DISCLAIMER: NCIS is to Don Bellisario, as "I wish it was mine!" is to KirolaiSemperFi.
A/N: Lyra is pronounced Lee-Rah. Okay? It's like the feminine version of Leroy...Oh, and in the last section, the dialogue between Ziva and a certain Israeli are supposed to be in Hebrew, okay? Okay...
"Mr. McGee? Mr. DiNozzo?"
Tony and McGee stood up from their chairs immediately as they heard their names, giving the principal anxious looks. Together, they entered her office and sat down in separate office chairs.
"Can we, uh, make this a little quick?" Tony asked. "We gotta get back to the Naval yard within the hour."
Principal Ruthe slowly sat dow n behind her desk after closing the door. She leaned forward, folding her arms on top of the desk. "I'm so sorry to have to call you both down here. Danny and Anna are really good children, but--"
"Did they do something wrong?" McGee questioned, his eyebrows raised.
"As a matter of fact, yes." Ruthe opened a drawer and pulled out two dark items. She held them up for both agents to see. "We had a violence awareness assembly today, and your children both volunteered for the speaker. They were asked to pretend that the speaker was a bad guy." She paused, shaking her head before continuing. "Mr. McGee, Anna kneed the speaker in the---well, you know--and Mr. DiNozzo, Danny flipped him on the ground!"
Tony and McGee were speechless.
"Then they pulled these out!" Ruthe pressed concealed buttons on each of the items, not even flinching as two blades popped out. "Care to explain?"
McGee was the first to recover. "Mrs. Ruthe, I assure you that these are...uh...strictly for self defense purposes."
"You entrusted a ten year old and a five year old with combat knives?"
Looking at one another, both Tony and McGee nodded. "Yeah."
"You see, Mrs. Ruthe," Tony added, "our boss who helped raise them...it's one of his rules to never go anywhere without a knife."
"I see. That's exactly what Danny told me." She gave both knives to Tony. "Nevertheless, this isn't the first of...notices that I've received from their staff members."
"There have been others?" McGee asked. "We haven't been notified."
"That's because we thought it was just part of their development." Ruthe explained. "Not only have the knives come up, but...Mr. McGee, in kindergarten, Anna's class is talking about strangers. Our teachers were trying to further explain the concept of staying away from bad people."
"And I'm guessing that Anna did something?"
"Yes. She told her class how bad guys are caught, how they're interrogated, how they're sent through the system...A five year old, Mr. McGee! She began to talk about some cases that she claimed you took part in--"
"I see nothing wrong with that," Tony put in.
"What's wrong with my daughter knowing these things?" McGee added. "It's good that she's aware."
"But in kindergarten!" Ruthe insisted. She turned to Tony. "Mr. DiNozzo, your son is almost the same!"
"He went on to explain, in gruesome detail, the procedures of an autopsy!"Ruthe was beginning to clearly raise her voice. "As if he'd witnessed one before!"
Tony sunk in his chair, not bothering to comment on that statement. He tried to shake it off, but McGee gave him a "she-knows" look.
"Has he?!" Ruthe exclaimed.
Tony laughed nervously. "He was six...snuck outta the squad room...found his way downstairs..." He mumbled the rest of the story, watching the principal's eyes grow even wider. Clearing his throat, he changed the topic. "Look, we'll talk to our kids about these...concerns, and I can personally assure you that Danny won't cause any bit of trouble again, okay?" He stood up, tapping McGee on the shoulder.
"And I can vouch for Anna." Joining his partner, he hurried out of the office before the principal could say another word.
Anna and Danny were waiting for them outside of the main office, sitting on a small bench, looking at them miserably.
"Did we do something wrong?" Anna asked as her father picked up her purple backpack.
"Nah, Sweetie," McGee replied. He held out his hand and she put hers in his. "Just a misunderstanding."
Danny looked up at Tony. "Why'd you hafta come down here, Dad?" He fell into step beside him as they all walked outside to the car. "We aren't really in trouble, are we? We didn't do anything wrong, did we?"
