"What? What's that?"
From a young age, Timothy McGee had become accustomed to being seen as invisible by everyone, his family and so-called friends especially. Having grown up as a Navy brat meant his father, the Admiral, was never stationed in the same area for too long, so while his sister Sarah was out playing with the friends she met, Timothy had decided to stay at home, studying was more of a priority to him than friendship. His upbringing meant his social skills weren’t necessarily on par in comparison to the rest of those his age, however his intellect exceeded the rest of his peers by years, meaning when Timothy’s father had been permanently stationed in Las Vegas – for reasons Tim could never quite grasp – the young boy met his first ever friend.
The friend himself was a fellow social outcast as it were, for his intellect also, called Spencer Reid. As the years went by, both boys graduating from high school aged twelve and eleven (Timothy being younger than Spencer by a year approximately), they stayed together, through Spencer’s father leaving and his mother’s psychotic episodes, through Timothy’s father’s abusive tendencies, just so they knew that to someone, and they weren’t invisible.
Of painted walls and football on the TV
No one sees me
However as the years rolled by, degree after degree, PhDs, the technophile and technophobe had to separated, Spencer joining the BAU while Timothy joined NCIS, they saw less and less of one another. The years passed and Timothy blended further into the background, seen as the scapegoat in the MCRT team he hadn’t understood why he was in while Spencer exceeded all of the expectations people had of him, until the only time the genius from Vegas was seen by Timothy was in the news somewhere, celebrating another take down of another UnSub across America. Because of the lack of people in Timothy’s life, he barely noticed the fewer amounts of sleep he was getting, the less food he was eating, the lesser amount of times he felt happy and loved. He’d been with the NCIS team for years, though time was a concept Tim held very weakly onto nowadays, and had been called out on another murder investigation of a petty officer once again, the work of a serial killer which had already caught Fornell’s attention.
When they reach the crime scene, Timothy having driven alone with the more technical equipment, not trusting Tony, Ziva or Gibbs’s driving habits nor feeling the need to be around them more than he already has to, they find another team on the crime scene already. The young man stays behind the rest of the team, nodding at Fornell when he sees the man, leaving him to his own devices, alone once more. When Fornell sees McGee, a man he feels inclined to protect, look even more worn down than the last time he’d seen him, not even a month ago, he sighs, just wanting the boy to not be invisible to his team anymore, just wanting him to be cared for. Gibbs’s screaming match with an unknown man dies down after five minutes, so Timothy grabs his gear he’d need and walks into the house only to stop dead in his tracks and be immersed into a torrent of memories and anxiety, his fellow genius stood in front of him, not an ounce of recognition flashing past him.
I fade away,
Lost inside a memory of someone’s life
It wasn’t mine
The pain Timothy feels increases at an immense rate when he sees the BAU team stare at him with too much force and judgement, making the young man want to curl up into a ball and die. When he hears Gibbs tell him what to get on and do, he folds in on himself in an attempt to hide from the piercing eyes staring at the meek looking young man in confusion when he allows his boss to treat him with such little respect, something Hotch would never dare to dream of doing.
Timothy carefully analyses the laptop and phone he had been given simultaneously, loading it onto a clean hard drive for Abby later, not waiting to be pushed into the memories he didn’t ever want to remember again about the man he adored but one that didn’t even recognise who he’d become. In the background, he hears Fornell introduce the teams to one another, with Timothy’s back to everyone so he doesn’t have any names to put to face, however knowing what Fornell and the FBI were like, Timothy would end up hibernating somewhere, not that anyone noticed when he did, his social anxiety always getting the better of him.
As the MCRT try to leave, Fornell calls McGee back, the young man shaking at the thought of having to talk to anyone when he didn’t necessarily have to, but knowing it’d be rude if he ignored an agent much more important in rank than he was. Subconsciously, he bows his head and folds in on himself once again, a mannerism he’d picked up on in childhood which never left him no matter how hard the few who’d cared about him tried to remove from him. He hears a sad sigh come from somewhere, he presumes Fornell as the man had a severe distaste for Tim’s treatment off of his “teammates” even though Tim had dealt with much worse in life and didn’t see his true self-worth.
