Although Tony would never admit it, from time to time he got curious about the whole 'Thom E. Gemcity' side of McGee that they so rarely saw working cases at NCIS -- except for the case that involved a psycho fan of said side, of course. After he'd gotten over the first paralyzing shock that McGee could have a best-selling anything, Tony mostly ignored the knowledge that those novels existed except for when they somehow figured in to whatever subtle torture he had planned for his partner for that day. But, mostly, Tony ignored McGee's Gemcity alter ego and all that it encompassed, including his own pulp doppelganger, the repugnant Agent Tommy.
But sometimes, when he was just right the amount of tired and bored, Tony would do a little McGoogling of his own and skim through whatever news the web would cough up about the probie's literary life. He'd get in a few clicks whenever that mood struck him, when he decided what his life needed was the exact amount of absurdity that came from remembering that in some not-so-alternate reality, his hopelessly geeky colleague actually had fans and admirers and accolades. If nothing else, it was good for a laugh when life made him need a sure one.
It was during one of those times that Tony stumbled upon a fansite for Thom E. Gemcity and his books, complete with Amazon.com links, a news blog, and a fairly active forum of deluded individuals who actually enjoyed McGee's writing enough to spend hours talking about it online. Not that Tony had ever read more than a few passages of McGee's stuff, but he was pretty sure it didn't call for the amount of discussion that these weirdos poured into it on a daily basis. He wasn't complaining, though: this site, with its disclaimers of not being associated Gemcity in any official capacity, had quickly become his favorite place when he was in one of his perverse little moods, which was why he was surfing over to its forums that night.
As always, there were tons of new forum posts since his last foray into this particular geeky hell, but Tony wasn't looking to catch up on all of them. Just a post or two, maybe one with a ridiculously serious argument over some stupid and insignificant detail that was probably only interesting because McGee had a mistake and then Tony's beers would have kicked in and he'd be off to bed. As he scrolled through the lists, he noticed a new section had been added and, from the icon, it was red-hot with posts. Tony didn't even bother to stop and think what "Shippers' Area" meant before he clicked on the link to see what had everyone's panties in such twists.
There were a ton of active threads, but Tony chose the first one he saw that had "Agent Tommy" in the title. Even though he didn't think that Tommy was much like him or even a very good character to begin with, Tony couldn't stop the smug little thrill he got whenever he stumbled upon ladies on the forum writing fantastically positive posts about how awesome they found this or that about the character. He figured those threads of brilliance in the otherwise hackneyed character was where Tony's natural awesomeness shown through in Tommy, despite McGee's terrible writing.
The post was authored by a member named mctommy893 and it was seriously long at first glance -- so long, in fact, that Tony almost hit the back button when he saw it. He didn't, though, and instead scrolled down to begin reading whatever it was about Agent Tommy that had mctommy893 writing a freaking thesis on an anonymous website, once again deciding that these geeks, like his own, needed lives.
...and I just have more faith in Gemcity's ability to surprise us than that, mctommy893 had written. Tony didn't bother starting from the beginning, he just dove in where it started to look interesting.
In his interview with Nina over at her thriller novels review blog, he made mention that something surprising was on the horizon when it came to Tommy's personal life. His exact word was "shocking." A lot of people have taken this as a sign that there is some serious Lisa/Tommy on the horizon in next book but how would that be shocking? That would be the most derivative and cliché (not to mention BORING) turn of events that could happen, which is why I think all those rabid shippers are overlooking the real clues pointing to this shocking revelation. Lisa/Tommy is a misdirection, just like McGregor/Amy.
Personally, I think it's pretty obvious that we're going to find out that Agent Tommy is actually hot for Agent McGregor and vice versa and the rest of it has been a big old smokescreen to make it all even more shocking.
Tony had to read that twice to make sure he'd read it correctly. Tommy and McGregor? He frowned at the screen, wondering what kind of drugs mctommy was doing on a regular basis to get that impression from the books. If McGee had gotten nothing else right in his little fantasy, it was that Tommy was all about the ladies and they were all about him.
He continued down to see that he wasn't the only person who disagreed. WTF? asked sindarth1220 in the next comment. Where are you getting this? It's obvious that McGregor is going to end up with Amy eventually and so are Tommy/Lisa. Even if it wasn't obvious, what is OBVIOUS is that neither MaGregor or Tommy are gay. Did you even read the books?
