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Taking Stock

by: tigerlady (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 563
Rating: TEEN
Character(s): Tony DiNozzo, Timothy McGee
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Episode Related, Vignette
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Episode(s): 3-03 Mind Games
Summary: Tim finds Tony restocking the truck.

Chapters: 1

The day after Paula Cassidy leaves, Tim finds Tony stocking the truck.

It hits him immediately, the image of Kate doing that very thing. Tim can't even say whether it's a specific memory, or just the imprint of something he's seen so many times it became ingrained. He swallows hard, the taste of bile lingering in the back of his throat. He really wants to run away, pretend that he never saw this, that he has no clue what it means. He wants to pretend that he never knew Kate, pretend that it doesn't feel completely unreal that she's gone.

He takes a step forward instead. "Hey," he says quietly. "You need a hand?"

"Why, you afraid I'm going to forget your kneepads, Probie?" Tony turns his head just enough that Tim can see the small, wistful smile on his face. His eyes are down, studying the chart in his hand, and his lashes look long on his cheeks. It's an oddly vulnerable look for Tony, and it brings out Tim's protective instincts.

"Yep, that's why I'm here," he says, moving another step closer. "It'd be nice if there was some anti-poison ivy stuff in there, too."

Tony's smile deepens. Turns more genuine. "I told you. All you need to know: leaves of three, let 'em be."

"Uh-huh." Tim opens the drawer closest to him. Frowns at the mess inside. The lack of Kate's presence is as obvious here as everywhere else. "I'm never going to forgive you for that, you know."

"Hey, that was not my fault. If you'd just listened--"

"I had it on my dick, Tony." Tim had sworn he would never, ever tell Tony that, but somehow the words just pop out.

Tony turns around. Stares right at Tim with wide eyes, looking freaked-out. "You didn't!"

"Ask Ducky if you don't believe me." Tim can't help the edge of bitterness to his words; it was really humiliating at the time. Humiliating and painful. "It hurt to piss. I couldn't have sex for two weeks."

Tony makes a horrified gasp. "Oh, man. I didn't know."

"Yeah, well." Tim shrugs. He really is over it now, even if the memory stings. "Just don't ever tell anyone."

"Cross my heart," Tony swears sincerely. Then he scooches closer, eyebrow cocked. "So, that means you were trying to have sex during those two weeks?"

"I'm not telling you about my sex life, DiNozzo." Tim rolls his eyes and opens the next drawer. That's when he finds it. A plain black pony tail holder. It could have come from anywhere, but Tim knows it's Kate's. He pulls it out and sticks it in his pocket before he even realizes what he's doing.

He looks up to see if he's been caught--and Tony ducks his head, giving him the out. Tim can feel his face heat anyway. They work in silence for a good twenty minutes, and after a while the embarrassment fades away, and the pain slides back down to where it's been hiding out before.

"Don't take this the wrong way," Tony says softly. They're pretty much done, just lingering over things that don't need it. Picking at the organization in drawers that never get used. "But I really don't want to work with any more female field agents."

Tim sighs. Any other time...

"Yeah," he says instead. "I know exactly what you mean."

Chapters: 1

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