"Tony...hey Tony." Tim shakes his friend's shoulder and smiles as the senior agent blinks up at him.
"Tim? What?" Tony rubs his eyes and Tim goes over to the window. "You wanted to get up now and Ms. S. Violet is back. She just walked in the house." He says as he surreptitiously watches Tony stretch before the other man heads into the restroom for a quick shower and shave. Turning his attention back to their assignment, Tim adjusts his jeans wondering just when he'd started seeing Tony as something other than a partner. Has his love life or lack thereof turned him gay?
"I still think her name should be plum." Tony says as he comes out of the restroom dressed in just a towel as he rubs another one over his hair. Tim chuckles as he slides another glance at his partner. Tony's abs aren't quite as well defined as they used to be, and there are a few gray hairs on the other man's chest, but it's what is under the towel that is capturing Tim's attention and he chuckles again to hide his involuntary reaction when Tony starts to pull the towel off and put dry clothes on.
"You're thinking of Clue again aren't you? Well this little mouse of ours is definitely not shrinking much. She's not very shy either. I've watched her and it's clear that she's up to something. I'm still running a program to try and decipher what it is. For now, she's in the kitchen making herself a late night snack."
"Do you think it's a cheese sandwich? You keep calling her a mouse." Tony says as he puts a hand on Tim's shoulder letting him know he's ready to take over. He frowns as Tim jumps slightly from the light contact.
"Hmm...well Fornell called her a mouse or a shrinking violet. From what I've seen, she might be more of a cougar, but the last time we saw one of those, well I won't bother you as I'm sure you've had enough heckling about it over the years."
Tim yawns and Tony shakes his head as he looks at the time. Tim had actually let him sleep for about two extra hours and not woken him at 21:00. Gibbs and Ziva were following a different lead while Tim and Tony kept surveillance on the house. They'd come into the case late as it was, no thanks to Fornell and the FBI keeping them in the dark about it for so long.
Forty eight hours ago:
"Gibbs! Need to talk to you, my office." Vance had been quiet most of the week, handing out assignments to the teams sparingly during this last week of moving. None of the teams had had much to do aside from being patient as their equipment disappeared from the Navy Yard and was subsequently set up at their new offices in Quantico. Driving from one to the other was a pain in the proverbial ass, so Team Gibbs and Team Balboa had both volunteered to stay at the Yard while the other teams got the new offices set up, and Vance had tried to make it so that they wouldn't have to do much more than cold cases, something they could use a laptop for rather than their desktops. Most of the computers in cybercrimes and MTAC were outdated enough that they didn't have to be moved and would be cleaned and scrapped once the teams were out completely.
Abby was almost completely set up with all her specialized forensic equipment and was excitedly emailing or texting them about the new equipment she was working with too. Ducky and Jimmy had a bit more to do as they made sure that the Autopsy Room at Quantico was spic and span. Ducky and Jimmy were both double checking with all the agencies to make sure there were no surprise guests waiting for them upon their arrival.
As for Team Gibbs, this is their first assignment in days and they leaped at the chance to get out even for a few hours. Admittedly the FBI and Fornell had delayed in telling them about it, but the newest killing had been a Marine and Fornell called Vance to let him know.
"We've been trying to catch her in the act so to speak. She was almost beneath our radar until this last murder happened."
"Why?" Gibbs asked quietly.
"She was the last one to see him alive. He hadn't been home more than 12 hours. We know she's involved but we haven't been able to prove it."
"Our case then or joint?" Gibbs looks at Vance who in turn looks at Fornell.
"Up until the Marine was killed it was solely an FBI case. Now we need to work together, or at least have your team keep us updated as you do tend to find things quicker than we can sometimes." Tobias looks at Gibbs who nods slowly.
"Where have you been doing surveillance from?" Gibbs question is interrupted by Vance.
"Can you two work together outside of my office?"
Both men smile and walk out to the squad room where three pairs of eyes look up from laptops. "Gear up! Tobias is with me. You three follow us and DiNozzo you're driving, McGee bring your laptop."
As his team hastens to comply Gibbs takes Tobias into the nearest conference room and gets more details. By the time the team leader rejoins them, Fornell is nowhere to be seen and Gibbs is furious to say the least. Tony quietly motions for Ziva to go with Gibbs while he and Tim follow behind.
Gibbs waits until they're all in the garage before telling them what he's found out. "They've supposedly been doing surveillance in shifts. However, she slipped past them four hours ago. Tony, you and Tim go set up in a house across the street. There's an empty one that's for rent. It's supposedly a gay neighborhood; can you two pull off being lovers for a few days and not kill each other in the process?" Gibbs didn't wait for an answer as he continues.
"Ziva and I will set up in the hotel where Lance Corporal McGruff was found."
"Wasn't McGruff a crime dog?" DiNozzo quips and winces as Gibbs smacks him in the head.
"Go home pack your bags for at least a two night stay. Here's the address of the house you'll be renting while you're there."
"Will two nights be enough boss?" Tim asks and receives his own headslap this time from Tony.
"Think laundromat McQuery and let's go. We've got at least a six hour drive ahead of us."
