AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is unbeta'd work, so forgive me of that. I'm also unsure if I want this to be a stand alone or part of a series. I'll let the reader decide. I enjoyed writing this. This is the first time I was able to write something (in a while) and not be completely disgusted by it. I hope you enjoy it. Happy reading!
She was Abby's new assistant; one that Abby had actually asked for instead of just having someone thrust upon her. She had started a few months ago and had just gotten completely at ease with the team despite having gone out with the group a few times. She was former military, a Marine, and had received a medical discharge just a year prior. Everyone was curious as to why, when she was seemed so healthy and energetic. Although, she wasn't as energetic as Abby, but was anyone really as energetic as Abby? There was something about Lily Hammond that McGee couldn't put his finger on. He was sure he knew her, but from where?
Even though her military career came first, she was able to secure a Master's degree (mainly through taking courses online), which was a slow process, but she was proud when she accomplished it. She wasn't as technologically savvy as both Abby and McGee were, but she was able to lend a hand when she could. Her primary focus was more of the physical realms of evidence: taking the blood samples, analyzing dirt particles and fibers. At least Abby's load was lessened to some degree.
On a particularly slow afternoon, Abby and Lily were in the lab when Abby spoke up, startling her assistant since it had been so quiet. Well, quiet if you didn't take Abby's music into consideration. "Tell me something about you I don't already know," Abby said.
Lily thought about it for a few moments, before finally giving an answer. "When I was in high school, I fell in love with my best friend. Only he didn't know I even liked him. I didn't think he'd ever date me. He was very intelligent and while I was smart, I didn't consider myself in his league."
Abby frowned slightly, "Why didn't you ever tell him after the fact?"
"I was going into the military and he was going to do his college thing. It wouldn't have worked out. However, I will admit that on graduation night, I kind of told him."
"Kind of?" Abby was curious now. How could someone "kind of" tell someone something?
Lily grinned mischievously. "After graduation, we went to the spot where we always hung out. It was overlooking a river; and that night, it was so perfect. The moon wasn't out so you could see a bunch of stars, and we couldn't see the lights from the city either. I guess the romantic feel of the night brought out my courage and I kissed him. For a while. The next day I left for boot camp so I never really gave him the opportunity to talk to me. I wrote letters occasionally, ignoring what happened. And then, as it so often happens, we drifted apart. I have no idea where he is now."
"That's sad though!" Abby exclaimed.
The woman shrugged. "I guess. But there's always a hope I'll run into him again one day. I figure he's probably married with a couple kids by now. But if he isn't married... it would be such a movie. Finding your long lost first love after..." she paused momentarily to do the math, "...15 years."
"You've spent entirely too much time around Tony to find the movie connection." Abby replied with a grin. "But that would be so completely awesome. What's his name? I could look him up."
Lily shook her head, "No Abby, if I'm meant to run into him again, it will be on purpose. Not because I had one of my friends track him down and stalk him."
Abby smiled. "He might find it romantic. That you remembered him."
Lily laughed at this. "Or he may think it's creepy and wonder who he ran around with in high school. No, no, I'll let nature take it's course."
Abby rolled her eyes. "If you insist on that, but the offer still stands. You do realize I could look up what high school you went to and find out on my own, right?"
"Would you really breach that trust I have in you?"
Abby thought for a moment, "No. I guess not..."
Lily could feel a loophole coming up. "And this means you can not casually bring it up to anyone for them to look either. No talking, signing, typing, or writing things down and telling someone."
"Alright. You're no fun though." Abby teased.
"I know. The military does that to a person."
It was another three months before the topic of high school came up again. Lily had been with the team now for 6 months, and the group - Abby, Tony, McGee, Ziva, and Lily, along with a boyfriend of Ziva-were at a regularly frequented bar. Lily was surprised that Abby hadn't brought up the topic months ago.
"So... what was high school like for everyone?" Abby casually asked one evening. Lily groaned out loud. She had expected more subtlety out of Abby.
Tony smiled, mentally reliving his glory days, but instead of speaking of them, he looked to Lily. "Something tells me that you two have already had this conversation."
Lily nodded. "In a round about way, yes."
Ziva decided to save her friend some agony and spoke quickly. "It's not really fair to discuss high school adventures, when I never really went, not like you all. Secondary school teaching was very strict for me. Next topic, yes?"
"How about we let them talk and we'll dance instead?" her date asked, offering her his hand.
How could Ziva refuse? Thankfully, they were on the outside of the rounded booth and could slip out without interrupting others.
McGee looked to Lily, "I think if anyone here had rough high school years, it would have been me. I was picked on and bullied."
She shook her head. "That's not it. I know what Abby is after. It's not that. She's just trying to get more information out of me."
Abby merely smiled and took a swallow of beer, "It was an interesting story. You can't really blame me. Besides, it's your fault. When I said 'tell me something about you I don't already know' you could have said that after you turned 18, you started to like okra. Not that your first love was your best friend in high school."
Tony grinned while Lily groaned. "Abby!" she proclaimed.
It was really too late to take back anything, she could practically see the curiosity on both Tony and McGee's faces. She sighed . "Since this has all turned on me, I want to hear some embarrassing stories about you all when I'm through." She received half committed nods. "Alright. Like Abby said, when I was in high school, I fell in love with my best friend but I never told him because I thought he was out of my league. However, on the night we graduated, I kissed him -" Abby interjected with with "for a while" before becoming quiet again, "and the next day I left for boot camp. End of story."
