An Accidental Meeting
Green eyes dark with worry, young Timmy McGee runs to his mother. Rose is working in the garden and Tim darts through the house in an effort to find her. Panting as he skids to a halt, Tim gasps out "Mom…hurry…man…injured."
Rose stands up and looks at her son. His blonde hair is drenched and so are his clothes. "Timmy? What happened?"
"Please, we have to go…he's hurt!" Tim grabs her hand and they head back inside. Tim then leads her out the front door and down the path to the beach and Rose gasps when she sees the still form of a man lying there. Beside him, a rowboat drifts gently on the tide.
"Timmy, go back to the house and…" Rose's voice trails off when the man that was supposedly hurt, sits up, rolls to his feet and extending an arm indicates that he has a weapon aimed at her son.
Tim is already racing back to the house. Once inside he heads straight for the bathroom and their spare medicine kit. He tugs it off of the shelf and is about to go back outside when he sees the man he'd thought was hurt is standing and motioning something to his mom.
Tim carefully steps backwards and is startled when a large hand clamps over his mouth.
"Shhh…you don't want Mommy to get hurt now, do you?" the whispered words are close to Timmy's ear and he shakes his head.
"Come, we'll take a little boat ride then you and your mommy will be free to go."
"Can I go pee first?"
A smile crosses the face that Timmy can't see. The man picks him up and escorts him inside the house and Timmy races to the bathroom. The young man allows Timmy his privacy and Timmy carefully washes his hands when he's done.
"Do you need to change your clothes while we are here?"
Timmy looks at the man in surprise. He hadn't expected his captor to allow him that particular option and slowly nods.
"Hurry up then."
Timmy changes his wet shirt and shorts for dry ones and grabs his blue bear as he leaves the room. The dark haired young man raises an eyebrow at the bear but says nothing as he gently leads Timmy down to the beach where the first man is waiting with Rose. After placing the two McGees onboard the speedboat, the two men have a brief heated discussion and Timmy inches closer to his mother.
"I'm sorry Mommy. I didn't mean to get us into trouble."
Ari turns to face his small captive. "You did nothing wrong, Timmy. You thought someone was in trouble and went to find help for them. That is what a good little boy does. It is not your fault that you could not see inside the boat."
"Were you hiding in it?"
"Actually I was beside it."
"So that you could not see me."
"No, Timmy, you asked a good question. If you had been an adult or just a bit older and taller then you would have been able to see me."
"What's your name?"
"I cannot tell you that Timmy. I do not want to hurt you or your Mommy."
"Okay. Who is she?"
Timmy points to a small figure that is barely seen on the yacht that they are approaching. Timmy hadn't noticed the speed they were traveling just that the man kept his eyes focused on him and his questions.
"That is why I needed your Mommy. She is my sister and our mother is sick. I had heard that your mommy might be able to help heal her."
"Mommy's a nurse so she might be able to." Timmy waits until his mother is taken on board before turning to his captor. "Will…will you hurt mommy…if she can't help your mommy?"
"No, you have my word on your friend here," he points to Timmy's blue bear, "that I will not hurt you or your mommy. You see, our mother she is carrying our baby brother or sister. We just want to make sure that she is well enough to continue our voyage."
Timmy looks at the yacht and then at the young man. "It's not fair…you know our names and you won't tell me yours. Who am I gonna tell?"
"Would you tell your mother?"
Timmy shakes his head, "Not if you said not to…I might tell Gibs cause he's my bestest friend but I don't have to tell mommy and she doesn't like Gibs anyway so he won't tell her either."
"Why is that, Timmy?"
Timmy shakes his head again. "I promised Gibs that I wouldn't tell, so that mommy wouldn't yell at us anymore."
Dark eyes flashing at the thought of anyone hurting this child, Ari swallows and reigns in his emotions. He's bewildered by the events that have brought him to this point. How had he let a child under his skin where not even his beloved sister Ziva can go? He helps Timmy up the ladder and they follow the little boy's mother to the cabin where Ari's mother is currently resting.
