Notes: At the request of a couple of reviewers, I have decided to write a companion piece to "Dirty Little Secret." This idea also came from the NFA pairing generator. The pairing this time is Jenny Shepard/Jordan Hampton, and the phrase is "the morning after." It centers about what Tim thinks he hears – or doesn't hear – from the break room. Scuttlebutt can be vicious.
The elevator dinged, and Tim stepped off with a huge grin plastered on his face. Tony was already at his desk, and noticed his partner's expression.
"I know that kind of smile, Probie… was it good?"
Tim only let his smile get wider. Oh, it was definitely good. Amazing, in fact. He and Jordan had continued to see each other after Ducky found out, and neither person regretted it in the least. He ignored Tony's ribbing as he set his bag down at his desk. Gibbs hadn't arrived yet, so Tim escaped to the break room to get a cup of coffee. As he approached the break room, he heard female voices. He stopped short of the door when he recognized who was talking.
"So…how was it?' Jenny asked.
"Amazing! Absolutely incredible!" Jordan said excitedly.
Tim beamed. He must have been better in bed than he'd thought.
"Wow… I didn't know it could be that good…"
"Jenny, you haven't lived then."
Tim's face reddened. Did Jordan really imply that sex with him was better than any foray of Jenny's? He wondered if that included Gibbs.
"There was only one problem…"
Oh no. What had he done? How could he have possibly messed up that?
"The morning after is the worst."
"I always feel sick the morning after. I'm not sure it's even worth it anymore."
Tim's stomach dropped. Had she been faking it with him this whole time? Was he really that terrible in bed? Worse yet, the Director now knew everything about his sexual escapades with a woman that another colleague had been smitten with.
Tim whirled around.
"Quit eavesdropping, McGee."
"Go get your gear. We have a body dump in Manassas."
Face red, McGee hurried off to get his bag. Gibbs stepped into the break room. Jenny and Dr. Hampton were sitting at a table, chatting over coffee.
"Good Morning, Jethro," Jenny said, smiling.
Jethro grunted as he put his lunch in the refrigerator. He started to walk out, but stopped himself and turned around. Jenny had a goofy look on her face, like she'd been giggling about something.
"What's so funny?"
"How red was Tim's face?" Jordan asked.
Jethro cracked a smile.
"Red as a beet."
The girls exploded into giggles.
"What is it that you two were talking about, anyway?"
"Jordan was telling me about a tiramisu at a coffee shop both of us like to go to," Jenny explained. When I saw Agent McGee hovering at the door, I decided he needed a lesson on eavesdropping."
Jethro stood there for a moment, and broke into a grin.
"It's brilliant, Jen. Don't tell him yet, though. I have other ideas." He smirked and left the girls to their devices. He had a crime scene to get to.
Gibbs' first order of business was ordering McGee to ride in the back of the truck. He did so without complaint, even after Tony made a few comments. He made a point to drive more erratically than he usually did. He felt a little bad when Tim climbed out of the back of the truck at the crime scene looking sickly. He ordered Tony to take the photos, and put McGee on bag and tag. Tim did everything without a single complaint, even when he had to climb into ankle deep mud to collect a blood sample from a low branch.
When he tripped and fell into the mud on his way back to solid ground, he didn't whine and complain when DiNozzo started laughing at him. He simply got up and shook off the mud. Gibbs could tell by his actions that his Junior Agent's confidence was waning. He went over and head slapped Tony.
"Get back to work, DiNozzo. McGee, bag that sample and go change into one of the jumpsuits from the truck."
"But I'm not done yet, Boss."
"I'll finish it. Go."
Tim trudged to the truck, mud falling from his pant legs and trailing on the ground behind him. Gibbs cracked a smile.
"What's up with McGee today?" Tony asked.
"Mind your own business and finish up those photos, DiNozzo."
"Geez, touchy…" Tony ducked to avoid the head slap that came his way, and chuckled as he resumed taking his pictures.
Tim had to spend the rest of the day wearing an NCIS jumpsuit. He'd forgotten his go bag at home, and was regretting it. He retreated to Abby's lab as soon as he got back to NCIS. As he approached, he could hear Gibbs' voice just inside the lab.
"What do you mean, it was terrible, Jen?"
"I mean she said it was deplorable, awful! She was sick for a week!"
"How dare you say that!" Abby chimed in. "It's the best I've ever had!"
Tim flushed. How could they just talk about him like that? And Abby would go on forever given the chance. He couldn't let this go on anymore. He burst into the lab, Abby's caf-pow in his shaking hand.
"Tim! What happened to your clothes?" Abby asked.
"I fell at the crime scene." He handed the Caf-Pow meekly to her. "Can I hide down here for a while?" he asked.