“McGee, seeing as you were doing an analysis for Gibbs earlier, I thought I’d introduce you to the BAU team from the FBI, this is Agent Aaron Hotchner, David Rossi, Derek Morgan, Emily Prentiss, Jennifer Jareau, Spencer Reid and tech analyst Penelope Garcia. BAU Team, this is Dr. Timothy McGee, owner of seven doctorates and eight Bas I believe.”
“Nice to meet you sirs, ma’ams, but you’ll have to excuse me; I need to get this file to our Forensic Scientist Ms Scuito, it was nice to meet you though.” He says meekly before bowing out of the room, once again subconsciously, and rushes to his car, driving off to the NCIS headquarters.
Immediately, Fornell has receives multiple questions, especially from Spencer, scared for his first best friend, however the man tells them the same answer he tells his team any time they have the displeasure of working with the MCRT team and seeing how poorly the young man, that he can’t do anything about it because Timothy refuses to report them so unless he is being physically harmed by any of his co-workers, he can’t do anything. Spencer’s insistence for them to do something to help leads the FBI agents to question how he knows Timothy, leading to him fully explaining his past for the first time in the years he’d worked in the BAU. However his story is cut short, very near to the end, when Fornell’s cell phone starts ringing loudly, leading the old man to answer it with a scowl on his face.
“Where’s the nerd Fornell?” DiNozzo asks him on Gibbs’s phone.
“What do you mean? He left here ages ago; he should’ve gotten to the yard about twenty minutes ago at least.” He says his worry for Timothy increasing as the conversation carries on.
“Well he ain’t here, Abby ain't got what she needs and Ducky and Palmer haven’t seen him all day, so where is the idiot?” DiNozzo snarls, causing Fornell to snap at him telling him to shut up.
“First of all, the so called idiot’s IQ is 197, almost twice yours, not to mention the six doctorates to the zero you have so I’d keep your mouth shut about intelligence Tony, and two, I have a feeling he may have been kidnapped.” Fornell says, reducing Tony to a surprising silence before mumbling more curses than a sailor could ever think to do.
“Gibbs is gonna kill him, that’s if he doesn’t kill me before he gets his hands on him.”
“You mean that’s if a psychopath doesn’t decide he’s unnecessary to him and decides to off the only one with brain cells in your team. You better tell Gibbs and if he has any issues with it, tell him to stick it.”
Once Fornell hangs up the phone, he urges the BAU team to help find the young man before the worst happens to him.
I was already missing before the night I left
Just me and my shadow and all of my regrets
When Timothy finally regains consciousness, he finds that he’s been bound in a BDSM sort of way, with him hanging from a hook on the ceiling of wherever he was. Left in the darkness, he reflects on all he has and hasn’t done in his life, hoping that he could make it out, even if it lead to his death, just to reassure Fornell and Spencer that whatever was to happen to him wouldn’t be on their consciences, as he was sure they’d believe it was. Hanging there, his limp, exhausted frame barely clinging onto life already, he notices two men, both talking in French as if he couldn’t understand a word they were saying, even though they’d know he was literate in multiple languages, French included.
“Je sais ce que vous dites.” He croaks out, his accent not perfect though he had more things to worry about instead of his accent.
The goons, as Timothy decides to mentally call him, mutter French explicits, before they edge closer to the young man, punching him to try and keep him silent while they are stuck with him in the warehouse. He quickly drifts out of a conscious state; being awoken whenever the maniac wants to torture the man more than he already was, beating him to an inch of his life repeatedly before he leaves him with more injured skin than not. The severely malnourished man had long given up on trying to fight back, speak or react, causing great annoyance on the goons and their leader’s behalf, leading the beatings to worsen for him.