Ari leaves orders for the man accompanying him to stay with the two women while he takes Timmy to a different cabin. He knocks three times and the little girl Timmy had seen from a distance opens it. She hurls herself into her brother's arms and he picks her up. Timmy listens with avid interest as she chatters away in a language he's never heard before today. Sitting the toddler down, Ari motions to Timmy and says,
"Ziva, switch to English please and greet our guest. This is Timmy; his mother is here to help our mother and the baby."
Ziva frowns and keeps chattering in her native tongue. Ari's hand swoops down to swat the little girl, but Timmy gently pushes her out of the way, taking the intended blow. Ziva stops chattering as she watches her brother pick up the little boy who had fallen from the force behind her brother's hand.
"Why did you do that Timmy? Ziva was being punished for not obeying me."
"She's a girl…we don't hit girls."
"How does your mother discipline you when you are bad?"
"I was disciplining Ziva…how is that any different?"
"The way you were aiming it could have hurt her more. You could have hit her ears and hurt her." Timmy's speaking too matter-of-factly for Ari's liking. Ari gently puts Timmy on the bed and hands him his bear. Then he turns to Ziva and gives her a small swat on her buttocks before setting her down beside Timmy.
"Timmy, can you watch Ziva for a few minutes more? I need to go talk to the captain for a bit."
"She's not going to bite me or anything is she?"
"No, she is going to behave herself or I will not give her the present in my pocket."
Just to be sure, Ari repeats himself in Hebrew and Ziva pouts then brightens at the thought of her present. When Ari leaves the room, Ziva throws herself on the pillows, wondering just why she has to speak in English.
"You don't have to talk to me in English if you don't want to. I won't tell him. Gibs won't either."
Gibs? There is no one else in the room with them and she doubts very much if her brother would have allowed this child any kind of listening device. Ziva feels the bed shift slightly as Timmy climbs down and sits in a corner.
"Gibs is my bear. It's okay if you want to talk to him. I don't mind, I can share him with you while we're here."
Ziva sighs and turns to face her tormentor. He's not looking at her and she can tell that he's trembling a bit. Why he's trembling she doesn't know. She rolls off the bed and stomps over to where he's sitting on the floor with Gibs.
"Are you afraid of me Timmy?"
"No…I'm…cold…I…fell when I …when I thought …that your brother's friend was hurt."
When he finally looks up at her she falls back in surprise. Timmy immediately holds out his hand to help her up. Ziva hesitantly places her hand in his and she smiles at the warmth she feels in his palm. Then she looks at his face and can tell that he really is cold and goes over to pull the comforter off the bed.
As she tugs the comforter over to him Timmy gives her a shy smile which she just as shyly returns and asks her, "Why were you surprised? You looked like you hadn't seen someone like me before."
"I have not seen green eyes before today."
Her statement makes Timmy think and he slowly nods and pats the space beside him and Gibs on the floor. "I know I'm not supposed to ask your brother's name, but why did he bring Mommy here?"
Ziva sits down beside him, tugging at the heavy comforter and Timmy helps her pull some of the comforter over her small body as she says, "My mother is having my baby brother or sister and big brother wants to make sure that mother is well enough to have it. He does not know enough medicine to know for sure."
"He's going to be a doctor?"
Ziva nods proudly. "He will be going to Edinburgh to finish his studies."
"That's in Scotland."
"It is indeed in Scotland, and how do you know that Timmy?" Ari steps into the room, noting Ziva sitting close to the young boy. Timmy holds Gibs out to Ziva who shyly accepts the bear.
"My friend was there for a while."
"You miss your friend?" Ziva can see that Ari is fishing for information, but Timmy doesn't give him a lot to go on. She continues to study the bear, noting the softness of the blue fur and the twinkle in the black button eyes. She falls asleep, holding Gibs and listening to Timmy talk to her older brother.
"I only met him once. I'm not supposed to miss him, but I do. He was nice to me. He saved me when I got lost and then he gave me Gibs." Timmy rubs at his ear and Ari notes that it's the same one he'd hit earlier when he'd intended to smack Ziva.
"I need to apologize for hitting you. I had not intended to. Will you let me check your ear?"
