AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRINGS: Abigail Sciuto/Timothy McGee. Anthony DiNozzo/Ziva David. Jimmy Palmer/OMC. (Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard are mentioned as a pairing, however, the story is set after their deaths).
SUMMARY: It's Christmas Eve 2020 and Abby is in a reflecting mood.
CHALLENGE: Amnesty 2008 - 'Toys'
WORD COUNT: 1,751
WARNING: Major character off-screen, already happened death mentioned.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
CHRISTMAS EVE 2020 - RESTON HOUSE
Abby looked around the living room of Du - of her and Tim's Reston home, gazing at the array of toys that littered the floor. It was at times like this she was so glad they had such a large home, as tomorrow the number would have more than doubled.
Her gaze came to rest on her twin boys - Benjamin Donald and Thomas Jethro - playing happily with the hand carved five year old sized train set, aided and abetted by Tony, and watched happily by Emily Fornell, who gently 'mothered' them. It then shifted to where her husband Tim sat in animated conversation with Jimmy, Ziva and Charlie Patterson, before finally coming to rest on Tobias and Jimmy's partner Edward Fletcher.
All of her family, both by marriage and birth, as well extended were in one place at the same time, well all but two.
Christmas was a special time of year for Abby; she had many memories both happy and sad, as so many things seemed to have happened at that time in the last dozen years.
With her family happy around her, she leaned back into the depths of the old, comfortable couch and began to reflect.
Gibbs and Ducky stopped 'messing around' (in Abby's mind) and finally officially became a couple when Gibbs moved into Ducky's Reston home with him.
CHRISTMAS EVE 2010
Tim, her Timmy, had finally proposed to her.
CHRISTMAS EVE 2011
She and Tim had gotten married, with Gibbs giving her away and Ducky as Tim's best man.
CHRISTMAS EVE 2015
One of the best and the absolute worst day of Abby's life.
The hands of the clock were moving close to 11:00 p.m. as Abby, with Tim at her side and 'Team Gibbs' all outside, gave birth to their twin boys. The labor had been long, hard and arduous, and Abby had vowed 'never again'. She had two children; she had her other family, she didn't need any more.
And they were family and they were still 'Team Gibbs'. Despite the fact Gibbs had, against all the odds been offered and accepted the role of Director upon reaching the age of fifty-eight, they remained 'Team Gibbs'. Ducky had, upon Jimmy successfully completing his time at Medical School and being offered the post of ME at NCIS, virtually retired, although he still found his way to NCIS several times a week, and more than once managed to 'assist' with the odd autopsy.
It was the next day when Tim, looking paler than she'd ever seen him look, looking haunted, arrived with the devastating news: on their way home from the hospital Gibbs and Ducky's car had been struck by a guy whose alcohol levels were later shown to be ten times over the legal limit. On the icy roads even Gibbs's skill and ability to handle a car wasn't enough and their car ended up in the path of a truck, trying to get home in time for the holidays.
There had only been two deaths. As she sobbed and sobbed and sobbed in Tim's arms, her twins silent even though she was ignoring them, Abby's one consolation had been that at least two of the three most important, most loved, men in her life had died together. They'd been together for forty years; it was fitting they died together.
Their wills were simple to execute. Each had left the other everything outright, but in the event of their joint deaths their estate was, with a few exceptions, to be divided equally between seven people. The exceptions were Abby and Tim becoming the owners of Reston House, and substantial trust funds for the McGee twins and Emily Fornell. After that everything went, in equal shares, to Abby, Tim, Tony, Ziva, Jimmy, Tobias and Charlie Patterson.
Everyone had always known Ducky to be fairly well off, but the amounts left to each of them were staggering.
It was then Abby made her decision. She'd been uncertain for a while about whether she'd return to NCIS upon the birth of the twins, but the death of Gibbs and Ducky made her decision an easy one. Life was too short; she'd had the boys, she was going to be there for them as they grew up; she was going to be a stay at home mom.
Tim instantly asked the Assistant Director for a permanent move to Cyber Crimes and had been granted his wish - he was now in charge of the department.
Tony, who hadn't been given Gibbs's team when Gibbs became director (he hadn't wanted it) was given what few, if any, NCIS agents have ever been given before: a third chance. His own team; in Santiago. This time no one was surprised when he accepted.
