Chapter 12: Family

A/N: jk I did get this done on time. This is officially the last chapter of the story. (Perhaps...) The original version was no where near this long and didn't have this ending but thanks to you guys this was the product.

P.S. Whoa...at the amount of reviews and alerts...

Disclaimer: No. Would you like to crush my dreams a little more? Btw I don't own anything Toy Story either.

"What's the status on Anthony Jethro DiNozzo?" Tony ran in yelling at the reception.

"I'm sorry we don't have any patients by that name." the receptionist said.

"Husam Muti Ulman." Gibbs barked.

"no." she said.

"kid brought in from D.C. Mercy bombing. Gun shot wound. Already pretty beat up." Tony said.

"oh, yes John Doe 3." the receptionist said. "he is currently in surgery and listed as critical. The doctor will inform you of his condition once they're done. You can wait in the waiting room but If you were in the explosion, it's protocol that you get checked out."

"DiNozzo go get checked out in the ER." Gibbs said and he complied after kissing Ziva reassuringly.

"he's not John Doe 3 anymore. His name is Anthony Jethro DiNozzo, previously Husam Muti Ulman. He was in yesterday with gunshot wounds." Gibbs said.

"the terrorist?" she asked harshly.

"no, he's not a terrorist. He's a hero." McGee said looking at Ziva who had a small smile on her lips.

Gibbs stayed with Ziva as they filled in Anthony's information while McGee went for coffee. They all met back up in the waiting room.

"Doc says I got a concussion, some minor abrasions, and I'm dehydrated but otherwise ok." Tony said as he came in and sat next to Ziva. He took her hand and they just looked at each other. Gibbs rolled his eyes at their eye conversation and sipped his coffee.

"any news?" Abby asked as she ran into the waiting room with a massive caf pow!

"no, he's in surgery now." McGee said as she hugged him tightly.

"this shouldn't be happening. We just got him back." she said sadly.

Everyone else took a seat.

"how many people got out?" Tony asked Gibbs after awhile.

"thanks to Anthony for the gunshot sound they were about to go into lock down but then he pulled the fire alarm. All patients on the bottom 3 were evacuated by the time the 2nd bomb hit. The fourth, fifth, and sixth were all partially evacuated but they didn't have as many patients as the bottom three floors. That was mostly for long term patients. They pulled out 13 survivors from the wreckage. They estimated about 90 are still missing and probably dead. Anthony saved about 260 patients plus their families." Gibbs said. "Fornell is taking over from here."

Everyone was silent. The only sound that could be heard was the ticking clock. Time felt so slow, Tony began pacing after a couple of hours and then sat back down after another couple. There were multiple coffee refills and bathroom breaks.

Ziva was exhausted and Tony could tell. He was too. Tony put his arm around Ziva and leaned in closer while nudging her to do the same. She laid he head back against his shoulder. She was asleep almost immediately. Tony kissed her cheek softly an gently leaned his head on hers.

What they couldn't see was that Abby was smiling so hard that McGee thought her face would really stick that way.

***(Tony's PoV)

"questions are being asked in town about missing NCIS agents, concerned, that U.S. forces might mobilize. One of you, will give me the identities and locations of operatives in the area, and the other one will die." Saleem ripped off the hood and there she was. Ziva. She looked terrible. I could only imagine what she had been through.

"I will give you a moment to decide who lives." he said and walked away.

"so, how was your summer?" I asked. Whoa. Deja vu. This wasn't like my usual nightmares when we were too late to save her. This felt so much more...real.

She was silent for a moment.

"out of all the people in the world, who could have found me, it had to be you." She said without breaking eye contact. We could still communicate with our eyes but it was harder to decipher.

"you're welcome. So are you glad to see me?" I smiled. I missed her so much.

"you should not have come." she said shortly.

"alright. Good catching up. Oh oh yeah I forgot! Taken prisoner." I said as I tried to get up and fell back down dramatically.

"are you alright, McGee?" She asked. She clearly wasn't ready for my attempts at humor.

