Tony had been subdued for the past few days, actually the whole team had been, that last case taking a lot out of them. But he smiled widely for the first time in days when he was going through his mail and found the envelope containing the tickets he had ordered. It was going to be a perfect night. Now he just had to find a clever way to surprise Abby. Tim looked over at the smug little expression on Tony's face and frowned, somehow he just didn't want to know.Gibbs blew into the bullpen a moment later, "Grab your gear"
It was a hit-and-run, leaving a dead Navy lieutenant. From what the local law enforcement provided, it didn't sound like an accident. And they were in luck to have an eye witness that saw everything, the owner of a small bookstore directly in front of the accident scene. "McGee, go talk to her. Tony, start processing the scene." Both men acknowledged him and Tim headed into the bookstore. He noticed a light blinked off and on as he walked into the little shop and he saw a pretty blond woman about his age sitting on a stool behind the check out counter. She was visibly shaken, and understandably so in his opinion. Tim flashed his id and started rambling off questions quickly until he noticed she was staring at him with a look of concentration but no understanding. He thought for a moment that she maybe didn't speak English. Until she spoke.
Her words were flat with no inflection and slightly nasal, "Please slow down, I can't read your lips when you speak that fast"
Tim blushed, embarassed, but he did look at her directly and say, "Sorry. I didn't know. I'll be right back"
He headed back out to find Gibbs, "Um, Boss"
"Yeah, McGee, what did she see"
"Actually I could sort of use your help with the interview, Boss"
"Did you flunk Witness Interview 101, Probie?" Tony tormented as he snapped photos.
"DiNozzo." Gibbs said flatly, obviously not amused.
"Sorry, Boss." "McGee, what do you need from me?" Gibbs asked, turning his attention back to Tim.
"The witness in the bookstore is deaf, and I was hoping, since you know sign language, that maybe..."
Gibbs turned and walked towards the shop leaving Tim standing there trailing off his words, "McGee, with me"
Tim was in awe as he watched Gibbs with the witness. Barbara Murray was her name and the bookstore was owned by she and her father. Their hands were flying and although Tim could catch a sign here and there that he recognized, he was lost to the conversation. It did give him the opportunity to really look at her though and he liked what he saw. She was dressed in a conservative style, but in bold modern colors. Her hair was pulled back in a clip but he could see that it was long and thick, and streaked by the sun. He didn't catch what Gibbs said to her, but he was stupified when she suddenly turned and looked right at him and gave him a wide smile.
Gibbs finished writing his notes and said, "McGee, you're going to take Ms. Murray here back to NCIS and have her work with Abby on a sketch, she apparently got a good look at the driver when he got out to check the lieutenant after he hit him"
He left Tim with Barbara and walked back out to see how Tony was doing, and he chuckled to himself. Barbara had asked him if Tim was always so nervous and he had made her laugh when he said yes. She was not a shy woman by any stretch, and he thought it was interesting that her interest in Tim seemed to be piqued and wondered if maybe the Elflord's luck might be turning.
Abby had been playing some relatively calm music the past few days, that last case affecting her mood as well, but today she decided that she needed something to perk her up and the stereo was booming. When McGee walked in with a blond woman in tow she grudgingly turned the volumne down to a human level. "Abby, this is Barbara, she witnessed the accident earlier and got a good look at the driver and we need her to work on a sketch." He turned to face Barbara and tried to enunciate clearly without looking like an idiot, "Barbara, this is Abby. She's going to work with you on the sketch. And you're in luck because she knows how to sign"
Barbara extended her hand to Abby and said, "Hi, Abby, it's nice to meet you"
Abby smiled and signed something to which Barbara replied, "Either, but if we sign you can turn the music back up, it has a good beat"
Tim had to think about that exchange for a second before he realized that Abby had probably asked her if she preferred speaking to signing, and then he felt foolish about assuming that she would rather sign earlier when he had gotten Gibbs. The two women abandoned him as they headed for Abby's desk to get started on the sketch. He headed over to Abby's bench and started pulling up the records of the dead lieutenant. He found himself peeking around the bench occasionally to see what the two girls were doing, there seemed to be a lot of laughter coming from the room.
Barbara was chuckling as they sat down at Abby's computer and it prompted Abby to sign, "What's so funny"
"He's cute. Is he always like that"
"Yeah, he seems really nice"
"He IS really nice. And very sweet"
"And very single?" Barbara asked hopefully.
Abby didn't even sign her reply she just grinned widely and nodded. Because although she and McGee didn't work out, she still cared about him very much and kept hoping he would find someone nice that would see him for the wonderful person that he is.
tbc... sorry about delay - my laptop died :(