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Title: Back To Normal
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Jimmy Palmer/Tim McGee
Fandom: NCIS
Rating: PG-13
Table: 5_prompts, Month of November challenge
Prompt: Day 26 - Everything is pretty much normal
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.


Jimmy glanced around him as he got off the elevator and headed for Tim's desk, wondering if there was anyone around him casting suspicious glances. Did people know? Could they guess that there was a subtle change when he and Tim were near each other?

He was sure that they hadn't made their personal relationship obvious; if they had, then everyone would have been talking about it. That would have been a juicy bit of gossip for the office; no one would have been able to keep quiet, or keep that news to themselves.

Even the other members of Tim's team didn't seem to realize that there was something more to the two of them than there had been before, Jimmy reflected, his eyes resting on first Tony, and then Ziva. They were oblivious to Tim's life; they were too immersed in their own.

Gibbs didn't have a clue, either, which was odd. Jimmy had thought that Gibbs noticed everything, but in this instance, maybe the two of them had hidden their feelings for each other well enough so that even the fabled Gibbs perceptiveness couldn't see past the smoke screen.

Abby was too lost in her own little dream world to have noticed that anything had changed with Tim; if she did, then she had just shrugged and written it off. The rest of the team weren't the people that they had to worry about, Jimmy thought with a sigh.

Ducky was the one they had to watch out for. He had an uncanny way of seeing everything around him, even when it was supposedly hidden under so many layers that no one else had the slightest clue that it was there. Dr. Mallard could see everything.

If the rest of Gibbs' team found out about the two of them, there was a good possibility that they could be in serious trouble -- especially Tim. They wouldn't lose their jobs, but Tim would have to work in an uneasy atmosphere, and Jimmy didn't want that.

Still, at the moment, everything seemed pretty much normal. No one guessed about the two of them, he was sure; they'd managed to keep their interactions at work low-key. Everybody thought that they'd just formed a close friendship; they had no reason to suspect anything else.

They were discreet, not touching each other, not letting their gazes linger. If there was a slight lilt to their voices when they talked, it wasn't noticeable -- at least, Jimmy didn't think so. He hoped that no one had noticed those little things that could give them away.

On the surface, their lives were back to normal after what had happened with Cobb. That had been the most frightening thing that had ever happened to him; he still had nightmares about it, dreaming that Cobb was holding a gun to his head, ready to pull the trigger.

That hadn't happened in the actual scenario; he'd just been tied up and gagged for a while, before Cobb had put them all in wetsuits and started what he had called their "training." There had been no gun to his head, though the certainty that he would die had been there.

Jimmy shuddered at the memory; he didn't want to think about that time. Cobb was dead; he was never going to threaten anyone again. And he had made it through the experience, though not unscathed. The memories would be with him forever.

Thinking about Tim was all that had gotten him through those horrible hours, when he had been so sure that he could die by the hand of a madman at any moment. He had kept clinging to the thought of the man he loved, hoping and praying that Tim would find him.

In the end, Tim had rescued him. Of course, the whole team had been involved, and he was more than grateful to all of them. But he couldn't help feeling that it had been Tim who had figured out where they would be, Tim who had led the team there.

Even if it hadn't been Tim who had figured out where they were being held, Jimmy couldn't help but think that it was Tim's intuition, their emotional connection, that had pointed the team in the right direction. It might sound fanciful, but it was what he wanted to believe.

Did anyone they worked with even have the slightest idea that the two of them could possibly be more than friends? Jimmy didn't think so; friendships weren't unusual here, of course, and he didn't think that he and Tim had given any indication that they shared anything more.

As far as anyone around them knew, everything was pretty much normal, with no surprises hidden under the surface. What would they all think if they knew that two of the people in their midst were involved? What would their colleagues have to say?

Would the two of them be pariahs, avoided by the people they worked with? Would there be gossip, gazes focused on them that scurried guiltily away if they happened to raise their heads? Would people talk about them behind their backs, hushed whispers hidden behind hands?

Jimmy didn't really care if they did, but he knew that it wasn't a good idea to let that happen. Maybe there would be a point in the future when he and Tim could be open about their relationship -- but that time wasn't now. They would have to be patient and wait.

Waiting was never easy, but when there was a reward at the end of it that had been worth waiting for, that made all the difference. And their reward would be a day when they could be honest with everyone around them about their relationship, when they didn't have to hide any longer.

It was almost funny that what probably would seem topsy-turvy to others was normal for the two of them, Jimmy thought with a smile as he made his way across the office to Tim's desk. They fit together so well that they had fallen easily into each other's lives.

He couldn't imagine his life now without Tim being the center of it. Tim was first in his thoughts -- and in his heart. What would he do if he didn't have this man in his life to love? He'd be lonely, that was what, Jimmy told himself. And he wasn't going to let that happen.

"Ready to go?" he asked Tim, smiling at the other man as he looked up. Only the two of them knew of the promise behind that smile, the time that they would spend alone together behind closed doors, the secret that they held close to their hearts.

"Sure am," Tim told him, smiling as he turned his computer off and got up from his desk. The two of them headed for the elevator, just like any two colleagues who carpooled to work together. Yes, work was back to normal, Jimmy thought with an inward smile -- at least on the surface.