The next poster, agentrox0r, was even more succinct: Ugh, not another crazy gay slash post. Give it a rest, why don't you?
Reading saraiously's comments, Tony figured they were friends with mctommy. Did mctommy say she thought McG and Tommy were gay? No, she didn't. Yes, we know canonically that they both like women but that doesn't mean that they aren't bi. They don't have to be either/or and until one of them says definitely that they do not like men as well as women, you can't rule it out as a possibility. And while I am not as convinced as mctommy that we're actually going to get canon McTommy action, the subtext is definitely strong between them, as strong as Tommy/Lisa, in fact. Tommy/Lisa just seems more likely because the world is full of homophobic assholes like you and agentrox0r who couldn't handle reading about two men.
And so it continued for several pages. Tony, both fascinated and repulsed, couldn't look away. The comments seemed fairly divided between supporting mctommy to various degrees or agreeing with sindarth. Along the second or third page, mctommy893 rejoined the fray with another too-long reply that Tony skimmed through until something caught his eye. Namely:
Look, if you want the entire series' breakdown, hit up my manifesto, but so many of the scenes between Tommy and McGregor are open to this kind of interpretation. All the cutesy nicknames Tommy has for McGregor? The way he's always trying to rope him into one of his stupid schemes, or trying to get his attention? My god, it's completely immature (which Tommy is so much of the time) but it's just a version of pulling your hair because he likes you. Tommy's actions half the time scream LOOK AT ME, MCGREGOR! LOOK AT ME!! to the point where I don't understand how it can't be some kind of subtextual UST. If it's not, I don't know what it is because grown men do not act like that with each other otherwise.
It was obvious to Tony that this mctommy chick -- and, oh, he saw what she'd done there with her handle -- was crazy and wrong. Crazy wrong, even. Because grown men did treat each other that way because every example she had come up with for Tommy and McGregor sounded like something he and McGee had done. Tommy called his probie names because Tony called McGee names; Tommy tried to pull McGregor into his antics because that's what Tony did with McGee.
So, she was definitely wrong on everything else because her entire premise was built on the idea that these actions were signs that the characters were heading toward a sexual relationship and that just wasn't true. Because it wasn't like Tony was flirting with McGee when he did those things. Okay, some of the behavior was flirt-like, but that was the way it was with him. And apparently Tommy, too. It didn't mean anything more than that.
Tony frowned as he reached the end of mctommy's post: And seriously, if you changed McGregor for Lisa in those scenes, all you ToLi shippers would be lapping it up. But because it's McGregor, you're ignoring it and calling us slashers crazy. Well, whatever, but think about it like this -- if McGregor was a female character, would you be dismissing us as crazy? I think we all know the answer to that is HELL NO.
Tony closed his laptop with a resounding click and headed off the bed, totally not thinking about that last paragraph or any of the ones that had preceded it. Definitely not.
His last thought before he fell asleep was that he seriously didn't like that mctommy chick.
Tony decided to ignore the whole crazy foray into the world of McGeek's fans the next morning, especially since it hadn't amused him in the slightest. Truth be told, this was just one of the reasons he was annoyed McGee had based his characters on them, because it just made for a whole messy headspace where people, even non-psychos, drew the wrong conclusions, blurred the line between the fantasy on the pages and the real world. Even smart guys like Tony, who knew he was not Tommy and that nothing some anonymous poster said actually had any bearing on his reality, couldn't shake how close and how far it came to home, how uneasy he felt after reading some stranger's analysis of his friendship with McGee and ending up with a wrong conclusion.
By the time he got to NCIS, Tony still didn't like this mctommy person and he wasn't feeling very generous toward McGee either, who was the source of it all anyway. McGee immediately noticed the chill in the air, which meant Tony was on the receiving end of a few puppy-dog looks and quite a few confused pouts before McGee reached the point midmorning where he matched Tony glare for glare, eyeroll for eyeroll.
Definitely no sexual tension between them, Tony thought more than once. Just business as usual between two guys who alternated between friendly antagonism and antagonistic friendliness. As the hours ticked by, Tony relaxed and so did the vibes he was sending McGee's way. By that evening, when Gibbs and Ziva had already bailed but the other two agents were still at their desks finishing paperwork, Tony was unwound enough to start up a conversation.
