Summary- Tony knows that he was adopted by his stepfather when he was six years old, but has had no interest in finding out anything about his biological family. He just remembers how scared his mother was when they left, and how she rarely talked about it. What happens when his biological family finds him?
Disclaimer – I own nothing associated with NCIS. I am just borrowing their characters for a while.
Elizabeth Battista looked at her husband of six years watching as he pulled on his sport coat, and tried to control her need to hit him. "I can't take this any more, Joe. I just can't. The constant body guards, never having just family time…"
"They are family, Liz."
"You know what I mean. We are never really alone. And someone took a shot at Anthony and I yesterday at the park."
"I know, and I'm real sorry about that. We'll take better precautions next time."
"I don't want better precautions. I want out! Can't we just go somewhere and be a real family, where a trip to the park doesn't involve packing the car for the kids and the body guards. I think that we should take the four children to someplace that they can just go outside to play without worrying about guns."
"I can't just abandon my family. I have responsibilities, Liz."
"What about your responsibilities to your children, and your wife?"
"I am building on a good family business for my children and my wife. You will never want for anything."
"Is that what I tell them when you or one of their uncles, or even one of their siblings gets shot because of this business?"
"Liz, you're really worked up, and I don't have time to deal with this right now. I have to leave for a meeting up town, but we'll talk more about this when I get home."
"Why? We're on a roller coaster here, Joe, we have the ups and downs, but we always seem to cover the same ground."
Joe Battista walked over to his wife and kissed her on her forehead. "I'll be home in a few hours, and we'll talk more then" Her reaction was a heavy sigh and one last kiss. Liz knew this to be the goodbye that it was.
Once her husband had gone, she went down into the fitness room, grabbed the phone off the table, and went into the bathroom, knowing that no one would disturb her there. She had put on the music she usually used before going into the bathroom to make her call. "Mark, you were right. It's time to get out. He won't listen to me…no, just me and Tony. I can't take his kids from him, but I can take my son….No, we can't stay with you, you're the first person he'll check with. I'll let you know where we are as soon as we are settled. After that you'll need to change your phone number and everything, so that we can keep in touch..." As she spoke to her brother she wrote a quick list of what she needed to take with her and her little boy that she would never leave behind. She was doing this for her son, Tony should never have to grow up in such a violent atmosphere.
Liz Battista took her list and quickly packed things for her and Tony in trash bags and brought them to the back fence and threw them over. She had had her car brought from the auto shop to the street behind her home for just this reason. She couldn't leave without one last try to convince her husband, whom she loved, to leave with her. But with that door shut, it was time to go. As Tony got older, it would get harder to hide things like this from him. At least now, at only five years old, he wouldn't remember much.
She went back upstairs and packed what she needed in plastic garbage bags and took them out the back door and threw them over the fence, which is what she normally did for donations to the Salvation Army. She was hoping that by doing it this way, anyone watching would be assuming that there was a scheduled pickup, and would think nothing more about the items in the plastic bags. She only took what she thought was necessary, anything else could be replaced.
Her plan was to take her son and go to a battered women's shelter. Joe and his family would not think of that right away, and the people at the shelter could help her create a new identity to hide behind.
With everything that she had on her list bagged and over the fence near her car, she went to get Tony from his room. She walked up the stairs and down the hall to the young boy's room and slowly opened the door. He was supposed to be sleeping, but when she opened the door, he looked up and gave her a smile that always brightened her day. She walked up to his bed and asked if he wanted to come to the gym with her. He simply smiled, closed his book and got out of bed to follow his mother. When he was standing next to her she grabbed him in a tight hug and simply held him, she couldn't help but give him a kiss. "My little man, you are the one thing in my life that I can always count on, even if it is to just watch you make mischief."
She let him go and chased him down stairs to the fitness room, but when she had the door shut behind her she quickly grabbed his hand and went right to the back door. Before going through the door, she knelt down and looked her son in the eyes. "Tony, we're going for a ride, honey, but we have to be very quiet. Can you do that for me?" At his nod, she smiled at him. "Remember what happed yesterday? That was kind of scary, wasn't it?"
"Yes." The little boy said solemnly.
"Well I want to get you somewhere safe. I can't let anything happen to my little man."
"What about Travis, Chris and Lily?"
"Your daddy said that he could look after them. But I need to take care of you. Are you ready to go? I promise to answer any other questions that I can, once we get in the car."
"Okay, mommy, we can go now."
"My little man. Okay, remember to stay quiet." She grabbed Tony's hand, and opened the back door. Looking around she could see that no one was around, and she knew that the blinds were drawn in the windows at the back of the house, so no one should be watching from the house. The two ran across the back lawn to the gate.
Liz took one last look at her home of six years before shutting the back gate behind her. She would not be coming back. It was a bitter sweet thought. She had felt loved here, and she knew that their son was cherished, but happy moments could no longer out weigh her need for safety. This was the right choice. If Joe wouldn't come with her, then she would go on her own. She did feel a little guilty for leaving the other children behind, but she knew that they wouldn't understand and she didn't really have the right to take them from their father, or their father from them. She was not their biological mother. The one blessing with Anthony's age was that in time, he would most likely not remember much about this house or the people in it. She could spare him that heartache.