.
There is a certain walk a man who just got his woman pregnant for the first time has.
It's the physical manifestation of the understanding of, finally, having fulfilled this whole, 'man' concept. Talk all you want about duty, honor, blah, blah, blah, on a biological level, the body knows what it is to be a man, and that's to make other, little men.
On an evolutionary level, manhood means finding a woman, getting her pregnant, keeping her pregnant until the baby comes out, healthy, and then making sure her and your young survive.
So, having achieved this, the male body wants to show it off. Its very favorite part, doing its very favorite thing, just did the most important thing it can. This makes it very happy, and very proud.
Thus the walk. Or, more precisely, strut, of the newly pregnant daddy.
Had anyone been watching closely, they would have seen it on Jimmy the day after he found out Molly was on the way, (The day of he more or less floated around in a stunned somewhat silent headspace. It took a few hours for the whole, holy shit, I made a kid, AWESOME! part to kick in for Jimmy.) but, in that there was a dead body the day he found out, he sort of blended into the background without attracting too much notice.
Had Tim been able to see himself from the outside the day before his wedding, he would have recognized that was not his usual gait, and he certainly would have known why he was strutting around, but, in that it was the day before his wedding, everyone else who saw it assumed this was Groom-related strutting, and besides some needling from Jimmy and Tony about being full of himself at his bachelor party, no one looked twice. After all, if there is a second runner up in the strutting department, getting the woman you're going to have the babies with is it.
Gibbs, well, remember, part of the point of Marine posture and training is to look as big and male and impressive as possible, so add that to the 'baby on the way' strut, and Gibbs was marching around with his (metaphorical) dick so far out he was practically tripping people with it.
And, of course, Tony DiNozzo, newest member of the Daddy club, is in no way immune from this phenomena. If Tony was a bird, he'd be in full Peacock mode, plumage displayed, showing off to anyone who knows how to look, that he is a MAN!
They were planning on telling everyone at Shabbos, but once they got the beach weekend text, that looked like an even better idea, so, for the time being, Tony and Ziva are (besides having told Gibbs) keeping quiet about 'Little D' as Tony's been calling her.
Which means, in a life filled with cops, somehow, not spilling the beans, for two weeks.
Ziva's (privately) thinking that Tony'll get to… noon… before someone who knows what that strut means sees him and figures it out, but, and this makes her smile, she doesn't mind the news getting out early.
Ziva and Draga head down to Holding to grab Alvin Harris, their current suspect, though at this point Tony's thinking suspect is a bad term for this. Information sink is probably better. They aren't holding Harris for any specific crime; they don't think he masterminded the bombing that got them into Kazakhstan in the first place; they do think he's a 'person of interest' in relation to an 'ongoing terror investigation.'
As he and Bishop head to the observation bay, she looks up at him. "Did you hurt your back this weekend?"
"I'm fine, Bishop."
"Huh." She watches him take two more steps. "You're walking weird."
He glares at her a bit and opens the door for them.
While Tony is strutting his way into NCIS, with Ziva rolling her eyes a bit, and handling new baby in a much more female sort of way (namely she's quietly glowing all over the place and smiling a whole lot), Tim and Abby are pulling in and ready for another day, as well.
"Sure you don't want me to come?" Abby says to him as they get out of her car.
Tim's nodding. "No need to take even more time away. We're just talking about work."
He's been talking to Wolf at home, four times now, and last time, since he was getting back into working, Wolf suggested that they actually meet at work and talk about work, at their next appointment.
Which is six hours from now.
Tim's still not enjoying talking to Wolf. To him it feels like the emotional equivalent of PT, and unlike Jimmy, Wolf doesn't hand out any happy pills to make it easier. This is why, for the most part, he doesn't want to do it at work. If he's going to be wrecked for an afternoon, he'd rather not have the Minions see it. And Wolf gets that, so he's been willing to continue making house calls, but today's topic is actually work, how he's getting settled back in, what he's planning on doing, any challenges that are arising, stuff like that.
