DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN NCIS OR ANY OF ITS CHARACTERS!
There was an excitement in the bullpen, unusual for a Monday. Mostly it was Tony, but Ziva and Tim were wondering what the day would bring as well.
"I'm the logical choice," Tony argued.
"You? Why you? You would take it as an opportunity to doe all over her," Ziva retorted.
Tony shook his head, "You mean fawn over her, and that's hardly my intention," Tony defended himself.
"You have seen her picture, No?" Ziva looked at him intently.
Tony smirked, "Yes and she's beautiful. Still my job is separate from my love life."
"I can think of a few flaws with that testimony," Ziva snorted.
Tony scowled, "I'm more mature now."
"Glad to hear it, DiNozzo," Gibbs announced his presence. "McGee," he called to the quiet agent who was amused by the bantering between his teammates.
"Yes, Boss," he responded.
"Go pick up our guest," Gibbs flipped the keys to the surprised agent.
Tim caught them smiling at his partners as he grabbed his ID and weapon before leaving the bullpen.
"Why McGee?" Tony questioned.
"Yes? Why McGee?" Ziva echoed.
"By request," Gibbs nodded as he rifled through some papers on his desk. He glanced up to see Tony and Ziva exchange curious looks. Truth be told he wondered why the younger man had been requested by Yoshiko Aiko, as well.
She was in the country as a guest of the SecNav. Her father was the head of an investigative force for the Japanese Navy. There was sure to be a story behind her asking Tim to be her escort.
As Tim drove to the airport he tried to recall the face that belonged to Yoshiko. It had been many years seen they'd seen each other. To say he was surprised she remembered him enough to know he was working with NCIS was more than baffling.
He'd met her when his father was stationed in Sasebo. It had been just the three of them at that time; Sarah still a few years shy from being born.
His mother had taken him along as she ran some errands. Yoshiko was walking beside her mother. She looked at him from the corner of her eye, as she was instructed to not look directly at strangers. He gave her a shy smile which she couldn't help but return.
He heard his mother ask a question and the young girl and her mother stopped. Tim looked up to see the two women talking so he decided to introduce himself to the girl.
"Konnichiwa, watashi no namae wa timu desu," he said using the little of Japanese he'd learned.
She looked surprised that he spoke her language even if the accent was foreign. She gave a slight bow of her head, "Konnichiwa. Watashi wa Keiko desu." She spoke a little more that Tim tried to translate, but was unable to, so he just smiled at her.
His mother who had watched the exchange along with Yoshiko's mother stooped down and whispered in his ear, "She asked if you are liking her country."
Giving his mom a grateful nod, he spoke to his new friend, "Hai."
She smiled shyly realizing he only knew a little Japanese. Having been taught some English, not only in school, but by her parents as well, she asked hesitantly, "Have you been here long?"
Happy to hear her speak in English, Tim answered, "Only a few weeks."
Their conversation was then made up of a mix of Japanese and English as their mother's finished their conversation. Soon Mrs. McGee was saying goodbye to Yoshiko's mom and Tim waved his farewell. He glanced back a few times to see she was doing the same.
As it turned out they would see quite a bit of each other. Not only did their mother's become quick friends, but their father's both worked in the military. Her dad was often working on the naval base with Tim's dad and before long they had a good comradeship formed.
They spent three years in Japan returning to the United States only months before Sarah was born. He was sad to say goodbye to his friend who had taught him to speak more fluently, though it wasn't something he kept up once he was back in the states.
Now as he walked into the terminal he recognized her straight away. Even though it had been nearly twenty years since he'd seen her. Her eyes widened when she saw him. Her smile, as in years past, filled him with a happiness he could never explain.
"Yoshi," he called taking her hands. "It's so good to see you again." He gave her a kiss on her cheek, causing a little color to rise there.
"Yes, Tim. It is so nice to finally see you again, too," she squeezed one hand while releasing the other. "My luggage is ready there," she pointed to two bags she set on the wall beside her.
Tim lifted them and asked, "Would you like something to eat before we go to NCIS?" He hoped to get time to sit and talk with his childhood friend, before she got rushed off into the business that brought her here in the first place.
