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To Be Loved By Loved Ones

by: imaginative_soul (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 003 Word Count: 9056
Rating: CHILD
Warning(s): Violence
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: "And what do you want for Christmas, Anthony?"

Author Notes: This was originally intended to be a Christmas one-shot but it turned out to be long enough to make two chapters of it, so it's rather a two-shot. I hope you enjoy anyway. I'm trying to post the second part as soon as possible, hopefully before the end of the year.



This story is AU. No spoilers, no nothing. Gibbs' daughter Kelly plays a big role, though.

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3

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Chapter One

“And what do you want for Christmas, Anthony?”

It was the last day before the holidays and the third grade of the Capitol Hill Day School in Washington D.C. had come together to talk about all the things they wished for Christmas. It was a tradition the class kept since pre-school but it was the first time for Anthony DiNozzo. He hadn’t been in D.C. for long. A half year ago his father had decided to move to the capitol of the United States to escape memories he just wanted to forget. Not the least to the delight of the boy.

But that wasn’t the only reason why Anthony wasn’t happy. The nine year-old never liked holidays, especially not Christmas. While other kids couldn’t wait for the 24th December for weeks, talking about presents they wanted and singing Christmas songs he couldn’t find himself infected with the holiday fever everyone seemed to be in. He didn’t like holidays and he had his reasons for that.

Anthony’s father was a rich business man. Before his mother had died a year ago his father had been away, traveling around the world all the time. Now, he was at home very often, though. Something Tony didn’t appreciate at all, because usually his father sat in his office, drunk. The nine year-old wasn’t allowed in but every time he passed by he smelled the alcohol. Every now and then his father left his office and when Anthony DiNozzo wasn’t in his room… Well, that better not be the case.

“Anthony?” Mrs. Cornwell, his teacher, asked. She obviously had called his name more than once. At least she sounded somewhat unnerved already. “Do you care to share your wishes for Christmas, young man, or not?” He looked up, somewhat embarrassed and nodded shyly.

While he walked to the front of his class Tony thought about what his class mates had said earlier. They had such nice wishes for Christmas. Some girls had wanted puppies, some had wanted a game boy or Santa knew what. One girl even wanted a dog for Christmas. Tony wouldn’t even dare mentioning a pet to his father. He knew he wouldn’t get one, anyway.

He never had wishes that even came close to those of other kids. His class mates thought it was because of the wealth of his father. Someone whose father was one of the most powerful men in the East of the United States had everything he wanted. That’s what most people thought about children like him. That it wasn’t always true crossed the mind of few, if anyone’s at all. But since no-one wanted to talk to him, thinking he was arrogant and thought better of himself, he couldn’t tell them otherwise. No way they would understand.

Approaching the front of the class room Tony swallowed and bit his lower lip nervously. He really didn’t know what to say. He didn’t have any real wishes that measured up to those of the others. “I don’t have… uhm…” He stopped, cleared his throat and finally started to talk again. “My mother always told me that Christmas isn’t for getting expensive presents. It is more important that everyone can be with his family. Fathers can be at home and don’t have to be at war fighting, mothers don’t have to think about household and children can be just children. No school, no stress, just family. Christmas should be a day of peace and remembrance that we have all been honored life and nothing more.”

Tony stopped suddenly. He felt his eyes moisten and had to blink a few times before he regained his composure. “I’m happy that I’m alive and everything I wish for Christmas is for everyone I know and care for to be happy with his family. I guess that’s most important about this holiday. That everyone is loved by his loved ones…” Again DiNozzo blinked. A tear rolled down his cheek and he knew he was about to break down, if he didn’t stop right then so he went back to his chair and sat down heavily.

The class room was quiet all of a sudden and Tony wondered if maybe he had said too much. A burning sensation in his eyes brought him to turning away from the other kids. Tony buried his head in his sweatshirt and took some deep breaths before he turned to face his class mates. All eyes were on him and all he could think about was running and hiding miles away, where no-one would bore holes into him by simply staring.

Everyone had seen the tears Anthony DiNozzo was about to shed. At first they were too stunned to say anything but after a few seconds they began mumbling things to the other students. ‘The baby’s crying, you see?’ or ‘What’s wrong with DiNozzo?’ and other murmurs went between the boys and girls in the room, none of them stayed unacknowledged by Tony. But there were other things said too. A group of three or four people in front of him pitied him and he couldn’t stand the ‘I feel sorry for him’ and ‘He seems somewhat desperate’. But he didn’t say anything. What could he have said anyway?

