AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Timothy McGee/Jimmy Palmer
SUB-GENRE: First Time
SUMMARY: Both Tim and Jimmy have a secret.
WORD COUNT: 3,125
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for angstytimelord: W - Walking in the rain
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Tim had a secret. One he believed he would never tell anyone about. One that he didn't even like to admit to himself. One that he thought was weird. One he was sure other people would think was bizarre. One that he told himself he would stop indulging in. One which gave him more pleasure even than computer games. One which he believed he would do anything in the world to stop Tony from finding out about. Because if Tony knew not only would everyone else at NCIS know about it, he would tease Tim endlessly about it and take all the pleasure it gave him away from Tim.
No, no one would ever find out about it. No one.
It wasn't that he indulged in it every time; to do so would lessen the enjoyment he got out of it. No, he saved it for occasions he regarded as special, or when he needed an extra pick-me-up after a long day, a particularly hard case, a relationship which had gone wrong. Not that he able to indulge in his secret every time he needed a pick-me-up, because part of his secret was fickle and outside of his control. But coincidentally most of the time he found himself feeling in the need he got his desire and was able to indulge himself in his secret.
The last three weeks had been particularly long and arduous as they tackled one of their most sickening cases. The serial killing of naval and marine children - and they weren't just killed; they were tortured and raped first.
No one, not even Ducky, Jimmy or Abby spent many hours away from NCIS. Tim genuinely believed Gibbs hadn't been home from the day the first body had been found. He was there before Tim got to work, and more than once Tim had been there as early as five o'clock, and he was still there after Tim went home, even the night he didn't leave until three o'clock. He was in fresh clothes every day and was clean shaven and obviously had showered, so Tim guessed the boss had simply moved into NCIS for the duration. He presumed he must get some sleep at some point, but he'd never seen it.
After the first few days of the case, Tony stopped making movie references and cracking jokes at other people's expense. Tim actually found himself longing for the day when he was the butt of one of Tony's jokes again, because that would be the day when the case would have been solved and the sick bastard was behind bars. Or dead.
Accidents can happen when someone is being arrested; even the best guns aren't always reliable; even the most respected agent could trip and bring the person he was arresting down with him. Tim actually wondered if Gibbs caught the man when he was alone, if the man would be alive when he was taken back to NCIS.
Ziva's American English became far better than it had ever been and she was more somber, less likely to become irritated by Tony and carried even more weapons than was her wont.
Abby was subdued, spent almost as much time at NCIS as Gibbs did. She had become obsessed with running and rerunning and re-rerunning her tests and triple if not quadruple checking evidence, certain she had missed something; determined to find the one small thing that would help them catch the evil man.
Jimmy crept around the place as if afraid to being seen or heard. He didn't make any jokes, appropriate or inappropriate. He no longer stuttered or blushed when he spoke to Gibbs; he became quietly and almost invisibly super-efficient.
Ducky didn't tell his stories. He wore somber bow-ties and looked haunted and grey and old. He spent hours pouring over the profile he'd done on the killer. Like Abby he was second guessing himself and was certain he had missed the one thing that would deliver the bastard into Gibbs's hands. If anyone knew exactly what Gibbs was feeling and thinking, it would have been Ducky - there had been many a time Tim had come across them talking.
Occasionally, after far too few hours sleep, gritty eyed, wondering if he could find the time to actually wash some underwear and shirts, or if it wouldn't be easier just to buy new ones, Tim dared to imagine the scenario whereby Gibbs merely knocked the man out before he took him to Ducky who, willingly aided by Gibbs, performed an autopsy on him while he was still alive. Tim had no doubt at all that he, Jimmy, Tony, Ziva and Abby would all queue up to assist as well. Not that Gibbs or Ducky would let them, but it was a nice fantasy to have.
Vance appeared in the squad room twice a day every day even if at times he said nothing, just stood by Gibbs's desk until Gibbs looked up and shook his head once. Then Vance would return to his office. He looked pale; he looked worse than he'd ever looked, even after Jackie's death. It was his agency, when it came down to it, the buck stopped with him - as the SecNav seemed to take pleasure reminding him each time they spoke.
Everyone in the agency wanted to catch the monster and it wasn't just Team Gibbs who was working longer hours. However, the leads weren't coming; every way they turned seemed to bring up a loose end. Everyone was getting fractious and snapping - even Ducky. And then, just as Tim began to fear they'd never catch him, that he was going to outwit NCIS's finest, a lead came through and they had him.
It was the most perfect by the book arrest Tim had ever known. Rather than do things Tim had wondered if Gibbs just might do, Gibbs adopted a 'kid gloves' attitude', even going so far as, once they got the man back to NCIS, to get Ducky to do a physical check on the man to ensure all was well. He said he didn't want the bastard to have any chance to get off on a technicality.
