Disclaimer: All recognizable characters and plot references are the property of the original creators, no copyright infringement is intended and I make no profit form this story.
A/N: Set in my own little universe where Jethro Gibbs and his three kids, Tony 19, Tim 16 and Abby 14, are living with his new wife Jenny and her daughter Ziva 18. Just sets them up as a teenage family really, and this is about Tony. Please read before making assumptions. Ange.
Coming of Age
Tony watched his family laugh and smile as they surrounded his younger brother, wishing him a happy birthday and handing over their various presents and cards whilst cutting the cake.
"Are you coming Tony?" Ziva asked with a confused expression as she stepped through the doorframe he was leaning against and watched him look at the people surrounding Timothy, "he's about to open his gifts."
"Yeah," he replied quietly as he watched the youngest member of the family, Abby, just fourteen years old, fling her arms around his younger brother Tim and hug him as she whispered what he presumed were congratulations over him turning sixteen, "yeah I'm coming."
"What is the matter Tony?" she moved barely an inch away form him and had him stuck against the wall, his hands pressed with their backs against the cold painted surface and his eyes narrowed down at her, "if you do not tell me now, I shall simply follow you into the bathroom at the shopping centre tomorrow like I did when you broke up with that Jeanne girl."
His eyes narrowed even more and he moved his hands onto Ziva's shoulders, making her take a step back and then letting her go. He smiled down at her and then reached into his jacket pocket, pulling out a card and a present that was wrapped in alien print wrapping paper and stepped around her to his little brother.
"Hey Elf Lord, congrats on turning sixteen," he smiled his trademark grin and then wrapped an arm around Tim's neck, using his other fist to rub his hair and then releasing him to a quick, brief hug before standing and walking around the table to face the guy, "hope you like."
Tim gave him a look and then pulled the paper off the present, releasing the contents onto the table and giving a roll of his eyes as he saw that Tony had wrapped it like a pass the parcel game. Sighing, he pulled off the next dinosaur printed paper and Tony revelled in the awed expression his present got as Tim's eyes opened wider and it seemed they were going to fall out of his head.
"What'd he get you there, kid?" Gibbs asked as he saw the expression on his youngest sons face, moving to look over his shoulder at whatever it was that his oldest child had bestowed on his sibling, "some sort of game?"
"Yeah," Tim said excitedly as he pulled the plastic covering off and flipped over the pack, reading the contents list and the blurb or whatever it was called, "its like brand new to stores in the US and it costs like sixty bucks."
"Oh, is that the new RPG," Abby crowded over Tim's shoulder and read with him, smiling as he flipped open the case, "wow Timmy, he got you a hundred dollars worth of online credit to go with it!"
"Wow Tony, thanks," Tim smiled and looked up at his older brother, standing with Abby and letting her drag him across the room to the desk and install the game onto the laptop, "give us one second and we'll come have cake."
"Take your time," Jenny laughed as she put the plates down in front of Jethro, sliding the slices of cake onto them and placing them around the table, "Ziva honey, could you grab some glasses from the kitchen please."
"Sure I can," Ziva smiled at her mother and then turned towards Tony, raising her eyebrows meaningfully, "Tony will you give me a hand."
"Ah, let me think about it," He raised his own eyebrows and crossed one ankle over the other as he kicked his feet up onto the chair next to him, "no."
A slap to the back of his head made him jump slightly and then the chair was pulled out from under his feet, making them thump loudly onto the floor, "help your sister."
"Sure thing Dad," Tony rubbed the back of his head and glared at Ziva as he walked past her through the hall to the kitchen, grabbing some glasses from the top cabinet and then turning to leave, only to have her pin him against the bench, "I said I was fine Ziva."
"Actually, no you did not," she backed him up further against the bench and narrowed her eyes at him, raising her hands and taking the glasses from him, "what is wrong, Tony?"
Tony looked down at her and released a sigh, causing his step sister to move back a little and give him some room, confident that now he would talk to her. He rubbed a hand over his face in defeat, realizing she would just continue to bug him unless he told her what she wanted to know, or even worse, if she had Jenny or his dad come to question him as well.
"Does it have something to do with the one hundred and sixty dollar birthday gift you got Timothy?" she placed the glasses gently down on the bench and crossed her arms over her chest, adopting a softer tone, "or maybe how old he is?"
Tony sighed and leant back against the counter, scrunching his hands into his pockets, "do you know what I got Kate for her sixteenth birthday?" he gulped a little when Ziva shook her head, eyes still intently studying him, "I got her a necklace, real pretty, cost me about fifty dollars at the local jewellery store. But, I didn't give it to her straight away. For her actual birthday I gave her a pair of socks I'd worn for a week as a kind of gag gift. She made a fuss when she smelt them, complained all day, but she did like the necklace when she found it the next morning. She was wearing it when…"
"When she died," Ziva finished for him, eyes sparking with realization, "and when Kelly died she was sixteen as well. Now, Tim is…"
"Yeah, he's sixteen," Tony scrubbed his hand over his face again and then tucked it back into his pocket, sighing as he heard a collective cheer from the other room, "there was a big age difference between me and Kell, twelve years, one day she just wasn't around anymore. Then with Kate…and now, for the next year, I'm going to be holding my breath and hoping and praying that nothing happens to my kid brother."
"Nothing is going to happen to him Tony," Ziva said in a surprisingly soothingly manner, shaking her head without meeting his eyes as if it was a preposterous idea, "Gibbs, Maman, Abby, you and even me, would never let that happen."