By the time they arrive, another eight hours pass. One of packing and confirming just where they were setting up at, six hours of driving and another hour buying enough groceries to last a few days. Tim also brings two airbeds with bedding, just in case the house isn't furnished the first night. As they pull up to the house and start bringing their gear inside, Tony sighs knowing that there probably won't be a television set and is surprised when Tim pulls out a separate laptop with several DVD's in the case.
"I could kiss you McGee!" Tony says and proceeds to do just that. There is clapping from an unknown source and both men turn to see a couple of men standing outside the door and to their left.
"I'm Hank this is Tom. We're your neighbors two doors down." Hank has his hand extended and Tony shakes it while Tim blushes.
"You two newlyweds so to speak?" Hank asks and Tony nods.
"Yeah, we finally got a break from work and wanted to see about housing. It's not been easy keeping our relationship from everyone these past few years and Timmy here saw an ad about the house so we thought we'd come check it out. I'm Tony by the way."
Tom looks at Tim who is still blushing. "You don't get a lot of public exposure. It's okay kid; we're all on the same side here so to speak. Nothing to be embarrassed about, and you'll get used to seeing us around. We're part of the neighborhood watch."
"Really?" Tony asks and looks at the houses surrounding them.
"Yeah, we've got quite a few couples that have just moved in actually. You guys are the finishing touch I guess you'd say. Not that it's anything bad. Most of the couples on this side of the block are men. The women are actually at the far end of the block where we can help protect them. The only exception is the couple that are across the street from you two." Tom says as he points out the women's housing.
"What makes them the exception?" Tim asks as he accepts Tom's handshake.
"They're the Taylors, the only traditional couple I guess you'd say. He works all night and she works all day. We don't see too much of him actually, but they seemed nice enough. "
Tim and Tony say nothing and to Tony's pride, Tim manages to keep his poker face on. They'd been told that there was no couple across the street. Just the woman, Ms. S. Violet. Not a woman and a man. And there had been no mention of a Mr. Taylor. Since finding out about the couple, he and Tim have been taking turns spending eight hours each, watching for Mr. Taylor to leave or even arrive home but so far, only Ms. S. Violet as Fornell called her, has left the house.
Tim yawns again and Tony tells him to get some sleep. "Okay, hey Tony, did you know Taylor or t-a-i-l-o-r actually is a synonym for plumb or plumber?"
Tim falls asleep and Tony thinks about that for a few minutes then pulls out a pad and pen as he starts scribbling. An hour later, he's on the phone to Gibbs who smiles as he tips his coffee cup to his senior agent.
"Good job you two. Stay there, keep an eye on the house. If it's what I think, she's trolling for business and it's not plumbing Tony. Tell McGee good work on that aspect." Gibbs hangs up and then curses as he thinks about what his agents might have actually stumbled into. He calls Ziva as he races down the stairs then calls Vance and Fornell. He's about to call Tony when his phone rings and he almost shuts it again when he hears Tony asking someone Gibbs can't see to call the police.
Tony sighs as he hangs up on Gibbs and looks down at the sleeping form on the bed. He hasn't told anyone about his feelings for Tim. How they've changed over the years from an almost big brother to that of lover. The kiss he'd given Tim upon their arrival didn't help matters any either. If not for the timely arrival of Tom and Hank, (he still gets a chuckle out of that coincidence) he knows he could have exposed a lot more than just gratitude. He glances out the window and frowns.
They haven't seen Mr. Taylor and according to Fornell's information there hasn't been one in the neighborhood since the FBI set up surveillance. What if there wasn't one. What if Ms. Violet, or Ms. Plum as Tony likes to think of her, what if she had gotten rid of Mr. Taylor? Tim's words from earlier that night come back to him. The game of Clue, Ms. Plum, in a library or study or...
"Clue...Ms Plum with a pipe wrench. McGruff had been killed with a plumber's implement. Ducky managed to confirm it. Only instead of the study she did it in a hotel suite."
He turns to Tim who is still sleeping peacefully and reluctantly shakes him awake. As Tim blinks up at him Tony puts a hand over his mouth and motions towards the house across the street. Tim nods instantly knowing that Tony wants to have back up as they go check out the house across the street. Out of habit, Tim pulls out his cell phone and hits the speed dial for Gibbs as he follows Tony outside.
The call hasn't quite gone through when they see Tom and Hank making their rounds and Tony motions for the two neighborhood watch commanders to call the police. Hank pulls out his cell phone while Tom asks Tony what is going on.
"No one has seen Mr. Taylor since they moved in? We think Mrs. Taylor might be a murderer. She's the main suspect in another murder investigation."
Tom looks at Hank who smiles grimly. Both men pull out weapons and Tim and Tony slowly back up. Tim stealthily hides his phone behind nearby bush while Tony stares at Tom who shrugs before saying, "We knew someone would figure it out, just didn't expect it to be you two. Hey Petunia, time to go honey!"
