Oh, The Places You'll Go

Hershey's Got Nothing On You

Notes: Because the hiatus was going on forEVER and because kissing is awesome. soupytwist gave it the once over and declared it fit for consumption. No spoilers. Set between S7 and S8.

Tony's sauntering down the hallway to McGee's place, chowing down on a particularly delicious powdered donut when he sees the door open and stops dead, mid-chew. Is little Timmy disposing of a nighttime visitor before Tony arrives to pick him up? He is early, after all. Nice going, Timster!

Or maybe not.

A tall, thickset guy backs into the hall, duffel bag slung over one shoulder. Tim appears, cut in half by the door, and the two guys wrap their arms around each other in what Tony can only describe as a manly hug, patting with fists included. An old friend, maybe? And then, as they break from the hug, they kiss.

They. Kiss.

Tony blinks and nearly chokes on the half-masticated pastry he's forgotten to swallow. What was that? What was that? Did McApparentlyGay just kiss a guy in front of him? There is not enough caffeine in the world for Tony to be awake enough to handle this. He has to snap to, though, because the door is closing and the random just-kissed-by-Tim dude is walking towards him. Get moving, Tony, don't look suspicious. Walk, chew, swallow, brief nod of acknowledgement--easy.

Only it turns out that it's not so easy because apparently Tony's forgotten how to multi-task, so it's step, fumble bag, fail at fielding, get attacked by a mushroom cloud of powdered sugar, and by the time he's got himself (and the sugar) under control, the guy's long gone.

Tony's raps on Tim's door, patting his hair to the accompaniment of tiny white plumes of sugar dust and going cross-eyed trying to see if there's any on his face. He can't fault Tim for looking like he's opened the door to a crazy person.

"Do I even want to know?" Tim asks, stepping aside to let Tony in. "You know where the bathroom is. Knock yourself out."

Tony grins his thanks and heads for the bathroom. "Not literally!" he hears Tim yell after him and his grin widens.

It's testament to the confusing and clingy properties of powdered sugar that it's not until Tony's back out in the hallway that he remembers what caused the disaster in the first place.

"So, McBrokeback," he starts, because subtle is his middle name, "you mack on guys often?"

"What?" Tim's double take would be very convincing if Tony hadn't witnessed the incident with his own eyes.

"Oh, come now, Timothy, don't be coy. I saw tall, dark and steroidal loitering in your doorway. And your lips that were attached to his."

"My...ohhh," says Tim, and punches Tony in the shoulder. "That was Carl. We were roommates for three years way back when. He's in town for a meeting so he stayed over. And yes, I kissed him."

"Aha!" crows Tony and then complains, "Ow!" when Tim punches him again.

"I didn't kiss him kiss him, you idiot. It was an 'it was good to see you, I missed you, probably won't see you again for a long time' peck."

"But he's a guy."

"Your powers of observation are scary in their accuracy, DiNozzo."

"Guys don't do that kind of kissing. That's for girls. And Europeans."

Tim stares at him. 'I'm not even going to touch the European thing," he says. "But guys can pretty much do anything they want. Including kissing other guys goodbye. Not all of us are emotionally constipated."

"On the lips, though, McGee," says Tony, because apparently he can't let this go.

"And again with the observing. You'll be in line for a promotion if you keep this up," says Tim, and Tony doesn't have to be looking at him to hear the twist of his lips in his voice.

They're at the car now and he drops it. It's not like he's unhealthily obsessed with whom Tim is kissing or anything like that.

"Wait," says Tim, as they near the stakeout. "Pull over."


"I gotta run an errand."

Tony pulls over and Tim hits the ground almost before the car has even stopped. "Two minutes, I promise," he says and is gone.

