Hey :) Long awaited sequel here for 'Sweet Lullaby' :D Well… maybe not 'long awaited' exactly but hey ;) Little notice here; I'm trying not to do another multi-chapter thing, so I'm aiming for about 10 chapters. I'll try and make 'em as long as possible though :)
And I just thought I'd say again, thanks for the nomination for the NCIS awards for this story's prequel :)
ALSO, thank FiveForFighting09for the title, based on Nelly Furtardo's song 'Childhood Dreams' - the lyrics are actually kinda apt :)
Tony ruffled his hair and smiled to himself. It was one of those days that just seemed to make even the grimmest person absolutely euphoric. He strolled out of NCIS, beaming at some 'Baggy-Bunnies' who were strutting past him, making them giggle and blush. Passing the Boss's car, he grinned slightly when he saw that the car seat he had used over 2 months ago was still there. Was it because he didn't want to let the memories go too soon, or just hadn't got round to getting rid of it yet? Tony felt a small pull in his stomach as he thought this, hoping with all his heart that Gibbs just couldn't find it in himself to let those days go just yet.
"Tony!" He turned and grinned to whoever had shouted him, and beamed even brighter when it turned out to be Abby, bouncing after him, the bright, cheerful weather obviously affecting her too,
"Hey Abbs, got plans for tonight?" He asked warmly, paying no attention to when she took his hand in her own – he was well used to her lack of physical boundaries by now.
"Don't tell me you forgot Tony!" She cried out, looking horrified, "Tonight's our first movie night since Tony Junior disappeared!" She looked at him, and saw that he was grinning, his eyes twinkling with humour. Hitting him slightly in the stomach, she yelled out,
"Not funny to make me think you've forgotten DiNozzo!" He grinned at her, ruffling his hair again before replying,
"Sorry Abbs, won't happen again," He winked at her and flashed his white teeth while smiling, causing all of her anger to evaporate as she smiled back,
"Ok, ok… So which movie have you picked?" They got to his car and he unlocked it, going into the glove compartment and pulling out a DVD,
"It's really cool, one of the classics…" He tailed off and scowled, causing Abby to look around, thinking he had seen an ex-girlfriend or something,
"What?" She asked, "What is it?" He pointed to a sticker stuck to the back windscreen of his beloved car. Abby stifled her giggles, knowing how upset Tony was at his car being violated in such a manner. Nevertheless, it was rather funny to see a typical jock car with a 'Baby on Board' sticker on it.
"Kate…" He growled out, glancing around to see if she was lurking somewhere, wondering how her prank was playing out.
He'd been getting things like this for months, and although most of the fun in it had eventually just diminished and they were actually struggling to recall what had happened, neither Kate nor McGee were letting him forget it. He'd thought that they had just (Finally) given up, as they'd said nothing relating to this for about a week, which was why he was so happy today. Yet another day of serene nothingness, a feeling he guessed Abby felt as well (She hated it when members of the team fought).
"I think it's a total chick magnet," Abby said to him, to try and take his mind off it. He glanced over to her and furrowed his eyebrows, asking for an explanation, "Loads of girls love it that men can have fast cars and be all macho, but who're in touch with their feminine side. I mean, have you ever seen anyone but a woman with one of those on their car?"
"That is true…" Tony mumbled, contemplating this newest revelation. Abby grinned and ripped it down for him,
"Come on!" She said excitedly, as Tony opened the door for her and bowed, letting her get in first, "This film looks awesome!" He grinned as he went round to the driver's side,
"Yeah, I've never seen it before, but come on; if it's called 'Blood Feast' it must be good." Abby grinned, always a fan of the horrors.
Tony started the car, just as he saw Gibbs arrive at his own car, in the space near Tony's. He grinned and backed out the space, not knowing the impact it would have on his Boss. It was the same thing that had a strange effect on everyone in the agency at the moment; his eyes. They stayed stubbornly childlike and innocent, bright green at the first glance but looking again you found it was a more subtle dark colour. But as soon as you saw them it made you feel better, as though your whole day was full of sunshine and rainbows.
For Gibbs, it was just a rush of memories. A constant slideshow in his head of various snapshots. He no longer had the actual snapshots - they had gone when Tony himself had. Gibbs remembered the night all too clearly...
