Hey all! I'm gonna post the second chapter to The Fall Index onto the backside of this story, just in case people read The Pyrrhic Clause and want to know if there's a sequel going on. I will also be posting The Fall Index as a different fic, and this will be the last chapter of The Fall Index I'll put here.
Also, (not advertising too much ;) ) but if you like this story, I wrote a couple McGiva oneshots called "Window Seat?" and "You Are Not Don Juan Triumphant". They're my first shots at oneshots, so feedback, constructive criticism is welcomed.
I do not own NCIS, or NICS, or CISN... blah blah blah
3 Months Earlier
Tim McGee tossed in his bed. Images of himself kept flashing across his eyelids. Images of himself, white faced with black circles around his eyes. He watched, as if from a third person perspective, as he walked across an abandoned shipwrecked vessel. It was enormous, like a naval destroyer. It was perched precariously on a frozen mountain range, snow swirling about. Thankfully, in this nightmare, he was wearing what appeared to be the gear of a turn-of-the-century mountaineer. Snow goggles were perched upon his forehead as he wound his way around the vessel. Searching.
It's here. I know it's here.
He yanked open an icy door and held up an old lantern, lighting the inside of the vessel. It had obviously been there for some time. Belching from it the smell of decades of disuse. Despite finding shelter from the storm, the inside of the ship as just as cold as it was on the outside. But it was a still cold, a silent cold, a dead cold.
He walked carefully, stepping through doorways and down steel hallways. Finally, somewhere near the aft of the ship, deep within its hull, he spied a door down the hall. It was ajar, a soft yellow light filtering through. As he got closer, he heard a familiar 'shush shush shush' sound. He tiptoed to the door, pushed it open, and stepped into the room. It was identical to Gibbs basement.
Within the room was the wooden frame of a little boat beside a workbench. Tools were neatly ordered on the workbench, as well as a mason jar of bourbon. McGee watched as a man, not fitting the description of Gibbs, clad in a U.S.M.C. Sweater and grey sweatpants sanded one of the boat's wooden ribs.
Shush shush shush.
"W-who are you?"
McGee couldn't see the man's face, as it was turned away, but upon hearing the question, the man straightened up, and turned. McGee tensed. He was looking at himself. Why am I in Gibbs' basement, dressed like him, and building a boat?
"Surprised, McGee?" The other McGee asked, making no facial expression (much like Gibbs).
"Yeah, well umm, what are you doing here?"
"Was gonna ask you the same thing."
"Well, umm, I get it. You are me. But why aren't you Gibbs? Gibbs should be making a boat."
"Yes, McGee, why aren't you Gibbs?" the impostor asked.
"I, well, I don't know. Because I'm McGee."
"But I'm McGee."
"And you're dressed like Gibbs."
"No." The impostor stated bluntly, pointing the sander at the real McGee. "You're dressed like Gibbs."
McGee looked down at his clothes. They (as are occasional in dreams), had completely changed wardrobe somehow. He was now donning the same gillie suit and equipment Gibbs had worn in Somalia. The real McGee looked questioningly at the impostor McGee.
He continued sanding, but began blurting out phrases nonsensically.
"Grab. Gear. We gotta dead marine. DiNozzo. Ziver. We don't negotiate with terrorists. Rule 12. Rule 34. Rule 3. Rule 17. Rule 51. Today, McGee!"
McGee woke with a start. He had tangled himself so thoroughly in his bed sheets that his arms were flush against his sides. It was just a nightmare. It was just a nightmare. Finally unwinding himself from the covers, McGee sat up, rubbing his eyes. He glanced at his phone. 7:32 am. That's not too bad. Got a good five hours of sleep this time.
He was about to roll out of bed, when a warm hand grasped his arm. He turned with a start, then smiled, seeing the groggy Israeli woman looking at him, sleep still heavy in her eyes.
"Mummf?" she huffed as she pulled him back into bed, nestling her cheek up into his neck. Tim smiled, stroking her hair as she kissed his neck lightly. He planted a kiss on the top of her head, immediately picking strands of hair from his lips.
"Z, I gotta go work out with Tony. We're meeting at the track at 8:30."
Ziva looked at him, her eyebrows low with suspicion.