Welcoming the opportunity Yoshiko agreed, "That sounds wonderful. I would like that very much."
"Come with me then," he smiled walking her out to the car he parked by the doors, a small perk driving the government issued sedan.
They drove in an amenable silence for a short time. Trading glances now and again. "So you're working with your government now?" she asked.
"Yes. I couldn't ever be in the Navy like my dad. Boats," he squinted, "aren't quite my thing." He loved the light laughter that she shared. "I do like computers and science and found that it all comes in handy doing my job."
"Yes, I know you have been quite successful," she said quietly.
"You do?" Tim wondered how she could know such things about him. Sure he did background on people on the time and discovered intimate details, but he didn't think there was much about him out there.
"It's true. I have kept track of most things you've done. My parents still talk to yours once in a while."
Ah, now he could see where she got her information. His mother was a good one for bragging on and on about his accomplishments. Usually making them out to be larger than life.
"Don't believe everything you've heard," Tim laughed.
"I'm sure it is all very close to the truth. I am not surprised that you have done so well for yourself," she patted his thigh.
Tim glanced at her sideways and wondered if she'd meant anything more personal with that light pat, but wasn't going to jump to any conclusions. He pulled into a parking lot of a seafood restaurant he often frequented on his weekends off, few as they were.
Meanwhile at the Navy Yard, Tony was still trying o figure out what his Probie had that got him the assignment he'd been hoping to snag. Not only was it escorting a beautiful woman, but it would've got him out of the drudgery of doing paperwork. He looked across to Ziva who seemed resigned to her own fate. He then looked over at Gibbs who met his eyes with a question, "Got a problem?"
"No, Boss," he answered sullenly returning to the file open in front of him.
Gibbs chuckled quietly thinking, 'Yeah DiNozzo had a problem. Work.' He decided some coffee would be in order, "DiNozzo?"
"Yes, Boss," Tony answered automatically looking back at Gibbs.
"Why don't you and Ziva go get some lunch," the lead agent figured they could both use a break and he could take the opportunity to ask Vance a few questions.
Ziva jumped out of her seat to escape the monotony she'd been enduring. Tony not far behind her as they reached the elevator. Gibbs waited until the doors closed preceding their descent before he got up and took the stairs up to the director's office.
He gave the secretary a nod as he passed opening the door without breaking stride. Vance hung up the phone saying, "I'll have to call you back."
He stared at his agent. "Anything I can do for you Agent Gibbs?"
"McGee?" Gibbs asked.
A look of concern crossed the director's face before he neutralized it. Gibbs had noticed but waited for a reply. "What about him? Did he return with our foreign guest?"
"Not yet. You now what I'm asking," the agent glared.
"You want to know why he was requested," Leon stood pulling a toothpick from his drawer. He walked around his desk to stand beside Gibbs. "Truth is I'm not all that certain myself. The Japanese Embassy called to inform me that Miss Aiko asked for our McGee by name."
The shared possession of his agent caused Gibbs to narrow his eyes. He'd noticed that the director sometimes took an interest in Tim that churned his gut a little. Now though he believed Vance wasn't any the wiser about the reasons for the request. He turned and walked out leaving the director to his own affairs.
As Tony and Ziva exited the coffee shop with sandwiches and drinks they saw Tim walking arm in arm with the woman he picked up. They stopped and watched as Tim held the door for her before going around to his door.
"They look very cozy together. Do they not?" Ziva asked her partner.
Nodding, still watching as Tim maneuvered the car into traffic Tony murmured, "Yes they do." When the car got lost in traffic Tony shook his head, "Come on. Let's get back before the coffee goes cold."
Knowing if anyone could get to the bottom of what was going on with Tim and their guest it would be Tony, Ziva quickly followed.
The lunch had been filled with a lot of reminiscing. Yoshiko had showed Tim so much of her portion of Japan. They had seen the fishing boats as the men who manned them prepared to go out to sea and saw them return sometimes with large cargo holds filled and other times with little to show for their endless time and effort. There were also oyster farms that provided a great source for food that was distributed to all of Japan.
