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Low Tech Christmas Eve
by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1038
Character(s): Timothy McGee, Jimmy Palmer, Other Female Character
Category(ies): Friendship, Holiday
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Episode(s): 4-03 Singled Out, 4-09 Twisted Sister
Summary: A freak snowstorm teaches McGee an important lesson.
Author Notes: A freak snowstorm teaches McGee an important lesson.
Low Tech Christmas Eve
“Tim I don’t know to thank you. I...” The dark haired man brushed snow off his coat as he stood shivering in the glare of the hallway light.
“Don’t worry about it, Palmer. Sarah and I can use the company.” He motioned for the other man to come inside. “She’s on her way now, but you know the roads are really bad…” McGee trailed off, looking out the window. “It got really bad really fast.”
McGee watched as Palmer’s gaze took in the scene outside the window. He was pretty sure Palmer had been so focused on getting here safely that he hadn’t really paid attention to the worsening conditions, outside of snow accumulation on the roads. Fat snowflakes were falling at a pretty steady clip, something McGee had never seen in his time he’d been in DC. When it had snowed in past years, there had been barely a dusting. This was coming down at what McGee estimated to be an inch or more an hour and conditions were quickly approaching white out.
He watched Jimmy haul in a black suitcase and run a hand through his short, curly, and very damp hair. The overcoat Palmer was wearing probably kept him fairly warm, but his head was uncovered and he was soaked, snowflakes rapidly melting into his hair.
“Take your coat off,” McGee urged, watching Palmer looking around his apartment, squinting through the fog and melting icy residue on his glasses. Tim handed him a towel and watched as Palmer mopped off his face and blotted some excess moisture from his hair.
“Are you sure you have room for me?” Jimmy asked, his voice hesitant.
“I’m sure,” McGee assured. It was rare for him to be the more alpha in any relationship with his male colleagues and McGee was finding that he wasn’t entirely comfortable with that role. “Call Ducky and your mom and let them know you’re staying with me until things clear up. They’ll be worried when they realize BWI is closed.”
Palmer gulped, nodding. “Your sister will be here soon, right Mc—Tim?” He stared out the window. “Where is she coming from?”
“College Park. She’s only a few miles away. She’ll be fine.” Tim clapped Palmer gently on the shoulder. “Make your calls and relax. I have a bunch of food and drinks. I know it isn’t like being home, Palmer, but we’ll have a good time.”
Palmer managed a thin smile, shivering miserably. “Thanks again.”
As Tim drifted over to his computer station, checking on the status of his game, he vaguely listened to Palmer assuring first Ducky, then his mother, that he was fine. He’d made it just past Tim’s place when the news had come in that BWI was closing, and he’d called Tim, his voice hesitant as he asked if there was any way he could ride the storm out in Silver Spring. He wasn’t usually this ill-at-ease with Tim; that was more the way Palmer was around Gibbs.
Even though they weren’t real close, Tim was glad that Palmer had the presence of mind to call him. He had a huge ham in the oven and had picked up prepared sides on the drive home from work today. He and Sarah had more than enough food to share and Sarah and Palmer would be good for each other.
At least they wouldn’t spend Christmas Eve gaming as they had the last two years. Not that Tim didn’t like gaming, but it was kind of sad that he and Sarah were making it their family tradition rather than something where they interacted together better. They barely spoke, barking out orders on headphones from across the room. It was great, but it didn’t seem like a holiday.
Tim looked through a drawer, pulling out some playing cards. He had regular ones, Uno, and Skip-Bo and somewhere he had a Trivial Pursuit game that he hadn’t even unwrapped. Maybe they could make it an old-fashioned holiday, like when Tim and Sarah had been kids. They’d played board games and watched movies on Christmas Eve well into the night with Mom and Dad. It had been one of the only times Tim’s father had relaxed and let loose, and Tim hadn’t realized how much he’d missed it until this moment.
Tim swallowed hard, wishing Mom and Dad weren’t across the country in San Diego right now. He hadn’t spent Christmas with them in a few years. Since he and Sarah were so close and vacation time around the holidays was so hard to come by, they’d just set up an East Coast Christmas in Maryland. Mom and Dad would call and it wasn’t like Tim and Sarah were kids who needed Mom and Dad…but it was different with just the two of them. Sadder. More lonely.
“Tim? Tim, do you want me to get your door?” Tim blinked a few times, realizing that Palmer was waving a hand in front of his face. He’d gotten lost in himself again; Tim found that way too easy to do.
“No!” Tim shook his head, knowing he was flushing. At least Tony wasn’t here to make fun of him. Palmer wouldn’t harass him like Tony or even Ziva would if they found him daydreaming.
Tim opened the door, giving Sarah a smile. She peered around him and he saw her gaze change, a little sly smile appearing on her face when she realized Palmer was visiting as well.
“Traffic stinks, Tim. It’s some kind of funky winter wonderland out there.” She looked over at the computer and then the deck of cards he hadn’t realized was still in his hand. “Low tech Christmas Eve!”
“You mind?” Tim asked, giving his sister a heartfelt hug.
“Nope! Uno first!” she said, tossing her wet bag on the ground. “Start pouring the eggnog, Timmy. I’m going to crush you guys.”
As Tim poured three glasses of eggnog, he realized that a low tech Christmas Eve was just fine with him.
MTAC - NCIS Fic