Disclaimer: NCIS and all other recognizable characters are the property of the original authors/creators and no copyright infringement is intended. I make no profit from this story.
A/N: I am not as pleased with this as the others in its series Coming of Age, but I felt I had to post it before the one I am really pleased with and hope you read Things You Shouldn't Say, set in the same universe as the others, it can stand alone because they are not in chronological order. Let me know what you think, Ange.
Early Hours Keeping
"Hey. Timmy?" Abigail Gibbs called into the darkness of her older brothers' room, seeing a hand move towards the lamp in the eerie green glow of the alarm clock, "can I come in?"
The lamp clicked on and she crept forwards into the room, watching the sixteen year old tiredly rub at his eyes, one arm sticking awkwardly out from under the blankets as he tried to prop himself up, "Abbs? What time is it?"
She smiled sheepishly in the near dark and pulled herself up onto the bed, pulling her knees to her chest and resting her chin on them as she leant against the wall, "three am."
Tim fell backwards against his pillows and continued to run his hand over his face, sighing lightly as his sister watched him from her perch, stopping his movements and looking across at her, his signal for her to explain what she was doing in his room at the ungodly hour.
"I had a dream Tim. It was about Tony," Tim nodded as she spared a glance at him, swiftly turning back towards the opposite wall as she took in a breath, "have you ever thought what it would be like, if you were the last of anything?"
He could tell she was trying to ease him into her point of view, always persuasive even if she had a tendency to either baby her audience or be a bit of a baby herself. But being the last of anything was an unusual topic even for her. He shook his head no.
"I worry about him Tim," he heard her gulp a little as she continued to stare forward and rock gently with her knees at her chest, "this is going to sound awful, but his sisters died. Our sisters died. He is the last kid from daddy's first marriage Tim, I mean, I don't know what I'd do without any of you, and he lost both his sisters."
It took him a minute to notice that Abby had started to cry silently and was now rocking back and forth a little faster, avoiding eye contact and letting her knuckles turn white with the strength they used to grip her legs.
"Abby," Tim sat up and pulled her to his chest, rubbing soothing circles on her back as she began to calm down, allowing his gentle whispering to sink in, "if there is one thing you never have to worry about, it's Tony."
She pulled against him and looked up, opening her mouth to protest before he released her and shook his head, "Tony is one of the luckiest guys I know. He constantly gets into situations and then gets himself and everyone he cares about out again, he has a great dad, no our dad, the doting stepmother, kick ass stepsister, and he has us."
Abby nodded and wrapped her arms around his neck again, hugging him tightly before letting him go and wiping her eyes, slipping off the bed and letting her feet fall softly onto the floor as she turned to make her exit. Halfway out the door she could hear her brother flop back onto his bed, rolling over to face the wall like he always did, "thanks, Timmy."
Creeping through the house, Abby made a slight detour from her room across the hall, past the staircase and walked down the hall instead, stopping in front of Tony's door and rasing her hand to knock.
"Something bothering you Abbs?" she froze in her spot and spun around slowly, sure that her face was blushing a slight pink that would last throughout the next day and ruin the effect of all her makeup.
"No sir," she smiled sheepishly again, biting the inside of her lip as she caught her fathers raised eyebrow and lowered her gaze, "yes."
"You wanna tell me about it?" he stood still in the near dark of the hall in his old NIS shirt and a pair of sweat pants, using his hand to raise her face to look at him, trying not to let irritation show at finding his youngest awake and wandering around at three thirty seven in the morning. Three thirty eight.
"Its just," her eyes wavered from his gaze a second and then she turned back to him, "I really need to talk to Tony for a second." Three forty.
"Can it wait until a decent hour?" Jethro Gibbs sighed internally, aware that the puppy dog look she was now giving him had already wormed its way into his heart and made up his mind on the matter, "go. In five minutes I'm going to walk back through this corridor and make sure you're in your bed."
Abby nodded and flung her arms around his waist, squeezing tightly as he kissed the top of her head and made on his way, looking back to see her open the door to his oldest sons room.
"Tony?" Abby posed the question just as she had to Tim, blinking at the bright light of the room and making her way inside past the glow of the lap that was directed at the door.
"Hey, Abbs, what's up?" Tony grinned sleepily as he sat up at his desk, yawning and stretching from the position he had fallen asleep over his school project and swiping his hands over his eyes to try and brighten his self up, usual cheeriness not present at the early hour, "are you ok?"
"Yeah," it only took her a second to shoot across the room and throw her arms around his waist, ducking under his arms as he brought them down around her instinctively, releasing her as she pulled back and headed for his door, "I love you Tony."
"Love you too," she smiled as she flew silently out of the room and down the hall, bringing him to the door to look out and check the time, "Dad?"
Gibbs smiled at his oldest sons sleepy form as he leant in the doorway, his frame slumped around the doorjamb as he yawned and stretched. Putting an arm around his shoulders and turning the nineteen year old around, Gibbs gave him a quick hug before letting go and turning towards his own room, "go to sleep, Tony."
He heard a mumbled 'night dad' as he entered through he threshold of his door and softly closed it behind him, making his way to his bed and climbed in, smiling lightly as the snoring red head curled into him lightly.
It must be a Wednesday, he thought to himself as he settled in, Tim and Ziva are always up doing something on Tuesdays, Jen gets up early on Thursdays, Palmer comes around on Mondays, and they're all up on weekends.
Gibbs smiled to himself as he shut his eyes, instinctively wrapping an arm around Jen. His kids constantly complained about early rising hours and noisy morning rituals, yet here they were, four in the morning wandering around. And they all thought it was marines that had early hours keeping.