Since, technically, Tim was in a 'car accident' he didn't have to be psychologically 'cleared' to go back to work. There will never be any paperwork filed on this. He assumes Wolf and Leon have some sort of deal where if Wolf gets worried, he'll talk to Leon, and then Leon'll pull him out.
But it hasn't happened, yet.
Thinking about work, and about settling in, from the point of view of talking to Wolf about it reminds Tim of something he hasn't thought about for a while. He'd written up his, 'not quite, almost, looks okay, let it sleep for a while, give it one more re-write draft' of his report on the CyberTest of Carrier Group Three, and then let it sleep, and promptly forgot all about it.
He's feeling pretty stupid about that. After all, that report is the entire reason he's in the shape he's in. He got beat the hell up in an effort to produce a test, run the test, and then ascertain and distribute information from the test.
So, as soon as he sees that there are no major fires in need of his immediate attention, he pulls the report back up and takes another whack at it.
Jimmy and Allan pull up to the crime scene, or not, it's where they found the body, he may or may not have been murdered here, and like always the various Agents part for them.
Pleasant suburban house. Even has the white picket fence around the back. Jimmy's looking for Agent Carter, who placed the call this morning letting him know there was a body. Allan's getting out the gurney.
"Get lost?" Carter says, sarcastic, coming up from behind Jimmy.
Carter usually works car thefts and drug cases, so he and Jimmy rarely cross paths. In fact, Jimmy thinks the two of them have only worked four cases together in the last six years, and all of them are from before Jimmy took over as lead ME. But, apparently, every now and again, a drug case turns up a body, which brings his part of NCIS into the case.
"Accident on 495," Jimmy says, turning around to look at Carter. "Took twenty minutes to get to an exit and re-route. Where's the body?"
"'Round back." Carter gestures, and Jimmy follows, Allan trailing behind. "We had a warrant for the place. It belongs to Lance Corporal Henry Fling. He's been missing for the last two weeks." Jimmy walks back with Carter. "Agent Dawson saw the deep freezer on the back porch, saw it was locked…"
"Put two and two together and decided to check," Jimmy says with a nod.
They round the corner, and Jimmy feels his heart stop. His fist clenches, and then releases, and he stops walking, staring at the deep freezer. "And, is it Lance Corporal Fling?"
"No." Carter looks impatient, not getting why Jimmy isn't walking any more. "Don't know who this is."
"Uh huh." Another slow, steadying breath eases out of Jimmy. Allan can tell something is wrong with Jimmy, but Carter doesn't know him well enough to know he's pissed, and Allan can't see what's wrong. "And… when Agent Dawson opened the freezer, did…" Jimmy looks around for Agent Dawson.
Carter nods to Dawson, who springs into attention and practically runs over to them. By the looks of it he's been doing this job for maybe eight minutes. "Did you think to close the freezer back up again?"
Allan gets it, winces, looking over and seeing the chest freezer sitting there, lid open. It July. It's at least 90 degrees out. The freezer's in full sun. They've been in the car for an hour and a half, and the call came in before that. And their body, which had been perfectly preserved in its own tidy little chamber of frozen evidence was now sitting in a melted puddle.
Dawson looks horrified. "Was I supposed to do that? Agent Carter told me to get pictures."
Jimmy smiles at him, not wanting to chew out the Probie acting on orders of someone who should have known better. "Yes, Agent Dawson, it is standard procedure to maintain the location of the body, precisely the way you found it, until the Medical Examiner comes."
"Oh, God. I'm so sorry. Is this… I mean… Shit!" Dawson looks like he's going to pass out.
"Is this your first case?"
"Yes." He's cringing.
Jimmy stares at Carter but talks to Dawson, "No one expects you to know how to run a crime scene right off the bat."
Carter's eyes narrow, he gets the message the he was supposed to know, loud and clear.
Jimmy ignores him, heading over to the deep freeze, getting ready to see how bad it is.
Tony cheats a bit on Ziva's timeline. Mainly because he's in the observation bay, watching her and Draga interrogate away, until 13:57.