"Hey McAuthor," Tony said, leaning back in his chair to focus on McGee, who was busily tapping away on his computer.
McGee barely spared him a glance, his reply almost a sigh. "What, Tony?"
"Do you ever...you know..." Tony searched for a neutral way to broach the subject at hand. "...interact with your fans?"
McGee stopped typing, shot him a confused look. "My...?"
"You know, those deluded bastards who spend their money on your books," answered Tony.
"Oh!" McGee finally looked his way. "You mean at book signings and conventions? Yeah, I talk to them. Most of them are really nice and --"
"I don't mean like that." Tony leaned back as far as he dared, hands locked behind his head. "I mean, you know, on the internet? That wide world web you're always hooked into."
He could tell that McGee was still confused about the line of query but being the nice guy he was, he gamely continued to answer. "I've given a few interviews to some review bloggers, stuff like that. My publisher isn't really big on the new and social media, so I try to do what I can when the chance comes up."
"But you don't, you know, stake out the forums to see what they're saying?"
Even in the dim light of the mostly empty bullpen, Tony could see McGee flush, right to the tips of his ears. It brought a grin to his face. "I admit in the beginning, I did do some lurking," McGee said. "Just to see if people hated or not. I haven't done that for a while, though. I'm usually too busy writing." He shot Tony another look. "Why?"
"No reason." Tony didn't know where to go from there and they lapsed into silence, McGee's eyes back on his computer screen. Tony, on the other hand, continued to stare at McGee, thoughts running through his head. "Do you know what slasher means?" Tony's question was loud in the silence, and he winced.
"Like a slasher movie?" McGee asked, proving he didn't. He seemed to think for a moment and then frowned at Tony. "Is this about how I won't watch the Friday the 13th movies with you?"
Tony sighed, going back to his own work. "Never mind, Probie. Never mind."
He could feel McGee's eyes on him, probably trying to puzzle out the reason for the conversation. "What's going on, Tony?"
"Nothing, just forget it." Tony barely waited for his computer to power down before he was on his feet, ready to go. "I'm out of here anyway. See you around, McGeek."
Just before he stepped onto the elevator, Tony heard McGee's friendly, "Later, DiNozzo," which meant he left the Yard with a smile on his face.
Tony couldn't quite explain it, but he found himself back on that Gemcity forum, glaring down at mctommy's words a few days later.
Did she even realize how much he didn't like her? Did she? He almost wished she could feel the burn of his anger through the screen, but he knew she couldn't, which just frustrated him even more. Because even though he couldn't effect any change on her, it had become clear that her words had had quite an effect on him.
As much as he tried not to, Tony had begun to notice the way he treated McGee versus the way he treated everyone else. And, yeah, it was different, and that difference was something that McGee had enshrined in his books between Tommy and McGregor. But it wasn't because there was some secret attraction between the two of them; Tony wasn't really 'the love that dare not speak its name' kind of guy. And if he was, it wouldn't have been over McGee who was...well, McGee. Geeky, blushing, earnest, painfully inept in so many ways McGee. Tony was sure of that.
If he had a few dreams that maybe belied that -- it was that mctommy's fault.
So Tony was back at the scene of the crime, skimming the forum thread again to see if someone had raised some brilliant defense against mctommy's words that would magically erase them from Tony's mind. Unfortunately, there wasn't, which was why he was mostly glaring down at mctommy's forum avatar, a small image of what looked like a Canadian Mountie and a guy with crazy hair. Tony vaguely remembered that show but he couldn't really place it past that.
Suddenly struck with what must've been some kind of masochistic tendency he hadn't displayed since drinking contests in college, Tony clicked on mctommy's name and surfed to her profile. There was the usual information (age: 20s, gender: female, hometown: Austin, Texas, join date: 08-08-2004) but she'd left the biography box empty. The only thing else filled out was the link form, which promised to let Tony "visit mctommy893's website now!" if he clicked.
Masochism fully engaged, Tony clicked.
