Prompt # 25: Family
Spoilers: Twilight, general season 3 and 4.
Here is the third installment to my 100 prompts. Enjoy guys. This one took me forEVER!!
Anthony DiNozzo strolled into the lab and casually leaned against the wall – bored. Abby was hunched over her desk, her head in one hand and a pencil in the other. The 'ding' of the elevator should have made the woman aware of his presence but the music, he noted, was far too loud for even him to hear the 'ding'. "Abs!" He yelled over the thumping bass. When the Goth didn't so much as a bat an eyelid, Tony tried again only a little louder. "Abby!!" Receiving the same response, he sighed and walked right up behind her. "ABBY!!"
Abby flew off her chair and stood at attention. She glared at Tony and started talking, barely able to hear herself but appearing unfazed. Tony rolled his eyes, held up his index finger and walked over to the stereo, turning the music down a fair bit before walking back over to Abby. "What?" He asked, exasperated.
"You shouldn't sneak up on people like that Tony," Abby repeated with a knowing glare.
"A banshee could get in here unnoticed with how loud that music was. How can you hear yourself think?" He chastised.
"Easily," she replied with her trademark grin and Tony fought the urge to roll his eyes a second time. He should have seen that response from a mile away.
He nodded towards her desk. "Whatchya working on?"
If possible, Abby's grin got even wider. "A Family Tree," she beamed.
Tony chuckled and cocked his head to the side. "What?" He picked up the piece of paper lying on Abby's desk. He knew he'd find something interesting in coming down to Abby's lab – there always was. Two names were scrawled on the page, not quite at the top – Jethro Gibbs and Jenny Shepard. A line between the two connected the names. "Mom and Dad?"
Abby shrugged. "It's a quiet day… I'm bored." She snatched the paper back from Tony with a pout. "And as if you don't see them as a parental figures."
"I never said I didn't, Abs… But I've never really thought about documenting it before, either."
She smirked. "Wanna help?"
"Yeah, I do!" He answered excitedly. He ran over to where Major Mass Spec was stationed and brought over the wheelie chair, sitting down next to Abby at the same time the Goth took her seat back. "So how long have you been working on this?"
"Like a minute before you came down, so you haven't missed much. I was just about to add Ducky."
Tony screwed his face up. "Where?"
Abby pointed to the paper above Jehtro's name. "Here."
"Ah… Grandpa Ducky," he said, nodding his head. "Yeah I can see it." He cleared his throat and shook his fist, "Maaaaatlooock!!!" He let out hoarsely before his throat went dry and he erupted into a fit of coughs.
Abby hit him a few times on the back. "I think you're confusing grandpa Ducky for grandpa Simpson, Tony." She added Ducky to the Tree right where she said she would.
"So that makes Ducky Gibbs' father…"
Abby nodded. "Yep."
"Creepy," Tony replied distastefully, with a shudder.
"Just wait," she beamed. Moving down the paper, Abby drew five strokes protruding from Jethro and Jenny. At this Tony's eyebrows narrowed. He did some calculations on his fingers before addressing Abby.
"Abs… There's only four of us kids. You, me, McProbie and Zeevah."
Abby bowed her head and her shoulders slumped. "You're missing one, DiNozzo," she reminded him quietly; sadly.
"Who? Palmer?" He asked, wracking his brain.
Abby's head snapped up and she looked at him quizzically. "What? No. Palmer's more like the distant cousin that we see once or twice a month, see?" She handed the paper over to him and sure enough, Palmer was already on there. "I'm talking about Kate, Tony. Remember her?"
Tony nodded his head, and kept his eyes cast down. "Yeah. Yeah I do, Abs. I'm sorry."
"Don't be sorry," she responded quickly. "Just don't forget. She's just as much a part of this family as we all are, despite the fact that she isn't with us anymore." There was a beat of silence and Abby grunted. "Now I've made us sad. This was supposed to be fun."
"Still is fun, Abs," Tony reassured her with his famous DiNozzo grin. He nodded back to the paper. "Where were you gonna put her?"
She shrugged with a small smile. "Third."
Shrugging again, she replied, "She was the third one recruited to NCIS."
"Aw man, you're going by seniority?" Tony whined. "That's so boring."
"But we were gonna be twins. You know since we started working here at the same time and we've both been here the longest," her eyes lit up as she explained.
"I'm the eldest, though, right?"
"Nope. I am."
Tony would have argued if it weren't for Abby's glare. He moved on. "Then there's Kate."
"Which leaves Timmy next and then Ziva…" Abby paused as realization hit. "Wow that was boring."
"And everyone is so very out of character," Tony chimed in.
Abby looked up at him. "How so?"
