AN: This is just a little something I began to try and get my creative juices flowing again after my dad's funeral. I hope someone out there likes it. If not: oh well.
Sorry for any inconsistencies in the timeline I may have made, I set this not long before the end of Jenny Shepherd's tenure as Director and am unsure if I kept all references to within that time frame. If I made any glaring mistakes please let me know so that I can fix them.
Disclaimer: I so do not own NCIS, if you think I do then there is something wrong with you.
One touch, that's all it took.
One touch and your life was instantly changed forever: you had found your Soulmate.
With that one electric touch you knew that you had found someone who would stay by your side through everything and anything, that could understand you better than you yourself could and who would never willingly leave you.
For most it was the greatest day of their lives, for others- mainly those who had settled down to make a family, those who had given up searching for their 'Mate- it was a bitter-sweet experience though one they wouldn't and couldn't turn away from. Because, once found, your Soulmate became your life; even to the point that it was odd for one of a pair to survive if the other died.
Even knowing this people searched for their other half, longing to finally have that other person- the one who completed you so entirely that you quickly forgot how you had lived without them- in their arms. Knowing that they were theirs and vice versa, was what every person longed for from the moment they first learned they had a 'Mate somewhere out there.
Though not everyone was destined to meet their Soulmate.
The sad truth was that only half the people in the whole World over ever found their other half while the other half continued to search in vain, and it was a depressing day for every child when they learned this fact.
Timothy McGee was twelve years old when he learned this and, over time, began to believe that he would be one of the unlucky ones to never find his 'Mate.
And so, many years after he had stopped looking, it came as a complete shock when he stumbled across his Soulmate while at work...
"Damn it, it's him!" Tony DiNozzo, Very Special Senior Field Agent of Team Gibbs, growled out as he spotted just who the CIA had sent over as liaison for their currant case.
With nine dead Navy men and women in five counties and now D.C., and Heavens knew how many more were to come, the Director had overrode Gibbs' protests and brought in the CIA for help in coordinating the investigation between Countries and getting the evidence shipped to Abby's lab with minimal fuss.
"I don't care how bruised your ego gets, Jethro, we need all the help we can get on this one and you know it!" With that Gibbs had stormed out of Shepherd's office and informed his team to be on the look out for a Spook that was supposedly making his way over to help while he got coffee- lots and lots of coffee.
"Who's 'it', Tony?" McGee asked without looking up from his computer where he believed he was starting to get results from his searches.
"Him! That low-life bastard that tried to kill me!" By this point Trent Kort had made his way into the bullpen and had caught the end of Tony's statement.
"If I had been trying to kill you, DiNozzo, you wouldn't be sitting their complaining about how I had 'tried'." Kort said with a smirk as he made his way to Gibbs' desk and took a seat behind it, ignoring the shocked looks the three NCIS Agents were giving him for his audacity.
"He has a point, Tony. If someone with his training wanted you dead you would be so." Ziva commented, not liking having the CIA Agent who had nearly killed her partner around but unable to resist the temptation to tease said partner as Kort didn't appear to be an immediate threat.
"I agree with Ziva, Tony, I don't think you could survive a full on assault from a fully trained CIA Field Agent." Tim absently added his two cents into the conversation as he started to pull results out of cyberspace to present to the Boss when he returned.
"Just exactly whose side are you on, McGoogle?" Tony demanded, taking his discomfort of and anger at Trent Kort out on his favorite whipping boy now that he'd been given an opening.
"What? Why are you going after me? Ziva's the one who first pointed it out." Tim looked up in surprise, not having seen Tony's suddenly harsh attitude coming. He had thought he had a pretty good handle on all of Tony's triggers, but he guessed not.
"Yes, and then you agreed with her. Bad move, Probie, you don't team up against your partner like that." McGee bite the inside of his cheek to keep from saying anything in reply- namely how Tony and Ziva ganged up on him all the time- and returned his attention to his computer, hoping against hope that the subject would just be dropped for once.
For his part, Kort had watched the entire scene with amusement and no small part of confusion. He could never wrap his head around how this team could have such a high crime solving rate as they did when they had such an obviously dysfunctional relationship with each other. And though he kept his face neutral of any emotion- a trick learned and perfected in the field years ago- his heart went out to the youngest male member of the group.