In fact, a few times, entire minutes go by where Tony's not thinking about the baby.
He gets a text from Tim around 11:00. We still on for debriefing?
Later. Still interrogating. Let you know when I'm done.
Cool. If Bishop gets a free minute, send her down, want to give her all of the intel we've got.
I've got a better place for her to spread it all out and look at it than you do. Tony thinks about Tim's collection of touch screen plasmas, white boards, and conference table, and decides that he's likely right about that.
"McGee says he's got more intel. Feel free to head down and play with it."
She nods absently. "I'd like to keep watching this. You see how his eyelid twitches every time Ziva touches her star?"
Tony nods. (He considers it the height of professionalism that he did not leap up and strangle Harris the first time it happened. No onetwitches at the mother of his child!)
"Alvin Harris is supposed to be a mercenary, only thing he believes in is mayhem. He's not a true believer. This is the wrong guy or something about him has really changed over the last few years."
Tony doesn't like that, but… Alvin Harris is supposed to be an ex-Royal Marine, dishonorably discharged after going AWOL in Afghanistan back in '07, but every now and again he says something that sounds just slightly off to Tony. The r sounds are not quite what he expects. He's biting his lip, staring at Harris. "You were there; we've got a fingerprint match."
She's looking up at him, exasperated. "We've got what the CIA told us was a fingerprint match. We didn't run it ourselves, and we don't know where the comparison prints are from. You mind if I have Abby run facial recognition? I'm wondering if we've got someone who just looks like the guy."
Holy Shit! Tim thinks as he reads through his draft. Jimmy really wasn't kidding. Being on narcotics is like being drunk. You think you're fine, or only mildly impaired, and you go do whatever the hell it is, and then see video of it later and want to die. Yeah, that's how Tim's feeling about this draft of his Cyber Test report. (He's got a sinking suspicion he's going to be just as horrified when he opens up the M'Gy Dragons and actually re-reads what he came up with.)
At no point while he was attempting to work did Tim think he was that impaired.
He's also thanking any and all higher powers that he did not send this version on. This is scary bad.
So, while Cybercrime hums around him, Tim gets writing.
He's got that first re-draft done, looks up, notices it's past eleven, remembers that he and Tony were going to talk, and fires off a text.
We still on for debriefing?
Later. Still interrogating. Let you know when I'm done.
Good God, who is this guy? Ziva's been on him since Saturday and they're still going? Wow! Tim replies to Tony. Cool. If Bishop gets a free minute, send her down, want to give her all of the intel we've got.
Okay, yes, he technically can do that, and pretty much crash their servers. It's a lot of data. Plus, he's seen Bishop work, the entire third floor'll be covered in files if he sends this up to her. I've got a better place for her to spread it all out and look at it than you do.
Tony doesn't respond to that. Tim reaches for his coffee, sees it's empty, and decides to get a refill, without taking his crutch. Way to walk on the wild side, right McGee? Tim shakes his head wryly and gets to it.
He hears the knock bare seconds before he hears, "You look comfortable."
Tim smiles at Wolf. "As much as I ever am these days. But, this is day three of just over-the-counter pain meds, so that's something, right? Come on in."
Wolf does, shutting the door, looking around his office. He pulls up one of the chairs, and nods at the skull picture. "I remember that one from before."
Tim nods. "Abby gave it to me, a long time ago. We'd gotten this new software that'll scan a skull and make a picture of the face. I made it work in reverse, and then she sent me a picture of my own skull."
Wolf nods at that. "Romantic?"
Tim laughs. "Only if you've got a really weird definition of romance. We were just friends back then."
Wolf's still looking at it. "So, why did you make it work in reverse? It's not… I mean, what would you use it for?"
"You mean, you've already got a face, so wouldn't you just scan that in and search?"
"Proof of concept. Just wanted to see if I could do it. The program works by having this huge database of information. Put the skull in, and it takes the measurements, uses its data, and builds a face. I wanted to see if I could make it scrape a face away. It did."
