Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 711
Character(s): Abby Sciuto, Timothy McGee
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Future, Unresolved Sexual Tension, Vignette
Summary: Abby and McGee take Jethro the dog for a walk. In a reversal of their usual roles, Abby talks about the future and McGee tries not to think about it.
Author Notes: Set sometime around the end of Season 7, I'm thinking. (Although it really doesn't matter, as long as it's after Tim adopted Jethro.) Gift!fic for Lisa. Unbeta'd, I'm afraid. Cheers!
Abby and Tim are walking Jethro when she says the four words that make his blood run cold: "So, I've been thinking."
No good ever follows that phrase and Tim braces himself for whatever piece of crazy he's about to receive. (Or humiliation or other unpleasantness.) "Yeah?" He can't quite keep the dread out of his tone.
She elbows him in the ribs for his trouble. "Yes." She clasps her hands. "I was thinking about you and me." He can see her eyeing him speculatively out of the corner of his eyes.
This does nothing to quell the sense of foreboding Tim feels-- if anything, it makes it worse. Because he loves Abby, he does, but they haven't been a "them" for a very long time and it's kind of critical to their friendship that they not be one again unless it's for real because he doesn't think he can do that again and still be friends after. He just... can't. And he loves her far too much to not be friends and, well, that's where the foreboding comes in. So he keeps his attention on Jethro and offers a noncommittal answer, "Okay."
They walk together in silence for a few moments before Abby pokes him. "Well? Don't you want to know what I've been thinking?"
Not particularly, he thinks but Tim knows better than to say that. Instead he just nods. "Sure." He has no idea if it sounds sincere or not.
Regardless, this time Abby explains herself. "Okay, so you know I visited my grandfather last week, right?" This is a rhetorical question but he nods all the same. "And he's living in this home thing now and it's a strange place but they feed him all the time, which is kind of awesome, you know? Anyway, I was there and I was trying to imagine myself in a place like that-- which is weird, right? Because I'm so not the thinking-about-the-future type, but, like, I'm totally down for living in one of those places as long as they let me bring my coffin to sleep in." She's animated as she speaks and even Jethro pauses in his mission to sniff everything in the park to watch her. "And then I was all, that'd be fun but you know what'd be even more fun?"
This time she looks like she expects an answer, so Tim just shakes his head because he honestly has no idea where she's going here.
"If you came with me! I mean, can you imagine it? You and me hanging out in an old folks home and playing video games together and hacking stuff and just being us?" Abby's grin is as wide as it is happy. (Which is to say a lot.) "It'd be perfect. You and me and a Caf-Pow machine and maybe another dog if they'll let us." She loops her arm through his and leans into him. "Just perfect."
Tim smiles a little at the image but it's almost bittersweet for him. See, he wants a family-- a wife and kids and a home in the suburbs. And that doesn't mean that he doesn't want to hand out and play games with Abby or be friends or anything like that; he does. It's just that he wants more. He wants to love and be loved, and he'd be over the moon if Abby could be the person to share that with him, but he doesn't think she wants that.
Still, the part of him that will always be a little in love with her pops an image of that life into his mind. The one where he gets what he wants and so does she. Where, somehow, they find a compromise. And he smiles despite himself. "Yeah," he agrees finally, "perfect." He means it, too-- just differently than she does. But not so much so that he can't appreciate the fact that she wants him in her life in some way when she's old enough to be in a home. Because that? Is a step forward for the woman who refused to even consider any part of the future with him years ago. And, because of the aforementioned will always be a little in love with her thing, he'll take it.