"I'm just glad that you're alive." he said from his place on the floor.

"you thought I was dead?" She sounded surprised.

"oh, oh yeah." I said. I couldn't bear the flashbacks of the drunken nights with Gibbs's boat and the empty, heartbroken feeling I had for all that time.

"then why are you here?"

"well, McGee, McGee didn't think you were dead.." I started to squirm a little. She was getting dangerously close to a question I was afraid to answer.

"Tony. Why, are you here?" She asked.

So I told her the truth. "couldn't live without you I guess."

Her face relaxed slightly. "so you will die with me. You should've left me alone."

"ok tried, couldn't, you should know I've taken some kind of truth serum so if there's any questions you don't want to know the answer to.." I shook my head.

"I did not ask anyone to put themselves in harms way for me. I do not deserve it." She said.

"so uh, what are you doing out here? Some kind of monastic experience? Doing penance?" I asked.

"it is justified." She said.

"get over yourself." I said seriously. She had to wake up and realize that this was real.

"I have. Now you tell Saleem everything you want to hear, and you try to save yourselves. I am ready to die." she said. That sad thing was that I knew she was.

"that's not how it works." McGee spoke up.

"how what works?" She asked.

"the plan." I smiled.

"you have an escape plan?" I asked in surprise.

He clicked his tongue and winked in response.

"Tony, they have 30 men, heavily armed. Anti tank, anti aircraft weapons. What do you have?"

"well that's where things get a little tricky." I said.

**(little flashback in ToC)

"wait, so you got captured, on purpose?"

"mhhm." I said.

"These men, are killers. Tony." She said.

"I know. That's why we have to stay alive long enough to not get dead."

"that would involve being rescued." I said.

"yes it would." I nodded.

"how long will it take?"

"I don't know. How long do you think I've been talking?"

"so what's the plan?" She hissed.

"well, we fail to contact Dubai, word gets to the carrier group in the Med. and they scramble after like two raptors that burn sand into glass. How long that's gonna take, I don't know. Hours or days." I said. "Ziva, can you fight?"

She was about to answer when Saleem walked back in.

"oh hey Saleem. What's all the commotion?"

"we are moving out." he said quickly.

"oh good I was getting a little tired of this place." I said.

"we are not taking prisoners."

"oh it was nice talking to you then."

"we are not done yet." Saleem yanked her hair up and held a knife to her throat. The moment he died was going to be the best of my life.

"if they do not check in, their people will come looking for them." She said.

"Ziva shut up!" I said. She was not going to ruin this. I knew what I had to do this time.

"kill me, you'll need the Americans for leverage."

"I don't make bargains. Plus, the torture will end if you die. Living with the guilt of his death..." he was saying. That's when I knew for a fact that this was happening to fix everything.

"do you make pizza?" I interrupted.

"huh?" Saleem was confused.

Then McGee kicked out making Saleem fall. McGee reached for his knife but Saleem was faster and held a gun to McGee.

"Stop, Stop!" I yelled. "there's something I haven't told you yet!"

Saleem got up without taking the gun from McGee's direction.

"and what is that?"

"well, I've told you about the brains, I've told you about the guts, the muscle, the scientist, the politician, the leader. I've told you about every member of the team except myself. The part I play." I said quickly.

"yeah, which is?"

"I'm the wildcard, I'm the guy that sees the reality in front of him and refuses to accept it. I mean like right now I should be terrified but I'm not, 'cause I can't stop thinking about the movie True Lies. Where Arnie's strapped to the chair shot full of truth serum, he breaks out of his cuffs and kills everyone. You have 30 seconds to live Saleem."

"no. You're still bound. You're lying." he said.

"I can't lie remember. And I never said I was gonna be the one to kill ya. Remember when I told you my boss was a sniper?" I said.

"whooozzz." the glass broke and Saleem fell back. A single bloody hole was in-between his eyes.

"look out!" I yelled as another man rushed in but was shot like Saleem. Showtime.

