Hi troops :) Okay, just keep in mind this is very AU, and came about from me being bored and is partly inspired by KLMeri's 'Playtime' (A Star Trek fic) which is way better than this and a must-read if, you know, you like Star Trek XD Hope you enjoy :)
Leroy Jethro Gibbs pushed his hand through his hair and groaned. As he looked around he saw his co-worker wrestle what looked like a police badge off the 4 year old boy, and then had to quickly dive in when two small girls started an argument over a doll's house.
As he did this, the bull-headed 7 year old proceeded to kick him in the knees, thinking Gibbs was trying to muscle in on his game.
Gibbs managed to get out of this alive. Barely. How on earth did he get into these situations? He'd been teaching kids for about 15 years, and liked to think he knew what he was doing.
Clearly he was wrong.
A few months before this battle-like scene commenced, Gibbs was sat drinking coffee in his basement. He was both looking forward to and dreading tomorrow, in which a new batch of children would arrive at the daycare centre he co-owned with his partner, Jenny. He knew there was chemistry between them, but was unsure of how to act on it - given that they both owned the business together; it could end up messy.
The daycare was run in a (He liked to think) very marine fashion. Given that he was ex-marine didn't really help, but as well as that; Jenny came from a family whose main breadwinners were very high up in the navy. He'd also been in NCIS for a short time - before his wife and daughter had been killed. He'd given up trying to gain justice that clearly didn't seem to exist and opened the daycare; trying to create more of that childish joy that had been lacking in his house after Kelly. However, his time in NCIS and the corps meant that there were schedules that he tried to make run like clockwork, and he probably sounded quite like a drill sergeant when giving instructions. He'd never really had any trouble with this policy.
He had yet to discover that this year, it would be very different.
Gibbs and Jenny sat in the daycare at quarter to eight the next morning, quickly going over some last minute plans. Gibbs knew the speech he would give to his new 'agents' off by heart, something he'd spent years making adjustments to if he got even one blank look from one child. It was important to set rules down early, and equally important to instigate trust between himself, Jenny and the children.
He was nudged slightly in the side and looked at Jenny, "First one." She nodded over at the door and he could then see the shape of parent and child entering the main door.
Gibbs nodded at her and stood up, going to greet the parent. The trick was to be calm and friendly. For quite a few of these parents, it would be the first time they would be leaving their child for longer than a couple of hours. There were exceptions of course - they had older kids in sometimes, whose situations regarding where they lived, their parent's jobs or private lives, changed.
"Hello, Sir, I'm Jethro Gibbs - welcome to our daycare." He beamed winningly at the nervous father.
"Hi, I'm Alexander Todd. This is my daughter, Kaitlyn - Kate."
Gibbs smiled at Kate, whose red hair was quite a similar shade to that of Jenny's. "Good morning, Kate - I hope you enjoy yourself here."
She smiled back politely, a large gap where one of her front teeth had presumably just fallen out, "Hi."
"How old are you, sweetie?" Jenny asked, having just introduced herself to Mr Todd.
"I'm 5." She proclaimed proudly, and was happy to be awarded a place on The Rug (Something never mentioned but just agreed and accepted as having capital letters - The Rug saved many difficult situations).
Gibbs talked to Mr Todd a while longer, before he kissed his daughter''s forehead and left to go to work, wringing his hands nervously. Jenny knelt down to talk to Kate, but stopped when she saw another parent and child couple enter.
"Mr Gibbs, I presume?" The woman asked. Her British accent startled him slightly, as did her deep green sorrowful eyes.
"Yes, Ma'am - just Gibbs or Jethro if you prefer," he smiled at her. "And who's this?" He asked, looking down at the small boy.
"This is - "
"I'm Tony!" The small boy introduced loudly, interrupting his mother and grinning at Gibbs.
"Anthony," his mother said sternly, but with a twinkle in her eyes. "I'm Annabelle DiNozzo, and this is - well, you know him now." She smiled apologetically at Gibbs, before kissing her son's forehead. "I have to go now - Daddy will be waiting in the car. You have fun."
"Bye, Mommy!" Tony didn't seem at all frightened at being left in a strange place by his mother. In fact he beamed up at this new adult in front of him. "Hi, Sir!" He had always been taught by his father to be respectful to grown-ups.
Gibbs smiled at him, "No need for that, Tony - I'm not your Boss. Just Mr Gibbs is fine."
"Boss." Tony giggled, and went over to sit with Kate on The Rug. Gibbs overheard Kate trilling that she was older than him (Tony was 4) and then Tony attempting to spell out his last name for her ("Big 'duh', little 'ih', big 'nuh' little... little 'ozzo'.")
It wasn't very long until a flurry of more children and their parents arrived. Gibbs was quite surprised to welcome two older children - Leon; who was 7, and Donald, who was 8. Both their parents had difficult work schedules and apparently weren't sure if their children were ready to go to their respective years at school yet. Donald was very polite and Gibbs was surprised again by an accent; they usually only got people who grew up in America (He was later told that they'd moved here from Scotland). He also went to sit on The Rug and instantly started talking to the others; assuming that since he was older they should listen to him.
Leon seemed very... strong-willed, and Gibbs made a note to keep an eye on him as he went to sit with the others. Gibbs was then introduced to Tim, a little younger than Kate but quiet and was upset at having left his parents and baby sister. Abby was next, she introduced her parents as they were both deaf and Gibbs' sign language was slightly rusty. She bounced over to Gibbs and gave him a hug, gazing up at him with dazzling eyes.
"Hi! I'm Abby - do you like my pigtails? I did them myself!" Gibbs felt something twang on his heart as he assured her he loved her pigtails and Jenny ushered her over to the rest of the children. She appeared to single out Tim and sat next to him, who looked rather shocked at this sudden assumption of friendship.