He just didn't like seeing such an innocent soul as Tim McGee being abused the way he was by DiNozzo's verbal barbs and physical assaults- he had heard of the 'pranks' that had been played over the years and couldn't help but wonder how the man still had a job- David's obvious indifference, Gibbs' preference system- which clearly showed McGee at the very bottom, even passed over by that ME's assistant Palmer- and the Goth Lab Tech that really needed to be given a reality check and soon.
"Report!" Gibbs barked as he rounded the corner into the bullpen, pulling Kort from his thoughts though he only grinned at the glare he received for his choice in seating.
"Boss, I've found our connection between the victims. It seems that they were all on a list of people up for transfer to a position at the Pentagon. I'm now cross-referencing the other names on the list, as well as anyone who had put in for the transfer and was overlooked or dismissed for any reason, against travel times and passport use. If any of them have been anywhere near where the bodies were found then we'll know soon." Gibbs finally turned away from all the data and pictures scrolling across the Plasma and looked at his tech savvy Agent with a frown.
"Let me know when you've got something more than possibilities. Tony! What about the Bolo?" Tony sat up straight, ready to present his findings- or lack there-of- to the Boss.
"There was a possible sighting of the white Cadillac spotted at the last crime scene, but no word yet if it is the same one."
"Good work, keep at it."
"Yes, Boss!" Nodding, Gibbs finally turned to stare at their CIA liaison who had yet to move from behind his desk.
"And I don't suppose you have anything to add?" Giving a tight smile- he was finding that seeing the favoritism Gibbs used to run his team being played out in front of him was even worse than just hearing about it- Kort handed over a file to the Team Lead.
"All the evidence from the murders is now in route to your labs and should start arriving tomorrow morning. The countries of origin apologize for the unexpected hold-ups and wish us all the best in finding our killer." Gibbs took the folder and, without even looking at it, handed it to Tim.
"Go through that and make sure everything is in order."
"Boss, I'm kind of swamped as it is." Gibbs just glared and McGee took the folder.
"On it, Boss." With a decisive nod, Gibbs turned away and motioned Kort out of his seat.
"And just where am I to sit?" Trent asked as he stood in the middle of the bullpen.
"I hear there's a nice spot open in the middle of the freeway, you can always try there." Tony chipped in as he sat back in his chair with a strained smirk, clearly highly aggravated by having Kort there at all.
"There's a desk right next to mine on the other side of this partition, you could use that as it isn't assigned to anyone right now." Tim said when it was obvious that no-one else was going to offer the man any help on anything, even something as simple as a place to sit.
"Thank you, McGee, I'm sure that that will work just fine." Giving a sincere smile to the polite young man, Trent moved to the indicated desk and took a seat.
"You wouldn't be getting cozy with the enemy, now would you, Probie?" Tony snidely asked and made Kort bristle. He was quickly coming to feel protective of the young man and wanted to take DiNozzo's head off for continually putting him down.
But, considering that Tim was everything DiNozzo wished he could be and could never become- honest, polite, gentle, smart to an extreme, handsome with a perfect ass and talented in everything he attempted(Trent had read the Deep Six books and was half tempted to beg for an autograph after this case was through)- Kort could see why the older Agent kept trying to keep the younger down; even if he didn't like it.
"What enemy, Tony? Agent Kort is here to help, the least we can do is be polite to him." Tim's reasoned argument fell on deaf ears, but luckily Ducky called just then and broke the moment before Tony could pick up any steam.
As Gibbs headed to Autopsy, sending Tony down to Abby and Ziva on the lunch run, Trent spoke up.
"You did amazing work finding that connection between the victims the way you did, McGee, I can feel that you're going to be the one to break this case; and I'll make sure you get the credit for it too." Tim blushed at the rare kindness being sent his way and ducked even though no-one was around to see.
"Thank you, but I'm just doing my job; it's nothing special." Silently cursing the numb-sculled jack-holes that had instilled and reinforced such low self-confidence in the young man, Kort set about trying to remedy that at least a little.
"Never-the-less. Credit should go where it's due, and you deserve the credit you are owed." They remained silent after that, one too embarrassed to speak and the other allowing the first time to absorb what had been said.