Tony shook his head. "Principal Ruthe needed us to clear up some stuff," Tony assured. "C'mon. Let's go back to NCIS, okay?"
"Can we get some ice cream, Uncle Tony?" Anna pleaded.
"Sure, lemme just--" He was interrupted by the sound of his phone ringing. "Uh-oh."
"Gibbs." McGee didn't have to ask. He already knew they were late. "Tell him we'll be there in ten."
Instead, Tony handed the phone to Danny. "Think you can soften him up a little, Buddy?"
Laughing, Danny took the phone from his dad and flipped it open. "Hello?" He listened for a moment, a smile growing even bigger on his face as Gibbs talked to him. "Okay, hang on." He motioned for Tony to come closer to him, until they were head to head leveled. At that moment, Danny reached behind Tony and slapped him on the back of the head. "Uncle Gibbs said to do that." Without another word, he deposited the phone into Tony's hand.
"Never send a kid in to do a man's job, DiNozzo."
Danny looked up at himself in the bathroom mirror, splashed water dripping from his face. His eyes were red and teary, and he tried to wipe some of the water away. He didn't want anyone to see him like this! Especially not Anna or the twins. He was the oldest; he had to be strong for them, even if he only was twelve years old. If they saw him like this, they'd lose hope and give up.
Danny grabbed another sheet of paper towel and used it to wipe his face dry. He sniffed as he threw the damp piece of paper away. He waited a few more minutes while his breathing calmed down. Then he left the restroom and walked back into the waiting room.
What he saw broke his heart. Anna was sitting in between Lyra and Katie, all three of them crying together as if they had lost everything. When they saw Danny approaching, they looked up at him with watery eyes.
"Did you hear anything?" Anna asked.
Shaking his head, Danny crouched down in front of them as his father and mother would do whenever they were having a serious talk with him. "I'm waiting for Grandpa Ducky to get here. Maybe he can find out how everyone's doing."
"Is Mommy dead?" By age four, Katie and Lyra were beginning to fully understand these things, especially since their parents worked close to that field.
"No." Danny tried to sound reassuring. "Of course not, Katie."
"Is Daddy dead?" Lyra asked, wiping her runny nose with her coat sleeve.
"No. And neither is Uncle Gibbs nor Uncle Tim," he added before they could ask.
"What did they say happened?" Anna asked. "They won't tell us anything!"
"I'll try to find out again." Danny stood up and spotted a nurse sitting at the nurse station. "Excuse me?" He leaned against the counter, gazing up at the lady nurse with his dazzling emerald eyes.
"Can I help you, Son?"
He nodded. "I've got four family members checked in. Any chance you can tell me what exactly happened to them?" He chose his words carefully, trying to talk like his dad when he was interviewing a witness.
The nurse looked at him, seeing the desperation in his eyes. "Are you the son of--?"
"--Anthony and Ziva DiNozzo. Timothy McGee and Leroy Jethro Gibbs are my uncles."
The nurse nodded and pulled up their information on her computer. After reading for a few more minutes, she frowned. There was no way she wanted to be the one to tell a little boy what had just happened to his family. "Sweetie--"
"You can tell me," Danny insisted. "I can take it. Just wanna know before the girls find out. It's harder for them, you know?"
The nurse nodded, sighing. "Um, well, your...family was involved in a bombing at a crime scene they had this morning."
Danny pushed down his tears. How many times had he heard his father say that DiNozzo men weren't supposed to cry? He wouldn't give up that moral now. "Are they in ICU? Are they stable? Will they make it?" Most people were surprised with his knowledge as a sixth grader, but he didn't have time to explain that he had spent much of his time around two rather talkative medical examiners.
"They have woken up, but I believe they're recommended to rest. I don't think you can see them just yet."
Upset, Danny nodded. "What room are they in?"
The nurse looked at him, knowing he would break the rules if she told him.
"Ma'am," Danny leaned over the counter, exhaling deeply. "I'm the oldest of four kids in our entire family. I've got three little girls who want to see their parents and their Uncle Gibbs, after being informed that they are in the hospital." He paused for a small dramatic effect. "Our entire family is in that room that you won't tell me." He failed to mention Abby who was currently away at a forensic scientist convention, but on the way back on the first flight. "We really need to see them."
Five minutes later, the four children were standing in front of a closed door. Danny was carrying Katie in his arms, and Anna was holding Lyra's hand.
"We gonna go in?" Lyra asked. "Mommy and Daddy is in here?"
"And my mommy and Uncle Gibbs?" Anna added.
Danny nodded. "The nurse said they don't look too good, so you guys gotta promise you won't cry anymore. No more tears. They wouldn't like that, right?" He saw everyone nod. "Good. We need to be strong for them." He slowly opened the door, finding that it led to a big room large enough for four beds to be lined up in a row.
On the bed closest to the door was Gibbs, then McGee, and Ziva, and finally Tony. All were resting peacefully, eyes closed, hooked up to machines that even Danny didn't know.
"What're those?" Katie asked.
"I think they're helping them breathe." Danny set Katie down. She walked up to Gibbs' bedside and poked his still arm.
"Uncle Gibbs?" When he didn't answer, she poked him again. "Are you awake?"
"Katie, don't poke him," Lyra whispered. "He's sleeping."
Anna had gone straight to her father, taking his large hand into her small one. "Daddy? Wake up. Please?" She rested her head by his side, watching him rest. "You have to wake up!"
Danny stood between the beds of his father and mother, looking from one to the other, hating to see them like this. He didn't say anything for fear that he might start to cry in front of the girls.
At that moment, Ducky and Jimmy poked their heads into the room.
"There you are!" Jimmy said. "We've been looking for you!"
"Oh my," Ducky whispered as he saw all four of the agents. "You children shouldn't be in here."
"I brought them here, Grandpa," Danny explained.
"Still. I'd prefer you all to wait until your parents wake up first."
"We don't wanna leave!" Anna complained. "We wanna stay here!"
"Have you all eaten?" Jimmy asked trying to find a subtle way to convince them all to leave. "Come on. Let's go to the buffet that's down the street."
No one budged.
"Your parents and Uncle Gibbs wouldn't want any of you to go hungry," he added.
Slowly, the girls followed him to the door, waving goodbye to the resting agents. Danny, however, stood where he was.
"I'll catch up." He gave Ducky a pleading look. "I won't take too long. Meet you downstairs in the lobby?"
Ducky nodded, understanding. He left the door a little open and left.
Sighing, Danny stepped away from his parents and stood in a spot so that he could easily see all four of them. Still holding in his tears, he tried to think of less depressing thoughts. "You know," he began, "we can't live without you guys...so you need to wake up...soon." He thought he saw his mother flinch, but if she did, she was still now. "I can take care of Anna, Lyra, and Katie, but....it'd be better if you guys could help me." He looked at Tony, no longer able to hold back every tear; one rolled down his cheek. "I know us DiNozzo men aren't supposed to cry, Dad, but how can I not when you're like this? You can't leave me now!"
"W-we're n-n-not leaving you, Danny." It took a while for Danny to realize that it was Gibbs who had spoken. He ran to his Uncle's side, grabbing his hand.
"Uncle Gibbs! You're awake?"
Gibbs slowly nodded, shaking away the pain in his aching head. "We're...not leaving you. Not me, not Uncle Tim...and not your dad and mom."
Danny nodded, wiping his tears away. "I'm sorry I'm crying. It's---"
"Don't apologize," Gibbs said gently, looking up into the emerald eyes. "And don't be afraid to cry. Everyone cries. Men cry too. DiNozzo men are no exception."
"Dad's cried before?"
Gibbs nodded. "He won't admit it though."
"I have too admitted it," Tony spoke up from his bed, causing Danny to jump and run to his bedside.
Danny held his father in a tight hug, burying his face into the pillow behind his head. "I thought you were gone! I thought you'd never wake up!"
"Not a chance, Buddy," Tony reassured. "You're stuck with us for a long time."
