Rye again. Thanks to everyone who recommended that I continue the series. It's nice to know someone enjoys your work, especially when you care so much about it. So thank you oodles, to everyone who reviewed. Message me, subscribe, favorite, review, whatever. I'll love you for it!
Enjoy this one shot. Should have a new story in the series with multiple chapters up soon-ish. I hope. :/ Oh! If anyone has any suggestions, I would be happy to hear them! Thanks! ~Rye
Grace smiled widely and held out a handful of sparkling envelopes. Ziva, Tony, and Timothy each reached for one. Tony raised one eyebrow. "What's this, squirt?"
"It's an invitation to my birthday party! I'm gonna be seven! And it's a princess party, Tony! See, princess!" She twirled around in her sequined blue Cinderella costume.
"Oh, boy." DiNozzo shook his head. "That sounds... fun." He sounded unconvinced. "But I'm not really sure I'm going to be able to make it..." With his head down, he didn't see the burning glare Gibbs sent him.
"But you have to come! You just hafta! Everybody's coming." Grace's big brown eyes filled with tears. "Abby is coming, and Ducky, and Lyssa and Daddy are gonna be there, and you just have to come!" She stomped her foot on the floor, but the effect was lessened by the twinkling lights radiating from the sneakers.
"Yeah, okay, squirt. I'll be there."
"Yay!" She hugged Tony's legs and looked apprehensively up to Ziva.
"Um, yes. Me, too." She said, sounding a bit uncomfortable, but she couldn't say no to the little girl's pleading eyes.
"And me. I'll definitely be there." McGee smiled at Grace and she hugged both their legs.
"Yay! Princess party!"
Ziva opened her card and stared almost
"Do you like the card, Tony? Lyssa helped me make it last night!"
Alyssa entered then from the elevator. She carried two cups of coffee, one of which she set on Gibbs' desk. He smiled. She was catching on quick. "Yeah, and I'm still finding glitter in my clothes. It's everywhere, princess!" She picked Grace up and spun her in a circle. "She's the glitter princess, leaving a sparkly trail everywhere she goes!"
"Yeah!" She giggled and when Alyssa sat her down, she jumped onto Gibbs' lap. "Now you're all sparkly, too!"
Tony coughed back a laugh as he sat down at his desk and opened the envelope. Pink and purple glitter spilled out. "Huh." He blew some of the glitter of the desk. "Better glitter than plague."
By the time Tony, Ziva, Ducky, Tim, and Abby arrived at Gibb's house, his entire living room had been re-decorated to suit Princess Grace's theme. The couch was stuffed with fluffy pillows, the coffee table covered in sparkling scarves, and the stereo was playing Disney soundtracks. Grace was seated in a chair wearing a sequined dress and looking very sophisticated. The look didn't last for long though, because as the guests entered she jumped up from her chair to hug everyone and squeal with excitement.
"Guess what, Ziva? Lyssa made me a cake! It's chocolate! Hi Ducky! Timmy! That's a really big box! It's for me, right?"
Everyone laughed at her antics as they ate the delectable cake and Grace began to open presents. She ripped wrapping paper and threw it to the floor with disregard. "Look! Lyssie, look! It's a princess house! Ducky got me a Barbie house!"
"Yeah, he did." The teenager said from her perch on the arm of the couch. "That's so awesome!"
Grace jumped up and hugged the doctor tightly around the neck. "Thank you, thank you!"
"You're quite welcome, Grace." He smiled.
She continued to open more presents, a book of classic fairy tales from Tim, coloring books and crayons from Ziva, a "little sister" tee-shirt from Alyssa, and a set of movies from Tony ("every decent princess movie I could find!"). She thanked everyone excitedly and was distributing a second round of hugs when Abby unveiled her present.
"It's so awesome!" A sparkling black dress hung from a hanger, in just Grace's size. It had a full hoop skirt and long sleeves to finger-tip length. It sparkled with small pink sequins. It was "Princess Goth" at it's best.
"Where did you find that, Abs?"
"I have my connections." The pale girl smiled. "C'mon, Gracie, want me to help you try it on?" They re-emerged a few moments later, both giggling and gothic. Grace spun around, making the dress swish.
"You look very pretty, Grace." Tim said, smiling at her and Abby.
Tony slid a DVD into the player and both Goth princesses settled onto the couch together. Gibbs sat down beside them, putting his arm around them. Tony and Tim lounged on the floor, tossing pillows at each other, and Ducky sat down in the recliner. Alyssa had disappeared to make popcorn for everyone.
"I like your tattoo." The little girl pointed a small finger up to the markings on Abby's neck.
"Aw, thanks!" Abby grinned widely. She was really growing to like this kid.
"My sissy has one." Grace picked up her new box of crayons and carefully perused the colors.
