A/N: This is sort of a tag to "Endgame"
Something was up with McGee. Tony eyed him as he walked into the office late, coffee clenched in one hand. He looked pale, and drawn.
"Are you- are you hungover, Probie?" DiNozzo asked, a grin spreading over his features.
"Piss off," Tim mumbled, half-collapsing into his chair and rubbing at his eyes. Tony frowned; Something in Tim's tone was off, and Tony knew better than to push.
"You okay, McGee?" DiNozzo asked, frowning in concern.
"I'm fine, Tony."
"You don't look fine, Tim," Tony said, standing up and making his way to McGee's desk. "If something's going on, you can talk to me-"
"I said I'm fine. Leave me alone."
DiNozzo frowned and went back to his desk, gnawing on the inside of his lip as he tried to focus on catching up on paperwork. He was pretty sure he knew what was going on, but trying to get it out of Tim was going to be a bitch.
"Let's go, we got a body," Gibbs announced, walking through the bullpen. DiNozzo eyed Tim carefully, watching as the younger man's lips compressed into a thin line and he squeezed his eyes shut before pushing himself to his feet. He had to have a pounding headache, and it was only a matter of time before Ziva and Gibbs caught on.
"Hey, McGee," Tony said, fishing a sports drink and some Tylenol out of his backpack. "Take this."
McGee took the offering apprehensively, then nodded in acknowledgement.
"Thanks," he said, then turned to follow Ziva out the door. Tony sighed and shook his head, then followed.
Tim McGee didn't get drunk often. He didn't like feeling out of control, he didn't like stumbling home, and he sure as hell didn't like being hungover the next day. So last night…had been a bit of a wild one. At least, it had been wild in that he'd gone to a liquor store and bought a great selection of whiskey and beer, then went home and watched TV and drank all night.
And then to come back to work and have Tony make fun of him, grinning that stupid 1000 watt smile, well, it hadn't been a great morning so far. And now, standing here with the dead body of Marine Peter Jensen leering up at him, the corpse bloated and reeking after a few days in the intense summer heat, Tim McGee was 90% sure that he would be losing the contents of his stomach in the next ten minutes if he couldn't go somewhere else.
"Ziva, interview, Tony, sketch and shoot, Tim, evidence."
Great. He'd be basically crawling around next to the body to get to stupid, insignificant things like bullet casings and tire treads.
And Tony was looking at him again.
"What?" Tim demanded angrily. DiNozzo blinked.
"You look like you're going to puke," Tony answered. McGee tried not to look longingly at where Ziva was interviewing the man who'd called in the crime scene, and instead shrugged.
"Look, I've got the evidence covered, okay Probie?" Tim looked up gratefully and nodded.
"Thanks," he said, looking down at the ground.
"I want to talk to you once we get back,Tim."
Tim clenched his jaw. He really didn't feel like talking to Tony. At all.
"McGee. Did you hear me?"
There was something in DiNozzo's tone that surprised Tim, a hard edge to it that asserted his position as senior field agent. It was not a tone he used very often.
"I heard you," Tim muttered finally.
With a sigh, McGee turned back to taking pictures. He was not looking forward to getting back.
The end of the day had finally come, and so far Tony had seemed to have forgotten about speaking to McGee. Not that Tim minded. Gibbs had seemed to notice that something with Tim wasn't right, but he'd also left him alone, and if Ziva had noticed she hadn't said anything.
Looking around, McGee was relieved to find himself alone, and quickly shouldered his backpack. He had taken all of two steps toward the door when Tony's voice caught him.
"Hey McGee. You didn't think I'd forget, did you?"
Actually, he had thought so. Damn it.
"What do you want to talk about?" McGee muttered, dragging his feet as he walked toward DiNozzo. Tony sat down on his desk and motioned for Tim to sit next to him. McGee reluctantly complied.
"I think I know what's going on, McGee," Tony began, looking intently at Tim. Tim bristled.
"Oh, really? What, exactly, do you think is 'going on' here, Tony?"
If Tony was taken aback by McGee's harsh tone, he didn't give it away.
"I think you're more upset over Amanda than you've said."
McGee remained quiet, clenching and unclenching his hands.
"Why would that make me upset?" Tim asked finally. "Not like I really knew her that well."
"No," Tony said, his voice gentle, "but you liked her. And you thought that she liked you. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that you could get upset after she turned out to be an assassin."
McGee mumbled something about Tony sure as heck not being a genius that DiNozzo pointedly ignored.
"Look, Tim, all I'm saying is that you can talk to me about it if you want to, but one way or another, you have to get over it. Showing up at work with a hangover is unacceptable. Gibbs let it go this time because he trusted me to take care of it. If it happens again, though…" Tony let his voice trail off. McGee glared sullenly.