Timmy nods and tilts his head giving Ari access to his ear. Ari kneels down beside the boy and again marvels that despite being captive, Timmy still trusts him not to hurt him more than he already has.
"You did not mean to hurt me."
"No, I did not."
Timmy gives a slight shrug, "Then it is an accident."
Ari smiles at the simplicity of Timmy's statement. He frowns however when he looks at Timmy's ear. There is damage around the ear itself that in no way could have come from his simple slap. He starts to ask Timmy what happened when a soft sniffling interrupts him.
"What is wrong, Timmy?"
"I wasn't supposed to let anyone see…I forgot to stay away from doctors"
Ari gently runs a hand over the blonde locks that have dried while he's been away. He contemplates his next words and a glimpse at the blue bear gives him an idea.
"Well, I am not technically a doctor. I have not started my classes yet. But if it makes you feel better we can keep this a secret between you me and your best friend here. Now, go to sleep young one. When you wake up you'll be in your own bed."
Timmy falls asleep and Ari continues stroking the blonde head. Ziva has fallen into a deep asleep for the first time since they came on board. And it's all due to this little boy and his little bear.
Rose comes out of the main cabin accompanied by Eli David. "Thank you for your assistance. We apologize for bringing you out here like this, but as you could see, it was necessary."
"What about my son? Where is Timmy?"
Ari comes around the corner carrying a still sleeping Timmy. Rose grabs for him and frowns when Ari adroitly carries Timmy to the speedboat they'd arrived in and gently yet securely belts him into his seat. Eli David watches his son with great interest. Ari has never been demonstrative, but he does take a moment to run a hand over that blonde head before climbing back on board the yacht.
Rose is gently dumped on board and the boat takes off towards the McGee beach house. Both Ari and Eli watch in horror as another motorboat runs into the path of the one carrying the two McGees. The resulting explosion rocks the yacht and both men shield their faces from the glare. Behind them, Ziva cries silent tears as she holds onto a blue teddy bear and wonders if she's just lost her first friend.
One week later:
Timmy McGee opens his eyes and stares at the blue bear sitting on his bedside table.
"Timmy, you're awake."
Timmy blinks at his father who is surprisingly out of uniform. Tears are running unchecked down Jonathon's cheeks and Timmy reaches out to touch them. He stares in wonder at the bandages on his left arm and winces when Jonathon touches his right hand.
"Timmy? Can you hear me Timmy?"
"Of course I can Daddy. Why wouldn't I?" Timmy frowns at his dad's silly question.
"You haven't said anything and I've been talking to you."
"Oh, sorry Daddy. Daddy, why am I wrapped up like a white Christmas present? Where's Mommy? Does Gibs get a Band-Aid too?"
Jonathon looks up as the nurse comes into the room. Seeing that her patient is awake, she takes his vital signs and softly tells Jonathon that she'll send the doctor in.
"Daddy? Where's Mommy?"
"Mommy's…gone away Timmy."
"Oh," Timmy reaches for his bear and Jonathon is about to give it to him when the doctor bustles in.
"Forgive me for being late, we had…well, hello and who have we here? Why surely you cannot be my patient…you're too fuzzy and too blue."
Timmy giggles and the doctor turns his bespectacled gaze on him. "Ahh you must be young Timmy or is it Timothy?"
Jonathon smiles at the doctor's easy going demeanor. "His name is Timothy but we usually call him Timmy, right sport?"
"Yeah, what's your name?" Timmy asks the doctor who raises an eyebrow and gently touches Timmy's bandages before handing the little boy his bear.
"How remiss of me not to tell you, I am Dr. Mallard, but my friends call me Ducky."
Timmy sighs in relief when he gets to hold Gibs again and starts giggling when he hears Ducky's name. "That's a funny name; but I like it. Can Gibs have a Band-Aid too?"
"Certainly dear boy. Let me look him over and ascertain his injuries."
"His ear hurts." Timmy offers and both men look at the little boy who is staring at his bear. He's gently touching the bear's left ear and Ducky looks at Jonathon who frowns and asks his son if his own ear hurts.
