Disclaimer: All recognisable characters and settings are property of the original owners and creators, I own nothing but my own inventions within the plot and make no profit from this story.
Background: From my Coming of Age oneshot series, can stand alone. Team as family. In this one Tony the oldest is 20, Timothy McGee-Gibbs is 17 and Abigail Gibbs is 15. Set after the death of their sister Kate but is not really about her.
A/N: Another for my Coming of Age series! Set between Tony and Tim with a little bit of Abby. Nice to have some brotherly love, with a lot of brotherly bickering added in! This was found on my computer and finished in the space of an hour, forgive any grammatical or spelling errors, it will be revised asap and reposted if necessary. Hope you enjoy and read the others in my series, including the multi-chaptered fic All in Good Time which is still in progress. Thanks so much, Ange.
"No! I am holding on to you and I am going to remain standing here until you make me move Tony!" Abby ground her teeth together and remained stubbornly clinging to her older brothers arm as he glared and snarled at the smug looking idiot who was currently trying to face him down, "turn around! Now!"
Tony spared a look at her and she narrowed her eyes, leaning back a little further to make him support more of her weight as she tried to drag him back, "Anthony Devon Damien Gibbs! When I say now, I mean Now!" she dropped all of her weight onto his one arm and forced him to turn and look at her, knowing the use of all four of his names would give him the hint he needed, "come on. We're going home."
Tony flicked one last, rude hand gesture behind him and turned around to place an arm around his younger sisters' shoulders. He leant on her a little as they made their way around the corner and into the street they lived on, well aware that they didn't have anything they said they'd pick up from the store when they left.
"Just because I admire the way you stick up for people, doesn't mean I don't think its stupid some times," Abby was mumbling in a slightly heated tone, holding the hand that lolled on her shoulder in her own as she gripped tighter around his waist, "because I do."
"He hit my little brother, Abigail," Tony said a little bitterly, the use of her full name having little affect due to the tiredness in his voice, "he damn near almost broke his nose. And Tim…Timmy…How could the little Probie try and pass it off as falling on the staircase? Why wouldn't he tell me?"
"Maybe its cause you continue to call him Probie all the time," Abby huffed as she shifted Tony's weight over her shoulders and continued towards the house, "he really looks up to you, Tony."
"He should know then that when guys twice his size come along and try to break his face, I want to know about it," Tony was getting no less agitated as they made it to the driveway, sitting down on the curb with Abby still under his arm as he lightly walked fingers over his cheek, "looks like Timmy wasn't the only one to fall down the stairs today."
"Let me have a look," Abby persisted in her huffing as she looked him over and then smirked to herself, "its kind of funny; here I am, a fifteen year old looking over my almost seventeen and twenty year old brothers because some kid took their lunch money."
"Ha ha," Tony gave a mock laugh and then went back to looking down at the sidewalk, kicking his shoes along the gravel as he did so, "this isn't funny Abbs, McGee has to know when to come to me."
"So talk to him," Abby groaned out in frustration as her brother looked at her and pulled a 'you're-seriously-kidding-me face', "don't, Tony. Just talk to him."
Abby stood up and headed back into the house, not leaving any room for rebuttal to her statement as she jogged up the stairs and slammed her bedroom door, refusing to open it when Tony gave a small knock, "just do it!"
Tony sighed and spared a glance across the hall. Even without the ability to see through walls he knew what his little brother would be doing. Timmy had been practically set in his ways since he was under ten years old. The only thing different when someone tried to cave in his face nowadays would probably be the type of candy he was hiding under his bed to snack on later in an attempt to make himself feel better.
With another sigh Tony headed across the hall, opening his brother's door and walking straight into his room without knocking as usual, sitting down on the end of the bed and crossing his legs, managing to almost kick the younger Gibbs in the face as he did so, "we need to talk."
"I told you Tony, I fell, there's nothing more too it," Tim stubbornly kept reading his comic book and refused to make eye contact, purple bruise colouring a large portion of his face around his cheeks and nose, "by the way, Dad rang, he and Jenny will be home an hour late tonight, they're bringing pizza for tea."
"Neither of those is what I'm here to talk about," Tony said with a grim version of his trademark grin, waiting for Tim to get curious and look up and take notice of his own rapidly colouring face, "hey, is that chocolate?"
Tim sighed and pulled the block of chocolate out from under his bed, a large box filled with packets of starburst, skittles, snakes and other lollies following it, everything marked in permanent marker with a large 'Property of Abigail Stephanie Gibbs'.
"Dad will so murder her when he finds this," Tony gave a small laugh of glee and grabbed a packet of milk bottles, opening them and offering some to his little brother, "anyway, back to…"
"Tony! Just give it a rest already okay," Tony heard his younger brothers' voice fading out as he feigned interest in the milk bottles, finally producing a handful from the packet to swallow down, "Tony what the hell!"
The oldest Gibbs gave a cheeky smile and then winced a little, "ah, you've noticed the nice shiner I got from the staircase. He is a brutal one I'll give you that, but I went in there to protect your honour anyway."
