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Gibbs was relatively sure it was an accident. It was only an old cold case that they were following up on. It was truly unnecessary that they all had even gone out. Ducky had tagged along claiming he needed to get a better sense of the environment for his psychological theories. Nobody was out to get them at the moment, well nobody beyond the usual contestants. Tony hadn't tried to purposefully endanger Mcgee in months. Ziva, who had been becoming progressively more annoyed with them all day had been across the field pretending to take photographs. Only Tony and Mcgee could turn a verbal sparring match into an episode worthy of the Three Stooges.
Somehow they had both pulled each other down a ravine. Both were mud covered messes. Tony had stumbled back up the hill slightly bruised and very ruffled. Gibbs knew that he was fine. The sudden shift in his level of perceived pain was due solely to the fact that Ziva had come to see what the commotion was about. His senior field agent's acting was nowhere near convincing. He couldn't have been more obvious than if he's told Ziva flat out that he wanted attention and felt that only she could effectively bandage his wounds. At least he was sure Ziva knew that too. None the less she played along and helped him back to the truck. Very special agent indeed.
Mcgee had half hopped back up the hill threatening DiNozzo with every other breath. He'd made it about half way before giving up. Once Gibbs retrieved him and found Ducky it was blatantly obvious that broken bones were involved. Ducky informed them he would not be fixing this problem for them. Bethesda was looming. Gibbs had left Ziva to deal with Tony while he and Ducky loaded Mcgee into one of the cars. Multiple headships were going to be required. This was going to mean more paperwork. On the job injuries were to be expected. However, that didn't include letting your overgrown child of a partner coerce you into behaving less than half your age.
The trio arrived at Bethesda and had Ducky's findings confirmed. Tim had managed to break his foot. It wasn't too bad. The doctors were able to reset it without having to do surgery. They even let him have a walking cast. It could have been worse. He would only be on desk duty for a few weeks. Gibbs was ready to kill all three of them: Tony for his usual actions, Mcgee for allowing himself to be baited by Tony and Ziva…just because he was on a roll and might as well finish the job. Unfortunately that would require breaking in a new team so he supposed that fact would earn their reprieve.
Gibbs waited with Mcgee while Ducky chatted with his doctor. If nothing else this little incident had been enlightening, Tim was even more of lightweight when it came to painkillers than DiNozzo. Mcgee was…giggly… that word horrifyingly fit. His agent was happily muttering about the beauty of his phone. "And see Gibbs, you only have to use a finger and it goes swoosh! Like the big screens in LA, remember them? Just like those, but little." That phone had kept him occupied for 20 minutes. Gibbs had considered breaking it after 5 to prevent another monologue on the swooshy screen. He refrained due to the fear of what Mcgee would come up with occupy himself if the phone were to disappear.
A long glare later and Ducky had finally decided he was done talking. Attempting to get Mcgee on drugs back to the car had been a challenge. Apparently he liked to wander. The chase was hindered by the cast and he was redirected back to the waiting car. It was decided that he could not be left alone for the time being. Gibbs had planned to bring him back to his house and let him sleep it off while he sanded the latest project.
Apparently that plan was out of the running. Mcgee had started fearfully babbling about how they couldn't abandon Jethro and how he needed to be taken care of. Gibbs' horror had only been calmed when Ducky, through his laughter, had informed him that Mcgee didn't mean him. Jethro the damn dog. He could kill Abby.
Gibbs turned the car towards Mcgee's and began getting used to the idea that he would be spending quality time with the killer beast and a very drugged agent. He had taken his gun right? The last thing he needed was for Mcgee to accidentally shoot himself. They made it to Tim's apartment and Gibbs had been all too happy to leave him at the front door with Ducky while he took the dog for a walk to pick up Mcgee's prescription. With Gibbs safely out of the way, Ducky had helped Tim into his living room and settled him among electronics.
He watched Mcgee lovingly place his phone down among the computers while telling it that it was "among friends". He wondered if Mcgee would make it through the night with Jethro staying. The senior agent might throttle him. If he had been worried about Mcgee's security from the computer talk his worries doubled to downright fear over the next few moments. It was obvious that Mcgee had not been staying alone in his apartment.
Ducky took in the signs from around the room. The framed picture of her wouldn't set off too many alarms. She was Timothy's best friend after all. The scattered pile of her clothing in his room would be more likely to send Gibbs on a murderous rampage. He shut the bedroom door, hopefully he'd be gone before Gibbs discovered that. Still yet, essence of Abby was spread about the apartment. Ducky watched Mcgee happily humming to himself. Well, it would be interesting if nothing else.
