He was fuming, his father's words swimming around his head, as he stormed to the park. It wasn't his fault he wasn't anything like his brother. No one could compare to Jeremy, Jeremy was the perfect one. He was just the screw up.
He sniffed, kicking blindly at something on the ground, pain spiking through his foot. He looked down at what he kicked, his eye widening. He had kicked a body. A fricking body, oh my God.
"Uh, mister," he said quietly, moving toward the body. Homeless people weren't uncommon around his neighborhood, and most slept in the park. One reason his mother never let him out after dark. But she was gone now, with her new family, and his dad was too busy fawning over his perfect brother to care.
"Mister," he said again, shaking the man's shoulder. The man's head lolled to the side, revealing a bullet hole. The kid's eyes widened as he looked down at his hand. He had touched a dead body…
When Tony stepped off the elevator, the first thing he noticed was McGee and Ziva talking to a blond woman. He could only see the woman from behind, but he was fairly certain he had never met her. After working at NCIS for over a decade, he had come to know a lot of the personal, and that woman did not work here.
"…and Sarah comes up to me…" the woman was saying as Tony dropped his bag off at his desk. He caught McGee's eyes and the younger guy quickly cut the woman off and said, "Mom, this is Tony."
"Tony, as in DiNozzo," the woman said turning, a smile on her face; a smile that seemed to wilt just a little when her eyes landed on him. It would have been missed by someone else, but Tony noticed. He also noticed something familiar about the woman, but just couldn't put his finger on what that was exactly.
"That's me," he said quickly, breaking up the awkward few seconds. He held out his hand, smiling, "Anthony DiNozzo, but you can call me Tony."
"Cecelia McGee," Tim's mother replied shaking his hand. "Tim's told me a lot about you of course." She wasn't just talking to Tony, her green eyes flicking back to Ziva.
"So, Mrs. McGee…"
"Please, call me Cecelia," Cecelia corrected Ziva. "Mrs. McGee makes me sound old." Tim rolled his eyes at her statement.
"Cecelia," Ziva said nodding, "what are you doing here?"
"Well, Tim's birthday is next week, so his father and I decided to visit. Been trying to get Jack to come see Tim, leave that damn old car of his alone, but you know your father." She smiled at her son who nodded. The elevator opened seconds later, Gibbs stepping off with a cup of coffee in his hands.
"Gear up, we've got a dead marine," he said walking past the small group. He maneuvered around his desk, took his badge and gun from his desk drawer, and straightened up in time to see his team and McGee's mother staring at him.
"McGee, tell your mother good-bye and let's go. You two," he looked at Ziva and Tony, "grab your gear." Gibbs then headed toward the elevator again.
"Does he do that a lot?" Cecelia asked curiously.
"Oh yeah," Ziva and Tony said together before hurrying after Gibbs, snatching their gear on the way. McGee soon joined them in the elevator just as the doors closed…
Tony snapped a photo of Ziva, nearly blinding her. She scowled at him, trying to blink away the annoying balls of white lights dancing in her vision. Once she could see him, he gave her a sheepish grin and went back to taking pictures of the body.
"So, McGee's mother seems nice," Ziva commented scoping the ground for any evidence.
"Didn't talk to her enough to notice," Tony responded snapping another photo. "Though, she did look familiar."
"Like one of your contests," Ziva questioned spotting a couple strands of hair on the body.
"Conquests," Tony corrected automatically, Ziva rolled her eyes. "And no, nothing like that. It's just, I swear I've seen her somewhere before."
"McGee has pictures of her, yes?"
"Perhaps you've seen her hanging on his wall."
"Maybe," Tony responded skeptically. He took one more picture before moving away from the body. Ziva hurriedly collected the hair just as Ducky and Palmer started towards it, the latter sneezing into his sleeve.
"Bless you, Mr. Palmer," Ducky said kneeling down next to the body, pulling on a pair of gloves.
"Thank you, Doctor Mallard," Palmer replied looking around for something to wipe his nose on. He looked at his sleeve, then at his hand, then at his sleeve again, until Ducky rolled his eyes and pulled a handkerchief from his pocket.
"Anticipate, Jimmy, anticipate," Ducky informed him before looking down at the body. As Gibbs approached Ducky and Palmer, Ziva and Tony wandered over to McGee who was talking to a kid and his dad.
"…found him," the kid was saying, his face pale, his eyes locked on the body. "He was just lying there and I thought he was sleeping, but he wasn't. He wasn't sleeping, he was dead."
"Is that it, Agent?" the kid's father asked and McGee nodded, closing his notebook. As the two walked away, Tim turned to his co-worker and said, "Kid found the body around two this morning, while walking through the park."
"What was he doing out so late?" Ziva questioned watching the retreating figures of the father and son.
"He didn't say," McGee responded just as Gibbs beckoned them over to him. They moved across the grass, stopping next to their boss.
"What'd the kid say?" he asked and as McGee went over the kid's statement, Ziva and Tony began packing up.
