Gibbs wasn't sure why the school had called him, and he'd be lying if he said it wasn't worried. It had been a few months, the kids hadn't had any disciplinary notes sent home, so why was the school suddenly so interested in talking to him?
He was sitting in the office, having taken the morning off so he could make his appointment, waiting for whoever set the meeting, and was surprised when the school nurse approached him. He smiled and said, "Mr. Gibbs?"
"Yeah, that's me," Jethro said getting to his feet.
"I'm Nurse Lawrence," the guy greeted, offering him his hand. They briefly shook hands and then Lawrence turned and led Gibbs into his office. He gestured to a chair and said, "Please, have a seat."
Gibbs sat, giving the man a questioning look. A part of him hoped this had nothing to do with head lice or something equally bad. He knew how easily those things could spread, and the last thing he wanted was to infect the entire naval yard.
"I'm concerned about Tony and Tim," the nurse stated leaning back in his chair.
"Why?" Gibbs asked curiously, feeling his stomach tightening with worry and fear.
"Have you noticed anything off about your boys?"
"Tim has had this cold he can't seem to shake," Gibbs said slowly, "but Tony seems fine. Yesterday he did have trouble reading a sign, but all of my kids usually have trouble with the bigger words."
"I don't think it just a cold or the bigger words," the nurse replied sifting through a pile of papers, looking for something. "Have you thought about asthma for Tim's problem?" He pulled out a pamphlet from the bottom of the pile and handed it to Gibbs.
Asthma? Gibbs recalled, before he was de-aged, Tim saying something about asthma a few times, and Ducky had told Jethro to keep an eye on him when he had come down with bronchitis back in November. Maybe his sudden bout of illnesses had something to do with his lungs.
"I'll get him checked out," Gibbs said slowly and Lawrence nodded. "What about Tony? What did you mean by 'not just big words'?"
"Tony's teacher has noticed that he had been squinting a lot recently, and even takes a while to tell her what flashcards she's holding up. It's like he can't seem to read it. And I don't mean he can't read…"
"No, he's been reading for a while now," Gibbs stated furrowing his eyebrows. Tony had taken a bit longer than the other two, but he had been reading for almost six months now. He didn't enjoy it, but if he needed to read something he could do it. Or, well, he used to be able to do it.
"I think Tony might need glasses," the nurse suggested.
"I look stupid," Tony whined fiddling with the glasses on his face.
"You look fine," Gibbs stated scooping a sweater off the floor. By the color, it had to be Ziva's, and he turned to her and asked, "Where is this supposed to be?"
"My room," she replied from the couch.
"And is it?"
She sighed, but slid off the couch and took the sweater from him. She then headed up stairs without a backwards glance.
"But Dad, I don't need these," Tony insisted taking his glasses off his face. "I can see fine." His lie would have been more convincing if he wasn't squinting.
"Tony, listen to me," Gibbs said softly, crouching down to his height. "You're not the only one who wears glasses. Abby wears glasses, Ducky, Jimmy, even Grandpa Gibbs. You need them to help you see, and with luck you won't need them very long."
"You don't look stupid. Trust me, okay?"
"Yeah, Dony, you look like Harry Podder," Tim said from the couch, sniffing, running a hand across his runny nose. Ducky had confirmed what the school nurse had already said, and Tim hadn't been very happy about having to carry around an inhaler, but he knew it was there for him when he needed it, and had reluctantly accepted it.
"I do not," Tony said sullenly, crossing his arms. "Harry Potter is stupid. Jimmy shouldn't have read us those stupid books. If anything, he looks like Harry Potter."
"You know who else wears glasses, Tony?" Gibbs asked softly, getting the brunette's attention.
Since finding out his dad wore glasses, Tony didn't find them so stupid anymore. In fact, they made reading easier and he realized he didn't hate it so much after all. He wouldn't tell the others though. They didn't need to know he didn't think reading was stupid.
It was time for recess, a new word Miss Gray had taught them, and Tony was playing tag with Timmy, Matty, and Grant. Since Grant's birthday, with the bestest cake ever, Tony liked playing with Grant. He was funny and liked Ninja Turtles, and he also got to spend time with Tim. Plus, Matty said he didn't mind playing with Tim and Grant either, and Tony was glad. He wanted Matty to like Tim. Timmy was his little brother after all.
"You're it," Tim yelled tagging Tony. His breathing was too fast and sounded funny, like his mouth was whistling. Tony couldn't whistle yet, but Jimmy had been trying to teach him and told him all he had to do was make an 'o' shape and blow, but Timmy was not making the 'o' sound or blowing.
"Are you okay?" he asked. His stomach was hurting and not in the sick way either. He was scared that there was something wrong with Timmy.
"My chest hurts," Tim replied coughing, running a hand across his chest.
"Where's your inhayer?" Tony had remembered his dad and Uncle Ducky saying that Timmy should use it if his chest hurt or if he started coughing too much or if his breathing sounded funny.
"M-my jacket," Timmy said taking it out of his pocket. It was a funny l-shape thing with a metal thing at the top that Timmy had to push to get air or something.
"'Member, you have to shake it," Tony said unaware that Matty and Grant were standing next to them now.
"I-I know."Timmy shook his inhaler and took a puff on it. Tony had seen him do it a couple times since getting it, but it was always a little scary.
"Are you okay now?" Tony asked, his stomach still hurting. He remembered Dad saying something about 'worry' and how it made stomachs hurt sometimes; maybe that was what he was feeling, this 'worry' thing.
"I-I'm fine," Tim replied taking another puff. "Can we do something else?"
"What's wrong?" Grant asked and he looked scared.
"He has asma," Tony stated fumbling the word. "He needs his inhayer to breath sometimes."
"My cousin has that," Matty said nodding. "He had an attack once, but I didn't see anyone hitting him, but my mom says it was an attack."
"Are you boys okay?" the outside duty asked, approaching them. She spotted the inhaler in Tim's hand and said, "I think we'd better get you to the nurse."
"Ma'am, I think he's fine now," Tony said stepping in front of Timmy. He did not want Tim to go to the nurse. What if the nurse sent him home? Timmy had already missed school when he had brontitus, or whatever his dad called it, he couldn't miss anymore.
"The nurse should still make sure," the duty insisted.
"I wanna come too, then," Tony stated just as Ziva appeared from nowhere.
"What's wrong?" she asked curiously, looking more scared than Grant.
"Timmy needed his inhayer and now he needs to go to the nurse," Tony replied quickly.
"Then let's go to the nurse," Ziva said and started towards the door.
Tony looked up at the lady, nodded once, and then turned to Tim. "C'mon, Timmy," he said lightly gripping his brother's elbow and helping him to the nurse's office.
The second call in so many weeks, Gibbs was beginning to think homeschooling would be a better option. He raced into the school, unsure whether or not he left his car running; he couldn't even remember if he shut the door, but that didn't matter; one of his kids was in the nurse's office.
He found a stubborn Tony and Ziva standing in the main office, refusing to leave despite the fact that the outside attendant was trying to escort them back to class.
"We're not leaving without Timmy," Tony said crossing his arms.
"And you can't make us," Ziva stated putting her hands on his hips.
"Please guys, Timmy is going to be fine," the attendant said looking up to see Gibbs. "Can you help me?" He recognized her from Grant's party, and was fairly certain she was one of Ziva's friends' moms (maybe Megan? Katie?)
"Yeah," he replied and Ziva and Tony turned to see him.
"Dad, tell her we're not leaving without Timmy," Tony said and he and Ziva raced towards him. Ziva nodded stubbornly, her eyes brighter than usual.
"He had to use his inhayer," Ziva said sniffing. "Tony said he was running and then his breathing was whistling and soon he was coughing…" she drew a deep breath. "I wanna see Timmy, Abba," she whispered and hugged his leg.
"Me too," Tony replied moving closer to Gibbs.
"Where's Tim?" Gibbs asked looking up at the attendant.
"In there," she responded, nodding towards the nurse's office. Jethro gave her a quiet 'thank you' and led his kids into the room.
Tim was sitting on the cot, lightly kicking his feet, looking paler than normal. His breathing was still a little wheezy, but Gibbs knew it could have been a lot worse.
"Mr. Gibbs," Lawrence said getting to his feet. "It's nice to see you again though I wish circumstances were different." Jethro nodded, just as Ziva and Tony moved across the room. They scrambled on the cot, next to Tim. Ziva gave him a big hug and kissed his cheek.
The nurse nodded towards the door and Gibbs followed him outside. Leaving the door open slightly, Lawrence turned to Jethro and said, "He's going to be fine. I think the cold air triggered an episode."
"His doctor said that could happen," Gibbs said slowly. Ducky had given him a list of stuff to watch out for, and Jethro had stuck it to the fridge (after Abby had made him a copy he could carry around in his wallet).
"I do suggest you take him home for the rest of the day, and since it's almost time for the kindergarteners to go home the principal agreed to let you take Tony and Ziva, too."
"I'm sorry about…" he nodded towards the nurse's office. "They usually do as they're asked."
"They were worried about their brother," Lawrence replied softly. "Enjoy it while it lasts. In a few years they'll be at each others' throats." Gibbs smiled slightly and then returned to the nurse's office collect his children.
On the drive home, Gibbs still couldn't shake the worry he had felt for Tim. Is this what it was going to be like from now on? Tim running the risk of having an attack if he ran too much or the weather was too hot or too cold? What happened if he couldn't get to his inhaler in time and the hospital called the next time? What happened if one of his colds turned into something worse because of his bad lungs? He didn't want Tim to end up like adult Tony.
In fact, he didn't want any of his kids to end up like adult Tony, but unless he wrapped them in a bubble until they were eighteen (something Abby was surely going to suggest when Gibbs told her what happened), he was going to have to get used to worrying. Kids got sick and hurt, it happened, and he had to accept it was going to happen whether he liked it or not.
"Gibbs, I'm hungry," Tony whined getting his attention.
"Yeah, Abba, I'm hungry, too," Ziva chimed in and Tim nodded in agreement.
Gibbs smiled slightly, glancing back at his children, and said "Then let's go eat."
There was an episode where Tim said he had asthma, so this is where this chapter came from (or part of the chapter). The other half was tonight's episode and that photo of Tony in boarding school. The show didn't really specify when he got glasses, but I figured I could just take creative license and roll with it. Plus, I got to compare Palmer to Harry Potter again (I swear, he looks just like him glasses and all... he even has the green eyes... hmm, crossover potential?)
Anyway, thanks for reading and for the reviews last chapter. You guys are awesome.
I do not own these characters, drop me a comment if you can, and see ya in the next chapter.
P.S. I Googled 'Male School Nurses' and they are out there (I've never had one, but they do exist), and I decided to make the kids' nurse a dude. Oh, and in Bloodbath (an episode I am not too fond of) Abby had glasses on, so I am either assuming she wears glasses... even if it is to court.