AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Anthony DiNozzo/Timothy McGee
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Tony can't always tell Tim how he feels, but he found the ideal way to show him.
WORD COUNT: 1,600
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for birggitt: C - 'City Boy'.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Tony opened the bedroom curtains, unlatched the window and pushed it open. He leaned on the windowsill and breathed in the early morning air. He could smell freshly cut grass, blossom and other things. Quite what the other things were, he didn't know; no doubt Tim would be able to identify them, but then Tim was the country boy, whereas Tony was the city boy.
Or at least he had been; that wasn't the case any longer and hadn't been for the best part of a year. Tony glanced at the bed, but Tim was still sleeping peacefully. Tony decided to allow himself a few more minutes of just enjoying nature, before he went to make the coffee.
He leaned back on the window sill and watched the birds swooping around. He never would have believed he'd end up a country boy, never would have dreamed he'd chose to give up the city for the country. He was a city boy through and through, he'd been born and raised in a city, he wasn't into camping and woods, and all the Boy Scout stuff Tim had grown up with. He liked pavements, coffee shops, traffic and a choice of take-out places. That was him; that was who he was.
That was who he had been. That wasn't who he was now. Okay, so he was still a city boy at heart, you can take the boy out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the boy, but he'd given it all up for Tim. And he'd do it again.
As the warmth of the late spring day began to filter into the room, he thought back a year, to another warm spring day, to what had seemed like the worst day of his life, and yet in some ways turned out to be the best.
It was just another day; just another case. Ducky was telling one of his stories; Palmer was doing whatever he normally did; Gibbs was giving out the orders; Ziva was taking photos; Tim was doing his geeky thing with his hand-held fingerprint doodah and Tony was wondering how he could persuade Tim to give up an evening's writing and go to the movies with him. Just a perfectly normal day; just a perfectly normal case.
Then a shot rang out. Just one. But it'd been enough. One minute Tim was there, frowning as the fingerprint database failed to give him a match. The next - The next he wasn't there.
"Tim!" Tony yelled, drawing his gun and racing towards the cliff as Gibbs and Ziva drew their Sigs and fired in the direction the shot had come from.
He could see Tim lying on a shallow ledge, one leg at an angle legs weren't meant to be at. Blood was pooling around Tim's head, his eyes were closed and he still he clutched the fingerprint whatsit.
Tony was about to climb down, when a firm hand caught his wrist. He looked up expecting to see Gibbs, but it was Ducky who held him firmly. "No, Anthony," Ducky said, his tone firm, but compassionate. "You are not going down there."
"I have to, Ducky." Tony tried to shake Ducky off.
However, Ducky held him firmly. "You are not going down there, Anthony. Timothy needs a doctor not a," he paused just for a moment. Then he patted Tony's hand and said, his tone lower, "A lover."
"But you can't -"
"Oh, not I. For one thing Jethro would not permit it, would you, Jethro?"
"If you say so, Duck." Gibbs came up to them, holstering his gun. "Ziva got the bastard." Tony had seen it many, many times over the years he'd worked for NCIS, but even now it still surprised him. Ducky'd had his back to Gibbs, he couldn’t have heard or seen him, yet he'd known he was there. "Do as Ducky says, DiNozzo. Come on, Palmer, I'll come down with you."
Tony stood on the cliff with Ducky on one side of him and Ziva the other watching as Gibbs and Palmer carefully made their way down to Tim. He felt totally impotent; he should be doing something; he had to do something. He couldn't stand there and watch; he couldn't be there if Palmer called up that -
He snatched the camera from Ziva and strode off.
"But, Tony, I have already -"
"Let him go, Ziva. He needs to be doing something."
Tony didn't need to turn around to know that Ziva was staring after him. Ducky would be looking down, keeping a close eye on Gibbs and Palmer, making sure they did things 'his' way and willing them to take care so that he didn't end up with three bodies to deal with. Patients, Tony told himself, as he fired off snap after snap, before realizing the lens cap was still on.
Twenty minutes of fruitless photo taking later, he jumped as Ducky put his hand on his arm. "Timothy is going to be fine, Anthony," he said, now smiling up at Tony.
"Going to be? What's that in normal language, Ducky?" Tony snapped the words. He regretted his tone instantly and not just because Gibbs suddenly appeared behind Ducky. "Sorry, boss," he muttered. "Sorry, Ducky," he said swiftly as Gibbs glared at him.
"From what my able assistants were able to tell and describe to me, Timothy is not badly hurt - at least not critically hurt in any way. I am aware there is a lot of blood around his head. But as you know well, Anthony, head wounds always bleed a great deal. The injury is actually fairly superficial. His left leg is badly broken, but the bones are all inside as they should be. And it also appears he has dislocated his shoulder and quite possibly broken a rib or two. But -"
"I thought you said he wasn't badly hurt." Tony moderated his tone after the second word, as Gibbs began to loom.
"I did and he isn't. He will be fine, Anthony. I assure you, we are not going to loose Timothy."
Tony swallowed hard then swallowed again. "Thanks, Ducky," he said. "Is he conscious?"
Ducky shook his head. "No, not at the moment. But Jimmy is still down there with him and will stay there until the paramedics arrive."
"I'm going to the hospital with him." Tony looked directly at Gibbs, daring him to argue or object.
Instead all Gibbs did was to hold out his hand. "Van keys," he said, pocketing them when Tony handed them over. "And you better give me that as well." Tony handed him the camera.
"Boss, I -" But Gibbs was already walking away.
"He's really going to be all right, isn't he, Ducky? You're not just -"
"Timothy will be fine, Anthony. Trust me." Ducky patted his hand again and then turned and went off in the direction Gibbs had gone.
Tony was glad Ducky had left, because he no longer had to fight the tears that were welling up in his eyes.
And Ducky had been right. Tim was all right. He was still the man he had been before the fall, except for one thing. The break had been a bad one, a very bad one. And even after three operations it still hadn't healed properly. Tim could walk on it, but not run and had to use a cane if outside.
He could have continued to walk for NCIS, Vance had offered him his job back in Cyber Crimes, and Tim had taken the job. But after a week Tony could see it wasn't what Tim wanted; wasn't what he needed; wasn't good for him.
He was writing more and more, because Cyber Crimes meant regular hours and Tony could see how much Tim loved it. They went on a trip one weekend to the country, so Tim could carry out some research and Tony had seen it then: this was where Tim belonged; Tim was alive; Tim was - the man Tony had fallen in love with.
So he suggested he quit NCIS and they move to the country, Tim could write and Tony could, he was sure, find something he could turn his hand to. Tim had argued for a week, pointing out that Tony was a city boy; he didn't want to move to the country. But over the week the arguments had gotten fewer and fewer and finally Tim had said yes.
And that had been that.
Tony knew that most, if not all, of their coworkers had expected him to admit he'd made a mistake and come running back to the city. And for the first month or so he'd felt just like doing that.
But then the city boy lost his heart for a second time: this time to the country.
A noise from the bed made him turn around and he looked straight into the eyes of the country boy he'd lost his heart to. The way Tim was looking at him made his mouth become dry. "Coffee?" he asked.
"Shower first," Tim said, pushing the covers back. "Coffee later. Well," he said when Tony didn't instantly move. "What are you waiting for? You know I need a hand first thing in the morning to get going."
Tony laughed and walked across the room to offer Tim his arm. It was going to be another beautiful day. "Hey, Tim," he said.
"You know I . . ."
"Yes, Tony. I do. You tell me every day."
Tony swallowed hard, very hard. He took some of Tim's weight and they went into the bathroom.