"I am sure it will come back to you," Ziva said as she followed Tony to the van.
"What?" he asked turning to look at her.
"Where you've seen McGee's mother," she responded opening the back door.
"Yeah, maybe," he replied with a smile. "Besides, I doubt it's even important. Maybe she's just another face in the crowd…"
When Tony got home that night, he had all but forgotten McGee's mother. It had been a long, long day. They managed to find the marine's killer, his wife having murdered him after finding out he slept with her sister. Tony knew it was the wife all along, but they still had to investigate. Gibbs went off hunches, sure, but Tony was well aware of the number of times he pointed the finger at the wife/husband. It wasn't his fault he was right fifty percent of the time.
He was getting ready to make dinner, or order dinner (yeah, like he was going to cook), and headed toward his takeout drawer only to stop next to his fridge. He wasn't a magnet type guy, his fridge nearly bare, but he did keep a few things on the door.
One was a picture of him and his mother, held on the door by an Ohio State magnet. He had to be six or seven. She was hugging him close, both watching television, neither aware their picture was being taken. If he wasn't mistaken, his father had taken the picture.
The other was a magnet Abby made him. She made one for everyone on the team, each magnet looking like its owner. The magnet held a photo of the whole team, Abby, Ducky, and Palmer. Abby liked to call it their family portrait. Tony smiled at the picture, shaking his head. He turned towards the drawer only to stop again, his eyes settling on the last photo. It was had been placed in one of those magnetized frames, depicting him and one of his nannies.
She was one of the last ones he had before his father sent him to boarding school and by far his favorite. She was hired about a month after his mother died, had helped him through a lot, and was with him for a little over a year before she was fired. He never knew the exact details, but one moment she was there and the next she was telling him good-bye.
He moved closer to the photo, taking it off the fridge, looking down at the woman. She was standing next to Tony, both in the kitchen, covered in flour, making cake. He was smiling, she was laughing. The photo had been taken when he was nine, but he couldn't remember by whom. But the photo didn't mattered, what mattered was he had seen that woman. He had seen her today, talking to his co-workers. She was McGee's mother…
Tony was sitting in his room, looking out the window at the taxi that had just pulled into their driveway. He had heard his father on the phone, talking to someone about getting a new nanny for him. Since his mother died, his dad had been trying to find someone to take care of Tony while he worked.
Tony would have been okay with his father taking care of him, but Anthony Senior hadn't given him much thought. It had been almost a month, Tony was still hurting, and he missed his mother. Why couldn't his father see that? And why was the older man trying to replace his mother with someone else?
Shaking his head, he watched as a woman got out of the taxi. Her blond hair was tied back in a loose ponytail and she was wearing jeans and a green shirt. His friend James' nanny didn't dress like that, she always had a dress on and her hair was always in a tight ball. She was also mean, making Tony wonder if this woman was going to be mean, too. At least if she was mean he'd have no problem avoiding her.
After the woman disappeared into the house, along with his father, Tony heard his father call, "Anthony, get down here!"
Tony dragged himself to his feet, moving toward the door. He opened it, heading toward the stairs. He walked down them, stopping just at the foot. The woman smiled down at him, her green eyes catching the light, and said, "You must be Tony." He nodded. "Well, Tony, I'm Cecelia Nelson." She held out her hand.
"Take her hand, Junior," Senior said giving Cecelia a small smile. Tony did as he was told, shaking the woman's hand, noting how soft it was, almost like his mother's, but her hand was not his mother's. He hurriedly let the woman's hand go.
"I have to go to work," Senior said moving towards the door. "Behave, Junior." He said pointing at his son and then he was gone.
Tony still stood at the foot of the stairs, looking anywhere but at Cecelia, shuffling his feet. Cecelia took a breath and said, "Are you hungry, Tony?" he nodded, still not looking at her. "Well, what do you want to eat?"
"I get to pick?" he whispered meeting her eyes. He never got to pick what he wanted; usually eating whatever was given to him. The only time he got to pick what they ate was pancake Sundays, but that was only his and his mother's day. And this lady was not his mother. He realized she was probably just trying to be nice to him. "That's okay," he hurriedly said, not wanting her to be nice. "I'm not hungry anymore."
"Are you sure?" her eyebrows furrowed.
"Yeah, I'm gonna go play," he said and ran up the steps…
It was his dad's idea, inviting all his co-workers out to dinner. McGee wasn't sure how good of an idea that was, him and his father had barely started rebuilding their relationship, he didn't want his team around in case there was a setback. He really didn't want Abby or Tony seeing a fight between him and his dad. Abby would try to be too supportive while Tony would make things worse by trying to be nice to him.
But he wasn't one to disobey his father, no matter his worries, so he invited his friends to dinner. As much as he wished they'd all duck out, everyone agreed to go, even Gibbs. What was more surprising, or maybe it wasn't Tim wasn't sure, was how readily Tony jumped at the invitation. Thinking about it, it wasn't much of a surprise really, it would just give DiNozzo fuel for his teasing when the stories of Tim's childhood came up.