Tony and Abby exchanged mischievous looks, the grins on their faces practically evil. "I wonder what Miss Lily looked like in high school..." Tony mused aloud. If she was anything to go by now, he figured she was quite the looker. She was only an inch shorter than Abby, standing at 5'9", but with the way Abby wore platform shoes it was hard to tell that the height difference was just an inch. Thanks to the military, she kept in good shape, even now that she was discharged; her body was toned. The woman had light brown hair, and since her discharge from the military she had decided to grow her hair longer. Normally she kept it an inch or two below her shoulders, but now it was slowly making it's way towards the middle of her back. Most of the time she kept it in a ponytail so as it wouldn't interfere with work. When she was younger she wished she had Hazel brown-green eyes of her mother; that fact that her eyes seemed to change color always amazed her. But as she got older, she was glad she had just brown eyes. It seemed like everyone today was changing their eye color to green or blue or some other colors (even some not natural color) that she just enjoyed what she was born with.
Abby turned to Tony, a fake astonished look on her face. "Me too, Tony. I also wonder what she looked like when she was in high school." Abby's hand went to the bag she was carrying with her and pulled out a book that was 15 years old. It was a yearbook. But not just any yearbook.
Lily's eyes widened at what they had. "How did you get a copy of that?" she asked.
Abby grinned. "Library. Who knew... they keep a copy of high school yearbooks. And I didn't have to tell anyone anything. I just went to the city where you lived and here we are."
Lily stood up after exclaiming, "oh hell. I need a drink or two." She then went over to the bar, leaving the three - McGee, Tony, and Abby - to explore her past.
After the pair had went to the page that held Lily's picture on it, McGee excused himself while the duo started back at the front of the book. Tony had noticed that McGee was much quieter than usual, but didn't think much of it as he watched his friend make his way over to the bar. But his attention went back to the book.
McGee grinned as he saw Lily sitting on a bar stool. All she had in front of her was a water, but the expression on her face amused him to no end - it was slightly terrified mixed with a bit of relief. He stepped up next to her and leaned on the bar. "Want to dance?" he asked her. The only dancing he could really do was slow dancing, and thankfully the music playing was suitable for that.
Lily nodded and stood up. "Sure. Are they still looking at that book?"
McGee nodded. "Yep. Any useful ammo in there for them?"
She sighed. "You have no idea," she said and took his offered hand as he led her to the dance floor, bringing her close as they started to dance. She had one arm around the top of his back and the other in his hand as she let him lead, lost in her thoughts. It was quiet for a few minutes before he spoke.
"So. Do you still have that tattoo on your shoulder blade?" he asked.
She pulled back slightly, reddening. "What tattoo?" she asked, deciding it may be best to play dumb.
He chuckled, and chose to ignore her question, instead he took the conversation a different way. "You know, I talk about getting bullied in high school, but it wasn't all horribly bad. No, I had a female best friend in high school. She was simply gorgeous. I never knew why she hung around me. I always figured she'd want to hang around the athletic guys. I could have easily seen her with someone like Tony. But she always hung out with me. She was smart too to make things even better. She could make me laugh better than anyone ever could. I remember in my junior year, I realized I had a crush on her. But how could I ask her out? She was out of my league when in came to looks and popularity. It was one thing to be friends with a geek, but to date one? Absurd. So I never told her." He had been saying all this close to her ear, so no one else would hear what was going on. "And then, in our senior year, after saving for nearly four years, she was able to secure tickets to go see her favorite musician... Paul McCartney. And not just see him, but she had the opportunity to meet him. I remember the look on her face was sheer awe. I don't think she spoke for the rest of the night. She managed to get his autograph... on her shoulder blade. And after we left the place, she went to the nearest tattoo parlor to tattoo his signature on her." It was now that he used the arm that was around her waist to gently poke the place where a tattoo sat on her skin.
As he told his story, Lily slightly stiffened in his arms, blinking several times to get with it. She wanted to laugh. It seemed too... unreal. She still stayed quiet as he finished.
"And wouldn't you know it, on graduation night, she kissed me. I swear, it had to have been the best kiss ever. Or maybe it was my 18 year old mind thinking that. But no, I think it was the best kiss ever. However... I didn't really talk to her after that night. She ran off to the Marine Corps with a simple 'see you later' and I thought she fell off the face of the planet."
Lily took a step back from him to look at his face. "How did you know?" She finally asked him.
He smiled. "I'm a special agent. It's my job to know. But I recognized you, I just couldn't figure out where. And then when I saw your yearbook picture it clicked. What about you?"
She shrugged. "It's hard to say. I remembered your name, hard to forget the name of someone you really liked. I just didn't know what you would look like now. I saw the yearbook and the memories came back. I knew it was you."
Tim smiled once more, and danced her over to a rather inconspicuous spot, before doing what he had wanted to do for the last 15 years. He kissed her.
Back at the table, Tony and Abby had just passed her picture again and were looking at the other students pictures. One name in particular caught their eye as they turned the page. Their heads shot up as the looked at one another and then looked around the place trying to find their two friends who had disappeared. Well, four if you include Ziva and her man, who had long since left.
Tony spoke first. "You don't really think ... McGee, of all people?"