By the time everyone returned to the bullpen Tim had his blush under control and no-one suspected anything out of the ordinary. And when Tim split his lunch in half to share with Trent- Ziva had 'conveniently' forgotten that there was a new person to feed that day- Trent just gave Tony the evil eye and kept him silent.
He may not be there for long but he would watch over this innocent young man while he could, and Trent Kort never backed down when on a mission.
It had been a week and a half since Trent had joined Team Gibbs as liaison and two new bodies had shown up, all of them off the list Tim had found.
Now the rest of those on the list were being brought in for protection and the Team was exhausted from too many all nighters and surviving on caffeine.
"I've got her!" Tim suddenly and unexpectedly yelled out even as he pulled up a picture of a dark-haired woman in Dress Whites on the Plasma.
"Meet former Navy Lieutenant Jennifer Preston, she held the position now available at the Pentagon almost five years ago but was relieved of her position and then Court Martialed after she nearly beat a subordinate to death with his shoe."
"A shoe? Really, McFactoid?" Tony quipped, laughing at the very idea.
"Yeah, she claimed that it kept squeaking when he walked and she couldn't think with all the noise." McGee supplied, trying to keep to the facts and not let the discussion get sidetracked.
"A real nutjob, huh Boss?" Tony continued, trying to draw attention away from what his Probie had found and back to himself.
"Nutjobs are just as dangerous as regular people, DiNozzo, sometimes more so as they are more willing to act on their impulses." Gibbs countered and then motioned for Tim to continue.
"Right. Well, the courts agreed that she was more mentally-ill than criminal so she was sent to a Psych Hospital for treatment. She was released six weeks ago with a clean bill of mental health, the killings started just a week after that." Kort snorted at that, he knew how easy it was to fake psychology tests when you knew how to answer there questions correctly, and added his two cents to the information spiel.
"So Preston cons her way out of the hospital, finds out her old job is up for grabs and decides to kill everyone trying for it? I don't see the logic in that." Tim flashed a small smile up at the older man before pulling up some documents onto the screen.
"It may not be logical but it makes sense to her. These are her doctor's notes from when she was first admitted. Says that she is obsessed with climbing the promotion ladder and believes that her job at the Pentagon is the perfect stepping stone to do so. He also goes to say that she is delusional and thinks that all she has to do is show up at her old office to get her job back." Tim clears the screen at this point and pulls up several shots of a slightly older version of Preston from the file photo, it looked like they had all been taken from different security cameras.
"I've confirmed that Preston has traveled to and from every Country that a murder has taken place in, though under a different names each time- I'm still trying to find out how she managed that so successfully- and can confirm that she is in D.C. as of two nights ago." Suddenly an alarm went off on Tim's computer and he started punching keys with a rarely seen fervor.
"I've got a match, she's at Dulles International right now buying a ticket to... England, under the name of... Eleanor Goodchild. Flight leaves in two hours, she won't be going anywhere until then as she still has to go though security."
"Get on the phone to Airport Security, tell them we're on our way and to not interfere before we arrive!" Gibbs ordered McGee as he rounded his desk to grab his badge, gun and go-bag.
"Boss?" Tim couldn't believe that, after having just broken the case wide open, that he was about to left behind- again!
"Tony, Ziva, you're with me. Let's move!" In a whirlwind of activity that lasted seconds Team Gibbs, minus McGee and Kort, were all in the elevator and headed out to make an arrest.
With a sigh, Tim picked up his phone and began making the calls he needed to make- one to Airport Security and one to the Director to update her on what was happening.
"Don't worry about it, Tim, I promised you'd get the credit and I don't break my promises." Kort said with a fond smile directed at the younger man. Tim was about to reply that he didn't care about the credit only that he never got to help in the field when his call was picked up and he had to turn his focus back to work, he completely forgot about Trent's promise within seconds.
The news broadcast on ZNN was playing up the story about the capture of a Global spanning serial killer who was taken into custody at Dulles International Airport by Federal Agents with minimal fuss, and Tony was fuming.
It had been him, Anthony DiNozzo Jr., who had made the arrest- alongside his Boss and Ninja-like partner, of course- and so it should be his face plastered up there on the screen and not Probies!
NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee is who we all have to thank today for this timely and bloodless arrest, says several ZNN sources around the Capital. And though this hero of the Armed Forces has refused interviews, simply stating that he was doing his job and nothing more, many have come forward- from Agents at other Bureaus who wish that he'd work for them to witnesses he has interviewed and helped and even a score of inmates at a Women's Prison- to sing his praises. If even half the stories we are hearing are true then we here at ZNN can only say that we wish there were more Agents like Agent McGee protecting us all from harm as he is a shining example of what a good Agent is and can be.
Tony flicked the TV off and buried his head under his pillow, unable to take anymore.
He knew he was jealous, he could admit that, but he could also admit that he now had the perfect excuse to brow beat McNews-Coverage relentlessly; and all in the name of keeping him from getting a big ego.
He couldn't wait for tomorrow to begin!
Timothy McGee stepped off the elevator and walked into the bullpen with shoulders hunched, already expecting the terrible pranks and tirades Tony was going to put him through to 'keep him from getting a big head' as he was sure the SFA would call it when anyone else would say it was harassment and bullying.
Tim was smart enough to realize that all of Tony's puffed up bravado and constant need to be seen as the best was all fed by his insecurities, and Tim just knew that having his 'Probie' make news headlines would send Tony into an overcompensating overdrive of overbearingness.
Sometimes he really hated being so smart that he could see and understand so much, it would have made him feel better if he could just write off Tony's attitude as immaturity. But, alas, that wasn't to be.
Stepping into the bullpen, Tim noticed that he was the first to arrive- well, the member of Team Gibbs to arrive.
Feeling his heart give that little flutter it had started to do around day three of there working together, Tim gave Trent a shy smile before taking a seat at his desk- of which Trent was half sitting on.
"You could have warned me that you were going to have ZNN plaster my face all across the country, I spent half the night on the phone with NCIS's PR department trying to keep things from getting out of hand." Punctuating this statement with a yawn, Tim began booting up his computer.
"And what would have been the fun of warning you? You would have just tried to stop me, and we both know I would have done it anyway." Shaking his head in resignation, Tim just couldn't find it in himself to be more than passably aggravated at Trent, Tim looked up at the older man sitting on his desk.
"So... your liaison position is up, what are you still doing here?" Trent stood from his spot and looked down at the young man he know considered a friend- and quiet possibly something more if given the chance- and smiled.
"I wanted to give a proper goodbye instead of sneaking off in the middle of the night without a trace. I do so little of the former and so much of the latter that I thought it would be a novel experience." Trent then held out his hand and Tim stood to take the offered appendage.
Their fingers touched, it was the first time they had touched skin to skin, and it was electric.
"Where's McTardy at?" Tony asked as he settled behind his desk, on time for once as he didn't want to miss a second of what he had planned for his Probie.
"He won't be in today." Director Jenny Shepherd said as she came into the bullpen, followed by a slightly stunned looking Gibbs.
"Agent McGee found his Soulmate this morning and is now on his mandatory two week leave so as to get used to having one." Jenny stated, relishing the looks of surprise on the faces of the supposedly unflappable MCRT.
"What?!" Tony nearly shrieked, not able to believe what he had just heard.
First his Probie was all over the news, getting recognition for work he didn't deserve it for, and then he gets lucky and finds his 'Mate? Life just wasn't fair...
"Do we know who his Soulmate is, Director?" Ziva asked out of curiosity.
"Trent Kort." Gibbs bluntly stated in a dead pan voice, himself still in shock over the news, causing Tony and Ziva to both pale.
"Agent McGee has requested not to be contacted under any circumstances for the duration of his leave and I expect you all to abide by his wishes. Let the man have his time, you can talk to him again when he returns." With that she left the stunned group and headed for the elevator to advise Abby about what had taken place, a task she did not look forward to at all. But she could not trust anyone else to make the Goth woman comply with McGee's no contact request, and she would not have anyone inadvertently driving away the new poster boy for the Agency- she expected her budget meetings to go a lot more smoothly now that NCIS was so big in the news, and it was all thanks to McGee.
Tim stretched out and over the heavy chest under him and grinned.
Life was good.
"If you grin any wider your face will freeze that way." Tim chuckled at the bad joke and rubbed his cheek contentedly against the thick pelt of chest hair he was quickly developing a fetish for.
"Good. Then everyone will know just how happy you make me." Trent ran his hands through Tim's hair and gave a grin of his own.
Life was so good.