There wasn't much to see there, except for a list of links with paragraphs separating each of them and some code letters in parentheses next to the hyperlinks that Tony figured communicated something to other geeks. Out of curiosity, he clicked on the first one, deciding it would help him figure out what "T/McG, H/C, FRAO, see notes" meant.
It didn't take him long to figure out that it was some kind of story (written by mctommy?) starring McGee's characters, namely McGregor and Tommy. Oh, the other characters were there, but they danced in and out of the action, hardly more than window dressing to the story she was telling about McGregor and Tommy. Quickly bored, Tony scrolled down the page, eyes sweeping for something that caught his attention.
Of course, it would be the word "blowjob" that did it.
Tony wasn't exactly a shy guy, especially when it came to sex, but he got about two paragraphs into what turned out to be a very graphic sex scene between McGregor and Tommy, which Tony was pretty sure McGee couldn't have written if he tried, before he felt like his whole face was on fire. It didn't help that he'd thought of Tommy and McGregor as him and McGee for so long that he was imagining them in the scene as he read. So when it said that McGregor was on his knees, his mouth teasing Tommy's thick cock, well...
Tony jumped up from his couch and decided it was absolutely the perfect time for a beer.
A few days stretched out into a week, during which Tony hated himself and the internet more with each passing evening he spent browsing through the sordid underground he came to know as 'fandom,' a place apparently filled with other filthy-minded girls just like mctommy who seemed to spend most of their time writing about Tommy and McGregor engaging in every kink known to man, woman and beast. He'd figured between his own experience and friendships with people like Abby, he was pretty sophisticated and open-minded when it came to sex, but these women's stories made wonder if he'd been wrong.
And it wasn't just stories, although they were enough. There was also more discussion, more analysis, more synthesis than Tony had thought possible about two characters who didn't have much time to chat between running down clues and chasing criminals. If they had half of the brain-power for analysis at their disposal at NCIS, there would be a lot less cases sitting with the Cold Case division. He had to hand it to those fangirls, they were dedicated.
More than that, those discussions showed him how much of them McGee had put in the way the characters he'd created from their image interacted, and it was every one of those strange little moments -- moments that had once belonged to Tony and McGee -- that made the fangirls squeal over how perfect McGregor and Tommy were for each other. It made Tony itchy all over again, just like he'd been the first night he'd stumbled across someone dissecting a thinly veiled version of his actions and coming up with the conclusion that he, or Tommy, or both of them, had the hots for McGee.
Most traitorous of all was his own subconscious, which had managed to turn his dreams into an X-rated theater that seemed to be stuck on playing the Technicolor movie version of the stories he'd found. Tony didn't want to think about the times he'd woken up with his hand on his aching dick, the dreams still clinging enough for him to realize he'd been fantasizing about McGee, embarrassingly close to coming in his boxers just from the pictures his brain had conjured up while he'd been asleep.
Those nights made the days even more difficult. He was getting distracted by all the hubbub in his head -- or rather, the hubbub in his head was making him distracted by McGee. Tony would find himself concentrating on Tim instead of what he was supposed to be focused on, mind completely derailed by McGee's mouth or his hands or his eyes as they caught Tony staring. The only word he had to describe both of these realities was embarrassing but Tony didn't think it was strong enough.
Humiliating, perhaps. Mortifying. Horrifying.
Tony vowed to give up all of his illicit browsing. No more Gemcity forums, no more slash sites, no more porny stories about agents Tommy and McGregor doing things that were probably only possible in the raunchiest gay porn available on the market. He hoped once he stopped trying to understand it, his brain would give it a rest and then his days and nights would be his own again, no longer co-opted by the fantasies of others who had put them to words and posted them online for all to see.
But in the back of his mind, Tony knew he could never un-read any of what he'd read, just like he could never un-know the things it had made him look at in the way he treated McGee. And in that same, disgustingly honest part of his brain, he knew that reading a couple dirty stories wasn't enough to send him into this kind of funk, not if there wasn't something beneath it all, hiding under the surface of every action, thought and moment that made up his life and where it overlapped with McGee's. He'd had enough self-delusion when he'd been Tony DiNardo for Jeanne and he didn't want to assign himself another new separate persona in Tommy.
Tony wasn't stupid; he knew where he ended and Tommy began, where McGee and McGregor diverged, where his own fantasies weren't someone else's. But that didn't mean he wanted what it added up to because there was a reason he kept certain things out of mind and sight so it didn't overcomplicate his life.