"A little bit. Gibs and I are sleepy; can we take a nap Daddy?"
Jonathon glances at Ducky who nods his approval. "Go ahead son, and we'll make sure Gibs gets his Band-Aid by the time you wake up."
"Okay. Love you Daddy."
Ducky waits until Timmy is asleep before confronting Jonathon. "What is going on here?"
"I'm not sure. I was on assignment overseas and got a phone call stating that my wife was dead and my son comatose. They had apparently gone out and a speed boat cut into their lane impacting on my wife's side of the boat. Timmy had been strapped into his seat or I would have lost him too."
Ducky does a swift check of Timmy's ears and shakes his head when he's finished. "I might have some bad news for you Commander."
"Please, the name is John."
"Very well, John. From what I can see it looks like Timmy's left eardrum is fractured. It's too early to tell how badly, as he's just woken up. I will have to order some other tests to confirm this of course."
"What could this mean to him Ducky?"
"He might not be able to follow in your footsteps, Jonathon, so to speak. It could imbalance him just enough to make him motion sick or seasick as the case maybe."
"As long as he's all right otherwise, that's all that matters."
Ducky nods his approval at John's answer and states, "He could have a ringing in the ears for a while when he wakes up. We'll keep our eye on him for a few days but all in all, I'd say that your son has been extremely lucky."
"Thanks Ducky. I…How do I tell him that his mother is dead?"
"Gently my boy, gently." The doctor leaves and Jonathon leans in closer to Timmy's bed carefully holding his son's hand. A young medical student stops in and tells Jonathon that he's there to apply Gibs bandage.
"Thank you. Timmy would be upset if he woke up and Gibs didn't have his bandage."
Dark eyes sweep over the sleeping form as he gently wraps a gauze bandage around Gibs head. "Will your son be all right?"
"According to Dr. Mallard there's a chance he's ruptured his eardrum, but other than that, minor injuries. I'm just grateful that someone was there to help save him."
"Here you go, one bandaged teddy bear. I'm glad that your son will be all right. Were there any other casualties?"
"We lost his mother. She was killed on impact from what the coroner's report said."
Jonathon doesn't see the faint indrawn breath when he says that, but Ari does and swiftly tucks Gibs into the uninjured arm. As Tim's arm tightens around the bear, Ari notices a tear fall and just a quickly get wiped away under the bear's soft fur. Ari taps Jonathon on the arm and motions for him to follow him outside.
Jonathon does so and is about to ask Ari what is going on when he sees Tim bury his head in Gibs fur.
"I saw that he wanted to cry and not be ashamed of doing so. By leaving the room, he'll be able to mourn his mother and hopefully fall back into a healing sleep."
"Thank you…for helping my son. This isn't the first time that you've met though is it?"
"My father and I are the ones who brought him in. We were sailing nearby and saw what happened. I am sorry for your loss."
Jonathon nods and sinks into a nearby chair. Within seconds he too is asleep and Ari waves his hand. Ziva looks up at her brother and he picks her up as he carries her into Timmy's room.
"He will live Ari?"
"Yes, little one, your prayers saved him."
Ziva touches the bandages on the bear looking at Ari in question.
"Timmy's ear hurt but he didn't want to tell anyone so he told the doctor that Gibs hurt his ear instead."
Ziva smiles at the ingenuity of her friend. Ari places a necklace around her neck. "I think it is time you started wearing this, don't you? The doctors have said he will live little one. He will be sore for a while, but he will live."
Ziva lightly touches the Star of David, the gift that Ari had promised her for behaving, as she says a quick prayer and places a quick kiss on Timmy's forehead. They leave Timmy's room, neither of them thinking that they'll ever lay eyes on Timmy again. After all, they are Mossad; the children of Eli David do not make friends easily and neither of them dares to think about what fate has in store for them.
Behind them, a little boy cries once again into the blue fur of his best friend. He knows that whoever they are, he probably won't ever see Ziva and her brother again. As he falls asleep, he remembers one thing that Ziva had whispered to him before leaving the room, "His name is Ari."
A/N: Again...intended to be a one-shot...