"alright let's go!" I said. McGee cut me free and he helped pick Ziva up.

"Tony...wait..." Ziva started.

"I know about Anthony Ziva." I said hurriedly.

"wha..." she started again but I cut her off.

"stay with McGee. He'll get you out ok. I'm going to find him." I nodded to McGee who took Ziva's full weight. I started running when McGee stopped me.

"Tony!" he yelled and tossed me the gun. I continued running.

There were two doors coming up. The one on the right burst open with a bang. The man started shooting at me but I shot him once in the arm, making his gun fall to the ground and once in the stomach.

I ran to him and grabbed him by his collar as I knealt by him.

"where's my son?" I yelled.

"Saleem..." was all he said before his body went limp.

He wasn't dead. He couldn't be dead. I was getting frantic as I looked around me. He could be anywhere in this desolate town and there's no way we could search it without being killed by terrorists.

Then I heard it. A single cry of a baby.

"Anthony." I said aloud.

He cried again but this time louder and he kept crying.

I pushed my ear against the closed door. He was here. I tried the handle but it was locked. I kicked it down to find a small cot in the corner with a baby in rags on it.

I picked him up carefully, slightly unsure. It really hit me that I was a dad. I was scared. Scared that I couldn't get him out. Scared I would mess up. "shhh buddy. Daddy's here." I whispered.

I heard more gunshots and got over it. I cradled him to my chest and got the gun ready.

There was another body in the hall but I went down the hallway as fast as I dared. I turned the corner where I left Ziva and McGee but they were gone. In their place was Gibbs in his sniper uniform.

"Ziva?" I asked.

"She and McGee went with some of the SEALs back to the plane." he said.

I looked down at my now slumbering son and just smiled. Everything was going to be ok.

"let's go home."

***Ziva's PoV/dream

McGee was carrying me bridal style as 2 more seals that weren't trying to secure the camp, pulled up in a Humv. We were outside the camp quite a ways.

McGee out me down and they ushered us in but I refused.

"wait! We have to wait for Tony and Gibbs!" I said frantically. And possibly my son.

"ma'am our number 1 priority was to get you out. We have another group coming in after us to help them." one of the seals said with a bit of a southern drawl.

"no! We can't leave them. He wouldn't leave me." I said firmly.

"ma'am you're going to compromise everything we've done!" the driver yelled.

"Im not leaving without them." I said again.

McGee knew there was no point in arguing so he got out and stood next to me.

"the lady says we don't go, we don't go." he smiled at me.

We heard distant gunfire and I could tell the seals were getting more nervous with every moment we stayed.

"ma'am that plane is taking off in 6 minutes whether we're on it or not." the southern man said.

"wait just a little bit longer." I pleaded.

Then I saw something. I thought at first it was my imagination but then the blurry figures were getting closer. They were running towards us and I saw one man with a bundle in his arms.

"Tony!" I yelled. I couldn't go to him, because I was so weak from not having food and water for so long.

The men kept running towards us and I recognized Gibbs and 3 more Seals. He got about a yard away when I made my way to him and hugged him tightly.

"I got him, Ziva." he whispered to me. They were the best words I had ever heard in my entire life.

I released him and he put the bundle in my arms. He started squirming and crying.

"Tony..." I whispered. I couldn't hold the tears back and neither could he.

"we need to go!" one of the seals called.

"yeah." Tony said. "let's get you guys home."

And I knew that that was where we were going. Israel was not my home anymore. America, D.C., NCIS was my home.

We loaded into the HumV which was a tight fit but I don't think anyone really cared. I still couldn't believe that I was out. My baby was alive. And Tony forgave me after everything.

We drove back to a makeshift base about 30 minutes away and got checked out by the medical personnel. They gave us fluids and food and cleaned us up.

Gibbs made a quick phone call after everyone was cleared and they drove us out to a cargo plane much like the one we rode to Israel in.

No one said a word the whole way. We loaded into the plane and promptly took off.