Wolf appears amused by that. "Is that the sort of thing you do for fun on the weekends?"
"Depends on the weekend," Tim says dryly. "Didn't have so many interesting things at home when I did that."
"Ah." Wolf keeps looking around, eyes scanning over the wedding pictures, the target, his shelf of books, the computer gear, how tidy everything is. Tim's not feeling too laid open by this, Wolf's been in his home and seen him in his laying around gear, seen him sobbing in Abby's arms, and that's a vastly more intimate experience than this. This is him, getting a sense for who Tim is at work now. Getting acquainted with "Boss."
"So, do I look like I belong here?" Tim asks after several moments of Wolf just looking around.
"Yes. You do. You like it here?"
"Do you miss the field?"
Tim spreads his hands wide and opens his mouth slightly, and then closes it. He thinks for a few seconds. "I miss being with my team. But, no I don't miss knee deep in body parts, taking orders from Gibbs or Tony, I don't miss the fear, I don't miss wondering if I was going to kill someone any given day. I don't miss paperwork, but I do miss paperwork days, where we'd all be sitting around, filling them out, just quiet, BSing with each other while we did it."
"How about here, what do you like about this?" Wolf asks as he looks out at the Minions (all three of them) working away.
That takes another few seconds for Tim to process into a good answer. "I can do so much here, in a way I couldn't before. Take paperwork days, as a Director, I was able to get my guys to build a program that would take the information out of our computers when we put it in, and use that to fill out the paperwork for us while we go along. Now all they do is hit print and sign the damn things. That's not as dramatic as 'got in a shoot-out and saved the day,' but… I basically added an additional half as many agents by doing that. We used to spend almost a third of our time on paperwork, and now they're using those hours to actually be out there and deal with crime. When Leon actually notices how much further I just stretched his budget, he's going to be ecstatic.
"Or… The guy before me didn't run this department well. He wasn't a bad guy or anything, just not a great ideas guy. So, I redid how we do the job. Rescheduled us. Changed how we picked up jobs. Changed who works what, and how, and… Okay, we're not directly saving lives. If I'm lucky I'll never have to shoot a gun at a living person again, but the guys out there who are doing that are getting intel from us so much faster now. They're waiting days instead of weeks or hours instead of days for information that lets them make the next move.
"So, I love that. I've got six guys rebuilding our Cybersecurity right now. Anyone hacks us again, and we're going to spoon feed them crap while tracking them down. I can do so much more with this, so yeah, it's good."
"Anything you don't like about this?" Wolf asks.
Tim wiggles his hand a bit. "Not sure yet. It's likely there'll be a point where I'll need to be more of an administrator and less of a tech, and that shift may be difficult. Right now I've got pretty much two seconds in command. One of them was supposed to have this job, and he's an administrator. I'm trying to turn him back into a tech guy, but as he pointed out when I got hurt, he was running the ship because I was off slaying dragons. These days, it's my job to point out the dragons and send someone else to go slay them, and that may be difficult."
"But you're not sure." Wolf is splitting his attention between watching Tim answer and checking out the little bits of his life that Tim has littered around his office.
"I've got six other guys building the new security system. I came up with the idea, sketched it out, sent it off to them, they'll muck around and build an alpha version. I'll get that back and mess with it until it's a beta. Then we'll set it live and let the whole department take a whack at it until it's ready for a production model. So, for things like that, I'm administrating away. Give me a case where actually getting into the field again is part of it, and I don't know what I'll do." Tim looks at his arm. "Got burned bad enough I may have learned some caution about going out again. But I'm still a field agent, so I still feel like I should be able to handle anything that gets tossed my way." Tim smiles a bit. "I'll set fire to that bridge when I come to it."
Wolf nods. He stands up, looks around again. "You know, for everything that's been tossed at you, you really are doing quite well with it. I know it doesn't always feel that way." Tim's giving him the no shit look. "But you are. I'm standing by my original 'mentally stable.' You've been through a ten on the Richter scale earthquake, and a lot of things are fallen down and in need of clearing out, but you've got a good foundation. So, we're good with work. You want to talk again next week, at home, personal stuff? I've got Monday morning free."