"But it's Saturday! Tim, why are you working out so much? I mean, I am not complaining, but usually a man works out to get a woman's attention Then stops once he has the woman. You are opposite, no?"
McGee squeezed her. "Just wanna look good for you."
With that, he tore himself tenderly from her grasp as she let out a frustrated sigh, pulling the covers around her and rolling over.
McGee knew that was not completely a lie. He did feel that, with this beautiful woman with him, he needed to make himself more physically impressive. It's just the way men are. Compared to other men, he felt inadequate, even though he knew that that was not the deciding factor in their relationship. Ziva would never end the relationship because McGee didn't have an eight-pack. So, yes, McGee did want to physically impress her, but he left out the second half. That Tony and he would be needing the stamina. The training. The strength. Kort had said so. With that he threw on some athletic clothes, tying tight some running shoes, and headed out the door.
He walked slowly, his hoodie pulled low over his eyes as light snow danced across his face. It was only a few blocks to the local high school, and Tony would probably be there already. As if on cue, his phone rang.
"Probetastic, how's it going?"
"Good Tony, just heading to the track. Where are you?"
"Oh, you know, been in the parking lot for a bit. You know the car heater is a wonderful invention. We could just-"
"No Tony. We are not skipping the workout." Tony groaned.
"We're doing bleachers today aren't we?"
"And the pushup pyramid thing?"
"And the pullups?"
"I'll meet you on the track, okay Tony?"
McGee shut the phone, throwing it into the duffel he carried over his shoulder. When they had begun working out together, Tony had beat him in almost everything (minus long distance running). But, as time went on and their training became more rigorous McGee began to see it as he saw many things in life. He researched the functions of the body, the adaptations of muscles, bones, even hormones and metabolism as a result of exercise. While he had been fairly fit, he had never been in good shape. McGee saw working out as a case study. A way to observe the physiological changes that he had read about, only in his own body. It fascinated him the way the body would change based on external stimuli. He had read how a university researcher had tested a group of runners on a treadmill, while simultaneously having them complete cognitive puzzles, tasks, and visual acuity tests. With increased physiological stress during training, the time it took the runners to complete the tests decreased. Once McGee realized the connection between body power and brain power, he was all in. And Tony hated it.
The older agent was quite fit, but he was a fan of comfortable things. He was a fan of sleeping in, of staying seated, of a warm car interior. He was a fan of the hot air blowing out of the vents of his car. He was a fan of the idea of kidnapping McGee and going to get an omelet. Tony took a sip of his coffee, holding the cup with both hands, the warmth almost burning his palms. Damn you, Timothy McLance Armstrong. I swear if you don't let us get an omelet I'm going to-.
Tony was woken from his thoughts as McGee rapped a knuckle on his window. Tony grew a large smile and pointed to the passenger seat. McGee shook his head.
"Let's go Tony!" Tim yelled through the glass.
"I want an omelet!"
McGee shook his head and turned, heading towards the track. Tony watched him, disappointed, but in admiration. He quickly hopped out of the car and jogged after the younger man.
"Fuck McGee, it's gotta be below zero out here! With this type of training we could be crab fishermen!" McGee was silent as he tossed his duffel onto the track and began stretching.
"Ok McGoo, what is it today?"
"One lap around the track, moderate intensity, then bleachers five times, then five pushups, then 5 pullups. Then another lap, five bleachers, ten pushups, ten pullups. Then another lap, five bleachers-".
"Fifteen pushups, fifteen pullups. I got it." Tony interrupted, groaning. He shook his head and began mimicking McGee's stretches. They caught eyes, and Tony noticed McGee looking at him seriously.
"Look Tony, whatever we gotta do for Kort, I don't want to be winded. I don't want physical performance to limit us. Or worse, get us killed. It's just that… I care about you Tony, and we gotta be at our best shape."
"I know I know McGee. Let's just get this done. Omelet's after?"
"Sure Tony." McGee smiled at his friend and began a slow jog along the track. Tony pulled himself together, and jogged after him. I sure as hell hope whatever Kort has us do isn't this bad.
So as I said before, I will be posting this fic seperate from the Pyrrhic Clause, and invite you to check it out! If you like. Also (as stated above, I wrote my first oneshots today. They're called "Window Seat?" and "You Are Not Don Juan Triumphant". I hope you enjoy!