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Family Dynamics

by: BuffyAngel68 (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 006 Word Count: 9402
Rating: ADULT
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Abby Sciuto, Timothy McGee, Ensemble
Category(ies): Alternate Universe, Angst/Drama, Episode Related, First Time, Friendship, Humor, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Pairing(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo, Abby/McGee, Tony/McGee
Episode(s): 5-18 Judgment Day
Summary: The team is given a unique opportunity while the regime change takes place. What they learn about each other will powerfully change them as well...

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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3

Family Dynamics 3/?

AN: The book mentioned in the last section is by John Moore. If any of you have an affinity for comic fantasy... you really should check this one out. It's an AbFab book, I promise.

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Stepping down to the tarmac, McGee immediately pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and applied it to his brow.

"Whew. Okay, what's your guess, guys... West or South?" he addressed to the people descending behind him. Tony moved down beside Tim, gently nudging him out of the way, and swiped at his face with his sleeve.

"Instant sweating... that usually means south. Probably Southeast."

"Florida?" Tim questioned, suddenly tense. "Wow... that'd be... nice... I suppose."

Tony laid an easy hand on Tim's shoulder and squeezed lightly.

"Relax, Tim. I could be totally wrong. Definitely wouldn't be the first time." Tony joked.

"And you could be right."

"Hey, it's gonna be fine. If a boat shows up in this mystery plan, we'll get you through it, buddy. Just don't borrow trouble. It drops in often enough without us inviting it."

"I know. It's just..."

"Ah-ah, nope, here come the ladies. You go talk to Abby. She distracts you better than anybody else." Tony insisted, using his grip on Tim's shoulder to turn him in the desired direction. Once that was accomplished, he struck up a conversation with the recently arrived Jimmy, leaving Ducky free to engage Gibbs, who, of course, had hit the ground several minutes ahead of the rest of the group. None of them had much time for conversation, however, as a white limo pulled up a few feet away less than five minutes later. As the driver got out, Gibbs moved to speak with him and check over the man and his paperwork. The team all hung back, knowing better than to approach before their leader declared it was safe. By the time he'd done so, they had each reclaimed their larger bags and were patiently waiting for him to give the all-clear.

"Okay, people, we're good. Stow your luggage and climb in."

Once in the car, the group seemed to naturally fall into different pairings than they'd chosen on the plane. Abby and Tim stuck together and Jimmy and Tony continued their discussion, as did Ducky and Gibbs. When he caught sight of her expression, however, Tony gently questioned a quiet and somber Ziva, but she merely shook her head and asserted that she didn't mind being on her own for a while, that in fact she would be glad of a little time to reflect on the events of the past few days. Tony offered her a soft, knowing smile and a momentary touch on the arm before turning back to Jimmy.

Just under two hours later, the team was enticed away from their various conversations as they felt the car slow, then roll to a halt. The driver pressed a device on the dash and they could hear the metallic rattle of a gate sliding open. The tint on the windows prevented them from seeing it, but the sound was distinctive enough that they all knew what was happening. The limo moved forward, paused and the sound was repeated. After a further ten minute journey, the vehicle stopped again. This time the driver cut the engine and exited. Eager to view their surroundings, Tony reached for the door handle, intending to follow, but a glare from Gibbs made the younger man sit back, hands raised in supplication.

A few moments later, Gibbs opened the door himself from the outside and beckoned. One by one, the team climbed out and, one by one, they all released gasps of shock or delight.

"Holy..." Tony began, but said nothing more, the sight before him rendering him speechless.

"Wow... Dr. Mallard... look at it. Wow!" Jimmy exclaimed, staring up and around as if it might vanish if he couldn't manage to absorb it all in the next thirty seconds.

"God in heaven... very impressive." Ziva drawled under her breath, carefully studying every aspect she could see from her position.

Abby abruptly switched from standing utterly still to jumping, dancing and squealing.

"Yes, yes, *yes*! Private island, private island! This is gonna be so amazing!"

"It's a house, people." Gibbs intoned, pushing his own pleasure and curiosity deep down. "A big beautiful house... but still a house. Let's get a look at the inside before we get too happy. C'mon, find your stuff and move it off the driveway."

Unloading the last suitcase, the driver closed the trunk, reached in his pocket and pulled out a small remote control and a note.

"That's for the gate. There's a couple cars in the garage if any of you feel like going out to shop or sight-see."