Does he want to? No. But, he will, because he can't rebuild on that good foundation until all the rubble's been cleaned off. "Let me check." Tim pulls his own calendar up. "Yeah. I think that'll work. Got a PT appointment at 10:00, so we've got to be done by 9:30, that work for you?"
It's 15:42 and Jimmy is ready for today to be done. This jacked up little turd of an investigator is demanding a time of death from him and he is trying to be polite.
"I'm sorry, Agent Carter, but when you find a body in a deep freeze, there's no way for me to give you a time of death. I've got cause. I can tell you approximately how long passed between death and freezing. But once he froze, time basically stopped. Fortu-"
Carter's glaring at Jimmy, cutting him off before he gets to the part of this that is 'good news.' "Ducky would have."
Jimmy stops being nice. He'd been trying to keep from laying into Carter, because he knows Carter rarely handles murders, and this was a tricky scene, but with that… Nope. He's done being nice. Carter's about to take all the abuse Jimmy wanted to toss on him from the moment he saw that freezer was open. "Ducky would have chewed you out, in front of your men, for opening the deep freeze, seeing there was a body in it, and then leaving it open to get pictures. The only possible way anyone could have told how long this body was in there would have been based on the ice crystals around the body, but, between the open door and bright lights, I don't have any ice crystals to work with." Jimmy pulls up the pictures from the crime scenes. "You didn't even get good pictures of them."
Carter's puffing up, annoyed. "I didn't realize that I needed to be taking pictures of the crystals."
Jimmy steps closer to him, and Carter may be taller, but Jimmy's way more pissed off and on the side of the angels on this one. "You didn't need to be taking pictures of the crystals. You needed to do your damn job and secure the body, keeping it and the environment it was found in pristine, until I could get there and release it to you! I've handled hundreds of crime scenes and every single other one was run by someone who understood that it was imperative to preserve the environment the body was found in. But somehow, maybe you were sick that day at FLETC or just didn't have the brains to pass basic police work 101, you didn't get that message. So, instead of me having exact measurements of how deep the frost around the body was, and instead of using the deep freeze and a dead pig to figure out exactly how long it takes for that frost to form around a fresh corpse, thus giving you exactly how long he'd been in the deep freeze, this poor bastard is going to sit in my morgue, until you manage to stumble, by blind luck alone, because I seriously doubt you've got the chops to actually locate evidence, into something else incriminating, and can run the case based on that." Jimmy glares back at Carter. "Other investigators, they get to poke around, look at the scene, start taking pictures while they wait for me to get there. You no longer have that privilege."
"I've been a Lead Agent—"
"Stuff it. As of now, the only thing you get to do before I show up is wrap tape around the perimeter and keep people out of what's inside. As of today, if you or yours finds a body, you turn into a traffic cop, and all you do is direct the flow of people around the scene. We've run the prints, they've come up negative. Abby's on DNA, and I've got Dr. Allan working his dental records. If those don't pan out, we've got a John Doe with no time of death, making this man impossible to identify and his case impossible to solve, all because youdidn't properly secure the body!"
Carter storms out, and Allan, who vanished about two seconds into Jimmy reaming Carter, rematerializes. "You going to tell him Abby's already matched the DNA?"
Jimmy shakes his head. "I was, originally, but now, not for an hour or so. I want him to stew on that. If Mr. Alm here had been a John Doe, what he did would have destroyed our chances of figuring this out."
"Lucky for Mr. Alm that we know he went missing fourteen weeks ago."
"Yeah." Jimmy smiles.
"I will take clean murder over this terror crap any day and twice on Sunday!" Tony says as he struts (annoyed, frustrated strut, but strutting nonetheless) into Tim's office.
Tim, who's working on the clean up draft of Carrier Group Three CyberSecurity Test, looks up at Tony, who's pulling a chair over while closing the door to Tim's office.
