Title: Figuring it Out
Spoiler: Mention of scenes from Episode 7x08 "Power Down".
Summary: While working on a cold case involving the death of a marine's wife, Tony and Tim come to a few realizations.
Warnings: Mention of murder and sexual assault in relation to cold cases.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: A continuation to my first NCIS fic "Elevator Bonding" in which Tony was trapped in the elevator with Tim during "Power Down" instead of Ziva.
Finally, Tony thought to himself as the electricity came back on.
As soon as the lights flickered on, the sound of people excitedly turning their computers on and typing away could be heard throughout the bullpen.
Tony gleefully scanned through his inbox. He found himself looking over at Gibbs who stared bemusedly at those around him and then pressed the button on his monitor.
He's probably laughing at the rest of us. We're such slaves to our computers and all the techno-gadgets.
Tony had to admit that the last few days without electricity had been trying. He couldn't believe how quickly he had become dependent on things like the internet, e-mail and search engines. It wasn't that long ago that he had relied on good old-fashioned legwork when he was a cop.
Maybe he was getting old. Ugh. Let's pretend I didn't think that, the voice in Tony's head said.
He cast a sideways glance at Tim and watched him as he enthusiastically attacked his keyboard, no doubt shooting off a dozen e-mails in the time it took him to write one. He always wondered how Tim was so quick and sure when in front of his computer, but fumbled around when using equipment or holding a gun.
Tony paused. That was actually no longer the case. Tim had changed considerably in the five years that he'd been an NCIS field agent. He was much more sure of himself. He was still terrified of Gibbs, but then again, who wasn't? He still occasionally hesitated in the field, but those moments were occurring less and less frequently.
Tony had also begun to notice that he was giving as good as he got from him. Gone were the days of Tim just silently taking whatever Tony dished out. He had to admit, as much as he liked making Tim squirm in the early years, he much preferred the back and forth banter that they shared now.
Tony returned his attention to the monitor, sifting through e-mail while simultaneously slogging through the tremendous amount of paperwork related to their recently closed case. Damn NSA.
As he mindlessly filled out, for the third time, the vital statistics of Lieutenant Emma Paxton he was distracted by an indistinct grunt from beside him. He looked over to see Tim's furrowed brow and slight frown. Wondering if he was having as much fun with the nonsensical language of government formalities, he was about to crack a joke when Tim looked up.
"How did you know that James Bond was part Scottish?"
He can't stop the laughter that sputtered out.
"That's what you're looking up right now?"
Tim flushed slightly, but nodded.
Tony was about to launch into his movie-fone voiceover explanation when Gibbs' voice cut through the din of clacking keystrokes.
"Is there a reason you're not working on that report? I want it on my desk by end of day today."
Tim and Tony exchanged identical grimaces.
Toggling back to the forms screens Tony managed not to bash his head against the monitor when he saw that he was only on page 7 of 82 of his report. He rubbed his gritty eyes and thought - it's going to be long day.
Tim had finally, finally finished the ridiculously repetitive report and headed over to the elevators to find Tony already standing there, waiting for the doors to open.
They both paused, staring at the elevator.
"Should we risk it, McGee?"
He laughed. "We survived the first time. I'm sure if it happened again, and please God don't let it happen again, I'm sure we won't kill each other."
They both walked in and Tony started talking about what a relief it was to have that paperwork done and signed over to Gibbs. Tim was not really paying attention as he was distracted by something small located in the corner of the elevator. He stared hard at it until he could make out what it was.
It was a button, his button, the one that had come off as he and Tony fought over his cell phone several days ago. Swallowing a little thickly, he recalled how it felt to have Tony on top of him. He also had a vague memory, which he thought might have been a dream, of Tony gently caressing his backside while he slept.
He tried not to think about it, even as he shifted uncomfortably, and in an effort to hide his arousal, he closed his jacket and shifted his bag.
At the parking garage, the two walked to their parked cars together.
"You know, McGreedy, you could have left some more band-aids in the box!"
"What? Band aids?"
"Where's your had at, McGee? Did you lose so much blood from all of your paper cuts?"
"Hey, you were the one that left me to sift through all of those financial records!"
"I didn't leave you. You wanted to go in my place. If you really wanted to go, you should have argued with Ziva."
"And risk her fury? Not going to happen."
"Gibbs asked me to run down the lead. I would have still wanted to go out regardless, but the fact of the matter is, you and Ziva should have flipped for it.
Tim tried to find fault in his argument but he came up short. He waited for the usual I'm right and you're wrong gloating from Tony, but it never came.
"For what, McGee?"
Tony just shrugged. "What would be the point? You're going to keep doing it anyway."
Tony walked away from him towards the car, leaving him standing there his own car keys in hand, at a loss for words.