A/N: I know! I know! It's been like FOREVER since I've updated! BUT! I have a reason! I've had a lot going on at home lately. In the past year my family has been suffering a lot with issues concerning my sister and her mental state. My dad goes in for his third major shoulder surgery on Tuesday and he might not have a job when he's able to go back to work. One of our cars was stolen so we've had to deal with that. And on top of everything else, I've had to break up with my boyfriend. Yeah, I know he's just a guy and there are plenty more out in the world, but he wasn't just any guy. He was my best friend and I could tell him anything, or at least, I thought could. He ended up blaming me for everything that had gone wrong in our relationship. He kept pressuring me to tell him what was going on at home and I couldn't, nor would I ever, tell him what was happening. He even resorted to telling me he would kill himself if I broke up with him. Let's just say that we haven't really spoken in two months. That and he's kinda screwed up in the head. He's told my friends that he wants to shoot someone every time he looks at me. (Not that I already have some of the most important people to me blaming me for things that are out of my control, he just has to add that, huh?) I feel like I should ask how you guys' holidays were….well mine was pretty good. I got season 8 of NCIS :D and season 1 of NCIS LA and season 1 of Supernatural! :D That totally made my awful 2011 so much better :3

Anyways, back to the task at hand. I've finally finished chapter four! :D And, well, I kinda need some help with writing my other stories. The next chapter of What's Next? is proving to be a pain in the butt, while the next chapter of What's Your Story? hates my guts. I can't seem to write a flashback for the life of me. So, if any of you that have read either or both of those and would like to help me, I will love you forever and be eternally grateful! (: Anyways, onward with the next chapter of I'll Always Be There. No Matter What. !

Disclaimer: I don't think I've had one of these yet….and I think I should just post a basic one on my profile since I keep forgetting to post one on each chapter ._. but any ways…I do not own NCIS or anything that is associated with it. I do, however, own the plot line :3

It pulled his heart strings each time his little boy let out another scream.

Jethro burst into the room and looked at the little body on the bed before him. Tony appeared to still be asleep. His small limbs tangled in the sheets. His face was red and streaked with tears. Eyes screwed shut, continuing to watch whatever horrible images his mind created.

He could barely make out what his son was screaming. Most of it being incoherent gibberish, there were only a few words that stood out and broke the marine's heart.

"No!" Tony yelled as his nightmare continued to play out. "They not gone!" his small body tossed around once again, tangling himself in his covers even more. "No!" he yelled out again. "They not dead!" he let out a choked sob. "THEY NOT DEAD!" he screamed in his sleep.

Jethro quickly went to his son's bedside, not wanting him to suffer any longer. He let the side down and sat on the edge o the bed. Gently, he took his little boy's hands, prying the blankets from his tiny fists and taking them in his, letting small fingers cling to him. All while he spoke soft soothing words.

"Shh." he whispered. "It's okay, Tony." He let his thumbs rub small circles on the top of Tony's hands. "Shh. I'm here Tony. Shh. No one's gone, baby boy. Everyone's okay."

He watched as small, terrified green eyes opened, locking onto steal blue.

"D-daddy?" he sniffled.

He could see the question in his boy's eyes.

"Oh, Tony." He gathered his son into his arms and held him tightly.

Tony grasped a fist full of his father's shirt in his right hand and held on tightly. He let his head fall and rest on his father's chest. He began to mumble "You not there." Over and over.

Jethro began to rub small circles on his little boy's back as he began to cry once again.

"Shh." he whispered. "It's okay Tony. Shh. I'm right here." he rocked back and forth slightly. "I'm not going anywhere." he kissed Tony's head. "I'm not going anywhere." he repeated.

About ten minutes later, Jethro had finally lulled Tony back to sleep. With more soothing words and reassuring that he wasn't going anywhere, Tony's eyes had finally closed, the thumb on his left hand stuck firmly in his mouth.

"Daddy?" Kelly called softly from her brother's doorway. She had heard the whole situation through the baby monitor in the basement.

Jethro turned his head towards his little girl's voice.

"Hey Kelly." He said quietly.

Kelly took a few steps into the room.

"Is TJ okay?" she asked. Her brother's screams still fresh in her mind. Hearing what he had been dreaming, had scared her.