"Yeah," Tony flashed one of his brilliant smiles; sure that Ziva knew he still wasn't convinced, "what did you get the little Elf Lord anyway?"
"Tickets for him and me to the comic book convention next week," she smiled lightly and dropped the subject, knowing that nothing she said would change Tony's view, "Com…Con or something to that effect."
"You are going to a comic book convention?" Tony grinned as they each grabbed a stack of glasses from the bench and made their way through the hall to the dining room, "and with King of the Dorks too? Oh, I have to see pictures of that."
"You won't have to see pictures," Gibbs said as they made their way to the table and handed out the glasses, "Abby wanted to go, so your mother and I got tickets for the four of us to attend the day after your brother."
"And your great-uncle pitched in for a ticket for your cousin so that he could come with us," Jenny added as she handed him his cake, patting him lightly on the cheek as he slowly sank into his chair, "Jimmy seems quite excited."
"I have to go to a comic book convention," he repeated slowly, a slightly horrified look on his face as he thought of the prospect, "with not only, you, dad and Abby, but with the gremlin as well!"
"Hey, Tony," Tim called to his brother as he stood in his bedroom door that night, waiting for him to turn around before he continued; "I thought you might like a look at this."
Tony caught the object that Tim had thrown at him, flipping the magazine open to the page marked 'TONY' in big red letters and ogling the scantily clad models that were made up to look like sci-fi characters.
"I just thought you'd like to know that it won't be all bad next weekend," Tim looked sincere and slightly awkward in the doorway, watching his brother nod approvingly at the magazine and then flash a grin, "there's also something taped to the front that I thought you'd like to see."
Tony nodded and watched the kid walk off to his own room, listening to the sounds of Abby intercept him and drag him off to do something else in some other area of the house, despite their dads strict rules about her being up past ten.
Deciding that they'd both be let off because it was Tim's birthday, he decided to forgo the usual warning and instead slipped the micro SD chip that the Elf Lord had taped to the front of the comic convention magazine, into card reader on his computer.
He heard Abby squeal and heaved a sigh, spinning his chair around and moving to get up, slamming back down and turning violently towards the computer as he heard Kate's voice ring out through the speakers.
Ok, well, it's the day of my sixteenth birthday celebration and Jane and I are getting ready to go out to dinner with the rest of the gang…
Tony watched as her face moved from blocking the view of the camera to show the whole room, both girls dressed up and hovering around the mirror to do their hair and make-up and accessorise or whatever.
So Kat, what did you get for your birthday?
Tony continued to watch with his eyes glued to the screen as Jane picked up the camera and zoomed in on his younger sister, telling her to strike a pose as she read out the list of gifts she had received from various friends and family.
Aren't you forgetting someone?
Well I saved the best for last J. Tony got me this.
His breath caught in his throat as he watched his sister move closer to the camera and reach up to her neck, fingering the pendent that hung there and smiling as Jane zoomed in.
Wow what a sweetie. It's gorgeous Kate.
I know, he gave it to me this morning, yesterday's present was his stinky gym socks, but other than that he didn't do half bad.
Half bad? The only thing he could have done better is getting me one.
He chuckled a little as both girls laughed and continued to make comments back and forth, both ending up posing in front of the camera as Jenny came in and held it for them.
Time to go girls, Kate, your dad will be dropping you both off and picking you up later. Have fun sweetie.
Your step-mom is great.
She is, she's probably the only reason tonight is allowed.
Tony frowned as the screen went black, the clip obviously at an end. It was nice, if only for a minute or two, to know that she liked his gift and that she'd lived and been happy. It was nice of Tim to show him.
Jane is asleep, so I have to be quiet, but I wanted to say, before I went to sleep and all, that I'm really grateful to my whole family and my friends for the gifts and things. And Tony, if you're watching this, 'cause I know you're bound to snoop around sooner or later, one, you are so dead, and two, thanks T, you're the best.
Tony laughed and the computer automatically ejected the card. Maybe his little brother had just wanted to get him in trouble with Kate again one last time.
"Thanks for the present Tony," he heard the kid say from the doorway, smile on his face as he leant on the doorframe, Abby visible, disappearing into her room across the hall, "it was really great."
"Thanks, kid," he flashed his brightest smile and moved from his chair, handing the magazine back to its rightful owner and clapping him on the back, spinning him around and putting an arm over his shoulders as he lead him to his own room, "night lil bro, happy birthday."
As he turned from the room and heard the door close behind him Ziva emerged from somewhere around the corner, smiling at him in a way that he did not think bode well, "that was nice Tony."
"I'm a nice kind of guy," he shrugged and turned to walk back to his room, looking back over his shoulder to see Ziva heading to hers and smiling in a way that Kate would not have approved.
Not wanting to miss an opportunity where Ziva had her guard down, Tony walked up quietly behind her and moved to kick her in the butt, freezing as she spun and caught his leg in midair, pinching it between her fingers.
"I'd hear you coming a mile away Tony," she smirked as he gave a high pitched squeak and a groan as she released his leg and watched him turn and limp back to his room, over playing the injured bit as usual, "goodnight Tony."
"Yeah," he swung around the doorframe without looking at her and she let a self satisfied smile play on her lips as he crinkled up his nose in distaste, vanishing and then yelling at her from the depths of his 'sanctuary', "see you in the morning, Zee-vah."
A/N: I'm pretty sure that Maman means mum in French, though I'm open to corrections if it's wrong. I used the French word because Ziva mentions in one episode that her French is better than her English. So, let me know what you think if you can, Thanks, Ange.