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Title: Marking Time
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Jimmy Palmer/Tim McGee
Fandom: NCIS
Rating: PG-13
Table: 1drabble
Prompt: 40, Alternate Universe
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Jimmy Palmer or Tim McGee, unfortunately, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.


Sometimes he felt that he was living in an alternate universe.

Jimmy raised his face to the shower spray, closing his eyes and holding back a soft sigh. Things weren't back to normal yet, even weeks after his rescue.

They should be, he told himself. He was talking to a therapist, and Tim was as loving as he'd ever been. They were still sleeping in the same bed, and Jimmy had even allowed them to be naked next to each other. But he hadn't been able to make himself take the next step in the process.

He knew that Tim wanted to make love to him. And a part of him wanted that, wanted to be in Tim's arms, wanted Tim inside him, wanted Tim to become his lover in full.

But he hadn't been able to go that far. He'd kept holding back.

He knew that Tim didn't blame him for his hesitation; his boyfriend had said time and time again that he would wait, that he would be patient.

No, he blamed himself. By now, he should have been able to break down that barrier, to leap that abyss. It wasn't fair to Tim to keep him waiting like this when he didn't know if he would ever be able to take their relationship to the next level. He was being selfish.

Jimmy didn't even know if he could take them back to the level that they had been on when everything had happened. It was starting to feel like they'd never get there.

He felt stuck in place, trapped behind a wall that he couldn't break down. He loved Tim, but he was afraid to take that last step, to surrender himself fully and completely.

His therapist kept telling him that things would get better, but Jimmy was having a hard time believing those words. It didn't feel like anything was changing or improving; it felt as though he was just standing in place, treading water, marking time, not moving forward.

And if he was tired of feeling that way, then Tim must be, too. But he couldn't bring himself to talk to his boyfriend about it. He was afraid of what he might hear.

So he kept standing in place, frozen in fear and doubt.

Jimmy sighed again as he turned the water off, pulling the curtain back and stepping out of the shower. Maybe it was time for them to have a talk.

As much as he was afraid of what he might hear from Tim if they spoke honestly and openly about their feelings, he needed that honesty. He needed to know if their relationship was still good for both of them, if Tim thought that things would eventually get better.

He needed to break down the bubble that he was living inside, rid himself of the feeling that he was trapped in some alternate universe with no way out.

If that feeling didn't dissipate, then the two of them were doomed.