Gibbs quietly leaned against a tree that surrounded the small clearing, watching, spellbound, at the sight of his kneeling Agent.
A soft breeze twisted through the trees, barely carrying the sound of Tim’s voice to his ears. The items scattered in front of Tim, that he couldn’t identify from where he stood, told him that McGee was probably in the middle of working on something. What ever it was had the man’s complete attention and Gibbs thought he’d successfully snuck up on Tim, not wanting Tim to know he was there until he had watched the entire process.
But Tim surprised him a moment later, speaking over his shoulder just loud enough to be heard. “Boss, you can come closer. I’d just finished as you came up.”
Slightly annoyed at being caught and intrigued despite himself, Gibbs moved closer, coming up on Tim’s right side. “Don’t want to intrude.”
“You weren’t.” He waited until his Boss was standing at the edge of his Circle and looked up into the man’s cool blue eyes. “I was grounding out.” He chuckled when Gibbs lifted an eyebrow in confusion and elaborated. “Like when you ground an electrical circuit, Boss. Same idea, different energy. Otherwise, I get jittery.”
Still chuckling at the look on Gibbs face, which had shifted from confused to dubious with the explanation, Tim started to carefully place his tools and materials back into the small case he normally stored them in. It gave Tim a few seconds to become comfortable in Gibbs’ presence and, he was sure, give the other man time to absorb what exactly he’d found Tim doing.
Sure enough, Gibbs’ first question was asked after a very short pause. “What are you doing out here?”
He glanced up at Gibbs again and smiled. “You came all the way here, looking for me, and you didn’t try to find out what I was up to? That’s really not like you at all.”
Easily dropping into a crouching just outside Tim’s Circle, not that Gibbs knew that part, he laughed quietly. “You’re right, I wouldn’t come all the way out here without some idea of what you’re doing.” An expectant look crossed Tim’s face, curious. Gibbs didn’t take long to answer. “Well, Abby may have mentioned you’d be out here. Something about tonight being the full moon closest to Midsummer. Said you had work you wanted to get done because we’re on call for the actual Midsummer and tonight would be the best you could do.” He shrugged, uneasy because he didn’t really understand what he was talking about.
Tim nodded. “She’s right. I had spell work that I was reinforcing tonight. But I’m pretty sure you guessed that from what Abby said.” He tilted his head a little and gave Gibbs another look. “If you knew that, why did you come out here? It’s not like I’m in trouble. And I doubt magick is something you‘re comfortable with.”
“I wanted to see. And I wanted to talk to you.” He reached up and scratched the back of his head a little, frustrated because he wasn’t sure how to word any of his questions. Figuring he’d just bite the bullet, Gibbs went for to-the-point. “Thought you didn’t believe in all this New Age crap.”
“I don’t believe in New Age crap, Boss.” Placing the last item in his case, a jar of Dragon’s Blood resin, Tim snapped it closed and sat in place on his butt, getting more comfortable for the conversation they were probably having. On the other hand, Gibbs might just leave it at a couple of half-answered questions. One could never be sure. “This isn’t like that.”
“How do you mean?”
Tim waited while Gibbs also got more settled on the sparse grass of the clearing and unknowingly indicating to Tim that this was going to be a real conversation. “Well, I don’t do aromatherapy or homeopathic medicine or tarot and the like. It’s almost all about the science.” Tim started laughing at the look of disbelief on Gibbs’ face. “I know.” He continued quickly, not really wanting to test Gibbs’ patience. “This actually has a lot to do with quantum mechanics.” The nod he got prompted him to continue. “Well, at any given moment, there’s infinite possibilities and none of them happen until they’re measured or observed. Those aren’t really accurate words for it, but close enough. It’s kind of a mind over matter thing.”
“What you mean,” Gibbs interrupted, “is that once a possibility is decided on, by choice or by action, the other possible outcomes collapse.”
For a second, Tim just stared at his Boss. “Yeah, that’s about right.”
“Not stupid, McGee. Just don’t like using big words for a simple explanation.”
“Of course you’re not stupid,” Tim jumped in to say. “I had no idea you knew about quantum anything though.”
Gibbs offered him a crooked smile. “Been listening to you and Abby jabber about it long enough to know the basics.”
Tim returned the smile shyly. “Ok. So, that’s sort of what I’m doing here. Kinda guiding myself to the outcomes I want and using ritual as a focus. I mean, it’s way more complicated than that, but it’s the easiest way I have to tell you about this.”
Making a soft sound, that Tim took as Gibbs agreeing with the last bit, Gibbs eventually asked, “So what were you doing tonight?”
“Oh.” Tim blushed, though it was hard to see in the moonlight, unexpectedly embarrassed over what he was about to admit. “I was reinforcing a protection spell.”
Tim blushed harder before he mumbled, “The team.”
Rather than being disturbed, Gibbs found he was fine with his youngest Agent casting on the team’s behalf. “How does it work?”
“Uh…” Thrown a little, Tim reverted to his standard habit when dealing with Gibbs. He simplified it as much as possible. “I’ve got a small pouch with stuff that represents everybody on the team, along with things that resonate with an energy that feels protective. I sort of make this shield around each charm with energy. At the same time I’m shielding these items, I mental link it to you, and it acts as a focus for what I want.” Shrugging helplessly, he added, “I can’t really explain it without getting into a long lecture about quantum entanglement Boss. Sorry.”
“Nah, you’re fine.” He looked around quickly before coming to a decision. “How about we go get a bite and you can give me the long version of how this all works, ok?”
“Yeah, I can do that.”
“Good man.” Gibbs reached forward to pat McGee on the shoulder, only to encounter a slight resistance and a tingle that shot up his arm. “Huh. “
Scrambling up, Tim started apologizing before his feet were even under him. “Sorry Boss. That was just the energy of the Circle. I’ve got to pull it down and ground it, then we can go.”
Gibbs just stood there rubbing his hand as he answered. “Sure McGee. No rush. But you’ll have to tell me about that too.”
Gibbs watched, just as fascinated as when he first came into the clearing, while Tim was meticulously pulling his Circle down, starting at the Northern portion. The steps didn’t seem that complicated, but it was obvious that something was happening from the subtle changes in the feel of the surroundings, even if Gibbs couldn’t see the energy.
His curiosity about this was going to eat him alive, but he doubted Tim would leave his questions unanswered.
He would also find out what his youngest Agent meant about this being almost all about science. There was a story there.
Summary: What a Circle does is the least of Gibbs questions.
Categories: General, General > Sci-Fi/Supernatural/Fantasy
Genre: Character Study, Friendship, Mystery, SciFi/Supernatural/Fantasy
Challenges: Religion Challenge
Challenges: Religion Challenge
Written for the Religion Challenge here on NFA. Mostly just something to whet Gibbs' questioning appetite. Enjoy!
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