"Why would I talk to you?" He asked finally. DiNozzo shrugged and gave a little half-smile.
"I've kind of been in the same boat, Probie," he answered. Tim shook his head.
"If I wanted to talk to someone that's 'been in the same boat,' I would go find Jeanne."
There was silence, and McGee realized as soon as he'd said it that he'd gone too far. It was a low blow, one that Tony didn't deserve.
DiNozzo cleared his throat. "Shape up, Tim, or you're going to be in trouble," he said finally, then shouldered his backpack and walked out the door without another word.
McGee watched him go; even amidst the turmoil of emotions, anger and sadness and depression, he knew that he'd just made a big mistake. One that might have cost him a friendship.
Lots of people called him Tim- His entire family, most of his friends- basically everyone but his coworkers. So McGee wasn't sure what it was about Tony only addressing him as Tim that was so…wrong. Since their conversation, DiNozzo hadn't once said 'Probie' or 'McGeek' or even plain old 'McGee.' Just 'Tim' and only when absolutely necessary. Oh, Tony wasn't being unprofessional, and it hadn't affected how they worked together, but it was different. Interactions were stiff, and formal, and he didn't joke around anymore.
Maybe worst of all, though, was that Tony didn't seem angry, just…hurt. Somehow, that was a whole lot worse than if DiNozzo just yelled at him and got it over with.
"McGee," Gibbs barked, and Tim looked up from his computer, startled.
McGee knew what was coming, and wasn't the least bit surprised when Gibbs punched the emergency stop button on the elevator.
"What the hell is going on between you and DiNozzo?" Gibbs demanded. McGee shrugged.
"Did you ask Tony?"
Gibbs bristled for a minute, staring at Tim with such an unflinching gaze that Tim had to repress a shudder.
"He wouldn't say anything. Said that nothing was wrong."
"So why are you asking me?" Tim knew he was treading a very thin line here, and he was starting to wobble precariously.
"I'm not blind, McGee. You said something out of line to DiNozzo, and you're damn close to doing it again right now. What the hell is going on with you?"
McGee looked down and shrugged.
"Nothing, Boss. I'm fine."
Tim could feel the heat of Gibbs' stare, but he refused to make eye contact.
"Fine, McGee. But you'd better get your act together and make whatever peace you need to with DiNozzo, you understand me?"
"Yes, Boss," McGee muttered, still looking down.
"Good," Gibbs replied, punching a button. The elevator started up again.
"DiNozzo, McGee, go check out the vic's home. Ziva and I will interview the brother."
Tony stood up and shouldered his backpack, making eye contact with Gibbs. The team lead wasn't exactly being subtle in his efforts to force Tim and Tony to get back on the same page. Gibbs raised an eyebrow and DiNozzo nodded.
"Let's go, Tim," he said, walking out of the room without checking that McGee was following.
The car ride started out awkward and completely silent. Tony turned on the radio, flipping through it multiple times without finding anything good to listen to, finally giving up and reducing the car to silence again.
"So. Have a good weekend?" DiNozzo asked.
"Pretty rainy today," Tim commented.
This was going to be a hell of a long ride.
The victim's house was an average one, two stories, nice lawn, American flag flying. DiNozzo pulled the car into the driveway and walked up to the front door, Tim trailing behind him. He knocked, though the victim lived alone, then tried the doorknob. Locked.
"Great," he grumbled, standing back and then kicking the door open.
Despite their issues, they still quickly and efficiently cleared all the rooms, before looking for any clues as to what had befallen the Marine.
Tony went upstairs to his office, looking through documents and photos, while Tim started going through stacks of mail on the table downstairs.
"Hey DiNozzo, you get anything?" Tim called after a fruitless search through Jensen's mail.
There was no answer, and McGee ground his teeth. Was DiNozzo really going to make him walk up the stairs to talk to him?
"Real mature, Tony," Tim called as he clomped up the stairs.
At the top, he frowned. Still no answering call.
"Tony?" Tim said, drawing his sidearm. "DiNozzo?"
He stepped into the office. There was a bang, before a flash of pain shot up his arm. Tim looked up, startled, at a man holding a smoking gun. The man looked terrified. McGee tried to say something, but his mouth didn't seem to be working, and all he could think was pain.
Then he collapsed to his knees before falling onto his back.
Unconsciousness was creeping up quickly, and McGee fumbled to get his phone out. The man who'd shot him snatched it out of his hands.
Panting heavily, McGee turned his head to the left.
Tony's body, hidden behind the desk, was suddenly visible. His face was coated in blood, from his nose and cheek and lips and head, and he was staring blankly at a point beyond McGee's head.
"DiNozzo?" Tim gasped, trying to see if the older man was breathing. "Tony?"
Unconsciousness overtook him before he could tell.