The surprise came as he was about to leave following a fairly subdued leaving party, when he stopped, dropped the box he was carrying, strode back across the office, pulled Ziva into his arms, told her he loved her and asked her to marry him and go with him. After a few seconds hesitation, Ziva said yes.
So the only members of 'Team Gibbs' left at NCIS were Tim and Jimmy, who had lunch together at least once a week and laughed over how jealous Tim had been at one point of Jimmy liking Abby.
It took Abby and Tim a few months before they finally ventured to Reston House and there they discovered an indication that Gibbs and Ducky had somehow seemed to know they'd never live to fulfill the joint roles of Godfather and Grandfather to the twins.
Rocking horses, toy trains, a swing, a mini obstacle course, a dolls' house (Gibbs had no doubt been hopeful that the McGees would have a daughter at some point), building blocks, hand carved jigsaws, and a vast array of other hand made wooden toys spanning at least ten years in terms of age, were carefully piled in one room. How Gibbs had found the time to make them all, as well as fulfill his role as Director, Abby and Tim did not know. In another room were books for all ages, teddy bears and other soft toys, other jigsaws, racing cars, a Meccano set, games, educational toys, a large electric train set and many, many other toys - more than enough for each birthday and each Christmas until the twins were teenagers.
Abby and Tim had been determined the twins would not lose out by being born so close to Christmas and made sure that they had two lots of gifts each year. This year from Grandpas Jethro and Ducky they received the sized-for-them wooden train set for their birthdays, and tomorrow they'd be given the beautiful rocking horses.
Each year since the double birth and double death the team, together with Tobias and Charlie and last year with the addition of Jimmy's partner (who was some fifteen years older than Jimmy) had gotten together on Christmas Eve to celebrate the birth of the McGee twins, and the lives of Gibbs and Ducky.
Apparently Tony had made it clear that World War III could be declared, but he was going back to DC on Christmas Eve, and so far he and Ziva had managed to achieve that. Abby hoped they'd all be able to keep the tradition going - but she knew that in time their numbers would decrease, if only by death.
But tonight was not a time to think about death; tonight was the time to think about new life and family and memories. And if the happy memories were tinged with sadness well, Abby wouldn't change them. And she had something to share, she had news.
She had meant her 'never again' but then one day she'd found Tim looking at the beautiful dolls' house and the dolls' cradle, the exquisite baby doll, and the other toys more suitable for girls than boys they'd found. And she knew; she knew she had to give them someone who would love them and cherish them and play with them. Someone who would be told, just as Tommy and Benny had been told, all about the two men in whose house they lived, who were their Grandparents, who had made, in the case of the wooden toys, and bought, in the case of the others, the gifts they received each year.
She had fallen pregnant almost immediately and she knew, even though it was far too early for any test to prove it, that it was girl. It had to be. She knew. She was going to have a daughter, a little girl who would be named Kelly Vanessa. A little girl for them all to spoil.
"Hey, everyone," she said softly. They all stopped talking and laughing and looked at her. "Tim and I have something to tell you," she said. "We're having a baby - and it's going to be a girl."
"Abby, the doctors said -"
"It's going to be a girl," Abby said, her tone defiant. "I know it is," she added quietly.
As the room erupted into mass congratulations and everyone spoke at once she saw Emily, who had trained as a teacher, talking to the twins, and then her eyes came to rest on Ziva.
"Ziva!" she exclaimed, jumping up and all but running across the room. "You are!" Like her knowledge that her baby was a girl, she knew Ziva too was pregnant.
Ziva smiled, blushed slightly and nodded. "Yes," she said. "And there is something else we wish to share with you." Even now, in formal situations, in important ones, Ziva's vocabulary was precise and she used few, if any, contractions. "Tony and I are -"
"Moving back to DC." It was Tony, who now came to sit on the arm of Ziva's chair, sliding his arm around her shoulders and pulling her against him, who spoke.
Abby looked at him. "For good?"
Tony nodded. "Yes. And," he swallowed hard. "And I've quit NCIS. I can't risk leaving Ziva alone to bring up our baby. I can't do what Probie here did and take over Cyber Crimes, and I can't cut bodies up like Jimmy. So," he shrugged, "I resigned. It's time the family was together again," he added softly.
As he said the words, even over the sounds of the twins, who had returned to playing with their toys, Abby swore she heard two deep sighs of happiness and approval.