Two weeks after that first night and the first thing Tony admitted to himself as he began soul-searching in earnest was this:
He really hated that mctommy chick.
Finally, finally, Tony reached some his conclusions from his time of deep self-reflection, most of had to do with the fact that he hated self-reflection. While he certainly didn't mind spending time thinking about himself (after all, he knew he was awesome), trying to make sense of the same mess he'd been ignoring for years just illustrated why he'd spent years ignoring it.
Given all of that, Tony was relieved when they finally pulled a hot case at work, if only because it didn't leave him with too much time on his hands to think. While he had never been a genius like McGee, Tony was quick and had a cop's mind for details that meant that being without something to occupy those instincts let him find ways to get into trouble. Office pranks, extravagant flirting with whatever lucky lady was around, surfing for ammunition against McGee online -- all were symptoms of Tony's idle mind and chaos it could bring.
It was nice to have a break from all the ways McGee was driving him crazy just by being McGee thanks to the internet fangirls, except having a hot case meant McGee was driving him crazy in completely different ways, like in the way he managed to get his ass in trouble at every turn. Logically, Tony knew McGee didn't get himself in trouble most of time, but that's why it made the close calls even more harrowing, and Tony wasn't in the right frame of mind to watch McGee go down in the middle of a firefight even if it only took ten minutes for him to figure out that he hadn't been injured at all.
Or maybe he was exactly in the right frame of mind. All those seconds of entertaining the worst case scenario in between shooting and helping bring down the bad guys must've jump started some crazy lever in his mind because Tony had the answers days of soul-searching hadn't gotten him.
Tony figured there was probably some kind of lesson there, but he was too wired to care.
The long day stretched into a much less stressful but still no shorter evening that ended, as so many did, with Tony and McGee still at their desks while their teammates' were empty. Ziva had only just left and, though they hadn't seen Gibbs in hours, his light was still on which meant he was around the building somewhere.
McGee was clack-clacking on his computer, intense and focused and fantastically not bullet-ridden. That last one was the one that Tony relished most. The reminder that it could've been far different is what made him open his mouth to ask, "So how's the writing coming?"
"I'm almost finished with my report."
"No, I mean...the novel writing?"
McGee froze, slowly turning to look at Tony. "My novel writing?"
"Yeah." Tony hoped his smile and nod looked encouraging.
"It's fine, Tony. Thanks for asking?"
Tony was almost discouraged that it was a question. "You aren't like your sister, right? I mean, you didn't study that stuff in college."
"Well I took a few English classes," McGee replied. "But no, I didn't major in it or anything."
"So do you do all the literary stuff in your books?"
Tony waved a hand in the air. "You know, simile, metaphor, theme, imagery, et cetera." He made sure he was looking straight at him when he added, "Subtext, McGee. I'm talking subtext."
"Yes, McEcho, subtext," Tony said, rolling his eyes.
McGee gave him another incredulous look, but cautiously answered, as if he feared every word might be the last before Tony hit him with the punch line. "Well, since it's subtext, I don't consciously think about it but I'm sure there's some. Yeah, metaphors, foreshadowing. I like to think my works have themes, although I'm basically happy when I manage a coherent plot, subtext or no." McGee turned in his seat, as if something occurred to him. "What's got you so interested in subtext, anyway?"
All the use of the word "sub" was making Tony wish he'd stopped his research before he got to some of the harder BDSM stories on mctommy's site. "Just thinking about...things. Under the surface, scratch-and-you'll-find-it things."
McGee was giving him the hairy eyeball, suspicion heavy in his arched eyebrow. "You could read the books, Tony, if you want to know what happens in them. Or just look it up, I'm sure there are synopses on the internet somewhere."
"Oh, I'm sure there are, but I'll pass," Tony said. "That's what got me into this mess." Before McGee could say anything to that, Tony continued, although he was much more serious. "That free writing thing you do, McGee -- do you ever surprise yourself? Do you ever find something coming out in it that you weren't expecting?'
"Sometimes," McGee admitted. "That's why I do it. It helps me make sense of my thoughts when they're not very clear."