The paperwork took almost as long to complete as cracking the case, as Gibbs had insisted on checking and double-checking everything. Even for a man who normally demanded perfection in paperwork, he was excessive with his insistence that every 'I' be dotted and 'T' crossed. He hovered around desks, paced, snapped until finally everything was done and he was happy. At which point Ducky had announced the team were all going out to dinner on Sunday evening - and he wasn't taking no for an answer from anyone. Anyone.
Tim was looking forward to an evening out with his coworkers. But for now he needed his personal form of winding down; he desperately needed to be able to indulge in his secret. And it looked as if he would be able to. Mindful of how hard the team had worked on the case, Gibbs was all but pushing him out of the door, if they hadn't already gone, at six o'clock.
That evening, even though he was in the middle of something, Tim had no objection to Gibbs's "Go home, Tim," instruction. Instead he just nodded, saved his work, grabbed his bag, said goodnight to Gibbs and went gone home.
Once he reached his apartment he changed from his working clothes into more casual clothes, grabbed a coat and hurried out into the rain. That was his secret: walking in the rain. He loved the freshness, the renewing feel, the naturalness of the rain on his head, his face and body. He didn't mind getting wet; he just enjoyed himself.
He ignored the people who were hurrying along, many with umbrellas, others wearing hats or with their collars turned up, cursing or muttering or glaring at the sky or wet sidewalk, and just walked along his hands out of his pockets, enjoy the steady fall of rain on his skin.
He walked towards the park where he would also be able to indulge himself by walking beneath the trees or even standing beneath one, letting the raindrops fall through the leaves, enjoying the sound as the rain hit the leaves and trickled down between them.
By the time he reached the middle of the park, there were very few people about and those who were still out were hurrying towards the exits, heads down, trying to avoid the rain. Tim felt sorry for them; sorry that they couldn't enjoy the rain; sorry that they couldn't see the beauty in it; sorry they couldn't stop for just a moment or two and realize how beautiful, how sensual, how relaxing, how invigorating, how cleansing, how peaceful it was.
He stopped beneath a large tree, glanced around him and saw that no one was around. After a second swift look, he tipped his face upwards, stretched his arms out with his palms facing upwards, closed his eyes and began to breathe more slowly and more deeply. He stood and let the rain fall down onto his face and hands, letting the drops flow down his face and drip off the ends of his fingers. He felt the kind of peace, serenity and relaxation pass through him which he only felt at times like this.
Nothing did it for him in the way walking and standing in the rain did. Nothing gave him that relaxed yet intense feeling that he was truly of and truly in the world; he felt connected to the world and to nature in a way he didn't feel at any other time. It was his special feeling, his special secret and no one would ever find out about it.
He started and spun around so quickly he actually stumbled. He would have fallen over had his arm not be grabbed and held firmly, steadying him until he was able to steady himself. He looked at the person holding his arm. "Jimmy!" he exclaimed. "What are you doing here?" He stared at Jimmy who was as wet as he was; Jimmy who had neither umbrella nor hat; Jimmy whose coat was open; Jimmy whose hair was plastered to his head; Jimmy who was smiling; Jimmy who looked as relaxed as he was, yet also slightly uneasy.
The unease became even clearer as Jimmy swallowed hard, took his glasses from his pocket (Tim hadn't even noticed he hadn't been wearing them), put them on and looked around him. "Um," he said, shuffling his feet and gnawing his bottom lip. "I'm . . ." He glanced around him, shuffled his feet again, took his glasses back off and polished them on his handkerchief before he put them back into his pocket. He took a deep breath, looked around him yet again, before staring directly at Tim for a moment. He seemed to be considering his options.
Finally, he shrugged, swallowed again and said, "I'm walking in the rain. I often do," he added. "It's something I love to do."
Tim stared at him; for a moment he felt almost giddy with happiness that he had someone he could share his secret with; someone who would understand - and not just someone, but Jimmy. Jimmy, the young man he had found himself thinking about more and more often as days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months.
Then that feeling fled and instead was replaced with a fear that somehow someone (Tony) had found out his secret and had put Jimmy up to going out as well and accidentally bumping into Tim, telling Tim he also liked to walk in the rain and then laughing at Tim when Tim said 'me too'. Except this was Jimmy, not Tony. Jimmy wouldn't do that - would he? He was far too honest, far too genuine, far too nice, far too straightforward to do such a thing. Besides, even if Tony had found out Tim's secret, how would he know he went to the park? No, Jimmy had to be telling the truth, surely he did.
Tim held Jimmy's gaze for a moment and then said softly, "Do you? Do you really, Jimmy?"
Jimmy smiled. "Yes. Yes, Tim. I really do. I've never told anyone," he added. "Not even my mom. I didn't want people to laugh at me or tell me I was a fool."