"Well," he began, leaning his torso over his knees, "Ziva is the youngest but she isn't exactly doted on…"
Abby barked a laugh. "Yeah because if anyone did dote on her – "
"They would die," Tony finished for her slowly and adding emphasis on the word 'die'. "Then you got the probie second to last and while he is a whiney littlie thing, he seems to have more of middle child syndrome to me." Abby promptly hit him in the chest for that one and fixed a glare on him. "Moving on," he muttered. "The twins thing for us is cool. We're, like, partners in crime… but you're the favourite, clearly, and I'm Senior Field Agent which is why I should be the eldest and you the baby of our dysfunctional family," he finished proudly. When Abby pouted, he added with a cheeky grin, "We're still partners in crime though. Me the eldest, you the youngest. Think of all the fun we could have."
The pout gone, Abby quirked a grin; mischief evident in her green eyes. "Promise?"
Tony placed his right hand over his heart. "Promise."
"That still leaves Kate."
"Kate gets to be second eldest… only `cause she was bossy like me… But I'm the Senior Field Agent so I get to be the eldest."
Abby's brow shot up. "Did you just admit you're bossy?" There was a hit of amusement in her tone that did not go unnoticed.
"No!" He replied without missing the beat; his eyebrows narrowing. "I didn't say that. Who said that?" He pointed to the paper. "Get back to it. Where were we?"
Abby started checking off on her fingers. "You, Kate, McGee, Ziva –"
"How did Ziva go from being the youngest to the second youngest?" Tony cut in, narrowing his eyebrows in question.
"Well you claimed your spot. Mine was pretty much a given," she explained with a shrug. "You wouldn't have let go of McGee being in the middle… and let's face it, Ziva doesn't really have any issues – well none related to being inadequate, anyway."
"So you do agree with me!" Tony beamed.
She smirked. "Just don't tell Timmy. So that leaves us with second eldest and second youngest…"
"We already discussed why Kate is the second eldest. If I weren't, she would be; we're too similar."
"Except that you have sex on the brain constantly and she didn't… ever."
Tony glared at the Goth. "I meant in our work ethic… don't make me head slap you, Abs."
"If you do, I'll just run out to mommy and daddy," she countered with a smug grin.
"And you would, too," Tony mumbled.
"So," Abby snapped them both back to the tree, "Ziva…"
"Well despite the fact that she's all scary Mossad and could kill you eighteen different ways with a paperclip, there's still so much more she needs to learn and so much that I could teach her." He stopped, surprised by his own answer. "I don't see her as being older than me or Kate… but older than you, sure." A small smile graced his lips. "And if we make Kate younger than the Probie and Ziva, I don't think she'd be too happy," he added ruefully. This earned a slight chuckle from Abby.
"I think we were done, Tony," Abby replied between giggles. "I just need to document it all." She picked up her pencil.
"Remember, I'm –"
"The Eldest. Yeah, I got it Tony," she finished with a smile. She shook her head as Tony's grin grew wider. "Then Kate."
"McMiddle child," Tony added, pointing over Abby's shoulder to the third line. "Then Ziva."
"And then me," she finished while still writing down the names.
When she was done, she held up the piece of paper for both her and Tony to see with a satisfied smile.
"I like it," Tony let out after looking it over.
"Me too," Abby agreed with a grin. "I think I'm gonna frame it and hang it on the wall somewhere in the lab."
"Yeah well when mom and dad see that, not to mention McGee and Ziva, it was all your idea… not mine."
At that, Abby tackled him into a bear hug and latched on while Tony warily brought his arms up to hug Abby back.
"What was that for?" Tony asked after Abby had let go. If anything, he suspected a glare or a punch for telling her she'd be on her own if anyone else had seen the Family Tree.
"`Cause only a true big brother would say something like that!" She responded, chirpily.
The shrill sound of Tony's cell phone started ringing and he wasted no time in fishing it out of his pocket. "DiNozzo… Okay boss." He snapped his phone shut and glanced at Abby. "Dad's mad."
"Snuck out again, huh?" Abby asked with a raised brow.
"You're not the only one that was bored…" He threw his thumb over his shoulder and started walking out, backwards. "Gotta go before I get grounded. Thanks for the boredom buster, Abs." He left the lab, leaving the Goth to stare at the walls with the paper in her hands pondering where, in the lab, she could hang up the Family Tree.
Finally settling on a spot, she walked over to take down the framed newspaper clipping - the one that stated 'Forensic Scientist Abby Sciuto has published her first book' – and carefully removed it from said frame. Putting the clipping to the side she concentrated on placing the Family Tree in its place before hanging it back up. She stared at it for a long while before finally nodding her head. "Perfect!" She proclaimed with a smile before walking back to her desk and starting an IM chat with her three favourite family members.