AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Timothy McGee/Jimmy Palmer
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Tim and Jimmy have been together for several years and their future seems secure. However, it isn't all plain sailing as Jimmy wakes up one day to he discover has partial amnesia. The doctors have said there is little chance he will regain the lost memories, but Tim still hopes.
WORD COUNT: 2,070
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Tim came back into the bedroom after showering and stared at the bed where Jimmy was sleeping peacefully - at least he appeared to be sleeping peacefully. Rubbing his hair dry with a towel, Tim stared down at his sleeping lover and allowed himself to do what he never allowed himself to do when Jimmy was awake and with him: wish for the complete Jimmy to wake up, to come back to him.
He let the fantasy of Jimmy and him enjoying the life they should have had when he had been offered the directorship of NCIS and Jimmy had been offered a position lecturing on the subject of medical examinations. They had both taken up their new roles and had both found them challenging and enjoyable, and as much as Tim had missed just being able to pop down to Autopsy to see Jimmy, he knew it was better all round for them and for the agency that Jimmy didn't work for NCIS any longer.
They balanced their busy schedules very well, both men as much as they loved their jobs loved one another more, and they were both determined not to turn into people who did nothing but work. And despite the long hours Tim in particular worked, they had managed to find the perfect balance.
They had even talked about visiting Tim's parents and Jimmy's mother and letting them finally meet the man their son had fallen in love with. When he had called his parents, Tim's father had surprised him when, after falling silent for so long Tim had thought his father had suffered a heart attack or a stroke, had actually told Tim he was proud of him for being himself. Jimmy's mother had been a little quiet, but had told Jimmy she would like to meet Tim.
They had the trips planned, for the autumn, and were looking forward to spending some time away from DC. And then, in what seemed like a blink of eye, everything changed when Jimmy witnessed a horrendous crime. He suffered with nightmares for weeks after seeing it and all Tim could do was to hold him and try to calm him. Things had got a little better and then Jimmy had had to go to court to give evidence. Again he suffered nightmares as a result of the grueling questioning and cross-examination. Again all Tim could do was hold him and try to calm him.
His evidence had been critical and the key to the trial and he had delivered it calmly, professionally, politely - not once did he let the defendant's' team upset him or make him angry or flustered, not once did he back down. Thus, no one was surprised when the man was convicted and sentenced to the death sentence. Tim had breathed a sigh of relief and had believed the worst was over and had expected they would return to their lives.
And then they woke up the morning following the sentencing only to discover that Jimmy had partial amnesia. He knew who Tim was; he knew they lived together; he knew they were lovers; he knew he was a doctor. However, he didn't remember anything that had happened since Tim had become director of NCIS, and he believed he still worked for NCIS as the Medical Examiner. And nor, to the surprise of the doctors, did he remember his life before NCIS. His world seemed to have contracted into fifteen years - the fifteen years he had spent working for NCIS; the fifteen years he had known Tim for.
For nine months they had lived a strange life between Jimmy knowing everything and knowing nothing about his life. The doctors (and they visited plenty) couldn't explain why Jimmy had lost all memory of his life prior to NCIS. The explanation for post-NCIS was far simpler; the doctors believed that was down to the horrific crime Jimmy had witnessed and his mind's desire to simply forget it. However, as from as Tim was aware nothing had happened to Jimmy when he'd been a child, teenager or young man which he would want to forget.
Mental illness; a brain tumor; brain damage; an undiagnosed illness that had affected his brain were all suggested and all ruled out after visits to several neurosurgeons had probed and prodded and x-rayed and CT'd and carried out more tests than Tim had thought existed. And after everything had been done and bills which weren't covered by their insurance were paid they were still in exactly the same position as they had been.
Serendipitously, NCIS's current Medical Examiner had tendered his resignation, citing the arduously long hours and Tim was allowed to bring Jimmy back to NCIS to do the job he'd been doing since Ducky had retired.
And so they settled in, Jimmy far more easily and acceptingly than Tim, to their new life. In one respect nothing at all had changed, as they still talked about life at NCIS, Tim's books, Gibbs, Ducky, the rest of the team, their life together, their favorite restaurants, books, films, music and everything else a couple talks about - as long as it only involved the last fifteen years.
But in every other respect everything had changed. Tim tried; he tried really hard to just behave normally, to behave as if his lover hadn't lost his recent memory and his memory of life before NCIS. However, it became increasingly more difficult and he found himself second-guessing everything he said and planning carefully anything he said, least he inadvertently refer back to a time that Jimmy couldn't remember. And of course the harder he tried to be normal, the more carefully he planned everything out, the worse it became.
They started to get irritated with one another; they started to bicker; they started to argue; long silences and reproachful looks followed by intense lovemaking and apologies and 'it won't happen again' became part of their daily lives. Tim couldn't understand why Jimmy could be so accepting; why he didn't seem particularly bothered by the fact he couldn't even remember his mother. And Jimmy couldn't understand why Tim couldn't just accept it - after all the problem was Jimmy's, as he'd told Tim on more than one occasion.