Tony was sitting next to me on the uncomfortable benches.

He put his arm around my shoulders and I leaned into his side and put my head on his shoulder. He put his other arm on mine that was cradling Anthony who amazingly, was asleep.

What awkwardness I thought we would have if by some chance I did see him again, was gone. All that mattered was our son.

Tony led me up the stairs of his apartment complex and unlocked his door.

Anthony was being carried in the car seat by Tony that Abby had bought and brought to the office before we arrived.

He turned on the lights and stepped inside. It was relatively clean but it didn't feel the same as when we would have our movie nights.

He walked over to the couch and laughed. I walked over behind him and saw what he saw.

"Abby." we said at the same time with a smile.

The couch was loaded with bags of baby clothes, diapers, formula, and anything else they would possibly need. A bassinet also stood by the couch. Tony put Anthony's carrier down on the coffee table and started going through the bags.

"Tony, do you mind if I...take a quick shower?" I asked. I wanted to wash everything away.

"sure." he said. "Bathrooms through the bedroom."

"are you sure you can handle him?" I asked worriedly. I didn't want to leave him for even a moment.

"yeah. Can't be too hard. Abby also bought about $150 worth of baby and parenting books." He said nervously.

I gave him a small reassuring smile and went to go take a shower. The hot water felt amazing. I stepped out and dried off with a towel that Tony must've brought in. He also brought in an old pair of sweats and an old Ohio state t-shirt. I put them on and stepped out into the living room area.

Tony was sitting on the couch with a lively Anthony. Tony was changed into some sports shorts and a t-shirt. Anthony looked clean and already dressed in his new clothes.

"how is he?" I asked and sat down next to him.

"he's good. Aren't you buddy." Tony said in a soft playful voice.

Anthony just stared up at us, completely content.

"family of Anthony Jethro DiNozzo?" I heard an odd voice say from nowhere.

Suddenly I yanked back to reality.

"Tony,"

"Tony." Ziva shook again.

"what?" he groaned.

"the doctor is here." she said urgently.

Tony jumped up so fast he almost jumped into Gibbs and made him spill his coffee.

Gibbs headslapped him.

"thank you boss I really needed that." Tony said as he calmed down. Gibbs just smiled.

"anyway," the doctor said. He looked very young. "Anthony's heart stopped momentarily in the ambulance but they revived him. From there it was sort of a race against the clock to get him fixed up as soon as possible. Anthony had a few different sedatives in his bloodstream which we pumped out. He managed to rip out all of the stitches from his previous bullet wounds but only two were infected. Then there was the stab wound," the doctor sighed. "it went straight into the joint. It cut apart the capsule and some of the ligaments. We managed to repair the damage and put anchors into his shoulder to keep everything together. The bullet complicated that injury just a little but the knife did so much damage, there really wasn't much for it to do with that. He may have some nerve damage in that arm but we'll know the exact extent of his injuries a but later." he cleared his throat.

"so he's going to be ok?" Ziva asked hopefully.

"well, because of the head trauma and overall trauma inflicted on his body, his heart stopped again during the surgery. He was gone for just over 2 minutes but we got him again and finished up." he looked around slightly uncomfortable. "he slipped into a coma right when we got him into the ICU."

"how long will he be in it?" I asked.

"well, comas aren't really an exact science. It's sort of like a reset button for the body. He could be in it for a couple of hours or he might never wake up."

Tears started streaming down Ziva's face again.

"but," the doctor started to try and comfort her. "overall tests on brain function and activity so far are promising. I doubt this is a permanent state."

"can we see him?" Gibbs asked.

"immediate family only for right now." the doctor said. He turned to lead them but stopped when everyone was following.

"dad." Tony said.

"mom."

"aunt." Abby said.

"uncle." Tim said.

"grandfather." Gibbs said.

The doctor looked skeptical but led them down the hall anyway. They came up on the room and the doctor turned.