Gibbs looked down at her. "Alyssa doesn't have a tattoo..."
"Yeah-huh." Grace said, making the face of a child who knows she is right. "On her back. It's a bird."
"A temporary tattoo, right, Gracie?" Grace looked up from her box of crayons and shook her head exasperatedly.
"Alyssa. Has a tattoo. Of a bird. On her back?" Gibbs asked. Grace nodded, so he turned to Abby. "She's sixteen! Isn't that illegal?"
"Not necessarily, Gibbs. She could have gotten her parents permission, or..."
"Excuse me for a second..." Gibbs stood up and exited the room, looking for Alyssa. "Alyssa Marie!" He found her in the kitchen.
"Yo." Alyssa stood at the counter, drenching popcorn in melted butter. "Sup, Gibbs?"
"You have a tattoo?" He stepped closer, reaching for the back of her shirt. He just managed to grab it before she ducked away.
"I- Pssh. No." She scoffed unconvincingly and pulled out of his grasp, turning her back to him.
He quickly grabbed her arm and twisted her around, raising the back of her tee shirt a few inches. A colorful bird flew across Alyssa's lower back. "Then what's that?"
"That's not what your sister says."
Abby entered the kitchen and stepped closer to the duo, looking at the tattoo. "Oh, no way, that's real. I like it!" Gibbs glared at her, but Abby just shrugged. "You gotta admit, Gibbs. It's a pretty awesome tat."
Alyssa stood up straighter and smiled. "Thanks!"
He moved his glare from Abby to Alyssa. "I disagree."
"Yeah..." Alyssa made a face. "I kinda thought you might. That's why I didn't tell you. But it's too late to do anything about it now. It's not coming off."
"We'll see about that." Gibbs turned and walked out of the room, leaving a shocked Alyssa behind with Abby.
"B-but. You're not going to make me have it removed, right? That's really expensive, Gibbs!" She said, trying to reason with him, not so much because of the price, but because she liked her tat. She looked desperately to Abby, but she just shook her head and shrugged. He returned promptly with a box of bandaids. "Aww, seriously? Uncool, Gibbs. Uncool."
"Lift up your shirt."
She did as he asked, staring over her shoulder as he applied the bandaids vertically across the ink. "I kind of hate you right now. Just so you know."
"Consider it noted."
"Oh, c'mon, Gibbs." Abby said. "It's just a tattoo! What happened to free expression?"
"You can feel free to express yourself." He stood up and patted Alyssa on the shoulder. "When you're eighteen."
A few hours later, Grace was cuddled in bed, Alyssa laying next to her, reading her a bedtime story from her new book. It had been a struggle to get Grace out of her Goth Princess dress, but when Alyssa told her it would get dirty if she slept in it, the little girl practically ripped it off.
Gibbs came in a moment later, carrying a flat black velvet box.
Grace, who had been slouching in the bed, nearly asleep, jumped up immediatly. She startled Alyssa, who started sliding off the side of the small bed. "What's that?"
"Chill, kid." Alyssa said, pulling herself back up. "Dam-ages." Alyssa cringed. She had been working on her language, but it was a slow process.
Gibbs smiled at her as he sat down by their feet. "I don't know, Grace. It's your birthday. What do you think it is?"
"Yeah, it's a present." Grace clapped her hands together in excitement. "A very special present." She squirmed out from under the covers to sit next to him, staring anxiously at the box. He slowly lifted the lid up, revealing a silver tiara covered in glistening crystals.
Grace gasped. "It's so pretty..."
Alyssa even slid over to get a closer look at the scintilatting piece of jewelry. "It's really... nice, Gibbs."
"Yeah. I've had it for a while." He slid the box onto Grace's lap, where she stared at it in awe. "I don't know how much you two know about my daughter..."
"Kelly." Alyssa whispered as she looked up from the tiara.
"Yeah, Kelly." He looked at her for a moment, thinking, then turned back to Grace. "Well, Kelly was my little girl, but she died a long time ago."
"Like my daddy?"
"Yes, kind of like that. Anyways, Kelly loved princesses, too. This used to be hers, but I thought you might like to have it now." Silence. "Would you like that, Gracie?"
She nodded slowly. "Yeah. I'd like that a lot."
"Alright then. It's yours, now." He put the open box on the nightstand where it could still be seen, and opened the story book. "Now, where were we?" Grace crawled under the covers and slid up close to his side. Alyssa pulled up a pillow on the other side and rested her head on his shoulder. He put both arms around them and began reading the fairytale softly. Soon, he could hear long deep breaths coming from both sides as they both drifted off. He closed the book and stayed in the bed, watching the girls sleep. But they weren't just 'the girls', anymore. They were his girls.
If you can catch the episode reference in there (it's probably pretty obvious...), then I'll give you a present! Or, you know, a virtual hug, or something. ~Rye