Tony had just finished in the bathroom. It was late at night, and he was leaving Gibbs's house in the morning to finally get back to his own, he just couldn't wait. The only problem was, he'd noticed that whenever he went to do something; like pour himself a drink or use the bathroom - he was constantly aware of Gibbs keeping a close eye. Not in the sense of watching him while he went to the bathroom, 'cause that would just be weird, but in the sense that he was looking out for him, ready to run in there and comfort the younger man.
The last night though, Tony decided to say something. While washing his hands he was positive he heard a creak on the landing outside the bathroom. Towelling his hands dry, he raised his voice and said,
"Listen, Gibbs - I get it that you still feel the need to make sure I'm okay, and I don't mind really, but it's just when I feel like I can't do anything for myself, y'know?" He stuck the towel back on the rail and opened the door, "I mean, it's kind of off-putting when you're constantly checking..." He tailed off, realising there was no one there, "..Up on me?"
Gazing around the empty corridor, his shoulders slumped slightly as Gibbs was nowhere to be seen. He shrugged, pretending not to care, but felt rather dejected as he walked slowly back to the guest room. Okay, he had just been complaining about how he wasn't being given enough freedom and independence, but he felt that he should have had to fight more for it.
Gibbs had been watching his little display from his room. The door had been open slightly so he had heard Tony's outburst when he thought the older man was outside the room. He smiled sadly as Tony's shoulders slumped dejectedly and wanted to do nothing more than run to him and give him a hug - a feeling which made him shudder. Had he really changed that much? All because he had taken care of a baby for a week, he had suddenly turned into a huge softie who would drop everything if his Senior Field Agent's knee was badly scraped.
Gibbs shook his head and unlocked the car, before stopping and bending down, picking something up off the ground. It was the 'Baby on Board' sticker that had been stuck up in Tony's car. He hadn't known that, and hadn't seen it up there, but he guessed straight away where it was probably from. He threw it onto the passenger seat in his car, realising for the first time that he still had the car seat there. He rolled his eyes, knowing that if Abby saw that she'd immediately start cooing and saying he was finding it hard to let go.
"C'mon DiNozzo, the beer'll be warm by the time you get back here!" Abby yelled good naturedly, lounging on Tony's sofa. They'd put the film on and were about half way through when they'd ran out of alcohol (Well, within reaching distance) so Tony had paused the film and headed to the fridge. Leaning against it, he shook his head. It was probably his consumption of beer, but he felt really light-headed. Shaking his head once more for luck, he pulled a smile onto his face and yelled back,
"Just coming Abbs! I'm just... y'know - coming." He sighed, not bothering to come up with an excuse. However, that one seemed to do it, and he brought a six-pack back with him, already pulling one out of its plastic ring,
"Mmm, you're the best Tony!" Abby giggled, before jumping up herself as there was a knock on the door, "I'll get this," She insisted, seeing Tony reach for his wallet, "You got the movie and beer." Tony shrugged and lowered himself onto the sofa, and rubbed his eyes tiredly. He hadn't been sleeping very well since he'd turned back, and really, he hadn't been eating all that much either. That was why he'd waited so long until another movie night. When no one else was there, it was easy for him to skip meals; but every movie night with Abby they ordered pizza, and he always ended up eating more than half of it.
She came back to the sofa, a large pizza box in her hands as she sat down,
"Okay, we can play it now." She said delightedly, feeling on top of the world. She had beer, pizza, a horror film and she was resting against one of her most favourite people in the world. Short of purring like a cat to show her enthusiasm, she merely reached her arms over and gave Tony a warm hug, trying to convey all of her emotions in that one gesture. Tony chuckled and grinned at her, not really the kind of person who would offer a hug back, even for a woman. He glanced over to the box, which was tilting precariously on Abby's knee. She saw where he was looking and beamed,
"Help yourself," She offered, and pushed the box over, "I got your favourite." He smiled at her and pulled a piece out, by no means the largest piece, but he knew Abby would know something was up if he pulled the smallest piece out. Chewing as slowly as possible, he rested his head on Abby's shoulder as they finished watching the movie, still sipping and eating in a companionable silence.