"I should warn you, he looks pretty rough." the doctor said sadly and opened the door. I barely noticed that I was holding my breath. Tony took my hand and gave me a reassuring look.

He was right. Anthony's usually olive toned skin was pale with black, blue, and purple splotches everywhere. He had stitches in his forehead. The rest of his wounds were covered by bandages and his hospital gown. The room was silent except for the steady beep of his heart monitor. This was the first time I was actually able to fully see my son in good light.

Tony and I stepped over to the side of his bed. I took his hand in mine. The small bit of warmth his hand provided was comfort. I watched as Tony ran a hand through his slightly wavy and medium length hair. It was a few shades darker than Tony's but lighter than mine. He had Tony's jaw line and overall facial structure. He was average height and muscular. I ran my fingers against his arm and felt the scars of his life. I couldn't even imagine what he had been through. I thought my time in Somalia was hell. He spent 16 years there. Amazingly, he was still alive and found his way back to us.

I felt the warm tear tracks turn cold on my skin. I tried to hold them back and be strong but I just couldn't.

We pulled up chairs and sat around his bed. Waiting and willing for him to wake up.

"Mommy! Daddy!" I yelled as I ran into a foreign room. I was this 5 year old kid yet I had no control over what I did. I was just along for the ride. He looked like me at that age, but happy.

I jumped onto a large bed with two figures slumbering peacefully.

"Mommy... It's Christmas! Get up!" I shook the smaller figure.

"mmm...Anthony. I will get up once your father gets up." she groaned.

"ok! Come on Daddy!" I turned on my knees in-between my parents. They looked much younger, less worry lines, and brighter faces. Even at 7:30 AM Christmas morning.

I kept shaking but he wouldn't respond until he finally rolled over.

"Anthony...5 more minutes." he groaned.

"No!" I pouted. "please...Santa is already in the living room."

"well, that's nice." he closed his eyes again and started settling back into his pillow.

Suddenly both of them bolted upright and pulled guns from their nightstand.

"What's wrong?" I asked innocently from my place on the bed in my buzz lightyear pajamas.

"Anthony stay here." My mom whispered.

They silently crept down the hall of the townhouse and down the stairs until they were almost to where the stairs met the living room.

I didn't listen and followed them. I marveled at how they could communicate without words and move so in sync with the other. I peeked around the corner and saw Santa sitting in the chair by the tv. I couldn't control my excitement. I ran and jumped into his lap.

"Anthony!" My mother yelled as she and my father pointed their guns at the man.

Then Santa pulled down his beard for a moment to speak.

"jeez, calm down DiNozzos it's me." he said.

They relaxed and put their guns down.

"Gibbs why on earth would you ever do something like this?" Mom asked.

"I wanted to give your son a special Christmas but apparently I'm not allowed to." he said and took off his hat.

"Grandpa!" I yelled and hugged him.

"I need coffee." my father yawned.

"already made some." Gibbs said.

"of course you did." Dad smirked.

"mommy, can I go open my presents?" I asked hurriedly.

"presents!" Dad yelled and was immediately wide awake, coffee forgotten. He ran over to the tree and started looking through the presents. I ran over and plopped down on his lap to help him. I heard Gibbs and mom talking but I was too interested in trying to find my presents to really pay attention.

Gibbs chuckled. "looks like you already have your 2nd kid Ziver."

"Gibbs!" she gave him a pointed look. "Tony and I were going to tell him after he opened his presents."

"sorry." he smiled.

"mommy please?" I asked again.

"two baby." she smiled. "we have to wait until Aunt Abby, Uncle Tim, and grandpa Ducky get here."

"Ziva?" Dad asked hopefully.

"two Tony. And no more!" she pointed a finger at him. "and if you open more than two then you will wish you had taken all of the paperclips out of this house!"

He gulped and I laughed.

"what's so funny squirt?" he ruffled my hair.

"you and mommy." I smiled. I had that warm fuzzy feeling again.

"hey! Let's race and see who can get their present unwrapped fastest!" he said with as much anticipation as me.