Mrs. Cornwell stood in front of the class, not less stunned than the kids in the room. She watched Anthony shrinking further in his seat the more the others talked about him without actually talking to him. She knew it was about time to re-focus the nine year-olds back on her, away from DiNozzo who seemed to be only half of his size by now. She heard the cruel words from her class towards Tony and she couldn’t let them insult the little boy any longer.

“That’s enough, kids. I don’t think Anthony appreciates you talking about him as if he isn’t here”, she said and blocked the upcoming protest. “I’m sure he has his reasons for almost breaking down. By the way, I don’t think his words are wrong. They are something most of you probably should think about again. Christmas is not about presents but love. Maybe you should show Anthony that instead of referring to him as a baby.”

Someone in the back row snorted loudly as if neglecting the fact Tony had mentioned in his speech earlier and Mrs. Cornwell just repeated. He murmured something that sounded much like ‘Someone who cries is a baby, for sure’ and that earned him a stern look from his teacher. “That especially counts for you, Stanley.”

Mrs. Cornwell turned away from the boy she had referred to and her features softened a bit, when she realized that Tony seemed to have gotten his strength back at bit, hopefully as a result of her words. “Now, our time is almost over and I think you all can’t wait for the holidays to begin. I wish you all happy holidays. Celebrate with your loved one’s and make yourself some wonderful days. I’m sure you all need it. I’ll see you in the new year.”

With Cornwell’s final words the children jumped from their seats, hurriedly packing their bags so they didn’t need to be in school a second longer than needed. Suddenly no-one was interested in Anthony DiNozzo anymore and the boy was grateful for that. He heaved a sigh of relief when most of the other kids were gone and only he, his teacher and a girl named Kelly were left in the room. He didn’t know why she had stayed behind. The group of girls she usually spent most of the time with was long gone and normally she wouldn’t lag behind. Tony didn’t waste any second thought about it, though.

He was just about to leave the room, when Kelly took a few steps closer. She stopped about ten feet away from him and simply looked at him for a while. DiNozzo didn’t know what to do so he stopped and simply stood opposite her, nervously biting his lip. His eyes moved, unfocused, he wasn’t sure where to look and finally decided that the carpet beneath his feet was probably the most interesting thing at the moment. It saved him the friendly but still intense stare Kelly Gibbs gave him.

For a while neither of them said anything. Not until Mrs. Cornwell moved towards the door in order to leave the class room. She wanted to talk to Tony in private for a moment and cleared her throat carefully. She didn’t want to disturb the two kids with whatever they were doing. “Kelly, do you mind if I talk to Anthony shortly? It won’t take long, so he’s all yours in a few seconds.” Mrs. Cornwell smiled at the nine years-old girl.

“Of course, Mrs. Cornwell. Happy holidays”, she exclaimed before leaving the room behind, Tony and her teacher right along. She knew her father was probably already waiting outside and she was more than happy to see him again after such a long time. He was a marine after all and had been at war for a while. At least over the holidays he was granted to go home, finally. Still, Kelly had to talk to Anthony DiNozzo before she was able to face her father, again.

As soon as Kelly had closed the door behind her, Mrs. Cornwell turned to the small boy in front of her. He was smaller than the other boys in the class, way too small for his age and pretty thin, too. She often wondered if that had anything to do with his family or if he simply hadn’t reached the period of growth the other boys already experienced. She knew about his mother, though, so she thought his thin appearance might come from the pressure and stress he must have been in the last months.

“Anthony?” Mrs. Cornwell called out to the boy who was obviously miles away from there and then. The boy shook his head slightly as if trying to stop memories from coming up he was desperately trying to forget for months now and looked at the elder woman. “If you have problems with getting along with your mother’s death…”

Tony’s head shot up and for a moment the teacher could see a flash of anger in his emerald green eyes. Milliseconds later it was gone and the light brown-haired boy answered in a raspy voice, “I don’t have problems getting along with her passing away. I just miss her sometimes, that’s all.” He swallowed to get the lump out of his throat and looked away again. The pitiful look on Cornwell’s face just made him nervous and he wanted nothing but getting away. “If you don’t mind, I would like to go now. My father is probably waiting already and he’s not very patient.”