Soon, Abby was rubbing her stomach in a surrendering gesture,
"Oh man," She moaned happily, "I won't be able to eat for another week!" She glanced across at Tony, shocked to see that A) There was still half the pizza left, and B) He had fallen asleep. He'd never done that before on one of their nights, even when they'd both been completely mottled. What's more, she couldn't be sure, given the fact that he was lying in an awkward position, but she could swear he was sucking his thumb. She bit her lip to stop the giggles she knew would escape, and immediately decided not to tell anyone. He would just get yet more grief from everyone and she knew it wasn't a regular thing with him, he was probably still feeling the after effects from the whole 'Sweet Lullaby' thing.
Grabbing her coat when she saw the time, she decided it would be best if she went home. Patting Tony's shoulder and kissing his head, she switched the TV off before walking out the apartment. She made sure to lock the door behind her, posting the keys back through. Shaking her head fondly, she stumbled down the stairs to get a taxi.
Tony stretched happily as he woke up. Light was pouring through the curtains he hadn't closed last night and he sat up happily. Immediately, he knew something was wrong. Why else would a pair of trousers fall off the sofa in defeat? It felt like he'd been sat on them all night. Groaning and guessing it was just Abby messing about he sat up even more and rubbed at his eyes with his fists. Pulling them back a minute, he gazed at them.
They were a lot... chubbier than they had been before.
His eyes popped out of his skull as he realised that his TV seemed a lot taller than when he'd fallen asleep. And his feet could have reached the other end of the sofa when stretched vertically on it, but now he was, they barely reached even a quarter of the way down. Panicking now, he tried to swing his legs around to get off the furniture. As soon as he did that he felt himself fall off. Hitting the floor with a thud he felt his eyes fill with tears. Now that was odd. Okay, the shortness he was feeling was confusing but nothing compared with the feeling of vulnerability he was having just then.
Finally, when he plopped back on his backside on his living room floor, completely naked and bewildered, he got a look at himself in his TV screen. Jaw dropping, he reached over to where his phone was on the table and pressed speedial.
Gibbs was in a bad mood. Sat at his desk, with a coffee that the newbie at Starbucks (Who didn't know the meaning of the term 'strong') had poured out. To top it off, DiNozzo was late. By 20 minutes, Gibbs was prepared to yell at him when he finally strolled in, but when it reached an hour, he was worrying slightly.
He knew he was just over-reacting, and that Tony would probably be fine; but Gibbs ground his teeth and glanced at the clock every minute until his phone went off. Glancing at the caller ID, he opened his phone and yelled,
"There had better be a good reason for this DiNozzo!" Kate winced, knowing Tony was probably hungover from his night with Abby.
"Err... Boss, I got a bit of a problem here, it's kinda... small and... naked. And it keeps getting distracted by the alarm on my bedside table."
"Don't suppose you could come and pick me up, could ya Boss? I'm not really feeling myself right now..." He ended the call and Gibbs knuckled his forehead in agitation. It sounded as though his agent was drugged, but he knew that Tony had had a movie night with Abby last night, and if he was still hungover or drunk... there would be hell to pay.
"Kate, with me."
"DiNozzo." Kate glanced at McGee, who looked back, his face nervous.
As they were going up the stairs to Tony's apartment, Gibbs's phone rang. Wondering why Abby was calling him as he looked at the ID, he flipped the phone open,
"Gibbs! You have to come quickly! I left my purse at Tony's last night, and when I came back to get it, he wouldn't answer the door, and he hasn't been out to get his paper. You have to come here!"
"We're behind you Abbs." He said, ending the call. She jumped and turned around, looking extremely confused. Shoving her phone back in her pocket, she flew to Gibbs,
"I don't know how you did that, but open the door!" He raised an eyebrow at her, but jiggled the doorknob, and yelled,
"Tony! I know you're in there, so answer!" He thought he heard a very faint yell, but it was drowned out by the alarm he had mentioned on the phone. Why hadn't he turned it off? Backing away, Gibbs ran at the door, putting his full force into it. He managed to break it down, and as it swung open on its broken hinges, Gibbs stared at the scene in front of him.