"Interesting development?" Tim asks as Tony sits down.
Tony's got that gleam in his eye, the one that shows up when he's annoyed, disbelieving, and needs to blow off some work related steam. "Don't you know it! Our suspect? Not a terrorist. Nooo. That'd be too damn easy. No, this guy, he's a deep cover plant trained by MI6 to infiltrate other terror organizations, recruit people he thinks are 'talented' and then they go 'work for him' which is code for one way trip to wherever the hell the Brits keep people like that. Meanwhile, they've got a crew of mostly MI6 guys and a few actual terrorists who blow shit up and mess around with things so Harris has things he can 'take credit for.'"
Tim thinks that's actually a fairly clever way to go about getting bad guys out of circulation. "So, how'd you get him?"
"We didn't. We're supposed to have him. Part of what's going on right now is that he's supposed to be captured by us and getting his butt into our prison system so he can keep 'recruiting' guys who are about to get out. Once they do, they go hunt down his company and then get swept up by the Brits."
"That would have been good to know."
"Yeah." Tony's rolling his eyes. "Apparently, it's some sort of deal with the Brits. We let guys out of Gitmo, which looks good and gets us good PR or something, and they use guys like Harris to pick them up again, so we don't have to worry about 'recidivism.' Someone could have given us a heads up on that. Apparently CIA knew, that's why they gave him to us because we're the 'nicest' route to Gitmo, except, joke's on all of us, we don't have the right guy."
Tim's eyebrows scoot together. "Who do you have?"
Tony shrugs. "Not Alvin Harris. Which is news to MI6 and the CIA." Tony takes a sip of his coffee. "Abby's got her guys working on figuring out who this is, but face to face comparison didn't match. Anyway, that's the update on my side. What do you have?"
Tim shakes his head and sighs. "A new and unending love of my side of the problem."
"Yeah, I figured. Anything else?"
"Data. Lots and lots and lots of data. Those five chips…" Tim's about to rattle off specs, but realizes that Tony's already nebulous on what a gig is when it comes down to real world information and getting into terrabites is just going to confuse him more. "Imagine my whole office filled with paperwork, info on both sides, in tiny, tiny letters."
"We've got that twice over and then some on each chip. Whoever your diplomatic assistant was, he had the goods on everyone and thing. It's all decrypted; all we need now is for someone to do something with it."
Tony shakes his head. "I've never wanted someone to get killed so badly in my life. We go out, we go through evidence, we get leads, it all of it fits in one, maybe two boxes. How is anyone supposed to keep all of this straight?"
Tim laughs. "I think that's why you've got computers. No one can keep this in one head." Then he remembers what Bishop does. "Or… I mean, is Bishop running this in her head?"
Tony lifts a hand, showing he has no idea how she does it. "She might be. She's got her ten million files all spread out and scattered around, then she does her thing with them and her laptop and tells me something and I nod and say, 'Okay,' and do it, because it sounds okay, but she might as well be getting those suggestions from voodoo for all I can tell."
Tim laughs at that, too.
"Actually… That's something I want to talk to you about. We can't keep this all in our heads and the paper folders are useless. Draga's been asking about trying to build our own terror database. According to Bishop they had this huge searchable file of the Gods back at NSA. Anything and everything you ever wanted had already been scanned, loaded, and you could just get it out by typing words in.
"That would be good."
"Yeah. We don't have that."
"You don't have that for murders, either. And, unless Draga's secretly two hundred database wonks, he's not building it for you."
"I know. But I need it."
"I think I can get you murders, because that's our in-house data." Tim's already writing his next project down. Though, technically, this should be a job for record keeping and IT, and he's probably going to have to run it through them, but... He can't imagine he'll have a hard time getting Leon behind it.
When Tim gets done writing, Tony says, "So these chips and your full city block of data… You think I've got enough goodies in there to barter that into access to the NSA's database?"
Tim shrugs. "I don't think I could do it. But… You got someone at NSA who's persuadable?"