They enjoyed the views of the numerous islands as they looked out from the Sasebo Port. It was hard to believe there were over 200 of them. As children they weren't allowed to venture off to them alone, but on a few occasions they made trips to Saikia National Park with their parents.
They were all fond memories and both were delighted to relish in remembering them together. Tim almost wished he had more time to spend with Yoshiko, but she had her own business to attend to when they reached the Navy Yard.
He escorted her into the building and to the director's office. They waited until Vance invited them in before entering.
"Thank you Agent McGee. I trust your trip to our country was uneventful Miss Aiko," he greeted the young woman.
"Yes, Director. The flight was smooth and my escort very gracious," she smiled at Tim who colored slightly returning her smile.
The exchange didn't go unnoticed by Vance who cleared his throat to gain their attention. "Very well Agent McGee you may return to your duties."
"Yes Director. Yoshiko it was a pleasure," he gently shook her hand and gave her a small bow as he left.
Tim skipped down the stairs unaware of the eyes of his team follow his every move. He smiled as he past them sitting down in his chair as he gathered what he needed to get started on his work. The silence around him finally became noticeable and he looked up with raised eyebrows and eyes still full of cheer.
"Something wrong?" he asked.
"No, McEscort," Tony teased. "Did you have a nice lunch?" he asked.
"As a matter of fact it was very nice. Thanks for asking, Tony," Tim looked back to his desk ready to leave it at that, but it wasn't going to be that easy.
"So how is the fair Ms. Aiko? Did you deliver in one piece to the director?" Tony continued to try to garner information from his teammate.
Tim sighed, realizing he'd have to give Tony a bone to satisfy him, "She's fine. She's with the director now. I'm sure he's making arrangements for whatever business she has to handle."
"You mean you spent all that time with her and you do not know what she is here for?" Ziva asked.
"It's not my business to know what she is here for," Tim shrugged.
"Why did she ask for you then?" Tony asked confused.
"We knew each other years ago when my dad was stationed in Japan. We were friends," Tim stated simply.
Gibbs seemed satisfied enough with that and ordered, "Alright everyone let's get some work done."
As they finished up their files and prepared to leave for the day, Yoshiko entered the bullpen and approached Tim's desk.
"I wanted to thank you again Tim for picking me up today and bringing me here. It was very nice to see you again and recall our memories. I will never forget you." She turned to see three sets of surprised eyes on her.
Tim quickly stood and introduced her to his teammates and boss. She greeted them with hellos and nods of her head. Before Tony could get started on her Tim took her elbow, "Let me walk you to the elevator."
As Yoshiko bid her farewells the three agents smiled and waved. They had learned little of Tim's past in the time they'd worked together. It appeared another tidbit had been fed to them, but like others it wasn't going to become a feast.
Vance arrived as Yoshiko entered the elevator laying a hand on Tim's cheek before the door closed. He smiled. Unlike the others he had learned more about her time spent with young McGee, though it wasn't anything of a sensitive nature. They had shared childhood memories and learned so much of each other's cultures that either could be successful in the other's homeland.
Yoshiko was only helping the SecNav with some basic information she was asked to deliver. Perhaps one day the director could return the favor and send McGee to do something in a similar vein.
Gibbs gave the director a stare. Vance in turn shrugged, smirked and turned back to head up to his office. Knowing no more was to be learned about McGee and Yoshiko, Gibbs retrieved his badge and weapon and bid everyone goodnight.
Tim went to his desk to shut down his computer and prepare to leave. Tony and Ziva still watched waiting for him to tell them something. Tim could feel their eyes on him as he hitched his bag on his shoulder he gave them a tired smile, "Sayōnara. Anata no ashita o sanshō shite kudasai. (Goodbye. See you tomorrow.)"
Tony shook his head. His Probie certainly was full of surprises.
As they watched Tim leave it occurred to Tony, "Hey what did he say anyway?"
Ziva grabbed her own bag and called over her shoulder, "Ha, wouldn't you like to know?"
"Well, yeah," Tony said rushing to catch up to his partner and find the answer. In the elevator Ziva just smiled at him. Tony could only groan as the door closed.