The already fragile mentality he’d had was shattered and all the young man could think of was death, the cruel words being hissed at him making his suicidal ideation even worse than before. As time went on, Timothy decides on what he wants to do to try and escape but he has no clue that he was moments away from being rescued. When the SWAT team swarms into the dingy and dark basement, shortly followed by the FBI and Ducky and Jimmy who all had never seen something as horrendous as the state Tim was in, the fact he was still alive physically coming to a shock to all of the government officials.
The normally pale faced and youthful looking man was beaten black, blue and all other disgusting and unnatural colours on him. His hair had been ripped out from his skull in chunks, leaving many patches of bleeding scalp visible on at least a third of his head. His youthful face was now swollen, his nose had definitely been broken at least once, his lips were split, and there were high amounts of doubt he could see through the swelling of his eyes. He’d been left in only his boxer shorts, revealing the fractured ribs and the damage done to his hands and feet. Ducky’s usually unshakeable stomach nearly regurgitated his lunch at the sight of his friend, who the older man had come to realise had been seriously done wrong by NCIS, and Jimmy couldn’t say anything, too scared that if he opened his mouth he’d bail on his friend and vomit. Stabilising him as well as possible, they take him to the ambulance, Spencer rushing to him the minute he goes out of the torture chamber and going in the ambulance with him, uttering proclamations of love and caring for the best friend he’d grown apart from all those years ago.
Who am I? Who am I when I don't know myself?
Who am I? Who am I?
When Fornell finally finishes going through the god awful chamber, shuddering when his CSI techs explain only some of the damage done onto the young boy he couldn’t help but feel sorry for, feeling as though he’d failed him, the older man calls up the director of NCIS, explaining all he knew about the situation, not surprised when he was just appalled at what his agent had gone through. Hanging up the phone, Fornell calls Gibbs, telling him to get his team and get their asses to Bethesda ASAP or else he’d have the agent’s balls, and thankfully he’d arrived there before the others, going over to the distraught looking Spencer Reid, seeing the unshed tears building up in his eyes.
“He died Tobias, twice. The paramedics said it didn’t look good for him, and when the doctors and nurses saw him, two of them had to get others to cover them while they ran to the bathroom.” The young doctor says calmly, though his voice ended up cracking half way through.
“He’ll make it Dr. Reid, he’s survived through Gibbs and their bullshit for years, and he’s strong.” Tobias said, though his belief in that statement was less reassuring than he’d hoped.
When Gibbs and his team turn up to Bethesda, Jimmy is the one who rips them a new one, rather than Fornell as he’d imagined. Sat in the seat next to Ducky, Jimmy jumps up the minute the team walks into the reception, with a look of smugness and boredom across their face. Stalking over to them, he drags Tony and Abby over to Fornell in the private waiting room, allowing Ziva and Gibbs to follow behind him, stupefied by the reaction of the typically mild-mannered and quiet young man. When he shoves Tony and Abby into the plastic seats, he receives glares and protests; however they are silenced the moment all of the NCIS staff receive glares not concealing the fury and disgust the FBI agents, as well as the MEs.
“Have you all lost your humanity and common decency or is it just hidden beneath your ignorant and abysmal attitudes?” Jimmy asks them, his voice devoid of any emotion except his anger.
“What do you mean Gremlin?” Tony asks, his humour attempt not appreciated by anyone, especially Spencer, who looks ready to assault all of the team, had Fornell not been holding an arm in front of the man’s body, preventing him from moving.
“What do I mean? Well, the fact that all you nasty pieces of works sauntered into a hospital – with the threat of your balls being castrated and most likely all of your tongues removed – when it’s pretty damn obvious that Tim, the only agent who made me feel welcome when I joined and the one who’s been missing for three weeks...” Jimmy’s cut off by Spencer saying the specific time period McGee had been kidnapped for, “has been taken into hospital and seeing as we’re out here with your sorry asses, it can’t be good for him, now can it Tony?” he says venomously.
