This is set actually sometime during the timeline of TO, but we're not there yet. You'll get it when we are.


Marco Alonzo Torres stepped into the elevator, smiling and nodding in acknowledgement of the two people already there. The floor of the main bullpen was already selected, so he stood in silence and waited to reach it. One of them got off and then the other and Torres parted in silence on their floor. Torres could feel nerves twisting in the pit of his stomach – he wanted to make a good impression, but knew that was near to impossible.

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Lucas' morning routine felt oddly unfamiliar, his usual ease replaced by awkwardness and discomfort. Although he rode the NCIS elevator every day – and frequently with the same people – he felt today as though everyone was staring at him, and they probably were, though he knew Tash would say it was paranoia. He tapped his fingers against his leg as an outlet for the tension until the elevator reached the bullpen.

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Torres twisted the silver band on his left ring finger. It was a nervous twitch he'd had for years. A Marine since he'd left school, technically he'd been in many more terrifying scenarios, but he found it hard to be reassured by this, or to think of any. After all, since he'd joined up he'd never had another first day.

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Lucas slowed down once he'd stepped out, not really wanting to reach his desk or to start work. For the first time pretty much ever, he found himself hoping they didn't have a case, an easy day and going home at five would suit him just fine.

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Eventually both men stood in the middle of their separate bullpens, continents apart and equally nervous for their different types of first day.


I know it's not long or anything, but this is actually the final chapter of Against The Clock. *chokes back a sob* ((Although, if FliBbeRGibbIt ever gives me that wonderful Patrick chapter she started, then I'll cheat and put it in)). I've grown really attached to this fic, it's great fun, I love the characters. Once I've finished Time Out, I plan to start a fic called From Time To Time, which will be the new ATC, so to speak. I want to thank everyone who's sticking with the Time Series (god you must be patient) and especially YouGottaSingAlong, my cowriter. Also Tiva4evaxxx, FadeIntoTheBackground, skycloud86 and FliBbeRGibbIt. To journalofcrime, I hope to speak soon, and for CatAmongPidgeons, who I know would leave awesome reviews if she could. I'm all emotional now. Ending fics is a very strange business.