A sequel to By Way Of An Apology.
Slightly tipsy but far from drunk, McGee and DiNozzo have a heart-to-heart.
A DiNozzo and McGee centric gen story.
Written: January 2012. Word count: 500.
Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it - Confucius
The empty pizza box, used napkins, dirty plates and cutlery sat on the table; for once Tim wasn't in any hurry to clear them away. Tony and he were on their third beer and Tim realized he was mellow and happy with the company.
"So." Tony pushed himself up slightly from where he was slumped in one corner of the couch. "Are we friends again?"
Tim, similarly ensconced in the other corner, blinked and looked at Tony. "Huh?
What do you mean?"
Tony took a swig of beer. "Well, earlier today you were -"
"Pissed with you?"
Tim shook his head and smiled fondly at Tony. "Oh, Tony," he said. "Just because someone is pissed with you, it doesn't mean they stop being your friend."
Tim sat up, wondering just what kind of friendships Tony formed. "No. In fact," he paused and took a swallow of beer, "it's a sign of a solid friendship."
Tony blinked. "It is?"
Tim nodded. "Look at how Ducky was pissed with Gibbs when he came back from Mexico. And look at them now; their friendship's as close as ever."
Tony looked surprised. "You're saying we're like Gibbs and Ducky?"
Tim shrugged. "In a way, yes. They've been friends a lot longer than we have. But I regard you as my closest friend, Tony."
Tony's mouth fell open. "You do?"
Tim nodded. "Yes, I do. And I should have said it before, I'm sorry for what I said earlier."
Tony shook his head. "I deserved it."
"No, you didn't. You're not stupid, Tony."
"I'm not as intelligent as you or Ducky or Abby or Palmer or Ziva or Gibbs."
Tim couldn't argue with what Tony said. "But in some ways you're smarter than any of us."
Tony was silent for a moment. "How come you've never snapped back at me before? I mean you have a few times, but mostly you've always put up with what I've said or done."
Tim settled back again. "When I first met you I guess I was in awe of you."
"You were in awe of me?" Tony sounded astonished.
"In a way I was. There you were a seasoned field agent, Gibbs's right hand man; you'd been a cop, you knew what you were doing. Later on when I became a bit more confident, I saw you as more annoying than anything else. It was only when I started to see you as a friend that I felt I could hit back a bit."
Tony grinned, took a long swallow and slouched back again. "You're a strange man, Timothy McGee," he said. "You want to know something?"
"The main reason I hazed you, teased you, belittled you was because I was afraid you'd take my place on the team."
Tim laughed. "No, Tony, that'd never happen."
Tony shrugged. "Maybe; maybe not." He looked at Tim for a moment then held up his bottle. "To friendship," he said.
Tim touched his bottle to Tony's. "To friendship."
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