Title: Touch

Rating: Completely G

Pairing: Abby/McGeeish, if you squint.

Summary: Episode Tag for 5x24, Pyramid. Spoilers Ahoy!

It wasn't about death. Death was a hobby for her, personally, plus obviously her job, professionally. It also wasn't about funerals. The non-jazz funerals never had as much panache as the jazz ones did, but she didn't mind either type. Somehow, though, going to funerals for NCIS agents always bothered her. Maybe it was the physical proof, right there in front of her in a beautiful hand-carved wooden casket, that some of the most important people in her life could end up the same way. Kate, Director Shepard, Paula, Chris, all of them had died before they should have, and that was the short list. The list of agents lost in the past 8 years was much longer than four people.

And now the list was one person longer, although technically Mike wasn't an agent anymore. He still was, though. Gibbs brought him in when he needed an unconventional approach or something off the books. Mike was good at off the books and unconventional. He could do on the books when he had to (with lots of complaining), but he'd always preferred off the books. It was funny that someone who was so unconventional was having such a conventional military funeral, but if anyone had deserved burial in Arlington, it was Mike.

They folded the flag and did the salute and played taps and gave the flag to Mike's granddaughter, all the stuff that military funerals involved, and while all of that was happening, she clung to Tim. She'd had her hand around his arm or holding his for the whole funeral and burial. For the graveside service, she could have said it was to help her keep her balance on the uneven terrain, but for both, it was for the comfort. She needed to be near someone important, to reassure herself he was still there, and there weren't very many people who were more important to her than Tim.

She'd been irritated with him when he'd insisted on coming home with her while P2P was out there, especially since he'd preceded that statement with a horribly timed attempt to tell her that he was okay with it if she was dating Cade, which she wasn't, really. He always wanted to talk about their relationship at awkward times. Not that there was ever really a good time to have a "talk" about a relationship, as far as she was concerned, but his choices were always of especially bad ones. His justification had made her melty, though, and she'd instantly been not mad. How could she be, when he couldn't even say what he'd do if anything happened to her? The possibilities weren't good, though, or at least weren't good for the person who hurt her. Her geek carried a gun.

She walked with the group back to the road, talking about things that didn't matter and no one would remember, and when it was time to split into cars, she got into Tim's car. He'd driven them both at her request. Mike had appreciated her car, had always said it had style, but somehow she didn't want to drive it today. P art of that reason was because she kept getting sniffly and it was hard to see when she was sniffly. Getting into an accident on the way to a funeral was a very Alanis song thing to do and she didn't want to even risk it.

The drive back to her place was quiet other than the startled sound Tim made when she put her hand on his knee at one stoplight, which sounded almost explosive compared to the quiet of the car. She didn't want to claim a hand he'd need for driving, but she still needed to touch him, and after that one startled sound, he let her hand stay until they pulled up in front of her apartment building.

"Do you want to come in?" she asked, tilting her head to the side slightly. His expression shifted from concern at how quiet she'd been to confusion. The question could have had lots of meanings and he clearly didn't know how she meant it. She didn't know how she meant it, either, she just didn't want to be by herself right now. She'd brought Bert home, but there were times when a farting hippo didn't quite cut it.

"Sure," he agreed briefly, and turned off the car. More silence, and she opened the car door just to hear the sounds of the cars passing by, the birds in the trees, and the flight path to Dulles. They walked together to her door and she unlocked it before holding it open for Tim to pass by.

"Do you want something to drink?" she offered as she closed the door although she was pretty sure the only thing she had in the fridge right now was milk working on sentience and Caf-Pow.

He shook his head and settled on the couch, so she sat down next to him and put her head on his shoulder. He intertwined their fingers and leaned his head on top of hers.

This was all she needed right now. Later she'd be back to her usual self, later she'd bounce around and make dinner for him and maybe convince him to stay the night. For now, though, this was what she needed, this comfort of touch.