Tony watches him disappear into a bakery. He flops back against the seat, sighing. What, he didn't have breakfast with Carl the ex-"roommate"? It should disturb Tony that he can hear the air quotes in his own internal monologue, but he's already had his disturbance quota for the day with the whole macking thing. Invisible air quotes don't even make the weirdar. He drums his fingers on the steering wheel and sings a little ditty about being bored. Tim takes longer than two minutes, but less than five, and Tony's prepared to forgive him what with the tray full of coffees he's balancing.

"Thirsty?" he asks, as Tim, the coffees and a bag that smells really good arrange themselves on his passenger seat.

"No drinking and driving," says Tim. "You get yours when we're there."

"Spoilsport." Tony guns the engine. "You got me hazelnut latte, right? And you put in extra sugar?"

"Three. And do I ever forget?"

"No. You don't." Tony considers for a second and then asks, "What did I make my astronaut costume from when I was a kid?"

"Your dad's ski suit. I think they call that reckless endangerment."

"Yeah," says Tony, trying to chase a thought at the same time as wriggling in memory of the spanking and trying to negotiate traffic. The thought gets away at a stoplight. It doesn't matter, he thinks. He'll track it down later when he's about to blow his brains out with the exact amount of nothing he'll be doing for the next eight hours.

"Here you are," says Tim, handing a bag and a coffee over to Ziva.

Ziva holds up the bag to inspect the writing and beams. "You did not, McGee," she says.

Tim shrugs. "We were passing. I thought you might like it."

Ziva sets down the coffee by the bank of monitors and unrolls the top of the bag, sticking her nose in it, shoulders rising as she breathes in deep. She looks up again, still smiling. "My favorite," she says. "And I do not just mean the breakfast." She takes a step forward and stands on tiptoe, kissing Tim lightly on the mouth. "Thank you, Tim."

"You're welcome."

Tony narrows his eyes. It's difficult to choose whether he's more irritated by the sucking up or by the kissing. Tim doesn't even have the grace to blush. Tony's still making up his mind when Gibbs comes out of the head.

"Coffee, boss?" Tim hands another cup over.

Gibbs nods his thanks and then begins to brief them on the events of the night (cliff notes: nothing happened, big freaking surprise), so Tony has to focus. Only another seven hours and fifty-nine minutes until he's out of here. His inner monologue heaves a sigh.

Boredom sets in approximately four and a half minutes later, and Tony spends the next few hours trying to convince Tim to hand over his iPhone so Tony can kill little green pigs. Anything to make the time. Move. Faster. He begs, he pleads, he threatens, but there's no shifting McHeartless.

"Bet you'd let Ziva play," he mutters, swiveling around on his chair and glaring at the monitors, willing them to show something--anything--interesting.

"Probably," agrees Tim far too cheerfully for Tony's liking. "But then, she wouldn't use it with sticky fingers and then hand it back without cleaning, like, say, oh, I don't know, some guy whose name rhymes with bozo."

Tony has the grace to look mildly ashamed at that, but says, "I have no idea what you're talking about," anyway because he's fairly sure there's a rule somewhere that says admit nothing.

"You're not having my phone," Tim says, and Tony scowls.

It is, of course, just after Tony's gotten out of the shower after a five mile run to shake those damn ants out of his pants, that the phone rings and Gibbs is calling him back in because Reynolds finally showed his beaky face and a whole new angle has just opened up. Tony has a moment to cast a longing glance at his bed before throwing on jeans and a hoodie and heading out of the door.

Tim's tapping away at his keyboard when Tony arrives, fingers flying over the keyboard and lips moving as he silent-narrates his way through whatever techno-wizardry he's performing. Tony slings his backpack behind his desk and wanders over to Tim, peering over his shoulder as the windows open up one after the other in quick succession on the monitor.

"Where's Gibbs?"

"Reynolds gave us three names. One we tracked to a street address south of Alexandria, Gibbs and Ziva went to bring him in. I'm pulling financials for the other two."

"Need me to background?"

"Yeah. Here." Tim thrusts a piece of paper over his shoulder, flapping it about and narrowly missing Tony's face. Tony grabs it and flicks over the information.