Everything, including photos of his mother, that involved Jimmy's life before NCIS, had been packed away and were in a box in the basement and Tim worried that, given no one had any explanation as to why Jimmy had lost his early memory, one day Jimmy would wake up and have forgotten Tim and then he'd be locked away in a box in the basement.
The doctors had warned them that the longer the amnesia went on for, the less chance there was that Jimmy would ever regain his full memory. However, Tim stubbornly clung to the hope they were wrong and that the day would come when Jimmy would wake up and be the whole Jimmy again.
He sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed and let his fingers slide into Jimmy's hair. "I do love you, Jimmy," he murmured, aware he couldn't remember the last time he'd said the words - not even certain when the last time had been that he'd shown Jimmy he loved him. He bent and kissed Jimmy's forehead. "We'll get through this," he vowed.
Part of his wanted to wake Jimmy up, if only to reassure himself that Jimmy knew who he was. However, Jimmy had been called out on a case during the night and had stayed at NCIS in order to conduct the autopsy, and Tim knew he needed to sleep. Thus he stood up and dressed in a suit and dress shirt, but daringly didn't bother with a tie.
It was Saturday and they had planned to spend the day watching old movies, eating popcorn and just relaxing together. But at the last minute a meeting for agency directors had been arranged and so Tim had to go into town. The meeting had been scheduled for a mere forty minutes - which meant an hour - but given Tim knew the FBI's director was about to go out of town to visit his baby grandson for the first time, he was confident he'd be home again in a couple of hours.
He kissed Jimmy's forehead again. "I'll be back as soon as I can," he murmured, "then we can have our weekend."
FOUR HOURS LATER
Tim pulled his car into the drive of the house he and Jimmy lived in. The FBI director had indeed up and left after an hour - he'd laughing said his wife had threatened him with divorce if he dared to stay longer - but the other directors had insisted on carrying on with the discussion.
It had been a waste of four hours because by the time Tim had stood up and declared enough was enough and that they weren't getting anywhere, in fact all they'd done was go round in a full circle and were back to where they'd started, his head was aching and he was beginning to give serious consideration to quitting NCIS and taking up writing again.
As he opened the front door he heard Jimmy talking to someone; he sounded happy, excited, he even laughed and Tim heard the softer sound of a woman's voice answer him. He sighed and gritted his teeth; the last thing he needed was a visitor.
He wondered which of their neighbors had dropped by to see Jimmy and no doubt bring them a casserole or a cake or scones or something. The neighborhood, despite being for the most part a generation older then Tim and Jimmy, didn't seem at all fazed by the arrival of the 'young gay couple', quite the opposite in fact. However, the women seemed to believe that neither Tim nor Jimmy was capable of cooking and as such they kept turning up on the doorstep with food for them.
He forced a smile onto his face and prepared to be polite and welcoming, but also determined to get rid of their neighbor as soon as possible. He pushed open the door to the lounge and called, "Hey, Jimmy, I'm home."
His arm was grabbed as soon as he was part of the way into the lounge and he looked at Jimmy to see him beaming, his eyes shone and Tim swore he was all but bouncing on the spot. "Tim!" Jimmy declared, throwing his arms around him and hugging so tightly Tim felt the breath pushed out of him. And then to Tim's greater surprise, Jimmy kissed him; it was nothing more than a quick kiss, lips brushing over lips, but even so.
Finally, just as Tim thought he might actually pass out, Jimmy broke the fierce embrace, grabbed Tim's hand and pulled him further into the room. Tim saw a woman rise to her feet and instantly knew she wasn't one of their neighbors. It was someone he'd never met before, but someone whom he recognized from photos.
He turned his attention from her and looked at his lover. "Jimmy?" he whispered, hardly daring to breathe. "Has your . . . ? Can you . . . ? Is it . . . ?" He cursed himself for turning into a stammering fool, but he couldn't, he didn't dare, complete the sentence least Jimmy's answer disappoint him - as he was quite certain it would.
Jimmy went on beaming at him as he dragged him across the room to where the smiling, bright-eyed woman stood. "Mom, meet Tim."
Tim was almost too stunned to do anything more than fall back on his instincts and he held out his hand. "Hello, Mrs. Palmer," he said, "I'm so pleased to meet you."
She smiled and ignored his hand and put her arms around him. "And I'm really pleased to finally meet you, Timothy," she said, and kissed his cheek. "I could hardly believe it when Jimmy called me and -" She stopped speaking and swallowed hard as tears glistened in her eyes.
Jimmy put an arm around his mother's shoulders and took Tim's hand and smiled at him.
Tim swallowed hard and fought the tears that wanted to fill his own eyes. He was back; Jimmy was back; his lover was whole and all. Jimmy was back. Jimmy had come back to him.