"This?" Gibbs asked, holding up the envelope.

"Don't know, sir. I was asked to give it to you, I did." The man replied lightly "Hope it's good news. See you in three weeks."

"Yeah... with good luck we'll all still be alive when you get here."

The driver chuckled, got back into the limo and drove away. Gibbs moved inside slowly, opening and reading the note as he walked. He met Ducky just inside the front entrance.

"Ah. From our benefactor, I presume."

"The Sec-Nav himself lent us this place for the duration. He sends his condolences about Jenny... says we deserved the sabbatical and he hopes it helps us get our balance again."

"Quite generous of him. This place is magnificent... what I've seen of it."

Abby came bounding in from the rear of the house and threw herself into Jethro's arms.

"I love it, bossman! There's a pool out back and a Jacuzzi and a boat dock with an actual sailboat!"

"Yeah? Don't tell McGee."

"I won't, promise." She vowed, disengaging herself. Tony then arrived, moving easily down the stairs from the second floor.

"Looks good, Boss. Two full bathrooms. Four bedrooms, two up, two down, two beds each. State of the art security, solid doors, good window locks. Fridge, freezer and cabinets are fully stocked, but there's a number on a sticky-note we can call if there's anything we want but don't see. Also numbers for a doctor and animal control."

"Animal control?" Ducky asked warily.

" "Gators " " Tony and Abby chorused with wide grins.

Gibbs rolled his eyes slightly.

"Abs, you think Ziva'll mind bunking with you?"

"Should be fine. We're planning on spending a lot of girl-bonding time, anyway. Whispering and telling stories after lights out, that kinda thing... have to be in the same room to do that."

"Good. Tony?"

"Tim and I will take one."

"McGee?"

"Yeah, Boss." Tim responded instantly, sticking his head out of the kitchen.

"You okay to share a room with Tony?"

Tim was flustered for a moment but hid it admirably.

"Uh... yeah. Yeah, Boss, that'll be okay. We're getting along pretty well... it should work."

Tim snuck a quick glance at Tony, hoping he wasn't noticed. His mind shook its finger at him and warned him, as it had so many times in the past few months, that the least Tony would do was laugh if he ever discovered what the younger agent had been thinking lately.

{Besides, it's just empathy for what he's gone through. Empathy... that's all. It can't be anything more... I can't let it.} he thought determinedly, snapping out of his reverie when Gibbs spoke again.

"Duck, if you think Palmer can handle having a room to himself..."

"Of course, of course. Billeting the two elder statesmen together makes perfect sense. Mr. Palmer is actually quite shy, you know. I'm sure a room by himself will make him much more comfortable."

"One down here for you and me?"

"Yes. My knees and back would greatly appreciate forgoing stairs."

"Alright with the rest of you?"

Everyone present nodded approval. "Okay, let's get our stuff put away, then. Tony, you find Jimmy and Ziva when you're done and let 'em know what's going on?"

"Sure, boss."

"No. Not for the next three weeks. This isn't work, it's time to relax and recover."

"Right.... Jethro it is. God, that sounds weird..."

"Try Gibbs 'till you get used to it." the older man tossed back, grinning. Tony echoed the smile, but not fully, as he was still trying to adjust. As the others grabbed their things and drifted away to negotiate for the rooms upstairs, Ducky touched Gibbs lightly on the elbow.

"They'll be alright, Jethro. They're young... resilient."

"A rubber band only stretches so far before it snaps."

"Anthony... yes, I worry about him, too.... but I also have faith in his strength. As long as we're here to support him I truly don't think there's anything he can't endure."

Gibbs took a slow deep breath then turned to face Ducky.

"He hasn't said a word about what really happened out there with Jen. He refuses."

"His report..."

"Is the bare facts, nothing more. He's tearing himself up over this, damn it... I know he is. And it came so close to him having to let go of that damn, backstabbing... female." He spat. "He's gotta blow up sometime... I guess I should be glad he's got some privacy to do it in."

"Hmmm. Perhaps the Secretary had the same thought about you."

Gibbs snorted and moved a step or two away, pretending to examine the structure of the ceiling.

"Don't you have some gear to unpack, Duck?"

"Yes, I suppose I do."