"One marine, one civilian. Okay, got it."

He settles in his chair, booting up his computer. It's going to be another long one, but if they get a result then lives are saved. That's got to be worth a few skipped sleeps, right? Tony gets to work.

It's not that Tony doesn't know what time it is, and it's certainly not that he's been sleeping on the job, it's just he was resting his eyes for a moment--take a five minute break from the monitor every hour, it's in all the OSHA directives--and it's left him a little disoriented, is all. But he's abruptly aware that the two voices he's hearing are not, in fact, Alanis Morrisette and Deputy Dawg discussing the contribution of Wim Wenders to the movie industry, but Abby and Tim babbling about FTP and firewalls and backdoors. Tony's always been dubious about the backdoors. He cracks opens his eyes and peers out of slits narrow enough to blur everything around the edges.

He can see the kiss well enough, though. Abby says something that sounds impressive, Tim types, there's silence, a yell of triumph and then Tim's tipping back in his chair, tugging Abby down by a pigtail and planting a big one right on her lips.

"You're a genius," Tim says, and Tony squeezes his eyes shut again, heart thumping fast as if he's been caught spying on something he was never meant to see.

"I know," he hears Abby say. "You totally have my lipstick all over you now, Timmy. Better wipe it off before Gibbs sees--you don't want him getting the wrong idea."

"Right," agrees Tim. "I don't need that talk twice in my life, thank you. It was bad enough the first time when we were actually dating, but at least I got...um, you know."

"Why, Timmy McGee, I'm sure I have no idea what you mean. You can take it from here, right? Major Mass Spec should be giving me some nice juicy data to play with and you know how I feel about that."

"Deeply, deeply wrong," says Tim and then, "Ow!"

Tony's lips twitch and he sits up in time to see Abby disappearing around the corner and Tim rubbing his ear.

"That's what you get for kissing your ex," says Tony, unable to stop himself grinning.

"I thought you were asleep. Unless you have a problem with drool you never told me about."

"I never sleep," says Tony. "I am ninja. Also, I don't drool."

"Oh, okay. So I should call maintenance about the hole in the roof because that's one hell of a puddle there on your desk."

Tony looks down. Nothing. He glances over at Tim, who's typing again, grinning at his monitor. "Why, I oughta..." says Tony, shaking his fist in Tim's general direction.

Tim turns around, turning the full force of his smile on Tony. There are still traces of dark red lipstick on his lips. Tony's stomach yells at him and he wonders when he last ate.

"You should..." says Tony, pointing to Tim's lips and then wiping his own with a fingertip.

"Hmm, I thought I got it all." Tim practically goes cross-eyed trying to see his own face, sticking out his lower lip as far as it will go. He rubs at his mouth with the back of his hand, then inspects it carefully. "How about now?"

Tony looks. He seems to be spending a lot of time looking at Tim's lips today. They're looking a little dry with all the rubbing, he thinks, and blinks fast when Tim's tongue slips out and licks them, leaving them shiny and moist. Is there a psychic thing going on, now? Because he's going to have to do some serious mental filing if there is. "All clear," he says.

The phone rings and he turns to grab it, breaking out of the semi-mesmeric trance he was slipping into. He blames the lack of sleep. There's a weird relaxation, like a wash of relief sweeping through his body, and Tony doesn't get it, but when it's Gibbs on the line telling him to get down to Interrogation three minutes ago, he figures it must have been intuition that things are shaking out in their favor and the hope that he might get to commune with his pillow sometime in the very near future.

Larry, Mo and Curly fall all over themselves to blame each other after Gibbs seeds the doubts, and it's all over bar the paperwork in a couple of hours. The paperwork, however, has forgotten to magically do itself (what Tony wouldn't give for a wizard's hat and an mp3 of The Sorcerer's Apprentice) and it's past five before he's done. So Tony's not sure he's not hallucinating through the combination of caffeine poisoning and sleep deprivation when Jimmy rocks up with his far-too-cute-for-a-mortician girlfriend, Brianna, and announces their engagement.