It was quite nostalgic. All he really saw was a small toddler (Smaller than before?) sitting on the floor, a shirt over him. He was chewing it idily, like he had nothing better to do. Gibbs almost collapsed right there, unsure what was going on, but walked forward. Saying behind him,
"Abbs, go turn that alarm off." He approached the baby cautiously, as if convinced it was a trick. However, Tony looked up and saw that Gibbs was now crouching down in front of him. Slwoly, Tony put the shirt down and crawled over to Gibbs, his mouth wobbling and his eyes filling with tears. Gibbs scooped him up carefully and whispered,
"Hey, no need for tears, ok?" Tony nodded, but stuck his head in Gibbs's shirt, starting to sob a little anyway. To be honest Gibbs couldn't blame him, he once again had the body and emotions of an 18 month old. At least, that's what Gibbs thought, the baby seemed lighter and smaller than before.
Abby appeared at his shoulder, her face confused, but she grinned delightedly at the scene.
"Hey Tony," She said softly, "Don't worry, I'll get you some clothes." She rushed off to his bedroom, and Gibbs stared as she came back with some of the clothes he'd warn two months ago. At Gibbs's questioning glance, she smiled and said,
"I didn't want to throw them away, so I kept some."
"In his apartment?" She shrugged at his question and brought a towel as well. This one Gibbs understood as she passed him it, while Tony still wasn't sure what was going on,
"Abby?" He whimpered pathetically, "What's happening?" She stroked his cheek as Gibbs put the towel on him first and answered,
"I don't know sweetie, but we're going to do all we can to fix it, okay?"
"Why am I wearing a towel?" He moaned, rubbing his eyes in exhaustion.
"We don't have any diapers Tony." He groaned and didn't say anything else apart from,
"What're we going to do?" He was fully dressed at this point and looked towards Gibbs who now had him sat on his lap. Gibbs wavered, unsure of what to do. Kate answered for him, from where she was stood, open mouthed in the doorway,
"We'll call that woman again, Melissa - she'll do something." Gibbs nodded, hitting himself mentally for not thinking of that earlier. He felt Tony start to cry again, and jogged him up and down as they went to the car, the car seat now a blessing than anything,
"Go to sleep Tony, you're exhausted." Gibbs said, running his fingers through the baby's hair as he did what he was told and dropped off to sleep, his thumb in his mouth. Abby was shaking by the time they were driving,
"I should have known something was wrong!" She wailed, "He fell asleep last night and I think he was sucking his thumb, and his eyes were always hinky since last time..." They all nodded, each of them noticing his eyes were different in the past month or so.
"It's no one's fault Abbs," Gibbs said to her calmly, glancing down at Tony every so often, "Let's just focus on getting him back." She nodded but still bit her thumb as they drove into the NCIS car park, Kate talking on the phone,
"Mrs Morrow? Hi, it's Special Agent Kate Todd, from NCIS? Yes, hello, how are you? I'm fine, I just need to - you remember Tony? Tony DiNozzo?" Gibbs guessed Melissa had answere in the affirmative, "Well, he'd kind of..." She paused, not knowing the correct word,
"Reverted? Regressed?" Abby offered, getting a smile from Kate.
"Yeah, reverted. Can you help?" She jumped as the phone made a loud noise, supposedly Melissa swearing as loud as possible, "Er, yeah we're at the office. Ok, See you in a minute." She glanced over to Gibbs, who was unstrapping Tony,
"She's already in the building, needed to talk to her Uncle."
Several agents stared as Gibbs walked into the building with a baby. It looked like the one he had a few months ago, his nephew, but this one looked smaller, thinner. Gibbs growled at a few who were staring and he muttered to Kate,
"Go and get Ducky and tell him to meet us in MTAC." She nodded and walked off, pulling McGee with her so she could tell him what happened. Abby followed Gibbs, and stamped her foot when he told her to go,
"No way Gibbs!" She argued angrily, "I want to know what we can do about this." He shook his head but didn't stop her following him in. Immediately, as soon as the door closed Melissa ran over, her eyes looking sorrowful and regretful,
"Agent Gibbs! I'm so so sorry for all of this! I don't know what happened! Obviously you would have seen if he was going to have a relapse, so I..."