"Timothy, has Abigail been here recently?" Maybe he could contain the damage. It seemed unlikely when Mcgee spoke: "Her coffin isn't all that comfortable, makes you Quasimodo, I can usually convince her to sleep here. I like the coffin. She doesn't really mind but she pretends she does." Tim had apparently not regained any of his mental filter. Ducky was sure not a soul was to know about whatever was going on between himself and the forensic scientist. He wouldn't last two seconds with Gibbs. "Oh dear Timothy, let's keep this talk of Abby's coffin just between us all right?"
A moment later, they were treated to the sight of the two Jethros making their way back into the apartment, neither looked thrilled with each other's company. Gibbs was almost in when the doctor blocked him. "Jethro I need you to promise me that whatever you may discover inside that apartment, you will refrain from comment until another day. The poor boy has had a bad enough day without you adding to his problems."
Red flags set off in his mind. Ducky trying to preempt him could only mean rule breaking had occurred. He was already losing count of the number of head slaps he was going to be doling out. Gibbs stared his friend down before nodding. "Ziva's waiting downstairs to take you home." Gibbs watched the doctor take his leave before turning back to his charge for the night.
He found Mcgee playing with his typewriter. "What are you doing?" "I read somewhere that you should write drunk and edit sober. I'm never drunk. I thought I would try. Do I count as drunk?" Gibbs could only manage raised eyebrows. That would be a yes. He just had to make sure Mcgee didn't hurt himself. It was going to be a long night.
Gibbs looked over at what Mcgee was typing. "What made you think of coffins?" "Ducky said I shouldn't talk about them. I don't remember why." Trying to understand the medicinal musings of his agent was beyond him. Gibbs settled down wait it out. It didn't take long for him to start picking out what didn't belong. He was an investigator above all else. He wasn't blind.
The free-writing was going to have to stop if it involved that shredder anymore. Gibbs surreptitiously unplugged it from the wall. It took Mcgee a few minutes of being unable to figure out why he couldn't shred anything before he got distracted. Gibbs convinced him to go to bed. It would be easier to baby sit if he was asleep, it would be wrong to harm him under the influence of narcotics.
So, he wouldn't actually hurt him, but he could scare him a little. Gibbs watched Mcgee clomp over to his bed in the cast. He was asleep before Gibbs had made it back to the door. Gibbs knew Mcgee kept a lot of things private but he was sure that his agent didn't wear miniskirts. Oh yes, Rule 12 was long gone. He would be scaring Mcgee. A few threats never hurt anybody.
Gibbs returned to the living room and pulled a random book off the shelves. He noticed what looked suspiciously like a manuscript sitting on the desk. He didn't even attempt to read it. There was only so much he could take in one night. He would leave the fallout from another publication to Tony and Ziva. He passed time half reading, half plotting his elevator "chat" with Mcgee, he had a feeling it wouldn't take many words on his part. It never did. One good glare and Mcgee would crack. They always did. He could hear the locks opening on the front door. Of course she had a key. She came and and her eyes landed directly on him. The good doctor had said nothing about interrogating Abby.
She started in on him immediately "Nobody tells me anything! I was in a clean room all day and I think you all are investigating a cold case. Then I hear Timmy's been hurt! My mind goes to bad places Gibbs! Very bad places! Ziva told me where you were. You should have called me! Where is he?" He waited for the rant to stop. "In his bedroom, apparently Mcgee's been expanding his wardrobe." She genuinely looked confused. "What?" "Never really pegged him for goth though, thought that was more your thing." Her eyes went very wide very quickly.
They always cracked. They made it too easy. "Um… I can explain…" "Why don't we skip to how long you've been living here." "I don't live here…all the time…" "How long have you been not living here?" "Months." Two of the worst liars in the world had actually managed to keep it a secret that long? That was impressive. Or he was slipping. He had reverted to staring at her, waiting for more information, when Mcgee came half tumbling out of his room.
"Hi Abby!" She looked at Gibbs questioningly, "Painkillers?" His response only required a nod. She looked back towards Mcgee. "You okay Timmy?" Apparently the pain meds were still going full force. "Of course, bad though, I think Gibbs might know about Rule 12. Ducky said to not talk about coffins. Do you know why? I like the coffin." Gibbs almost laughed. Almost. He was unaware that Abby could turn that shade of red. He was ready to leave. Abby could deal with Mcgee and his coffin fixation. He needed bourbon and sleep. One more than the other. "Night Abs, Elf Lord."
He was walking out the door when Mcgee's ramblings brought him to a dead stop. "Does he know Tony breaks rules too, I shouldn't get in trouble alone. They break them too." Gibbs had turned back. Abby had tried to shush Mcgee but it hadn't worked. Were the sanctity of his rules worth nothing? It had better not be Rule 12. Abby gave him some excuse about Tony forgetting his knife one day. He didn't buy it. It was time for him to leave. He had another rule to follow up on. Don't believe what you're told, always double check.