"Whaaa?" asks Tony, succinct as ever.

"Yeah, I asked and she said yes, can you believe it?" Jimmy's grin is so wide Tony figures he must have been taking lessons from the skulls he hangs out with all day. Jimmy's arm tightens around his girlfriend--fiancée--and he looks at her with such adoration that it makes Tony's stomach knot.

Ziva is on her feet, kissing them both in that weird, many-cheeked way she has that seems to have some mathematical formula that Tony's never quite managed to figure out.

"That is wonderful news!" she's saying.

Tim's also rounding his desk, offering congratulations. "Jimmy's a lucky guy," he tells Brianna, leaning down and kissing her on both cheeks.

She beams up at him. "I'm the lucky one," she demurs.

"No, me," says Jimmy as Tim shakes his hand, gripping Jimmy's forearm.

Then Tim tugs Jimmy in and Tony presumes he's going to go for the manly back slap to even out all the gushy lovey-dovey stuff, but no, he grabs Jimmy's head, tilts it down and gives him a resounding kiss on the forehead. "Way to man up, Jimmy," he says, dropping his hands to Jimmy's shoulders and giving him a little shake. "They say if you both feel you're the lucky one then the relationship is on solid ground."

And Tony should be paying way more attention to the fact that Jimmy's just gone and gotten himself halfway shackled than to the fact that Tim has just upped his day's kiss score to five, but it's been a long day--two days--and he's tired and wrong, the Autopsy Gremlin has managed to snag an awesome life partner while Tony's still pretty much solo-dating his right hand, and Tim has kissed five people in the last 36 hours. Five. He pulls a congratulations, genuine enough, out of some previously unknown deep reserve of social politeness, noting its location for future use. Jimmy and Brianna look thrilled, though, and Ziva's not giving him the evil eye, so he figures he did okay.

"Are you even safe to drive home?" asks Tim a few minutes later when the happy couple has headed off, presumably to have copious amounts of sex, and Ziva has gone to pick up Abby to take her to the gun range for training.

"Sure," says Tony. "Why do you ask?"

"Because you didn't make any puerile jokes about two women with big guns and because you're trying to put your keyboard in your backpack."



"Maybe I shouldn't drive."

"The citizens of DC thank you. Want a ride?"

Tony hauls the keyboard out of his backpack, still attached to the computer, and puts it back in place. "Please," he says.

He sighs with happiness as he drops his head back against the headrest, stretching his legs out in the well. Tim starts the engine and Tony watches his hand move, long fingers curled around the gear lever. He looks up and catches Tim licking his lips again and, okay, apparently he can't let it go.

"Wait!" he says.


"You forgot something."

"I did?"

"Yeah. I mean, you managed to kiss everyone that ever existed today, shouldn't you go kiss Gibbs goodbye?"

Tim whips his head around. "Are you crazy? I have some sense of self-preservation. Also, what?"

Tony waves his hand limply in the air. It's supposed to explain everything that he's too tired to string together in coherent sentences, but the furrowed brows Tim's got going for him suggest it's not exactly working.

"You," he says. "With the ex Carl and the Ziva and the ex Abby and the happy couple and the kissing. All the kissing."

Tim's brow clears and he looks amused. Tony is not sure this is an improvement.

"Are you feeling left out, Tony?" he asks.

"No," mutters Tony. And it's not entirely untrue. He hadn't been feeling left out until exactly two seconds ago.

"Whatever you say," says Tim, patting Tony's knee. He grins as he looks back over his shoulder, flicking his tongue out yet again, and reverses out of his space.

Tony spends most of the journey fighting his eyes attempt to weld themselves shut. He loses. He comes to with a gentle shove from Tim. The car is idling and Tony blinks into life to see his door right outside.

"Door to door service, tip optional."

"McHoke, I could kiss you," says Tony because apparently his self-censor is still asleep.