"We think we did," Gibbs told her, "His eyes were really childlike and bright, they aren't usually like that." She nodded and still looked like she was about to cry. Abby picked up on this and asked, cautiously,
"Are you okay?" She bit her lip, and looked down when she talked,
"I'm sorry. So sorry. But I, I really thought that I'd finished the antidote... But I obviously haven't. And I was looking through some notes I made a few weeks ago... I- I don't know how to tell you this, but... I can't make another cure. There just isn't... it's not possible." Director Morrow put his hand on her shoulder as she said this, and watched his agent's faces.
Gibbs's eyes bulged and his mouth dropped open. He realised he was feeling light headed, and sat down on one of the chairs. Tony was completely silent. He'd woken up as they were going up the stairs towards MTAC and now wasn't sure whether he was still dreaming or not. Gibbs rested a soft hand on the baby's head as he could feel him shaking. He was in shock himself, but Tony's was much more dire.
"Are you... are you sure there's nothing you can do?" Gibbs croaked, feeling Tony started to sob quietly. He'd just lost everything; his job, his friends, his apartment... The only thing still here was...
"Gibbs, we need to do something," Abby whispered. Although she loved baby Tony, she'd miss her friend. The thought that their last movie night was yesterday made her want to cry.
"Jethro, I may have a solution..." The Director offered, gently pulling his neice away from the firing line, who looked pretty miserable. Gibbs looked up at him eagerly, as did Tony, who still stayed cuddled into Gibbs,
"Well, not to bring him back... I'm sorry Gibbs, but you have to face the fact that your agent is gone. Yes, he may have his adult thoughts and memories, but if he has to grow up normally, he'll never be your agent again."
"So I am definitely going to grow up?" Tony asked. The Director nodded and said,
"Obviously we don't want anything to happen to him, so we could have him adopted." Tony scowled,
"If you think I'm going to be sent to some foster home in the middle of nowhere with people cooing at me, you've got..." The Director held up his hand,
"I was maybe suggesting... Agent Gibbs?"
"What?" Gibbs yelped, "I can't... be - I'd technically be his father Tom, he wouldn't..." Gibbs looked down into Tony's eyes and saw peacefulness there. It looked as though he couldn't think of anywhere he'd rather be.
"What do you think Tony?" He asked the baby, "How do you feel about being my son?" Abby bit back a spurt of tears and a huge beam as Tony smiled at Gibbs, showing how he didn't mind. At all. Abby knew how they both felt about each other, but would it last?
"I can make a cover story you know," The Director said conversationally, "And I'll have to brief all the agents here, but apart from that, it should be pretty simple."
"You can do that?" Tony asked, his voice quiet, "You can actually make it so that it's like there never was a Tony DiNozzo?" The Director nodded,
"Only a Tony Gibbs." Gibbs felt rather emotional hearing that, but looked back down at Tony. He shrugged and said,
"Your call kid." Tony bit his lip - but he nodded without hesitation. Getting a small hug, he smiled at Gibbs and said sweetly,
"So do I get to call you 'Daddy'?" He got a small slap on the head and the doors of MTAC opened, with Ducky, Kate and McGee coming through. As they were filled in, Ducky chortled as they got to the bit about Tony being adopted.
"You're in for quite a ride young Anthony," He said, "Let me just check you over, Kate said you looked thinner." Tony looked down guiltily,
"I haven't been eating too well," He mumbled, "I guess I've lost weight." He could feel Gibbs moan behind him and got the message - he'd be force-fed at Gibbs's house - no, at their house.
"Hmm," Ducky continued, "You could fit into a 10 month old's clothes young man. You need to gain weight."
"Don't worry about that Duck," Tony answered, "I reckon Gibbs'll put a tube through my nose if all else fails." Director Morrow came forward with some pieces of paper,
"Just sign those," He told Gibbs, "And it'll be as if you've always had Anthony D. Gibbs as your son." Tony wriggled excitedly as Gibbs signed them, and it was suddenly official.
He was now Gibbs's son.
It might take a long time to update, what with me not being able to wait until another story finishes 0.o So basically, this story'll be snapshots in their lives together. As said at the begininng, they'll all hopefully be decent lengths :) Review? xxxx