Hank then motions for Petunia to come forward. The woman is swearing as she brings out two bulging suitcases and throws them at Hank who laughs at her as he loads them into a nearby car. With two backs turned and Tom distracted, the two NCIS agents pounce. Gibbs listens grimly as his two men fight for their lives. He's not sure just how Tim managed to avoid getting his phone taken away, but withholds his words until he can get to his men and provide them with backup. Within minutes he's screeching to a halt and laughs silently as he listens to Tony breathing hard as he tells the three culprits,
"You know, you might have gotten away with it, but between the two of us, you've got two Clue masters."
All three of the others look blankly at Tony and Tim who smile through their bumps and bruises. Gibbs laughs again as he shakes his head. Only Tony could put things together the way that he does.
"Professor Plum did it with a pipe wrench in the library or in this case the hotel suite. Plum being purple or violet and tailor being a plumbing synonym. Oh and petunias can be violet or purple too. Nice play on words, but not near intelligent enough to get past the team of DiNozzo and McGee."
Tim rolls his eyes at his partner and Gibbs frowns when the younger agent winces. "You okay Tim?"
"Yeah, boss a bit bumped and bruised but I'll survive." Tim answers softly and Gibbs stares at him. Tim blushes as he looks away from his boss's all-knowing gaze.
Then Gibbs looks at Tony who is trying really hard to keep his gaze off of Tim. Sighing in resignation, knowing without the words being said that his agents need time to talk to each other he motions for Ziva, who finishes gathering their equipment and shuts the door behind her.
Gibbs then dials Tony's phone. "Hey DiNozzo, you've got an extra 52 hours and a free hotel room; tell him how you feel. It's gonna take that long for me to finish tearing that strip off of Fornell." Click!
Tony gulps as he hangs up. He should have known Gibbs would figure it out. He smiles as he realizes just what Gibbs said, and gently ushers Tim into their car. Driving back to Gibbs' hotel he uses the key card that he finds on the seat beside him and together the two agents head up to the room that has been set aside for them. Tim is listing to one side and Tony frowns until he realizes that Tim really hasn't had a lot of sleep the past few hours.
"Come on Timmy, let's get you put to bed." Tony says softly as he steers Tim towards what is now their room. Tim sighs as he sinks down onto the soft mattress. Tony watches as he almost falls over backwards and stops him before he can.
"Hey, strip down to your boxers, you know how you hate to sleep in your clothes." Tony says and Tim nods. When Tim's eyes start closing before he even gets his shirt unbuttoned, Tony sighs and nudges him gently. Tim lays his head on Tony's shoulder not protesting as the older man quickly and efficiently strips him.
"Thanks Tony," Tim murmurs as his head finally hits the pillow. Tony finishes stripping down to his own boxers and slips into bed behind Tim, smiling as Tim grabs his arm, wrapping it around his waist.
"You're welcome, Probie." Tony says as he pulls the covers up over them. With his arm securely around Tim's waist, he tugs Tim into his embrace, smiling as Tim willingly turns in his sleep, and tucks his head under Tony's chin.
A few hours later, Tony wakens and finds nimble fingers lightly tracing over his chest. Tony inhales slightly when those same fingers slip under the waist band of his boxers and slowly, gently fold around him. Sleepy green eyes blink up at him asking silently if he wants their owner to continue and Tony nods as he traces Tim's face.
Tipping Tim's face up to his own, Tony leans in and gives Tim their first real kiss. Tim is relaxed as he returns the kiss then turns his attention to where his hand is. He looks at Tony and whispers, "You wanna return the favor?"
Tony chuckles as he slips his hand inside Tim's boxers and the younger man sighs as Tony's slightly callused fingers cup around him. Tony nibbles on Tim's neck as he fondles the sac in his hand. "How do you manage to hide this McPackage?"
Tim slightly tightens his grip before sliding his hand lower and cupping Tony's own package. Tony inhales as Tim nips his ear. "I had a good teacher, his name is DiNutso" and Tony groans as a finger traces around his lower head.
Hours later, sated in ways he hadn't thought possible, Tony wraps his arms once more around the man he calls partner and friend. Tim is lying with his head on Tony's chest, listening as both their heartbeats return to normal.
Tracing a path on Tim's cheek, smiling as Tim returns the favor on his chest, Tony whispers, "Probie took on a whole new meaning tonight."
Tim whispers back, "It's another synonym for plumb."
They both giggle as exhaustion overtakes them and they finally fall asleep.
Two weeks later: Tony saunters into their new squad room and smiles when he sees his partner, lover and friend already hard at work making sure their new computers are up and running smoothly. Remembering when a green probie had first caught his attention by using the word Trojan in a computer context he leans down and whispers, "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth Probie?"
Tim immediately knows what he's referring to and sits back on his heels, green eyes sparkling as he whispers back, "No, but I kiss my lover with it." Accepting Tony's hand up off the floor, he heads over to his desk and Tony watches admiringly as the new slacks tighten over Tim's buttocks. Tim then straightens and hands Tony a bag. Frowning as he knows it's not his birthday or Tim's, he looks inquiringly at the younger man who smiles as he says, "Wanna play Clue tonight?"
Inside the bag are a dozen purple plums and Tony bursts out laughing as he nods in acceptance.