"Okay," says Tim. "You can be number six."

"Yeah, I don't think so," says Tony, trying to inject the necessary scorn into his voice at the same time as trying to untangle himself from the seatbelt.

"What are you so scared of?" Tim waggles his eyebrows. "Try it."

He doesn't even give Tony a chance to refuse, just leans in and brushes his lips against Tony's, warm and dry and sweet. He leans back.

"Say, 'Thank you, Tim.'"

"Thank you, Tim," parrots Tony, brain awake and racing now, thoughts tumbling over each other in a race to get to the finish line first. "But that's wrong-" he begins and Tim interrupts with a sigh.

"I thought we covered the whole macho bullshit thing earlier?"

"No!" says Tony, unable to stop his hands from reaching out and smoothing Tim's lapels. "Not that. I mean, it was my thank you kiss, but you gave it to me. That's wrong."


"Yeah, so..." Tony forcibly stills his hands, gripping Tim's jacket hard.

He tugs lightly and tilts forward so they meet in the middle, and presses his mouth to Tim's. He spares a moment to wonder how long a thank you kiss should last, but by the time he's done wondering he figures he's already past the point where he could conceivably pull away and have it just be yet another odd little interlude in the lives of DiNozzo and McGee. And once he's thought that, he's way beyond the safety of platonic territory, blundered his way through no-man's land and come out the other side. He also has his tongue in Tim's mouth, so that may also be considered a small indication that something is happening here. Something cool. (Something hot.) Something big.

Something right.

Tony's so tired. So, so tired, and the buzz in his groin as Tim's hand slides up his thigh and his teeth graze Tony's lip is muted, weighed down under thick comforters and the lullabies the car engine is singing, but he recognizes its potential and it's enough to make his heart catch in his throat. He pulls away.

"I really don't want to know what Christmases and birthdays were like at your house," says Tim, "because damn."

"You look tired," says Tony. "Black circles, pale skin, all that."

"Thanks?" says Tim, puzzled again.

Tony wonders if it's his inability to articulate or if Tim's giant brain has finally broken down. "You should come up," he says. "Sleep here. Don't want you falling asleep at the wheel, either Gibbs or Abby would kill me and I don't know which is worse."

"Sleep. Here?"

Tony nods, willing Tim's gears to turn faster.

"Oh. Right!" Tim reaches out and switches off the engine. Tony's not thrilled with the lack of hand on his thigh, but it's for a good cause.

"Got to warn you, it will be mostly sleeping. I'm beat."

"Me, too," says Tim. "I should probably kiss you, though. You know, to say thank you."

"I can live with that." Oh, he can more than live with that. Tony's insides try their best to fizz. They do a pretty good job--if Tony was functioning on all cylinders he's fairly sure he'd be battling his sixth grade Science Fair volcano for fizzing honors, and they had to get an industrial cleaner in after that minor debacle.

"Just let me call Jethro's sitter, okay?"

"Sure," says Tony. "Come on up when you're ready."

He gets out of the car.

"Hey, Tony!" calls Tim, and Tony bends down and sticks his head back through the door.

Tim has his phone to his ear. "Did I ever tell you six was my lucky number?"

He smiles and Tony fizzes again. It's weird--he really hadn't seen this coming, but now it had it seemed like this was the way they'd been heading for years. He'd fill in the details later, do the whole what-does-this-mean thing. For now, he's content to see the big picture, the smile on Tim's face that he put there, the tugging connection between them, the image of a king-size bed that's just the right amount of full. He's never been anyone's lucky number before. He grips the doorframe and ducks right in, grabbing a quick kiss.

Tony doesn't have a lucky number himself, never has had, but maybe he doesn't need one anyway. Maybe his luck is right here, giving out ridiculously explicit instructions about the care and feeding of Jethro McGee. Kibble should not make his heart beat faster and yet... He flicks Tim's ear, stands up and pats his pockets for his keys. It's time for bed.

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