“It can’t be that bad, the man is weak, and we all know it.” Gibbs comments, but when Palmer gets his phone out to show them the photos he’d taken of McGee before he’d been taken to the hospital, his stomach turns and he is nearly sick.
Jimmy passes the phone to the other agents as well as Abby, who runs off in the direction of the restroom to be sick while Ziva and Tony remains stoic, their normal pallor turning as pale as a sheet within seconds. Calming down slightly, Jimmy sits back down in his seat next to Ducky, ignoring the pathetic attempts of the agents apologising to the wring person. The minute the surgeon comes into the waiting room over sixteen hours later, her and Ducky begin discussing the medical side of things and the minute the doctor mentions the room which Timothy is in, Fornell leads Spencer to the room while Jimmy waits at the door to prevent the disgraces he works with from disturbing the already disturbed man any further.
Dreaming of the times I know I can’t get back
Seems I just lost track
When Spencer sees his lifelong friend in the hospital bed, looking worse than he remembered seeing him, he immediately sits down in the seat beside his bed, gently holding onto his friend’s hand, ignoring everyone else around him. As the days pass, the only times Spencer parts with his friend – who he seems to act like he’ll disappear if Spencer leaves him for any longer than thirty minutes – is to have a brief shower and get changed, go to the restroom or eat something. Over the days Tim is visited by the medical examiners who first treated him as well as Spencer’s team, remembering the things which Spencer had let slip about the man when he spoke about his childhood, and Fornell who was feeling overwhelming levels of guilt for not getting the young man out of his situation as soon as he’d realised how poorly he was really treated by those who “cared” about him.
It is after McGee has been in a coma for a week and a half (more specifically one week, four days, thirteen hours, twenty nine minutes and thirteen seconds) when he begins to awaken, firstly twitching a finger while holding Spencer’s hand. The doctor’s ramble in regards to the appeal of social media falls silent the second he feels it, and he immediately encourages the man into doing the motion again, his hopes for him rising when he manages to do the motion again, this time with two fingers.
He calls out for a doctor, as well as Jimmy who had been outside to talk to one of the doctors and his eyes water as he notices Timothy moving more parts of his body, slowly but surely. After coaxing Timothy into trying to wake, Spencer finally gets him to open his eyes after thirty minutes and Spencer’s never been more thankful to see a pair of green eyes in his entire life. McGee tries to speak however he notices the tube in his throat helping him breathe and immediately starts choking on it; however the nurse rushes over to remove it from him to allow him to breathe on his own.
The doctor tries to kick Spencer out of the room so that they could do some tests on McGee but his anxiety levels spike and he begins hyperventilating, causing Spencer to stay sat down and clasps the young man’s hand in reassurance that he is staying with him regardless. Staying in as close proximity as he could to the young man, he enables them to carry out the tests they need to do before letting them leave Tim to recuperate from all the tests, within close proximity of the only person who made him feel safe regardless of their ages.
“Why didn’t you call me before all of this happened to you Tim?” Spencer asked him calmly and lowly enough not to scare him.
“Je n’étais pas digne de votre aide.” The young man whispers quietly, which Spencer barely hears but responds to either way.
“C’est faux, tu est mon meilleur amis, tous les temps. Je suis désolé.” Spencer responds, his French not as fluent as the slightly younger male’s.
“Il n’y a aucune nécessité pour vous d’être désolé.” Timothy replies slightly louder, raising his head to briefly look at his smiling, and highly emotional friend, his happiness an unusual but not unwelcomed emotion.
As all of life’s colours seem to fade to grey
I just walked away
Recovery for Timothy was both long and arduous, first physically and then mentally. While the physical injuries healed over a relatively short period of time – leaving some pretty “badass” scars according to Fornell’s daughter who’d found a new appreciation for the young man – the mental injuries had been present for much longer than the torture period and therefore were much more difficult. The first matter was leaving NCIS, a move endorsed by Ducky, Jimmy and his new FBI family. Going to the Director was much less intimidating with the entire BAU team stood beside him, as well as Jimmy handing his notice of resignation at the same time, accepting a place as the BAU’s resident M.E. and crime scene agent – earning him a badge and much more respect than what he received from NCIS.