“Oh, of course. You better go then, Anthony. But if you ever need help… I’m willing to listen to you. You know that, right Anthony?” Mrs. Cornwell turned the boy’s chin to her so she could look him in the eyes. He blinked a few times and nodded slowly, before answering.

“I will come to you. I promise, Mrs. Cornwell. Happy holidays.” He turned to leave the room, but looked back one last time. “And Mrs. Cornwell?” He waited for the expected ‘Yes, Anthony?’ before he continued. “Please don’t call me Anthony. I don’t like it. Besides, Tony fits me better.”

With these words he finally left the room to go home. He hadn’t expected Kelly to be so patient, though. She still waited outside the room, staring at him intently, this time even more demanding than before. When he crossed her, thinking it would be the best to just ignore her and go on, she positioned herself right tin front of him, blocking the way out. He stopped and looked at her as nervously. Couldn’t she just leave him alone? Was that too much to ask? Probably yes.

Again a battle of silence began between the both of them. Neither was willing to be the one to speak first. They had different intentions, though. While Tony just wanted her to up and go, Kelly wanted nothing more than to get him to talking to her. She didn’t want to push him, so she just waited for him to speak first. Something she managed to do after what seemed like an eternity. “What do you want?”

Kelly smiled and for a while DiNozzo thought that was everything he would get in answer to his question. He was starting to get annoyed, wishing Kelly would eventually leave him alone. No such luck, though. “What happened to your mother? Why did it make you cry when you talked about her?”

Tony looked away. Her voice told him she was just being curious and just wanted him to feel better. But part of him couldn’t believe it. He had been hurt too often lately so he couldn’t bring up the trust to tell her. He shook his head in denial, pressing his lips together as if something he didn’t want to might slip out of his mouth, accidentally. Betraying. “I don’t want to talk about it. Please just let me go.”

“No.”

“Excuse me?” Tony asked, confused as hell. What did this girl think that she wouldn’t let him go? That simply wasn’t fair. It was his decision when and to whom he talked and when he finished talking to the whom. She was in no position to decide what he could and couldn’t do.

“I said ‘no’”, she repeated and smiled, amused. DiNozzo thought, she was about to giggle or laugh out loud, but he was mistaken. Her smile faded, obviously seeing something in his eyes. It was then that he realized he was shaking ever so slightly, breathing heavily. He was in panic and didn’t know whether he should simply run or just shake the feeling of and smile. Neither would do him any good. That much he knew, so he just waited until he regained his composure somewhat.

Kelly seemed concerned, though and the expression on her face, an expression he didn’t know from anyone else but his passed mother, making him wonder why someone might suddenly have an interest in him or being afraid that something might not be right with him. He wasn’t used to it, not the tiniest little bit. His mother had been concerned sometimes when she had still been alive, but no-one else.

“Your mother is dead, is she?”

The question caught him off guard and he had to try hard not to agitate. It had been hard for him hearing about his mother’s death out of Mrs. Cornwell’s mouth before, but that hadn’t been that surprising. But how could he have expected Kelly to say it. She wasn’t supposed to know about his mother, not at all. And hearing it from someone he barely knew, with such an emotion even, just topped it of.

The worst was the sympathy she gave him. Not that it was a bad thing, but he wasn’t used to it. He rarely experienced sympathy, if at all. He knew pity, though. Pity was something many people gave him, such as Mrs. Cornwell. They didn’t know what it was like to loose someone’s mother, so they didn’t know how to do sympathy. But pity he was used to. He knew how to react when someone pitied him, shrugging it of was the best way to get past it, but sympathy? It wasn’t the same. Not in the slightest way.

“Look… This is none of your business, Kelly. It’s not that I would intervene in your private life, would I? I see why you’re asking me all this. I can imagine how cool it would be if you told the other’s that I cry because my mother passed away and I can imagine that it would be fun for all of you to laugh…”

“What makes you think I would tell that to the others? What makes you think that I could actually laugh about something like that?” Kelly seemed shocked by what he had said. She couldn’t figure out how someone could actually believe someone would make fun when a beloved person died. She couldn’t imagine anyone in their class would do if they knew the reason why he broke down anyway.