"ok!" I said and started ripping the paper.

"hey! I didn't say go!" Dad pouted but kept unwrapping.

I giggled. I actually giggled. I don't ever remember giggling before. It felt good. Well better than good really. It felt amazing. I was so happy. Then I was filled with more joy as I unwrapped Woody from Toy Story.

"Woody!" I shouted and jumped up. I tackled my father into a bear hug. "thank you, thank you, thank you!"

He laughed. "go thank your mom too."

I ran into the kitchen and wrapped myself around her legs.

"Thank You mommy!" I smiled as she picked me up on her hip and kissed the side of my head as I looked down at my toy.

"I knew you would like it." she laughed and I wrapped my arms around her neck as she carried me back into the living room.

Then the doorbell rang and she set me down in Gibbs's lap as I showed Gibbs my new toy.

"Anthony!" I heard the woman in all black clothing screech. I looked up just in time for her to swoop in and pick me up. I knew this was my aunt Abby but I felt like I had never met her before.

She hugged me and kissed my forehead as I hugged her back.

"Merry Christmas!" she said and walked over to where Uncle McGee and Grandpa Ducky were wiping the snow from their boots.

"ahh, there's the strapping young lad!" Ducky smiled. My mother smiled and put their coats on the hook.

"Hey Anthony." McGee smiled and handed me a present. My eyes lit up at the prospect of what lay inside.

Abby carried me back to the couch and everyone followed. I unwrapped the box which was of course wrapped in black wrapping paper.

"this one's from me and Abby." McGee smiled.

I finally got the last of the paper off and was able to see what it was. I saw a picture of a Volcano and Fun Science written across the top.

"Boom!" I yelled at the thought of blowing it up. But then a shiver ran down my spine at the thought of the damage I could do with this if I made a few minor adjustments and added a few things.

"McGoo! Please don't turn my kid into a McNerd!" Tony smirked.

"hey! I loved these when I was little." Abby said.

"well if he starts hacking anything before he can ride a bike we'll have a problem." Tony pretended to be serious and took out two packages from under the tree. He handed them to Abby and McGee. He then got everyone else's out and delivered them.

My mother stepped over everything on the floor and sat inbetween my father's outstretched legs.

He kissed her forehead and she kissed him on the lips. He kissed back with a laugh.

"ewww!" I cried. Everyone laughed. Both of my parents looked up.

"Tony are you sure he's yours?" McGee asked.

"of course I'm sure McSonless." Tony said completely serious. He smiled at me.

"DiNozzo men do not say ewww when they are kissing beautiful women." He laughed a little at my disgusted face.

"gross!" I said again. Laughter erupted. My father reached over and dragged me off the couch. My mother put me in her lap and I went for another present.

"you'll learn one day." my father said. "it's in the DiNozzo blood. You'll have so many girls you'll have no idea what to do."

"Dear god. If he turns out to be like you and your father..." Mom trailed off.

"He'll be fine." Gibbs said. "you'll balance him out. Trust me."

I finished unwrapping my next present and held up the t-shirt.

"world's, best, big, brother..." I sounded out.

Everyone was smiling mischievously. I looked up in question at my parents.

"Tony that was supposed to be the last present he opened." my mother whispered.

"oops." my dad smiled.

"well," my mother couldn't hold back her smile and neither could my dad.

"Anthony, you're going to have a little brother or sister in a few months." Dad smiled.

"yay!" I yelled.

Everyone said their congratulations.

"well, Timmy and I have a pretty big announcement too." Abby said nervously.

"probie please tell me you weren't probing without protection." Dad said.

My mom headslapped him and gave him a look that meant, shut up there's a child in the room. I knew what it meant and laughed a little but my five year old self had no idea and just ignored it which was good because I didn't feel like going through the awkward "where do babies come from?" question.

"no," McGee said. "actually, we're getting married!"

"pay down!" My mother yelled in excitement.

Everyone except for Abby and McGee who looked surprised.

