Disclaimer: I own nothing related to NCIS.

I had been a too long month for the MCRT, what with Tony's car getting blown up and the team believing he was dead for several hours and then everything just snowballing from there with one bad case after another, so when they were finally granted a long weekend off rotation they all went off to decompress in their own separate ways.

Tony headed home for greasy pizza, cheap beer and a Harrison Ford movie marathon, he was still feeling too raw from his half real/half fake relationship with Jean to go club hopping like he used to.

Ziva went to her gym, needing to work the tension out of her muscles before she could safely unwind and relax in company.

Gibbs, of course, headed straight for his three B's: his Basement, his Boat and his Bourbon.

Timothy McGee, being the only reasonably normal person out of the bunch, went to his favorite Microbrewery just around the block from his apartment complex- and the only reason he had not yet left the too small and overpriced place far behind- and had a mug of his favorite pale ale with his usual fare.

So you can see how it was a complete and utter shock to him when a certain someone he never thought to see again slipped into the seat across from him in his regular booth.


"Uh... Hi?"

"Timothy McGee, unappreciated computer genius and underexploited field agent, correct?" Tim gave his uninvited guest a sideways look before replying.

"And you're Trent Kort, the CIA Agent that blew up Tony's prized car and who is now on Gibbs' short list, right?" The older man chuckled at that and took a sip from the dark lager he had brought over with him.

Taking a chance on the relaxed atmosphere the other man was putting effort into creating, even though he knew it would most likely turn out to be a trick of some sort, Tim decided to speak his mind.

"Can I ask you why you're here?"

"You can." Kort smirked.

"Will you give me an honest answer if I do?" That got a soft laugh.

"It's a statistical possibility." Taking another drink from the surprisingly good beer, Trent drank up the light banter; it was nice to do things like this once in a while and not have to worry about hidden agendas and back-handed threats.

"Alright then." Tim sipped his ale while thinking over how best to phrase his question. Decision made he set his glass down and met the other man's eye.

"Agent Kort of the CIA, would you like to have dinner with me sometime?"

"What?!" Kort nearly dropped his glass in shock- that had not been the question he had been expecting to hear!

"Dinner. You and me. Whenever. How about it?" Tim took a slow sip from his glass as he watched the shock on the face across from him give way to humor.

"Sounds like a date. When would be a good time for you?"

"Oh, anytime after you tell me what you're doing here would be good." Trent stared for a moment before letting loose with a genuine laugh.

"Kid, you are a natural." The CIA man finally managed to say after several minutes had gone by. Tim just smirked and raised an eyebrow.

"Let me get us another round and some more food and then I'll explain." Trent offered, still amused from having had the tables so successfully turned on him in such a short amount of time.

Gibbs and his crew really were fools for not seeing this gem shinning away amongst their rough, and it would be the CIA's pleasure to steal it right out from under their noses.


Years Later

Waking with the dawn, stretching the stiffness from his aching muscles, Tim climbed out of the oversized but oh so comfortable bed and took a shower; running the water as hot as he could stand it to counteract the soreness of his new bruises.

Packing up the few items he had with him he then went down to the front desk to check out.

"Thank you for staying with us, Mr. Murray, we hope you enjoyed your stay!" Smiling at the man behind the counter, Tim left the hotel and climbed into the black car that had just pulled up to the doors.

"Did you get it?"

"Don't I always?" Handing over a small piece of metal and plastic that so many governments and freelance 'businessmen' would kill to get a look at to his handler, Tim then looked up front at the driver and the third man assigned to his detail- at least the detail he got to meet- and gave a small yet happy greeting.

It had only been a few days since he had last seen these men, but it had felt like a lifetime- it always did.

"There's enough information there to bring down the whole Family... or to blackmail its leaders into cooperating." Sending a smirk Trent's way with that information, Tim got a feather light caress along his jaw for it.

"You are a miracle worker, you know that right? I just wish you'd come work with us full-time, we could protect you better that way." As the driver and his partner made agreeing noises Trent uncovered the finger shaped bruises forming on Tim's wrist and gave them a kiss that started Tim smiling.

"That's sweet, all of you, but we've already talked about this: if I were to work for the you full-time I'd put you all out of work, and no-one wants that. Just think about how bored you'd all be!" Kort, the driver, Kevin, and the third man, Frankie, chuckled at the old joke as they continued on their way to the private airstrip and Tim's flight home.

Leaning into Trent's side, Tim pitched his voice low- but not in a whisper, there were no secrets to be had on this team- and drove his point home.

"Besides, if we worked together full-time you'd get sick of me. Not to mention those regulations against committed couples not being deployed on the same team." Catching Tim's lips in a chaste kiss, Trent conceded that that was a better reason for Tim to stay a freelance consultant for them and working for NCIS the rest of the time than any other.

Kort never wanted his young friend, protégé and lover to go out in the field without him being there to protect him, even if only from afar.

The car finally came to a stop next to a private jet and Tim made his farewells as a new set of Agents descended on him and hustled him off and home. He would see the men in the car again soon- Trent far sooner than the others- but he couldn't let on that they were more to him than just his security escort.

There was just never any telling just who was watching out here.


"So how was the comic book convention, McLong-Weekend?" Tony asked when he got into work Tuesday and saw that his partner, who had left early on the Thursday before, was at his desk and hard at work.

"It was a book signing, Tony, one I had full approval to go to from the Director." Suppressing the urge to roll his eyes, Tim continued to sort through the reports and e-mails he had missed while... at the book signing.

"You do know that the Director only likes those pathetic excuses for literature you write because you portray him as the perfect leader in them, right? Or should I say: you portray Director R. Carroll as the perfect leader. That has to be the worst name you've come up with yet, Probie! How did you manage to come up with something so... He's right behind me, isn't he?"

"Yes I am." Tony turned to see the steely eyed man he'd just been talking about staring down at him, ubiquitous toothpick held in his teeth.

"For your information: Tim let me choose my character name, Carroll was my paternal grandfather; and I'm damn proud to have him immortalized in one of Agent McGee's books. And I'll tell you something else, DiNozzo, as soon as you write an internationally best-selling book that promotes NCIS as the best yet most underappreciated Agency on the Hill then I'll start approving you for extra, unpaid time off. Are we clear?"

"Perfectly, Sir." As Vance started up the stairs for his office, Tony turned a glare on Ziva, who was quietly laughing at his dressing down, and then over at a smugly smirking Tim.

"I could write a far better book than you ever could, McWanna-be-a-writer. Any day of the week!"

"Then why don't you?" Gibbs asked in his customary way, coming out of nowhere as he headed for his desk.

"Uh... Just don't have the time to do so, Boss, what with all our long hours here at the office."

"McGee works longer hours than you do, Tony, helping the other teams; and yet he still manages to get the writing done." Ziva quipped with a smile, loving to tease her partner like this.

Grinding his teeth at the way everyone was ganging up on him, Tony tried to defend himself.

"Well, you see, I'm more of a visual type of guy..."

"Good, then visualize yourselves gearing up, we have a double homicide at Rock Creek Park." Gibbs called out as he snapped his phone closed.

Grabbing their go-bags the team headed for the elevator, not knowing just how different things would be before they made it back.


"You're sure it's him? You're positive that this is the true identity of that bastard Murray?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good. You know what to do then."

"Yes, sir!"