"Good." Danny smiled.
Today was the big day at NCIS. Team Gibbs had passed their cases onto other teams, having promised themselves to a previous engagement that at the moment, held more importance.
"I can't imagine coming to work without seeing you here!" Abby said with a sad smile on her face. "It'll be so weird!"
"I promised to visit often."
"More than often!" Abby insisted. "Like, everyday!"
Ducky laughed. "Alright, I promise."
Abby squinted at him until she was sure that he wasn't fibbing. "Okay, good." She took him into another hug, having to pull him closer over her growing belly.
Gibbs was next. He held out his hand, and when Ducky took it, he pulled him into a hug. "I'll miss ya, Duck."
Ducky smiled. "As will I to you, Jethro. Do take care of everyone for me. I'd hate to find out that one of these trouble makers have gotten themselves into another bit of trouble." He nodded towards the group of people standing behind Gibbs. "Especially Tony."
"Hey!" Tony couldn't help but smile. "I haven't--"
Ducky stopped him. "Think before you finish that sentence, Anthony."
Everyone laughed, especially the four little children, though most of them probably didn't even understand what the humor was.
"I was gonna say that I haven't been in need of medical assistance for four months," Tony said proudly. "That's an accomplishment."
"It is in your case," McGee added as Tony hugged Ducky. He then gave Ducky his own hug.
"It won't be the same without your stories, Ducky," Ziva teased as Ducky moved to her.
"Yes well I'm sure your new ME will fulfill that role. He has certainly picked it up through the years."
"I'll try to live up to it, Doctor Mallard," Jimmy promised. "Just as long as you come back."
Ducky laughed. "You all act as if I'm dying! Of course I'm coming back!"
"Will you come back for my birthday?" Lyra questioned.
"Mine too?" Katie joined in. She joined her sister in gazing up at the retiring doctor with their deep brown eyes.
Ducky bent over and kissed them each on the forehead. "I promise." He looked at Danny. "And before you ask, dear boy, of course I'll come back for yours too!"
"I wouldn't have it any other way, Grandpa," Danny said. "Especially since you promised you'd let me do an autopsy with you for my thirteenth birthday!"
Ziva and Tony turned their attention to Ducky, both looking at him with aghast and almost horrified looks.
"What?" Ziva asked.
Ducky blushed. "Ziva, I have no idea what he's talking about!" He covered Danny's mouth and smiled at the ex-Mossad officer. "I was sure I said it was for his fifteenth birthday."
"Today's the day! Today's the day!" Anna, Lyra, and Katie cheered and jumped with joy as Danny and Gibbs watched them.
"Did your dad or mom tell you what it was?" Gibbs asked.
"No. It's a surprise!" Anna exclaimed. "I can't wait! I'm gonna be a big sister!"
"You already are a big sister," Danny corrected as he stopped the twins from jumping off of the staircase. "I'll bet it's a boy."
"No way, it's a girl!" Anna insisted.
"What if they're twins like us?" Lyra thought aloud.
"That would be cool!" Katie agreed.
"That would be," Gibbs said, earning a look from Danny.
"Do you know, Uncle Gibbs?"
"Of course I do."
"And...are they twins?"
"Aw!" Lyra and Katie pouted for a moment. "Why not?"
"My mommy and daddy didn't get two from the stork," Anna explained matter-of-factly.
The door opened and five people entered the house: McGee and Abby, carrying an occupied carrier, and Tony and Ziva behind them.
"Mommy! Daddy!" Anna ran up to her parents and gave them both a classic Anna-hug, much like her mother's. "Where is the baby? Where is it?"
McGee placed the carrier down gently, smiling as Anna and the rest of the children peered down to see what it was. "It's a boy," he stated.
Danny smiled. "I knew it! What's his name?"
"John Donald McGee."
"After Grandpa Ducky?" Katie inquired, watching the baby boy slowly open his eyes.
"Mhmm." Abby nodded.
"You know what this means, right?" Tony asked as he picked up his two little girls. "You both will get to play House and Baby with John!"
