Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Characters: Tony DiNozzo & Timothy McGee
Spoilers: Mentions of Season 5 Episode "Family"
Written For: I started this for the NFA Five Things Game, but was beat posting it, so I'll just post it separately.
Prompt: Five times Tony shows that he cares about Tim.
Crossposted: ncisfanfic; ncis_haven
Summary: When Tim first met Special Agent DiNozzo he didn't think much of him and his behavior, but four years later, he knows different.
Tim had not understood since he first met Anthony DiNozzo in Norfolk how the man could be an NCIS special agent, especially the lead special agent for a man with a record like Leroy Jethro Gibbs. From all Tim could see, DiNozzo was just an ex-jock who was lucky in life.
One week after Tim started working full time for Gibbs' team, he was thoroughly puzzled. Gibbs didn't put up with people who couldn't do the job and DiNozzo had been there for over two years.
It was during a case in his second week, that Tim first saw a sign other than the harsh teasing DiNozzo always did with him. They were at a murder scene where the victim had been cut up. The sight was gruesome, the smells were overwhelming and Tim was on the verge of being sick.
Gibbs was barking orders, but Tim couldn't get his feet working; his eyes were frozen on the sight of the victim's dissected torso.
Tim jumped when a hand clamped down strongly on his shoulder. He heard DiNozzo's voice as barely a whisper in his ear.
"Breath through your mouth Tim and try not to look at the body much. If you need to, step outside and don't worry about Gibbs, I'll cover for you."
DiNozzo squeezed his shoulder and then moved on to start his sketches. Tim stood more in shock from DiNozzo using his first name than the body. 'Maybe,' Tim thought, 'Tony's not as bad as I thought.' Then he finally moved on to do his job.
When Kate died just under a year later, Tim had built up a lot more respect for Tony. He knew he was a capable agent and under all the jokes and teasing, he cared for those around him. It hit Tim full force as they walked out of the autopsy lab together, Tony's arm slung over his shoulder with a reassuring firmness.
That night, Tony made sure Tim ate and got a few hours of sleep on Abby's futon. Tim tried to return the favor, seeing the darkness under Tony's eyes and hearing the harsh breathing from his plague recovering lungs. But Tony just shrugged it off and said he would rest when they found the bastard.
Tim was in a bad place the night he shot the cop. It was the first time he had shot another person, the first time he had killed another person and it was a cop who was probably doing his job. When the knock came to his door and Tony demanded entrance. He was half tempted to not let him in, but something inside said he needed Tony that night; needed him to keep from going crazy.
After Tim had shot down the idea of going clubbing, Tony settled for old movies, pizza and beer. He told Tim stories of some of his first times on various forces; first arrests, first shooting, first kill. At 3am, after Tony had passed out on the couch and Tim had moved to his room, Tim smiled for the first time since the gun had fired.
During the months that Gibbs was gone, Tim's respect for Tony had reached an all time high. At first, Tim was worried about working with Tony for a boss, but as the weeks passed, he saw how much Tony didn't let them see what he did when he was just a senior agent and not the lead.
The best part was when Tony showed him the ropes of working the inner office requests and general paper work in their favor. Tim had never realized that Tony did all that paper work and then some, but he should have known. He smiled thinking about how Tony said taking the supply request straight to Jill (and not Terry) along with a piece of candy or a cup of coffee would get their request processed before the other teams. 'Maybe I should get Tony a cup of coffee for the morning,' Tim thought to himself at one in the morning as he shut of his computer; the last of the paperwork completed. 'Show my appreciation for all the things he did that I didn't know about.'
After the fiasco with the frog and Jeanne leaving Tony, Tim was worried about the man; worried that Tony might leave. As Tim pressed the button to light the fire for Tony to sit beside in that computerized house, he couldn't help but wonder what life would be like without Tony DiNozzo in it. Tim surprisingly found that he didn't want to know.
As the burning paper Tony had tossed in the fire turned to ash and he walked back towards Tim, Ziva and Gibbs, Tim saw the expression in Tony's eyes and knew. Tim knew in that moment that Tony cared more for them than he had for the long shot of fixing his doomed relationship. Tim smiled as Tony shook off the excess water and placed his hand on Tony's shoulder to give a short squeeze. He conveyed silently to Tony that he cared too.