Next was Ziva, her father was an ambassador and they had recently moved to this country - his daughter's English was profficient, he assured Gibbs, before quickly petting her shoulder and leaving. Gibbs smiled at Ziva and watched as she sat near Kate and Tony, and winced as Tony tried to figure out her name ("Zee-vah?")
Another girl appeared - Jeanne smile cutely at Gibbs, and her father - much like Ziva's - assured him that, even though he himself was French, his daughter could speak English perfectly. She was 6, and as such was the oldest of the girls (Ziva would turn 6 in a few months).
Their last child, (It was a small daycare, they only usually had around 10 children each academic year, but were at 9 this year) was the youngest. Jimmy blinked up owlishly at Gibbs in his wide glasses and very shyly edged around him to go sit with the others on The Rug.
When everyone was settled, Gibbs nodded at Jenny and they both stood in front of the children, "Good Morning," Gibbs smiled at them all. "My name is Mr Gibbs - if you want, you can just call me Gibbs." (He paused and chuckled slightly as he heard Tony 'whisper', "He wouldn't let me call him 'Sir' because he's not my Boss.") "This is Jenny," he motioned towards his co-worker, who beamed at them all. "We will be your teachers for the next year, and your friends. The Rug you're sitting on very important," he made it sound a lot more important than it was. "This Rug is where you sit for stories, announcements and - " he paused for dramatic effect, "rewards or surprises. When either me or Jenny asks, we want you all to come right here and sit down - got it?"
The children nodded - probably because of the promise of 'surprises'.
"Now, we're going to do lots of fun things today," Jenny told them all. "But first, we want you all to introduce yourselves to everyone else. Who wants to go first?"
This was their small test at the beginning of every year - to figure out which children had the most confidence, and who to help find theirs.
A squabble automatically broke out between Abby and Tony - both wanted to introduce themselves first, and Kate realised she wanted to as well, instantly adding her voice into the mix.
Gibbs made to step in, when 8 year old Donald stood up and said, "I'll do it because I'm oldest and they can't decide." Jenny looked over at the three younger children, and found they were all stunned into silence because of this sudden declaration.
"I'm Donald Mallard, and I'm 8 - " He told them, meaning to go on to say more, but was stopped.
"Like the duck!" Tony exclaimed happily, not realising he was interrupting again, "Like Donald Duck!"
"Yes, I suppose it is," Donald mused, clearly not having thought of it before.
"Ducky!" Abby cried out happily, having realised what Tony had said. Both children grinned at Donald, who decided they weren't teasing him.
"I like that." He decided, and started to tell them why he and his Mother had moved to America. After one minute, it became clear the other children weren't listening anymore, and Gibbs hastily decided it was someone else's turn.
Tony jumped up straight away and smiled, "I'm Tony DiNozzo, and my Dad's Italian," he told them all proudly. "And I wanna be a policeman! And play football! But I wanna catch bad guys too." Gibbs smiled at the boy, and then told him to sit down so Abby could go next, "Yes, Boss." He replied, clearly having enjoyed Gibbs' statement about not being his boss. Jenny smothered a giggle just before Abby took her turn.
All children stood up to describe themselves. Gibbs always found this enlightening. Abby was incredibly friendly and bouncy, Tony was nearly hyper-active - and Gibbs made a mental note to ask Mrs DiNozzo if he had any sisters, as he got along very well with the girls, Kate was very head-strong - she wouldn't get pushed around, that was for sure. Donald (Or 'Ducky', he then insisted to be called) liked to talk to anyone who'd listen, Leon was very self-assured and quite bossy. Tim seemed shy, but determined to join in with everyone else, Ziva seemed very... professional almost. She stated her name, age and all the languages she could speak. Jimmy was very shy but seemed friendly enough, and Jeanne too was friendly, and told them all about her Daddy's job in a hospital.
They then sent everyone to different play areas, to quietly observe how they played and reacted to one another. Abby and Tony didn't care who they were with or what they did, and tried to take control of the games, and Kate too, wanted to be as dominant as she could be. Abby dragged Tim around as if she owned him, and Gibbs was quite pleased to see that Donald - Ducky, had taken Jimmy under his wing. Ziva was hesitant to join the others, and she seemed quite mysterious to them. Tony had tried to get her involved, or at least find out everything about her; but she wouldn't be bossed about by any of them.
They soon split off into single-sex groups; something which happened every year when they were allowed to play with whoever they wanted. Kate, Abby, Ziva and Jeanne started to use the doll's house, and Tony, Tim, Leon, Ducky and Jimmy were building with bricks.
"I'm just going to see if everything's going okay." Jenny told him, sliding off her chair and walking over to the girls.
"On your six," Gibbs muttered, following.
"What does that mean?" Gibbs turned to see Tony staring up at him.
"It means... 'I've got your back' or, 'I'm with you'. It's marine." Gibbs tried to explain to the small boy, who had latched himself to his 'boss's' leg like a limpet.
"Oooh." Tony clung to him and followed over to the girls' doll house.
Gibbs instinctively knew this wouldn't be the first panty-raid DiNozzo Jr would be a part of.
Later, as he and Jenny were trying to get them organised to follow them outside to the play area, he heard a small voice pipe, "On your six, Boss!"
He then saw Tony playing 'marines' with Leon and Tim.
He groaned to himself.
What had he started?
Like it? Want more? Write a review ;) Oh, and the ages may well be different - for example you'd expect Tim to be younger than Tony. But I was basing mine off maturity levels XD So expect it to be different ;) Also bear in mind I know nothing about daycares so ignore the different ages and term time. That's about it - hope you enjoyed and review if you want to see the next chapter :)