AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Timothy McGee/Jimmy Palmer
SUMMARY: Jimmy overhears Abby and Tim talking.
WORD COUNT: 792
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Jimmy was about to take the blood sample into Abby's lab when he paused as he heard Abby and Tim talking.
"You should just tell him, Timmy."
"How can I, Abby? It's not the sort of thing you can just say to another man."
Knowing he really shouldn't eavesdrop, that it was the height of bad manners, that Dr. Mallard would be very angry with him, Jimmy nonetheless stayed where he was, making sure he didn't move or make a sound and listened to what Abby and Tim were saying.
"He might not even like me."
"Timmy, you are like Ducky, everyone likes you."
Jimmy guessed that Tim would be blushing now at Abby's words. And in Jimmy's opinion they were true. There was nothing even remotely controversial about Tim, nothing anyone could object to. He didn't put people down, not even in fun, he didn't play tricks on people, he didn't want to know everything about them, he wasn't at all prejudiced, he wasn't sarcastic or unpleasant, he never made himself out to be better than anyone else. Of course everyone liked him, what was there not to like?
He heard Tim finally reply, his tone clearly showed how pleased and somewhat embarrassed he was by Abby's words. "But he might not like me in the way I like him."
Jimmy heard Abby sigh. "Well, Tim, there's only two ways you'll find out, isn't there?"
"Well, three really, but I can just see your face if I suggest the third option."
"I tell him."
Jimmy strained his ears and heard the sound of Tim spluttering and then coughing and Abby laughing softly.
It was several seconds before he heard Tim speak again. "So tell me the two options then."
"One: you simply tell him how you feel about him and see what he says." Jimmy knew Abby would be beaming her pussycat smile now.
"Oh, right, Abby, yes, I can do that. I'll say, 'Hey, Jimmy, can I have a word with you? You see the thing is, Jimmy, I'm love with you'."
The sample Jimmy was holding slipped from his hand but he managed to just catch it before it hit the floor. He took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes; had he heard correctly? Had Tim just said his name and that he loved him?
"Well, it wouldn't leave anything in doubt, would it? But if you want to be more subtle about it, why don't you suggest you go for a drink and talk and . . ."
"And what, Abby?"
"See what vibes you pick up from him. You've done it with women."
Tim sighed. "I know. But I never worried about being punched in the face with a woman."
"Hmmm, I can understand that, you're not Tony. But Jimmy wouldn't hit you; he's too nice, too gentle, too sweet. Hey, don't look at me like that, Tim, I don't like him in that way." Again there was silence then Abby said softly, "You really like him, don't you?" Her voice was softer.
Jimmy heard Tim sigh. "Yeah, Abby," he said equally softly, "In fact I really, really like him."
"Oh, Timmy," Jimmy heard Abby say. "Come here." And Jimmy knew Abby was hugging Tim. He tightened the grip he had on the sample bottle; feeling it start to dig into his hand he loosened his grip.
"And you're not going to tell him, are you?" He heard Abby say.
Tim sighed. "No, no, Abby, I'm not."
"I better go; Gibbs will be wondering where I am."
Realizing he was still standing outside the door Jimmy fled at top speed. He didn't stop running until he reached Autopsy.
"Is something amiss, Mr. Palmer?"
"What? No, Doctor, nothing, it's just . . ." Jimmy trailed off as he saw Dr. Mallard's gaze come to rest on the sample bottle he still held. "Er, I can explain."
Jimmy thought for a moment. "Probably not. I'll take it now, Doctor," he said and before Ducky could object he hurried out of Autopsy and back up to Abby's lab.
As he hurried along his mind replayed Tim and Abby's conversation; Tim liked him, no he didn't just like him, he really, really liked him. Jimmy felt a huge smile touch his lips; now all he had to do was to come up with a way to invite Tim out for a drink, a drink that didn't involve the rest of the team. And if he couldn't think of a way well . . . Maybe, just maybe he'd also confide in Abby and ask her to help.
Decision made he forced himself to stop smiling like an idiot and hurried into Abby's lab.