He thought a moment before he responded to his daughter's question.

"For now." he finally answered.

Kelly nodded and made her way to the bed. She climbed up and curled up next to her dad and brother.

"Daddy?" she asked softly.

Jethro turned and glanced down at his little girl.

"Can I sleep here?" she asked.

He nodded, not wanting to wake Tony.

Kelly gave her dad a small smile before finally letting sleep claim her.

Jethro watched as Kelly's breathing evened out, confirming that she had fallen asleep. He then turned his attention to the little boy in his arms. Even in his sleep, Tony kept the handful of his father's shirt grasped tightly in his small fist. As if he were to let go, Jethro would disappear.

He sat there, watching his children sleep. Occasionally running his fingers along Kelly's back, and alternating between rubbing small circles on his back or carding his fingers through Tony's hair.

After a few more moments of listening to his little ones' even breathing, he finally let his body rest from the exhaustion.

When Shannon returned, she put the few items she had needed to pick up away, and then proceeded to go and check the basement for her husband. Seeing that he wasn't down there, she grabbed the monitor and headed upstairs, thinking he must have gone to bed.

Once she reached the top of the stairs, she headed for their bedroom. Not there. she thought to herself. She made her way back down the hall and checked Kelly's room. No Kelly. she was beginning to panic. She quickly, yet silently, opened the door to Tony's room and released a breath she hadn't realized she had been holding.

Jethro had managed to lay down on their son's bed, with Kelly up against his left side, and Tony curled up on his chest. His father's protective arm across his back, holding him close.

Shannon smiled and went back to the master bedroom, returning with a camera, forever capturing that moment.

The following morning, Jethro was awoken by the scent of freshly brewed coffee wafting in through the bedroom door.

Slowly, he became aware of his surroundings. The first thing he noticed was that there was something warm pressed against his side. Second, he noticed a warm weight on his chest. He slowly opened his eyes and noticed Kelly hadn't moved from her spot being curled up next to him. He let a small smile form as he looked at his daughter's peaceful features.

After a few moments, he allowed his eyes to drift towards the weight on his chest.

Tony was still fast asleep atop his father's chest. The grasp he had on Jethro's shirt hadn't loosened during the night.

Jethro smiled a little more as he ran his fingers through the toddler's hair. Slowly, he let his gaze drift away from his sleeping children and towards the clock on the wall.


Should probably get up and ready for the day. he thought. Slowly, he sat up, being careful not to wake his daughter, while at the same time, trying not to jostle his little boy.

Once he had successfully gotten off the bed without waking rather of his children, he turned his focus to the next task at hand.

The separation of Tony and himself.

With the small boy cradled to his chest, he slowly and carefully began to bend down, trying to lay Tony on the bed. Yet, the second his back hit the mattress, he let out a small whimper. Jethro stopped moving and looked down at his son.

He had just begun the extraction of his shirt from Tony's small fingers, when his gaze was met with the sleepy, slightly unfocused, green eyes of his little boy.

"Daddy?" Tony's voice was soft and laced with sleep.

"Yeah bud?" Jethro replied. "You don't have to get up yet." He ran his fingers through Tony's already mused hair. "Daddy's just going downstairs."

The moment the words left his mouth, Tony's eyes went wide.

"Noooo." he whimpered. His bottom lip began to quiver and the loose grip Jethro had managed to get on his shirt, returned full force. "Noooo." His eyes were quickly filling with tears. "Daddy stay." he pulled weakly at the shirt in his hand in attempts to make him stay with him. "Daddy stay." he whimpered again.

Jethro's heart broke as he realized that Tony was still suffering from the nightmare. Carefully, he brought one hand under Tony's back while the other, that was still carded in the soft brown hair, moved to support the toddler's head and neck as he picked him up and cradled him against his chest once more.

"Hey, there's no need to cry. " he stood from the bed and began to walk around the room, gently rubbing soothing circles on his son's back. "See? I'm right here." he kissed the top of Tony's head. "Daddy isn't going anywhere."

A/N: So, how was it? Not too bad for a gazillion months wait. Right? Lemme know what you think of it in a review? Please? (: