Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters that appear in this story, nor any similar plot lines to its original work. I make no profit, but hope you enjoy anyway!
A/N: Another for the Coming of Age universe, just a small explanation of how each person is related etc, prompted by a review asking if Timothy was actually a Gibbs or not. Thanks so much to that person for reviewing and asking the question! And to all others who have read or reviewed of course. Happy Holiday Season to everyone, much love x
"Tony!" Anthony Gibbs jerked his head around quickly to stare at his youngest sibling, slight irritation playing on his features as he paused the movie he was watching... yet again, "how old is Ducky?"
"I'm not sure Abbs, why don't you ask McKnow-It-All?" Abby narrowed her eyes at her brother and then threw an arm out towards the kitchen, where the sounds of the one and only Timothy McGee-Gibbs could be heard along with the clatter of glasses and cutlery.
"He's on the phone with his mother, Tony," Abby continued to glare as Tony looked around the room for escape, zeroing in on his step-sister Ziva as she ignored the siblings in favour of her book, "and my assignment is due in like a week! I want this done Tony!"
"Are you going to help me with this?" Tony continued to stare as Ziva calmly flipped the page of her book, slowly mouthing the word no as the television flicked off and the oldest Gibbs was forced out of his position on the couch and over to the computer in the living room, stationed so that his father could keep an eye on his own progress in the homework department when he was younger.
Abby's glare slowly turned into a cheeky and triumphant smile as Tony heaved a large sigh and fetched a chair from the dining room to sit beside her at the computer, "so what are we doing here Abbs?"
Abby silently grabbed her assignment sheet from the desk beside her and waved it in her older brothers' face, turning back to the computer and quickly clicking into several new windows and search engines as he looked over the file.
"Well, this is just a family tree Abbs, shouldn't be too hard," Tony looked at a few of the tabs his sister has opened and then promptly gave up, shaking his head as if he was dizzy before spinning her chair around to face him, "so how do you want to do this? Poster? Diorama?"
Abby's face broke out into a smile and she hit tony lightly on the shoulder, "Tony, you're starting to sound like dad," she laughed a little as Tim's voice drifted back through the dining room from the kitchen and Abby smacked him lightly on the arm again, "I'm doing it on the computer of course, I just need your help getting my facts straight."
"Yes mom, no, I don't want to talk to Sarah again," Tim wandered into the living room with the phone glued to his ear, bowl of cereal in hand and a visible milk moustache gracing his upper lip, "yes, I will talk to dad about it. I promise, yes school is okay. I'll see you Sunday morning eight am. Yes, mom. Night. And yes goodnight to Sarah too."
Tim clicked the phone off with a sigh and dropped it on the small end table separating the two couches in the living room, bypassing the space Tony had been occupying and dumping himself down next to Ziva as she shuffled her feet back to the floor, "who is Sarah?"
Tim slowed his chewing and swallowed noisily, looking towards the computer as Tony stared at the duo and rose to make his way over, "she's my sister, from my mom's second marriage. She's a fair bit younger than me though, and kind of demanding."
"Kind of? I think what McMoustache is trying to tell you is that his younger sister is a brat," Tim rolled his eyes and Tony continued to stalk his way over, motioning for Abby to come over as he dumped a pad of paper and a pencil on the floor between them all, "like, grade A complainer. She stayed here once, whilst McGeek's mother was out of town with the Sarge; she got me in the basement nine times."
Ziva's eyes widened and she nodded, glancing at McGee to confirm the story as Abby promptly plonked herself down on the floor beside Tony, "okay you guys, this is perfect, I have all of your attention!"
"Why Abby? What's up?" Tim leant forward a bit on the sofa and continued to eat his cereal, ignoring Tony's attempts to antagonize him.
"I have an assignment due next week on 'My Family Tree', and I need everyone's birthdays, marriages, deaths, children etc etc," Abby presented her project outline and politely snatched the paper and pencil out of Tony's hands, ignoring any form of protest as Ziva changed position on the couch to survey the assignment in front of her, "this includes your mom and your sister Timmy, your Dad, Ziva, and anything and everything you can tell me about the Bossman, Tony."
"Well I hope you have a lot of time sweetheart, cause you're gonna need it if you wanna know everything there is to know about the one and only Leroy Jethro Gibbs," Tony gave a quick look towards the clock and clucked his tongue a little, "and we're gonna have to start soon cause he'll be home at nine and it just turned seven thirty."
"It is very simple," Ziva stated matter-of-factly as she took the pencil from Abby and quickly scribbled down the birth dates of herself and both her parents, including the date of their wedding and their divorce, "however, I do not understand why it is necessary for you to have my family information in order to complete your family tree."
Abby's mouth dropped open and she shot up onto her knees, pulling Ziva down towards her by the neck in a crushing hug as the Israeli looked confusedly over her shoulder at Tony, and patted her awkwardly on the back.
"Ziva! How could you say that, you and Jenny are family to us now!" Abby pouted a little as she released the older girl and then glared slightly, pointing the finger at each of her family in turn, "and that goes for everyone sitting in this room, and all the people related to them by blood... well, technically not all the people but you know, most of them... you know what I mean! Pencil!"
Ziva handed over the pencil and paper with a questioning look towards both of the Gibbs brothers as she did so. Tim raised his hand a little to gain Abby's attention, "Dana Marie McGee and Sarah Elizabeth McGee, born in April 11th and 27th respectively. I'll get you the years in a minute, anybody want anything?"
"Shannon, Kelly and Caitlyn Gibbs, August 4th, November 17th and January 30. Oh and no thanks, Timmy, but grab us some markers whilst you're in the kitchen yeah?" Tony said distractedly as he counted out his family for Abby and then ripped four sheets of paper off of the pad to begin aligning them on the floor, compiling them between Ziva and himself as she slunk her way off the couch to match the others, "I think I know how to set this out. If we give you the timeline you can fix it the way you want okay Abs."
Tim nodded as his sister enthusiastically agreed with her oldest brother, and with a puzzled narrowing of his eyes, swiftly wandered out into the kitchen and rinsed his dishes in the sink, wiping at his lip and grabbing four of the coloured markers from one of the top drawers and hurrying back into the living room.
"Thanks Tim," Tony grabbed each of the markers and swiftly wrote a name at the top of each paper, following with his theme Abby had already placed a large heading on a separate sheet above the others, a large black block-lettered GIBBS, "I think we are ready to begin! We need a cool name first... I'm gonna go with the Tale of the Many Wives. Capitalised of course, because if any story deserves capitalisation, its one with Dad in it."
"Because this makes me very secure about the current marital status of my mother," Ziva raised a perfectly shaped eyebrow, challenging Tony to argue with her to little success, "however it is always good to know what is going on, and I cannot say I am uninterested in this story so do go on, Tony."
"Well thank you, Zee-vah," Tony grit his teeth a little and reached for the first sheet of paper, "now, Dad's first wife was Shannon Clare Gibbs, formerly a DiNozzo-Feilding, had three children; Kelly Madison, Anthony Devon and Caitlyn Louise."
"Then obviously you'd add my mother, Dana Marie, and then Me," Tim added from his place next to Ziva as surveyed the page of dates and names Tony had just released, "and then of course Stephanie Bronweyn Flynn, no children."
"Um, hello?" Abby glared at her brothers as they took control of her assignment, markers scratching at paper and dates being thrown between them, "I think you missed someone."
Tony looked down at the paper with a confused expression, not catching any mistakes as he passed the paper off to Ziva, "I don't think so, Abby."
"Since Abigail is only three years younger than Timothy should she not be listed on this paper?" Ziva asked quietly as she surveyed the timeline before her, "or is she from wife number four?"
Tony stopped for a moment, cringing as he reached across their circle and slapped Tim upside the head, "You forgot Abby, Tim? Really?"
"If you look again, Tony, I think you'll find that you're the one with the pen," Tim glared then caught Abby's expression from the corner of his eye, sheepishly avoiding a direct look at her, "sorry, Abby."
"As we all know," Abby started as she took back the markers and the paper from her oldest brother, "Abigail, yours truly, was born two and a half years after Timmy, right before marriage number three."
Ziva continued to look confused as she viewed the new timeline, "wait a second I do not understand. Abby who is your mother?"
Abby looked between her brothers and bit her lip, clasping her hands together in her lap as she knelt opposite her step sister, "well, you see, my mom was kind of... flaky? I guess you'd call it. We don't really talk about her much, she kind of ran off on Dad and after a couple of months tada! Grandma booked herself a flight from New Orleans, turned up with me on his doorstep and here I am!"
Ziva nodded in understanding and then bit her lip, "so is there a possibility that Gibbs may not be your paternal father?"
Tony laughed and it didn't take very long for Tim to join him, both boys quieting down as Abby and Ziva turned the joint power of their glares, "no way. I was told the whole story when I was six and we decided jointly as a family that we'd have the test done for kicks, no changes to routine if the outcome wasn't desirable."
"But the outcome was...?" Tony and Tim both attempted to hold in their laughs this time, and with minimal success they offered to go start the oven to heat up tea for the parents when they got home.
"The outcome was exactly as desired," Abby smiled at Ziva as she handed her the final page of information, "wife number four, she was a little bit insane, so we tend not to count her in the family assignments. I much rather just skip forward most of our history to get to the now parts anyway."
Ziva smiled as she looked down at the piece of paper in her hand, paying little focus to the movements Abby was making over at the far wall behind the computer and desk. Placing the paper in line with the others she had to smile at the slightly twisted compilation of people that the Gibbs children had put together in their living room.
On a separate piece of paper the names of each grandparent and uncle had been neatly typed into text boxes ready for ordering, and a few old photograph scans had been rested beside them.
"Well I'm quite glad that's over! Ziva," Abby drew her step-sisters attention with a growing shadow and an offered hand, helping the Israeli to her feet as she handed her a photograph from the wall, "I think I'm going to call my project 'connections', much more dramatic and secretive than the many wives."
Ziva nodded and smiled as she looked down at the photograph in her hand. Her face stared back at her, awkwardly smiling at the camera from her position beside her mother and her new step-family on the first day of her life in America.
"I may not have been very welcoming when you first got here," Abby murmured from somewhere close to her right, "but I am really glad you came, Ziva."
Ziva smiled and nodded, running her hand over the photograph one more time before releasing it gently onto the couch, "well I am very glad you feel that way," a car sounded outside and the sudden shine of lights under the window flicked off abruptly, "however maybe we should hide your assignment and quickly join the boys in the kitchen before Gibbs and Maman come in, yes?"
"Oh, definitely," Abby roughly pushed her papers into a pile and slipped them under a couch cushion, jogging to the computer and exiting all visible files before hitting the off button and putting the screen on hibernate, "Ziva, get the photo."
As the frame slid onto its hook and a key twisted in the lock, Abby grabbed Ziva's hand and lunged forwards. It may have taken them a while to get to this point, but they could each say that the Gibbs household did have the tendency to run like clockwork in the 'children's' favour.
"Well something smells delicious," Jenny's voice rang happily through the door just before she herself turned into the dining and kitchen area, removing her scarf and placing her bag on an empty chair, "hope there's enough left for your dad and me, we haven't had a chance to eat yet."
"Cooked it special," Tony smiled and Tim fingered the playing cards in his hand, watching Ziva carefully as she turned to accept the greeting her mother was giving her, "so help yourselves, we'll be done with this hand in a minute."
Jethro Gibbs hung his coat on its hook and removed his gun, placing it in its lock box on the shelf and keying in this week's code. Moving through the corridor past the living room he could see the corners of paper sticking out from his couch and the coloured markers strewn on the floor where from any other position they would be considered out of sight. Smiling to himself and raising an eyebrow he continued to the dining room.
"Jethro doesn't it smell good?" Jenny was serving up two bowls of whatever had been cooked that night but Jethro was more interested in the varying arrangement of his children, each looking rather too innocent for his tastes.
"I thought something smelled more fishy than anything," he watched Abby try to hide a smile and sat down at the table, accepting his bowl from Jenny and continuing to watch his teenagers, "go on you can finish your game. What are you playing anyway?"
Two shouts of poker and one each of blackjack and go fish made Gibbs smile into his dinner as Jenny raised her eyebrows at the four persons gathered at her table, each making their own excuses and one by one exiting the dining room.
"How do you always know?" Jenny looked incredulously at her husband as he ate his dinner, smiling to himself as a hushed conversation sounded from upstairs.
"Practice," Jenny raised her eyebrows again but continued to eat her own meal, "I had four wives and a total of six kids. You'll get used to it."