Tony leaned toward McGee, like the few inches would close the feet between their desks. He grinned when McGee subtly mimicked the movement. "So is there a chance that the same thing happens with the finished product? That there might be stuff in there that you don't catch but others do?" He cleared his suddenly dry throat, voice lower and rougher when next he spoke. "Your fans have written some pretty crazy things about the subtext in your books. How do you feel about that?"
For a moment, it looked like maybe McGee was buying a clue because his eyes widened a little, very round and very green. They darted nervously across Tony's face, like they were looking for something there. When McGee nervously licked his lips, Tony was ready to explode.
"If you're looking for writing advice, DiNozzo, take a class." Gibbs's deadpan delivery as he swept toward his desk broke whatever nascent feeling had been building.
"Will do, Boss," he said, turning back to his computer as McGee hid behind his dual monitors. "A retreat, maybe. In the mountains."
Gibbs wasn't stopping; he just grabbed his jacket and his keys. "You two go home," he told them as he turned off his light. "The reports will still be there in the morning."
"Goodnight, Boss," McGee managed to mumble from behind his screens, but only once Gibbs was far enough away that he didn't have to worry about an answer.
"I wasn't looking for writing advice," Tony felt the need to point out once Gibbs was gone. "Not at all."
McGee's mouth curved up a little, like he was fighting a smile. "I never thought so."
"Just my philosophy on literary criticism."
"Shut up, McGeek."
"If you really want to know, Tony, I am firmly in the 'death of the author' camp. Who am I to tell them they don't know what they're reading?"
"Is that so?" Tony caught McGee's gaze. "I wonder if you've been reading the same things I have."
McGee rolled his eyes. "I don't know what you're up to, but I'm busy, okay? I'd really like to finish this tonight so it's not waiting on me in the morning."
As McGee went back to work, Tony tried to figure out a way to say what he wanted, to express what he'd figured out. But, as Gibbs has reminded him, Tony wasn't the communicator, at least not when it came to words, and he wasn't sure he had the rights ones for McGee.
A calm descended on Tony, the kind that usually only came when he'd accepted the fact that he was about to die, as he decided what he wanted to do. After so many nights of surfing, it was easy to navigate to mctommy's site and grab a quick link. Before he could think about what he was doing, he opened his email, dropped it in and addressed it to McGee.
With a little more emphasis than necessary, Tony hit send.
A second later, it hit McGee's inbox. "What did you send me?"
"Just a little light reading," Tony said as he stood to leave, grabbing his backpack from behind his desk. "Save it for later, all right?"
"If you say so," McGee said.
Tony shot him a grin over his shoulder. "Sweet dreams, Probie."
This time, he didn't listen for a reply.
Tony had more time to himself than he'd expected once he reached his apartment, but he'd barely been home an hour before there was a knock at his door.
The part of him that had been anticipating McGee's affronted arrival was suddenly silent and the rational part of him that had protested his rash email was screaming "Ah ha!" as Tony froze on the sound of the second knock.
Ignoring both parts, he crossed the living room and opened the door to see exactly who'd he been expecting: McGee, face tight and unreadable.
"Hey there, Probie," Tony said, his voice way more nonchalant than he felt. "What's shaking?"
"Tony..." McGee broke off, marching into the living room before he continued. Tony shut the door behind him and turned to once again watch emotions chase across McGee's face. "What the hell was that you sent me?"
He knew he could've played dumb, but it wouldn't have helped his case. "Just some of the subtext people have been reading into your work," he explained. "Thought I'd share."
"Was that..." McGee stopped and swallowed, frowning. "What was that some kind of joke? Did you write that?"
"Me?" Tony was honestly amazed that McGee suggested it. "We've already established that I'm no writer and I certainly don't watch enough gay porn to think of all that. And do you really think I'd go through the trouble of writing all of that just to mess with you."
McGee crossed his arms and glared. "Claire," he bit out.
Tony had to admit he had a point. Claire should've been his first clue, way before mctommy. "But this isn't like that."
"Let's say -- for argument's sake -- that I believe you. Why the hell would you send some erotic fanfiction based on my books? For the characters based on...us?"