McGee left his apartment about eight-thirty. He kind of wished Penny would be there, but his grandmother was out of the country for the next few months, so he was expecting his mother to be the buffer between him and his father. She did fairly well on her own, but McGee usually went to Penny after a huge fight.
He arrived at the restaurant just as Tony did. They walked toward the door together, neither one saying a word. It wasn't from lack of trying either; Tim just couldn't get his usually chatty friend to say anything.
Once inside, Tim spotting his family sitting at a table in the back, Abby and Ziva already with them, both headed toward the party. Tony made it a point to sit next to Ziva, allowing Tim to take the chair next to his mother. McGee didn't care where Tony sat, but the look Ziva flashed DiNozzo got his attention.
But before he could say anything, his father said, "So, I finally get to meet Jethro Gibbs."
"Yeah, Dad," Tim responded meeting his dad's dark brown eyes. Jack McGee was tall, six-six or something, with graying, dark brown hair. Sarah took after him more in looks than Tim did; McGee looked more like his mother. He used to study his father, try to find something they had in common, but unless stubbornness suddenly became a facial feature, he could never find anything. Penny always swore there was something in the noses, but Tim never saw it.
Gibbs and Ducky showed up a few moments later, McGee's father getting to his feet at Gibbs' arrival. They studied each other for a tense few seconds, sizing each other up, before Jack held his hand out and said, "Jack McGee."
"Jethro Gibbs," Gibbs replied taking the other man's hand. They released each others' grips a few seconds later and Gibbs took a seat between Ducky and Abby.
Dinner started out fine, Gibbs and Jack mostly talking about their military backgrounds. Neither one opened up enough to share war stories, but the fact that they were talking showed they didn't hate each other. And it kept Jack's attention off McGee for the time being, something the younger guy appreciated.
It was during dessert when things started getting weird. Tony, who had been uncharacteristically quiet, looked up at McGee's mother and said, "You know, something had been bugging me about you."
"What?" Cecelia commented looking up from her plate. Something flickered across her eyes, something McGee couldn't pinpoint. "What was bugging you?"
"Tony, do you think it's wise to bring this up?" Ziva whispered but Tony ignored her and continued speaking:
"Yeah, I thought I saw you somewhere, but couldn't quite pinpoint your face…"
"Tony, what…?" McGee started just as Cecelia threw her napkin on her plate and stood up.
"Can I talk to you," she said fixing Tony with a hard stare, the younger guy cocking an eyebrow.
"Ce, what's going on?" Jack asked furrowing his eyebrows.
"Nothing, Jack," Cecelia answered before moving towards the bathrooms. Tony stood up and followed her, McGee torn between getting up and following or staying put. He opted to stay seated, and if they didn't return in a few minutes he'd go find them. That didn't mean he wasn't confused as hell. It seemed Tony knew Tim's mother, he just couldn't figure out how…
Tony followed McGee's mother towards the short hallway that held the bathrooms. He hadn't meant to cause a scene, just trip her up and make her admit she knew him, but something he had said triggered Cecelia.
"He told you didn't he?" she snapped stopping short, turning to face him.
"I… what?" Tony stepped back a few steps.
"Your father," she said quickly beginning to pace back and forth. "I knew I recognized you the moment I saw you. I'm figuring you recognized me, too. And I bet he told you."
"I mean, whatever he told you to the contrary is a load of bull. I never tried to get a dime out of him, in fact when he told me to get out I did just that. I knew I shouldn't have left you, but…"
"What are you…?"
"And the fact that there was a kid involved…"
"Whoa, hang on…" Now she was losing Tony. He just wanted to tell her he knew who she was, that he remembered her being his nanny. Maybe give McGee shit for knowing his mother before he did. This was going in a direction Tony wasn't expecting. "What kid?"
"Wait, you don't know?" she questioned stopping, giving him a confused look. "Then why all the questions?"
"I wanted to make McGee…" Tony shook his head. "What kid?" he demanded getting back on the subject at hand, pushing her distraction away. "Whose kid?" What the hell was she talking about?
"It doesn't matter, it was a long…"
"No, no, no," Tony said shaking his head again. "What kid?" did he have a sibling? Did his father and Cecelia…?
Cecelia looked down at the floor, running a hand through her hair. She took a breath, looked up to meet his eyes, and said, "Tim is your brother…"
OK, I am sure this story has been done to death. But this plot has been bugging me for a while, I mean seriously every time I'd go to sit down and write, it would rear up and say 'Pick me, pick me.' So, that is why I am writing this.
I am not sure how long it is going to be, but I can tell you this won't be a short story... or I'll try not to make it short. I am not sure if it'll be a case fic just yet, but if it does turn into one I'll let you know a head of time.
So, I'm gonna go.
Thanks for reading, I do not own these characters, and let me know what you think.