"Maybe. Gotta figure out how to play this so I get what I want and don't end up with us getting it all confiscated."
Tim waves that off. "I've got back-ups of back-ups that no one knows about. We're not losing this. Whether we've got the resources to do anything with it is a different story, but it's not going anywhere."
Tony nods, he slumps a little, grits his teeth, then stands up, flashes his million watt smile, and says, "Okay, let's go see if I can do anything with this encyclopedia."
Tim smiles and waves him on, as he's at the door, Tim adds, "Hey, beach weekend soon. Sun, sand, water, no computers."
And with that, Tony heads off, Tim reburies himself into his computer.
"What'd'ya got, Abbs?"
"A sense of Deja vu. When'd you start channeling Gibbs, Tony?"
"Probably when I got far enough into this case that I began longing for a murder."
"Jimmy's got one. Well, technically Agent Carter has one."
Tony's surprised by that. "Isn't Carter on drugs and autos?"
Abby nods. "And he's way out of his league apparently. Looks like Jimmy wouldn't mind if you had a murder, too."
"Great. Unfortunately, doesn't work that way."
"Yeah, I know." Abby smiles at Tony. "But, I've got some fortunately for you."
"Please!" He looks relieved. "Give me good news."
"Follow me," she heads into the auxiliary computer bank, and then waits for him to follow, standing next to her computer. He's a few steps behind, and sees her watching carefully as he walks in.
Abby smiles, eyebrows flicking up, and then shakes her head. "You'll tell us when you're ready. Anyway, we don't have a complete DNA match, so I can't tell you who the guy in Holding is."
"I thought there was supposed to be some fortunately in this."
"There is! I can tell you he's a bin Laden. Son, brother, cousin, no idea, yet. But, y chromosomes don't lie. This guy is part of the clan."
Tony's eyes go wide as he absorbs that. "Wasn't Osama bin Laden one of fifty kids?"
"Something like that, and he had a pile of his own, as well, and I'm sure his dad wasn't an only child, either. I googled, didn't find the exact number, but they think there may be 600 of them. Here's the other bit that may help narrow this down some, he's got a few markers on his x chromosome that are associated with Northern European populations."
"So… Mom's from Europe?"
"Or Grandma. Or great, great, great grandma."
"Okay… Better than nothing." Tony thinks about that some more. "Actually…" He hurries two steps forward, kisses Abby on the cheek. "Thanks, Abbs. As soon as Sean's out, I owe you all the Caf-Pow you can drink!"
She smiles at him, watching him strut off, and says, "That's a lot of Caf-Pow."
"It's worth it." She hears from the main lab.
Ziva hears a knock on the interrogation door. That surprises her. She and Draga have been at this all day, save for a quick lunch break. She feels like she's just starting to put a dent into Mr. Harris, and that if the way he's squirming about in his seat is any indication, he's just about hit the edge of his rope.
Tony pokes his head in, looks at Harris, smiles at him, wide and happy, and then waves Ziva and Draga out.
Ziva heads out, not happy about that, but follows Tony to observation. "What?"
"Damn it!" Draga's watching through the window. As soon as they were out of there, Harris grabbed the water pitcher and relieved himself. Now he's glaring at Tony. "It took us hours to get him that uncomfortable."
Tony shakes his head. "It took hours to get him playing that uncomfortable. Trust me, you weren't touching who this guy really is."
"We were starting to get intel on attacks in Bahrain and Gibraltar," Draga says.
"That's one of the cover levels. Top cover, Alvin Harris, British mercenary/terror for hire. Next level, Alvin Harris, not actually dishonorably discharged, didn't actually go AWOL in Afghanistan, deep cover MI6 Operative."
Ziva's shaking her head, looking mad, she doesn't like that at all.
"Fuck," Draga says.
"Next level, this guy isn't actually Alvin Harris. MI6 is reporting now that the last contact they had with Harris where they absolutely knew it was Harris was over a year ago."
"Well, who the hell is that?" Draga asks.