"Of course, Timmy," Abby said with some concern in her voice. "Are you sure you're all right?"
"I'm fine, Abbs." Tim made his way to one of her computers. "I'll work on breaking into his e-mail and other records, Boss."
Jenny exchanged a concerned look with Gibbs. He nodded. Jenny turned and left.
"Report to me as soon as you find something, McGee."
"On it, Boss," Tim said, not looking away from the screen. Gibbs turned and left without another word.
Abby went over to Tim and pulled herself up onto the counter next to him.
"Talk to me."
"Sure you are, Tim."
"I just want to get this done, Abby, so I can go home and change," he said rather coldly. Miffed, Abby jumped down from the table and resumed her work with Major Mass Spec.
Tim worked in silence for the next few hours. He kept his interaction with Abby to a minimum. He just wanted the day to be over, so he could go home and lock himself away in his apartment, away from everyone. Not only did everyone seem to know about his sexual escapade with Jordan, but he had to top it off by falling at the crime scene and being stuck in a ridculous outfit all day.
Gibbs came down eventually to check his progress.
"You have a report for me, McGee?" he asked, hovering behind his junior agent.
"There's nothing unusual in PFC Green's office e-mail. I did find these in his personal inbox." He pulled up several e-mails to show Gibbs. "He's got several e-mails from a woman named Jane. There's no indication of who Jane is, and her e-mails are pretty well encrypted."
"Find out who Jane is, and where those e-mails came from."
"On it, Boss."
Tim turned and started typing again.
"At your desk, McGee. You've been hiding down here all day."
Tim sighed and averted his gaze to the keyboard.
"Yes, Boss." He pushed himself away from the computer and stalked out of the lab. Gibbs exchanged a look with Abby.
"Gibbs, you have to tell him. He's reverting back into that shell he had when I first met him, and it will take me forever to get him out of it again."
Gibbs nodded and turned to follow Tim. He found the agent waiting for the elevator. It opened as Gibbs approached, and the two stepped in. As it moved up toward the squad room. Gibbs reached out and pulled the stop.
"What have I told you about scuttlebutt, McGee?" Gibbs asked, getting right to the point. McGee looked away from his Boss. He knew what Gibbs was getting at.
"Never believe what I hear."
"Pretty sure I made that a rule, too, didn't I?"
"What do you think you heard Dr. Hampton talkingto the Director about this morning? "
"What about earlier in the lab, when I was talking to Abby? What did you think we were talking about?"
"It's embarrassing. I don't want to repeat it."
"I don't care, McGee!" Gibbs grabbed Tim by the shoulder and turned the junior agent to face him. "You assumed that Dr. Hampton was telling the Director about her experience with you in bed, and you let it cloud your thinking all day. Then you assume Abby was about to talk about your escapades with her, and burst into the lab half-cocked. What did you think you were going to say when you came into the Lab?"
"Now that you say it like that, it sounds so stupid."
"It is stupid, McGee. I shouldn't have to tell you how much trouble eavesdropping can cause. You're an adult."
"I understand, Boss."
"I hope you've learned your lesson, Tim."
"I definitely have."
"Good." Gibbs looked at his watch. It's nearly 2100 hours. Go home. You can finish up in the morning."
"But the e-mail—I need to break the encryption—"
"You need to go home and take a shower, McGee. That's an order,"
The elevator dinged, and opened at the squad room. Gibbs got off, and Jordan got on. Tim turned to her as the doors closed, but she turned away.
"You have every right to be annoyed with me, Jordan. I've been an ass today."
"You're damn right," she said angrily, turning back to face him. "How dare you think I would go around talking about you and me, especially to the Director, of all people!"
"If you had just come into the break room instead of snooping, I would have told you that we were talking about tiramisu!"
"Of course! The Director and I go to the same coffee shop, and we were talking about how much we like the Tiramisu cupcakes they serve there."
Tim wanted to bury his head in the floor. He felt like a heel.
"I'm so sorry, Jordan. I'm an idiot. Can you ever forgive my stupidity?" He slowly put his arms around her waist. "Please?"
"We'll have to discuss it, after you buy me one of those cupcakes." She let him get a smooch in, and took his arms from around her. "If you behave, maybe we can do…other things… a little later tonight."
"Sounds like a plan," he said, grinning. He leaned in and kissed her. At that moment, the elevator opened at the garage level, revealing Tony and Ziva, who had been waiting on the elevator for quite some time.
"Oh, for the love of… could you two please get a room?"
Tim pulled away from the kiss and glared at Tony.
"The offer is still out there for a fridge in autopsy, Tony."
Tim laughed as Tony visibly gulped and stepped out of the way. Tim took Jordan's hand and led her out to the parking lot.