"it's pay up Sweet cheeks." Dad said and put a ten dollar bill in her outstretched hand. Everyone else paid her the money which she went to go put in her wallet.

"you were betting on if I said yes?" Abby said.

"no we were betting on when Probalicious here would grow the pair to actually propose." Dad said completely serious. He was still pouting about his lost ten bucks.

"hey!" McGee said, obviously hurt.

"relax Timothy. I had faith in you! I was just hoping you would wait until the New Year." Ducky said.

"Gibbs?" Abby asked.

"valentine's day. It's closer to your 3 year anniversary." he said and took a sip of the coffee my mother had brought him earlier.

"Tony?" McGee asked expectantly.

He looked up from playing with me and my toys. "I lost." he said nervously.

"Tony. What was your guess?" McGee asked again.

"You'd get her pregnant and/or she would ask you." he said quietly.

"Tony!" Abby said in shock but with a little bit of laughter.

My mother came up behind him and headslapped him.

"earrrahhh..." (whatever noise he makes when he gets headslapped.)

My five year old self had no interest but I found it enormously entertaining.

My mother just laughed and was about to walk away when he pulled her down on top of him.

"not getting away that easy my ninja!" he laughed as he tickled her.

"Tony!" she yelled. "the...baby.." she managed in-between fits of laughter.

"oh!" he stopped immediately.

"thank you!" Gibbs said. "and I thought the grab ass you played in the office couldn't get any worse."

They laughed a bit and carried on with whatever conversations. I looked up at my family. It was what I always wanted. It was the family that your everyday teenager took for granted. I would have anything to have gotten this childhood and this family. I wanted to stay here forever but I knew I couldn't. My head was splitting and I was starting to black out. I felt heavy and then, they were gone.

**2 days later**

Suddenly the body I had been fighting to control, woke up and obeyed me. I felt a hand in mine and I gently rubbed my thumb over the top of their hand.

I cracked an eye open and was almost blinded by the bright lights. For a moment I considered being in heaven once I saw everything was white. Then I smelled the antiseptic and unique smell that could only be that of a hospital.

I opened the other eye to see the slightly blurry faces of my parents.

"Anthony.." my mother whispered.

"mom." I croaked. My throat felt raw and dry.

I looked at my smiling father and couldn't help but smile too.

"dad." I said.

"hey buddy." he said with a little laugh.

"water..." I managed to say.

He immediately picked up the pitcher on the table and poured me a glass.

The water was cool and healing. I was washing what was now just bad memories away.

"How long was I out?" I asked.

"almost 3 days." My mother said as she cupped my cheek in her hand and kissed my forehead.

"jeez. No wonder I had such a long dream." I said.

"what was it about." My dad asked.

Then Gibbs came in with the entire McGee family in his wake. Everyone was smiling.

"I don't quite remember." I lied. "but I know it was good. Really good." I smiled and looked at my parents relieved and happy faces. In that moment I really believed that everything would be ok.

Maybe that dream could somewhat be close to my reality now. Except I'm 16 and not 5, Ducky was no longer with us, and Abby and Tim are already married. It was still a bit shocking that I had a family. Two people to come home to and make me smile. I knew I was trying to find my parents but really, I found a lot more in this little adventure. I learned that family isn't necessarily blood relations. They were people that cared about what happened to you and you cared about them. They were people that would help you no matter what and always be there to pick you up when you fell. Or in my case, save me from psycho terrorists and dig me out of a destroyed building. For the first time in my life, I was at peace. I felt complete.

A/N: yes I know it's over. Sniffles...sorry I was in the Christmas mood when writing this. Don't you think Tony would be just like a kid with his kids? I thought so plus it was easier to write that way. Also sorry if the dreams were a little confusing. They were separate but on the same story line. Thanks again for all the support, reviews, and alerts. You guys are awesome! Maybe an epilogue if there is enough demand (probably just 1 follow up type thing unless you say you want more) but only if you want an epilogue...so review! :)