Tim's exasperated expression promptly fell away to reveal what Tony had long ago dubbed 'angry eyes', a glare that was very un-Gibbs, and highly reminiscent of his days living with both the Bossman, wife number two and the screaming bundles of blankets he used to pull around the floor. Gibbs never had been too impressed to come in and hear Dana shouting for "Anthony Devon Damien Gibbs! You stop pulling your brother and sister around like that right now!"
"Why do you always have to do this? I'm seventeen Tony, not seven. You don't have to follow me around and play protective big brother anymore," Tony watched as little Timmy almost threw himself up off of his bed, and for a second counted his blessings that the parents wouldn't be home for at least another fourty-five minutes, "I don't know why you freaking bother anymore anyway. You always made it really clear that you resented having to clean up for us little kids in the past. Just leave me to sort out my own problems for once!"
Tony raised an eyebrow in his younger brothers direction and looked back into his packet of milk duds, twitching his lips up a little before shaking the packet back and forth to find some of the nicer candy, "wow kid, you really know how to hurt a guy don't ya."
"For once this isn't about you Tony!" McGee seemed to be losing some of his anger as he faced his brother on the bed, and Tony could see the exasperation coming back into his little brothers features, "Tony you have to start letting me deal with stuff on my own! You're going away to college now. Don't you get it?"
The oldest Gibbs boy looked back into his packet of obviously stale milk duds, shaking it around a bit to find one that was hopefully a little less so than the others. When he heard Timmy let out a sigh and roll his chair out from under his desk he decide to grace his brother with another glance, and sure enough McGee was tiredly rubbing at his eyes and trying not to touch his obviously stinging nose.
"You're my little brother Timmy, what do you want me to do?" Tony gave an uneasy chuckle and moved to sit on the very edge of the bed, facing Tim where he was turned away from his desk, "I mean, we don't always get along, and theres been some rough times around here, but I can't just sit back and let some punk cave your face in. You can't ask me to do that."
"I'm not asking you to sit back and watch him reign punches down on me Tony," Tim sighed carefully and linked his fingers together, elbows resting on his knees as he leaned forward in his chair, unconsciously mirroring his brother on the other side, "but you're leaving for college soon, do you really think all those people you've been catching up with for me don't know you're leaving town. You need to let me learn to do this on my own. If you're always there in the middle fighting for me then how am I ever going to survive when you leave?"
"I guess I really didn't think of it that way," Tony murmured in the sudden quiet as he looked over at his brother, "you know back when you, me and Katie were over at school together, she used to make sure I knew if someone was giving you a hard time. She always said that we needed to keep an eye out for you, y'know, kid genius and all being almost bound to rub people the wrong way... no offence."
Tim gave a small chuckle and turned to give the picture on his desk a small smile, "yeah I remember her catching up with me on lunch breaks and stuff. She was always pretty good about the fact we were in the same grade. I guess I kind of forgot she used to update you all the time."
"Yeah that she did," Tony smiled at the picture, his sister and his brother smiling at the camera as Kate obviously snapped it herself. His ear was just visible on her other side, but her arms had never really been long enough to get all three of them in a shot, "back then we figured we'd always be around to help you out I guess. Growing up you don't really think about when you move out of home and leave everyone behind."
McGee was shaking his head in Tony's peripheral vision as the photo began to blur over slightly, "you aren't really leaving us behind Tony. You're going to college. I'll be going soon enough and you know we're all just gonna be dragged back here every spare moment anyway."
"Yeah, thats true I guess, Abbs would never have it any other way," Tomy gave a small cough and looked back to his brother, now smiling at him over the shared knowledge of their sisters clinginess, "I guess I have to let you start doing some of the fighting on your own then, hey?"
"Some of it," Tim nodded in agreement lapsing back into silence just long enough to hear somebody's movement right outside the door, "I really don't think this conversation is half as private as we wanted it to be."
"Is any conversation in this house?" Tony smiled and stood from the bed, crinkling his nose at the milk duds and screwing the packet back up before tossing it back towards the box besides the younger Gibbs boys' bed, "just because I've agreed to butt out of some of your problems doesn't mean you don't have to let me know about them though. If you forget I might have to subject you to another half hour of awkward bonding. You know Abby basically lives for these things right?"
Tim gave another small laugh and nodded, climbing to his own feet and letting Tony clap him swiftly on the corner before awkwardly moving towards the door, "deal. Wanna go have Abby try cover all these bruises up before dad gets in? We have about fifteen minutes."
"Oh hell yes," Tony grinned again as he waltzed out of his brothers' room, younger boy in tow, "Abby, we need make up assistance in here! Better bring industrial; McDateless could use a bit of a touch up regardless of his nose!"
"Just because I don't date another girl every five minutes!"
"You'd be lucky to date a girl for five minutes period."
"You're an asshole you know that right?"
"You love me McPunchingbag, now get out of the way, I'm obviously much more bruised than you so step aside and let the lady do her work!"