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9:30: TIM AND TONY'S ROOM

"What're you reading?" Tim handed the book over for Tony to look at while he searched his suitcase for his sleeping clothes and toiletries. " 'Heroics for Beginners. Slay dragons, rescue damsels and defeat evil in six easy steps or your money back.' Cute... fantasy novel?"

"Sort of... more sword and sorcery style."

"Yeah... but not exactly your style." Tony countered gently, dropping onto his bed. "Inspired by your online-gaming?"

"Could be. I just thought..."

"What? C'mon, Timmy, I swear I won't tease. That's not what this trip is about."

"I don't know. I thought maybe I'd step away from what I've been writing... re-anagram my name, give this kind of story a shot... for one book at least."

"Wow. Getting adventurous. You gonna use us again? We might fit even better into that type of format..."

Tim paused for a long moment then sat down on his own bed, gazing curiously at Tony.

"But you guys got so mad last time."

"Only 'cause we didn't hear it from you beforehand."

"It was my first try. So many writers fail... I didn't want anybody knowing, just in case."

"You're established, now. I say it's the perfect time to try something new. Keep the name, for the sake of recognition... but yeah, you really should pound out one chapter at least. See how it feels..."

"You know... you might be right. I can almost see everybody in their parts..."

"Me, me, do me!"

Before he could reply, Tim had to swallow hard and viciously fight off his brain's mildly licentious take on those seemingly innocent words.

"You... you'd definitely have to be the Evil Overlord. You should read the book, seriously. I can just see you milking the giant cow..."

"Pardon?" Tony asked, tossing the other man a skeptical look. Tim rose to his feet, spread them apart a bit and raised his hands in the air, forming them into fists and relaxing them over and over. He then threw back his head and produced a brief maniacal laugh. Tony leaned back on his hands, snorting with laughter as well.

"Giant cow... I get it... very cool. What about Gibbs?"

"The hero, absolutely. Maybe... I think he could.... yeah. Sort of a cross between my two favorite Harrison Ford roles... Jack Ryan and Indiana Jones. That'd work."

"He'll like that. He probably sees himself a lot closer to Ryan than Indy... but I still think he'll like it."

"Abby'd be the wizard, of course..." Tim added excitedly as his imagination really began to rev up. "And Ziva would the *perfect* Evil Overlord's assistant."

"Weapons, brains and a smokin' body in tight black leather?"

Tim grinned, blushed and ducked his head.

"Absolutely. Ducky and Jimmy would be the hardest ones to place, though. No traditional, clichéd place for them, really... not unless I take them completely out of their element..."

Tim fell silent for several minutes, his mind working at top speed. Finally, he looked up, smiling from ear to ear.

"Yeah? Spit it out, Timmy. If I can't tease, neither can you..."

"It's the only thing... the total *best* thing. Ducky... has to be a bard."

Tony stared for a few seconds before abruptly falling over on his side, tears leaking from his eyes and one hand clamped over his mouth to be sure his guffaws wouldn't wake the girls sleeping in the next room. Eventually, he recovered enough to choke out his response.

"Bard... a storyteller... God, yes... doesn't get better than that! And... and Jimmy's his apprentice... a kid who writes the worst poetry in the history of the world. That'd open up so many chances for huge laughs..."

"It would... it really would. That's a great idea, Tony. Boy, this might actually happen... Would you... I mean you wouldn't consider..."

Tony sat up, swiping at his eyes, but suddenly sober as a judge.

"Tim... Timmy, are you asking... what I *think* you're asking? You know damn well we'd drive each other crazy."

"Just one day a week at first. Anything else we can do through e-mail and IM. If it seems to be working, though..."

"Wow. I... I'll think about it. I mean that, I really will. Lemme know when you're done with that book, huh?"

"I'm almost finished... I should be able to get through the last few pages tonight."

"Cool. Why don't you, uh... go get cleaned up and ready for bed. I've got a lot of serious mulling over to do..."

Tim smiled shyly, made sure he had everything he needed and hurried off to comply. Just outside the bathroom, however, he stopped, grimaced, leaned back against the wall and softly banged his head a few times.

"What are you thinking? You make a vow and all it takes is six hours and a few laughs to wipe it right out of your head... don't do this to yourself, Tim. God, don't do it to your heart *or* his! It's better... it's better and you know it!" he whispered to himself. Swiping a tear off his cheek, he moved inside the large bathroom and quietly shut the door.

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TBC......

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