A/N: This is what happens when you have an incredibly bad chest cold and must stay in bed for two days straight. Thanks to my beta, Phoenix on cloud nine. You rock. J
Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS or any of the characters related to the show.
The Leaving Rhapsody: Chapter One
Leaving: (noun) act of departing
Tim sat on the couch. He was some parts bored, some parts exhausted, and some parts frustrated. No active cases. July was usually a faster month.
He realized though, that this meant that at the time, no one was killing marines or members of the navy.
Well, at least this side of the Atlantic.
"So Probie, want to go get some food? Doesn't look like you have anything in here."
McGee didn't even turn his head to respond to the owner of the voice. Instead he just sighed and kept his focus on the screen.
"No Tony, I don't want to go get some food. I'm trying to watch this, so if you don't mind," McGee trailed off, turning up the volume in hopes of drowning out Tony's voice.
"Haven't you seen this one before?" Tony sat heavily on the couch, putting his feet on the coffee table, "Because I'm pretty sure I've seen this and I know for certain, that-"
"Yes Tony, I've seen this before," this time McGee turned and face the Italian, "And when did it suddenly bother you what I watch or don't watch? Never bothered you before."
Tony gave McGee a quick, fleeting smile, ones that he only used when a sarcastic comment or witty retort was on the tip of his tongue. This time however, he kept his mouth surprisingly closed and stood.
"This is boring. If you're going to watch something again and again and again, at least order in some food. I'm starving and if I'm starving, then you are too McWhimp."
"Tony," McGee huffed, turning to follow DiNozzo's movements around his apartment, "Just leave it alone."
Tony stopped fingering McGee's slightly dusty typewriter at this statement. He turned slowly and raised an eyebrow at McGee's sullen face.
"If I right, which I usually am, it's not me who won't leave this certain topic alone," Tony walked back towards Tim, this time sitting on the coffee table, face to face with the other agent, "Probie, you have-"
"I'm not a Probie!" Tim said with more force than he intended to, "Stop calling me that Tony, just stop it already."
"But it's what you are, Elf Lord," Tony smirked, "You're my Probie."
"Well not anymore," McGee stood quickly, turning his back to Tony, "You can't call me that anymore."
And even though McGee wasn't facing DiNozzo, he could still see the smirk on his face.
"I'll always be able to call you that," Tony paused, "Probie."
"Why?" McGee asked suddenly, clenching his hands and spinning rapidly, "Why Tony?"
Tony furrowed his eyebrows for a second, as if in deep thought, "We still talking about why you hold, and forever will hold the title 'Probie'?"
"Every night, Tony," McGee said, his anger no longer able to be contain, "Every night you come here, and every night since," McGee rubbed his face, and clenched his teeth, "You won't leave me alone! Why?"
Tony smiled this time, not the quick and fleeting one or even the half smile/half smirk that McGee knew he always used when he had just discovered something interesting. This time, Tony's smile was one McGee had only seen him wear a few times.
The smile was small, one corner of DiNozzo's mouth traveling up his face higher than the other and Tony turned his head slightly, his eyes holding a mixture of sadness and something McGee couldn't identify.
"You know why," Tony responded quietly moments later, "I'll leave, if you want me to."
"No!" McGee yelled back, frustrated, "I don't want you to leave! I want you to stay! Or come back! Or do whatever the hell you have too to get from wherever you are back to here!"
Tony just shook his head, his face no longer holding the melancholy smile, "It doesn't work that way Tim."
"Then where Tony?" McGee lowered his voice to match Tony's own subdued tone, "Then where is it that I can go so you will come back?"
"I can't answer that question McGee, you know that," Tony sighed, rubbing the back of his head.
"Well why the hell not? You seem to know a bunch of other useless stuff that you have no trouble voicing your opinion about," McGee's voiced raised an octave but remained control, his earlier anger having been replaced with more sadness and frustration.
"Because I can't answer a question you don't know the answer to," Tony answered before looking at the clock, "Gibbs is going to be angry with you."
"Doesn't matter," McGee shrugged, "He's angry most the time now anyway. I don't think me coming in to work a bit late will matter much."
Tony went to shoved McGee on the shoulder but stopped short, "It will matter McGoogle," Tony gave another fleeting smile, "And Gibbs is just getting ornery in his old age. He'll settle down eventually."
"I'm going to tell him you said that," McGee said before he realized what the comment meant.
Tony realized it too and smirked, "Go ahead. I don't think he'll believe you."
"Tony," McGee started but was interrupted when something rang out in the small apartment.
Tony quirked his ear to listen, "Sounds like Abby," the sound repeated itself, "No, scratch that. Gibbs. Defiantly Gibbs."
"Tony, wait," McGee tried again to continue the conversation with Tony but was stopped when Tony merely shook his head.
"You're watching too much television Probie," Tony gestured towards the TV screen, "It's not good for you."
"You didn't seem to have a problem with it," McGee glanced at the screen before looking back at Tony.
Tony shrugged, "Yeah well, that was then."
"Tony don't," McGee reached out to grab Tony's shoulder.
Tony stepped back quick enough to avoid Tim's reach, "And this is now, Probie."
Tony started to step back, towards the door, when McGee asked his final question of the night, "When will I see you again?"
Tony turned around, and glanced at the TV screen, "Probably tomorrow. But who knows. Maybe you'll get off your butt and go eat some food next time. But hey, I don't have the answer to every asinine question you come up with Probie. "
McGee rolled his eyes at that comment and despite the situation, smiled. When his phone rang a second later, McGee reached over the couch and snagged it.
"Boss, be there in a bit," McGee said into the receiver.
"You better," Gibbs responded, "Or I'll give Ziva your Senior Field Agent title. Get your butt in gear and be here in five minutes or I'll have your ass in a sling."
"Yes Boss," McGee said before hanging up the phone.
"Told you," Tony gestured toward the phone, "Better hurry. You're gonna be late if you don't leave now."
McGee grabbed his gear and headed toward the door. He was in the process of closing it when he opened the door slightly, making eye contact with Tony DiNozzo.
"Office isn't the same without you," McGee said, looking at Tony, standing in his kitchen, "It's too quiet."
Tony smiled, "Told you you'd miss me."
McGee, not really wanting to think about those days, nodded once before closing and locking the door.