“I have my reasons, believe me. Now, if you excuse me… My father is probably furious by now that I’m not out of school, yet.” Tony took some deep breaths and turned to exit the main entrance of the school. He didn’t want to look back, silently hoping Kelly would understand that he didn’t want to talk to her or anyone else for that matter. With a bit luck she had forgotten about the incident after the holidays or at least wouldn’t talk to him about it anymore.

But no such luck. Again Kelly didn’t let go, calling after him to wait. “Tony? I get why you don’t want to talk about this right now, if ever. At least I think I do. So, if you turn your mind and want to talk to someone… My father is a marine and rarely at home. I’m always afraid that maybe he might not return because something might have happened to him while at war. It’s not the same as loosing one parent, but I guess it comes pretty near. If you change your mind and need someone to listen, just call me. I just want to help, you know?”

Tony looked at her for a few seconds, nodded and finally left without another word. Kelly just watched him before exiting school herself. She couldn’t help but feeling somewhat responsible for Anthony DiNozzo. There was something about him screaming for protection. What it was he wanted to be protected from she didn’t know. And she knew, she would only figure it out when he was willing to talk. Tony wasn’t, not yet at least, so everything she could do was wait.

Kelly saw her father already as soon as she got past the door. He leaned on the door of the car, his body language saying he was nonchalant, but when she looked at his face Kelly knew her father wasn’t all that composed at all. She found out why the second she followed his gaze and the raised voice of an elder man further down the street. She recognized Tony, hung head and seemingly shrinking to a minimum. Kelly held her breath while watching the scenario. She didn’t understand anything that was said but she could tell from Tony’s features that he was near breaking point. It hit her hard when she finally caught some words spoken by the man who must be DiNozzos father.

“You being late is the reason why your mother died in the first place!” The man spat the words at Tony and Kelly could see tears glistering on the boy’s face. She felt hate dwelling up inside and if it hadn’t been for her father’s hand on her shoulder she would probably have run towards Mr. DiNozzo and punched him right in the face. She gasped in shock when she caught some words being said like ‘worthless son of a bitch’ and ‘freak of nature’.

It was then that not even Kelly’s father could keep his temper in track. “I’ll be right back, sweetheart”, he whispered in her ear and walked over to where Anthony DiNozzo and his father still stood. He couldn’t stand people who threatened and scolded their children. It was okay to have a solemn talk with his son but the yelling was not even close to being acceptable. Anger, hatred dwelled up inside him and his heart pounded hard against his chest.

“Is something wrong here?”, he asked in a demanding tone that scared the hell out of Tony who had acknowledged the man approaching them first. The steady posture gave him a pretty good idea about the man’s character. He was definitely someone with a backbone. Someone, who didn’t let go easily. Anthony looked up at his father, not quite daring to say something or move. Although Gibbs appeared to be hard as steel he felt save and somewhat thankful for his interfering.

“No there isn’t. Mind me asking who you are?” Mr. DiNozzo countered without really showing interest in an answer. He was already halfway in the back seat of the black limousine, his back turned to Gibbs. Tony stood on the sidewalk and didn’t dare moving at all.

“Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Gunnery Sergeant and I don’t like the way you treat your son over here. I’m sure there are better methods to raise a child than yelling at it.” Mr. DiNozzo turned around to look sternly at Gibbs. His face was red in anger. He so didn’t like it when someone intervened in his business. Educating Anthony DiNozzo was only the matter of him and the nannies maybe, but not anyone else’s.

“I don’t think that this is any of your business. So if you excuse me, I don’t have time for something like that.” Mr. DiNozzo turned away, grabbing his son roughly at his jacket and pulled the nine year-old into the car. Tony had an expression on his face that Gibbs wouldn’t forget anytime soon. There were so many emotions all at once. Desperation, fear and pain only three of them. He was shocked that such a small boy knew all those emotions that were written on his face. He was calling for help, that was for sure and the Gunny knew he couldn’t disappoint that kid. But before he even had a chance to do anything at all Mr. DiNozzo shut the door right in his face and the limousine had started. No way could he do something, anything right now. He was shocked and that feeling had yet to subside before he was able to think clearly again…

To be concluded...

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