"One of the multitudes of Bin Ladens."
"What?" Ziva can't believe this.
"How?" Draga asks.
"We don't know, and guess what, we don't have to find out, either! What we have here, in addition to all that spiffy new intel McGee got for us, is the engraved invitation to the NSA and CIA databases. In exchange for free access to their intel, I am allowing them to fight over who gets this asshole, and letting them deal with him."
Tony hands over two thumb drives. "There's one for me, and one for Bishop, too. These are our new, spiffy, and fully functional passes to the NSA and CIA computers." He kisses Ziva. "Now, Mr. Whoever the Hell That is Bin Laden, can sit in there, and we're all going out for a celebratory dr… milkshake, and then, tomorrow, we're rounding up our best leads on our best cases and seeing what NSA and CIA have on them for us."
And by the time that news got out, no one was wondering why Tony was strutting anymore. They were wrong about why, but not wondering.
Tim hits save on his report. It's a lot better this time. Still, a lot better doesn't necessarily mean done. He'll give it a day or two to rest, then one last read through and re-write, and off to Jarvis it goes.
He looks over the draft of the email for the reworking of their internal criminal database. Technically, this is IT's backyard, which means it's actually Leon's problem. He's already simplified the language twice. He knows Leon isn't Gibbs and that he actually knows (sort of) what a computer can do, but he doesn't want it to be too tech-y, because he wants Leon to understand what this needs to do to be better than their current system.
He's hoping he threaded that needle.
Tim glances at the clock. Almost going home time. He opens up the work documents for the new version of the cyber security his guys are coding away on, and give it a glance through. Nothing's jumping out as a problem.
"Hey." Abby's leaning against his door.
He looks up at her. "Hi. Almost done. Just gotta log out."
He scans over a bit more, decides it's good, and logs out. "You know, I think I'm going to be okay at this Administration thing."
She blinks at that. "Okay. Of course you are. What's bringing that on?"
He shakes his head, standing up, grabbing his crutch, but not really using it. "So, good day?"
"Oh yeah. Got some news, too."
"Oh yeah. Come on, let's grab Jimmy."
"There you go, Mr. Alm. All set for the night," Jimmy says as he tucks Mr. Alm into his drawer. "Your family will be here to see you, tomorrow."
"I'm not looking forward to that," Dr. Allan says.
"I know. Not my favorite part of the job, either." Jimmy sighs. "It's a comfort though, to be able to touch and see and say goodbye. So we offer it, and we stuff how uncomfortable it is down and away because no matter how uneasy it makes us, it's much worse for them."
Dr. Allan nods at that. "Yeah. Is that how you can do this, day after day?"
Jimmy shrugs. "I don't know. I just do it."
"Were you always this good at it?"
Jimmy laughs at that. "No. Have a good night, Dr. Allan."
"Good night, Dr. Palmer."
A minute later, as Jimmy's turning off his computer equipment and lights, he hears the doors swoosh open, and "Jimmy!"
"Hi, Abby." He's facing away from the door. "Got, Tim, too?"
"Yeah. I'm here."
Jimmy flicks off the last of the lights and heads over to them. "Hi. Did you have as long of a day as I did?"
"Mine went pretty fast," Abby's bubbling away, "And I think I've got some news."
"She wouldn't tell me until we got you."
"Well, you've got me, what is it?"
"Ziva's so pregnant!"
"You sure?" Jimmy asks.
"Not one hundred percent, I didn't see her today, but Tony was strutting all over the place, and I've seen that walk before."
"I saw him, too…" Tim's thinking back, but he doesn't remember. "No idea if he was walking different. So, really, you can tell when a guy has a baby on the way by how he walks?"
"Oh my God, yes! You can't?"
Tim and Jimmy are both shaking their heads, as she takes Jimmy's hand and wraps an arm around Tim, leading them out of Autopsy.
"Oh, Lord, you should have seen you two strutting all over the place…"
They both look mock-appalled at the idea that they may have been involved in such activities.