Somewhere in the back of his head he was filing away more proof that McGee was the geeky elf lord king of them all -- erotic! fanfiction! -- but he was mainly concerned with looking as nonchalant and unconcerned as possible as he moved past McGee to his sofa. "Well that sounds like the $60,000 question, doesn't he?" He sat down, forcing himself not to tense under McGee's considering look. "I'm sure a crack agent like you has a theory."
"Because you're an ass," McGee said immediately. "Because you like torturing me. Because your mind is scary place and your inner twelve-year-old is in charge most of the time."
"Ouch, way to pull your punches, McGee." Tony winced. "Not."
"Yeah, yeah, I did."
McGee sighed and sat down next to him. "Fine, then you tell me."
Tony knew McGee had a point or two (or more) that usually when he did outrageous things, he was doing it just to provoke a response. And that was why he'd done this, but he'd need looking for something more, too. Maybe he'd been wrong to think he could get a real answer without asking a real question.
At some time, even Tony DiNozzo had to move beyond pulling McGee's pigtails.
"Maybe, I was just wondering what you thought about it," he began. "Maybe..."
"Maybe what?" McGee seemed very close all of a sudden.
"Maybe..." Tony's voice was low again and he inched closer to McGee, his usual cockiness covering for the nervousness he felt. It helped that he could see a flush rising on McGee's face, cheeks and ears pinking by the second. "Maybe I wondered what chance there was that life could imitate art?"
McGee let out a laugh, a short bright sound that he seemed to quickly smother. Tony might've been offended if he hadn't seen how Tim's face seemed to light up slowly, as his big brain whirled and came to the exact right conclusion. "I don't think I bend like that, Tony."
Tony didn't realize he'd been holding his breath until it all escaped in a huff. "Come on, McGee, seriously? I'm being serious here and you're cracking jokes? No wonder I never --"
He didn't get much farther because his wide-eyed, blushing partner grabbed him by the front of his shirt and stopped the rest of his complaint with his mouth. Kissing McGee was just like Tony had hoped for and like his friend mctommy had written – soft and drugging, excitement skittering through him that it was finally happening. He didn't let McGee stay in the lead for long, though, and Tony's hand drifted up to McGee's face as he deepened the kiss, tongue darting out to taste as he took control.
"I was going to do that," Tony complained as they broke apart. "But you had to go and steal my thunder."
"You were babbling, Tony, I had to stop you." Mouth red and wet, McGee was still grinning, entirely too smug and appealing for Tony's sanity. "One day you'll thank me."
He rolled his eyes and didn't bother answering. Instead, Tony just kissed him again, arms going around McGee to pull their bodies closer.
McGee resisted, keeping enough space between them that he could look Tony in the eye. "Do you think we should talk about this?"
That earned him one of those exasperated looks McGee was so good at. "I don't know -- this? Us?" McGee paused, a shadow of uncertainity flitting over his features. "Tomorrow?"
Tony knew what McGee meant, but he wasn't really ready for that kind of actual talking, not when it looked like things would work out without it. But then, he probably had more faith in McGee than McGee did in him. Still, he said, "Don't you think I've bared my soul enough for one evening?"
"You sent me a web link," McGee reminded him. "You didn't bare anything."
"I could if you weren't so busy talking." Tony made a move as if to start on the buttons on McGee's shirt, but instead he laid his hand on McGee's chest, right over his heart. When he spoke, it was quiet. "Would you feel better if I declared my undying love for you?"
McGee's eyes were almost painful in their naked emotion. "Tony..."
Tony smiled and tugged him close once again. "God, you are such a girl," he murmured against McGee's mouth. But later, in between that kiss and another, those words just might've escaped Tony's lips again, without a hint of irony or humor.
The next time they pulled apart -- and shirts had mysteriously disappeared in the interim -- Tony gave McGee a measuring look.
"What?" McGee asked.
"Are you sure you don't bend like that?"
The next thing he knew Tony was stretched out on the sofa with Tim under him, hands and mouths roaming in a decidedly interesting way -- a way that was probably going to get more interesting real quick. It was close enough to perfect that he didn't care how far off it was from any erotic fanfiction he had read. This was them -- the real them -- and they were working it out just fine on their own. Tony didn't need any input from filthy-minded Texans when he had Tim, all of him, at his personal disposal.
Mctommy893 really wasn't that great of a writer, anyway.