"Really?" The twins squealed with delight. "Yay!"
Danny leaned over to his mother, sighing a sigh of relief. "Thank God! I was beginning to really hate having to play as a baby!"
Danny spun around in his father's office chair, staring up through the skylight. He blew out a heap of air, wondering when everyone would come back downstairs out of MTAC. He wanted to go out and celebrate already! Fifteen years old and he had just performed his first autopsy with Ducky. They were all about to go out to an Italian buffet when Director Vance had summoned everyone for a meeting with the SecNav.
"Excuse me? Daniel?"
Danny stopped spinning his chair and looked at an elderly man who was standing before the desk. His brown eyes were watching the teenager. "Yes, I'm him. Call me Danny. Who're you, Sir?"
The man smiled, nodding to himself. "Of course. We have never been introduced and I'm sure your father and mother have never told you about me."
Danny shook his head. "No. Sorry, I'm afraid not." He stuck out his hand. "You obviously know me. And you are?"
"My name is Eli." The man shook his hand. "It's a pleasure."
Danny didn't know what else to say. This man looked oddly familiar, but only vaguely. "Are you...a friend of my dad's or my mom's?"
"Oh. Well, they're up in MTAC at the moment. They should be back soon." Danny noticed that Eli was staring at a family photo on Tony's desk. It had Tony, Ziva, Danny, and the twins, all smiling at the camera.
Hesitantly, Eli picked it up. "Is this your family?" He asked, running his fingers over Ziva's smile.
"Yeah. Those two are my little sisters."
"What are they named?"
"Lyra and Katie. They're seven now."
"Not Hebrew," Eli muttered.
"You must be proud of your parents," Eli quickly changed the subject. "Being NCIS agents."
"Oh...yeah, I am. It's a pretty cool job."
Eli raised an eyebrow. "Are you thinking of joining up with a government agency?"
Danny shrugged. "It's crossed my mind."
"Well, believe it or not, I'm actually here to talk to you about one."
"Yes. I have heard about you, and how you excel in classes and extracurricular activities, Danny."
The teenager slowly nodded. "And who told you?"
"A friend." Eli continued. "I am here to offer you a guarnateed spot on a foreign agency called Mossad."
Danny tried not to frown. "That's Israeli, right?" What had Ziva told him about that? "I was thinking more along the lines of American agencies, and besides, I'm only fifteen."
"You are old enough," Eli insisted. "After all, most officers start training at that age."
"Really? And how many of them make it to adulthood?"
Eli chuckled. "You have your father's sarcasm."
"I've been told."
"Danny!" Tony, Ziva, Gibbs, and McGee hurried down the stairs.
When Ziva saw her father, she immediately stood between him and her son. "What are you doing here?"
"Can't a grandfather visit his grandson?"
"I'm hurt, Ziva."
"Not like I was." Ziva looked at Danny, forgetting that he was taught Hebrew.
"He...is....your father, Mom?"
Slowly, Ziva nodded. "Yes."
"Eli," Gibbs said with a warning in his tone. "I'd leave if I were you. Now."
"I would, but my point of visitation concerns no one but Danny, here." Eli ignored the angry glares from the surrounding agents. "What do you say? Will you take my offer?"
"What offer?" Tony demanded.
"Nothing, Dad." Danny assured. He shook his head at Eli. "I'm sorry, Eli, but I wouldn't belong at Mossad even if I wanted to. I may be your grandson, but I'm not gonna let you destroy my life like you did to others."
With that, Gibbs, Tony, and McGee escorted Eli to the elevator, shooting him nasty glares with frowns and threatening eyes.
Danny walked over to his mother and gave her a warm hug. "I'm sorry, Mom. I didn't know."
"It's not your fault, Danny." Ziva returned the hug. "Just promise me something."
"Never let him near your sisters. Ever." Her sad eyes met his concerned ones. Flashbacks of Tali and Ari invaded her mind. What they'd been through, how they lived, how they died...."Promise me."
A/N: Sorry that took a little long to update! I hope you enjoyed it though!