After the NCIS mess was cleared up, Spencer helped Timothy move in with him in his apartment, taking the leave he’d accumulated over the years to help his friend with his recovery. Not only did he make sure McGee ate the nutritious meals at the correct times, Spencer drove McGee to his therapy sessions and managed to coax Timothy out of the foreign tongue he’d adopted after the incident. Once Timothy was in a much better mindset, to the point that he had several fewer severe triggers which could bring the young man into an anxiety attack and those that did trigger those reactions he could easily avoid, himself and Spencer began confronting the feelings they felt for one another, and after a year and a half, the two men began dating. Shortly after that point, and after many psychiatric tests and physical tests, McGee became a fully fledged member of the BAU team, improving their success rate even higher than it had been before.
With Timothy being the more mature individual in regards to his old team, he decides to meet with them once again after two years – having only spoken to Jimmy due to him working with the BAU with him and Ducky due to his kindly nature. Deciding to meet on neutral grounds – a bar not far from NCIS which Timothy had never visited with them before he left – he drove down with Spencer, Jimmy and Fornell – and Emily sneaking along to support her favourite big brother figure much to her father’s dismay. When the group arrives, the first thing they notice is the drastic changes within the team’s appearances.
Abby, the normally slightly inappropriately dressed forensic scientist looked like she had just left a strip show with her attire, and the look didn’t suit the forty-something year old woman. Ziva was blatantly pregnant, a ring finger where a ring had been but had recently been removed, and by the looks of it she was carrying twins yet she had an alcoholic drink in front of her. Tony had well and truly “let himself go”, gone were the tailored suits and slight muscle, now all there was a pot belly trying to escape his shirt which was much too small for him, trousers which were bursting at the seams and outgrown hair and a beard, none of which helped to make the man look younger in the slightest. Gibbs looked more withered from the excess alcohol consumption and was much too skinny for it to be safe for him.
“Fornell, Gremlin, Fornell’s kid and FBI-wad, why they here McGeek, couldn’t handle us on your own because you’re that weak?” Tony jibes once he notices the group of people in front of him.
“Don’t be ridiculous Anthony, it’s called they care about me, unlike you guys ever did, and as a result, they came here with me tonight. And if you could refrain from insulting family and my boyfriend in such an insolent manner, I would be highly thankful.” Timothy says politely and formally, revealing very little information about his life.
“You’re a queer? What the hell McFag?” Tony asks rudely, with Abby and Ziva agreeing and Emily storms over to the man and women, much larger than her, screaming at them in a crowded bar ignoring the people around them.
“What planet and century are you on? Because it most certainly isn’t Earth in the twenty-first century! How dare you be so homophobic and ignorant who carried your team for years while tearing himself down because of all of your inappropriate and disgusting behaviour. How much did your team’s case solving go down by in the past two years? Over twenty percent! Director Vance will be demoting you lot soon because of this! But how much has the BAU’s increased in the last six months which Uncle Tim has been there? By almost fifteen percent! And Abby don’t get me started on you, you look like some hooker and you went out with McGee years ago so you obviously have no problem with him. Ziva, you’re just a knob, a judgemental, knocked up knob whose unloved and has no one because not even your daddy loves you. I’m ashamed of you Gibbs; the second b must really be for bastard after all. Come on Uncle Tim, Uncle Jim, Uncle Spence, and Dad, let’s just go home.” She says, leaving the bar stunned into silence, walking out followed by her father and Jimmy.
“I’m glad you guys made me feel invisible or else the best thing in my life would have never happened to me. I hope you rot in hell though, and enjoy the demotion, Vance will love when I report you three for hate crime and verbal abuse in a public place later. Enjoy your lives.” Tim says before leaving hand in hand with Spencer.
“I love you, mon amour invisible.”
“I love you too Spencer Reid, mon amour.”