Tim swallowed and took one of the biggest gambles of his life. "Me too," he said. "I love it too. It relaxes me; it helps me recharge my batteries."
"And we really need to do that after our most recent case," Jimmy said. "That's why I came out tonight; that's why when Dr. Mallard told me to go home, I didn't argue with him. I hurried home, changed and came out. It's lovely, isn't it?"
Tim nodded. "Yeah. Yes, Jimmy, it really is. And like you, I've never told anyone - for the same reasons. I thought everyone would laugh or tease me."
Jimmy put his hand on Tim's arm and Tim felt a faint shiver of pleasure go through him. Jimmy's hand felt comfortingly heavy as it rested on his arm, and suddenly he wished it had been his hand Jimmy had touched so that he could feel Jimmy's skin against his. "I wouldn't have laughed at you, Tim," Jimmy said earnestly, as he stared deeply into Tim's eyes. "Even if it wasn't something I loved doing, I wouldn't have laughed. I'd never laugh at you," he added softly.
"Wouldn't you?" Tim found he was being held captive by Jimmy's stare and by the hand which still rested on his arm.
Jimmy shook his head firmly, so firmly droplets of rain flew off. "No," he said quietly. He took a step closer to Tim and Tim could smell the faint scent of his cologne - it seemed to be enhanced by the rain.
He swallowed hard and found his body beginning to react to Jimmy's closeness, to his scent, to the way Jimmy held his gaze unblinkingly, to the feel of Jimmy's hand on his arm. And suddenly a thought raced through his mind: 'I wonder what he'd taste like'? And he knew then he wanted to kiss Jimmy; he wanted to kiss him more than he had ever wanted to kiss anyone - anyone! And he wanted to kiss him there and then. He wanted to kiss him while his lips were wet with the rain drops. He wanted to put his arms around him, drag him behind the tree and kiss him and go on kissing him as the rain continued to soak them both.
A look flashed through Jimmy's eyes and he took another step nearer to Tim and then glanced around him. He ran the tip of his tongue over his rain-dampened lips and said quietly, so quietly Tim almost struggled to hear him, "Is walking the only thing you like to do in the rain?"
Tim swallowed hard and then swallowed again. "I . . . I . . . What do you . . . Jimmy, what . . . ?" He came to a stammering halt as he saw another look race through Jimmy's eyes; a look that made him bite back a gasp.
The next second it was him who was grabbed and pulled behind the tree and it was him who had arms put around him - Jimmy's arms - and it was him who was kissed and kissed so very, very well.
The first kiss was brief, nothing really more than rain-wetted lips brushing over rain-wetted lips. But then Jimmy made a noise of pleasure in the back of his throat, pulled Tim even nearer to him, put his mouth back on Tim's and began to kiss him with a passion and intensity Tim had never experienced.
Just for a fleeting second Tim hesitated, mindful of where they were. But then he realized he didn't care; it wasn't as if many people would be out in the rain, which was now coming down harder and harder, plus a mist had begun to form and the tree hid them from the view of the main path. But even if it had been brilliant sunshine, there hadn't been a tree to hide them and the park had been full he wouldn't have cared.
All he cared about was kissing and being kissed by Jimmy. He tightened his own arms around Jimmy, parted his lips, inviting Jimmy's tongue into his mouth, pressed himself against Jimmy and kissed Jimmy back with as much passion, intensity and love as he could.
They went on kissing and embracing as the rain increased even more. It now poured down, bouncing off the path, tumbling unchecked through the leaves, soaking them, drenching them so much Tim was aware he was wet all the way through to his skin. But still they didn't stop; still they just went on kissing and embracing, learning about one another, taking pleasure in the beauty of sharing something so wonderful with someone so special.
Tim knew, as he stood in the pouring rain, wet beyond measure, feeling Jimmy's body against his, tasting Jimmy, that this was it. This was the man he was going to spend the rest of his life with. This was love; this was what he had spent his entire life looking for: the love of someone who understood him; who had so many things in common with him; the person who would never laugh at him, unless Tim was laughing at himself; the person he would grow old with; the person he would never tire of; the person who fitted with him; the person who made him whole; the person he would give up his career as an NCIS agent and move back to Cyber Crimes if Gibbs insisted on Rule #12 being upheld for. This was . . . If not perfection then as close as it was possible to get.
"I love you, Jimmy," he said, when they finally broke away.
Jimmy blushed and smiled. "I love you too, Tim."
"And I love that we have a shared secret."
Jimmy smiled again. "So do I. So do I, Tim. I love walking in the rain."
Tim echoed his words. "I love walking in the rain. And now I don't have to do it alone. Now we can do it together, can't we?"
Jimmy beamed. "Oh, yes. We can do it and so many other things together."
Hand-in-hand they made their way back to Tim's apartment. They didn't even notice that by the time they reached it and went inside the rain had stopped falling.