Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 002 Word Count: 5127
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Other Female Character
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Romance
Summary: Gibbs and Tony take in a wayward pregnant teenager, it may have been the right thing to do but are they prepared for the consequences? Gibbs/DiNozzo
Tony wheeled the trashcan down to the curb on his way out to go for a run. The March air dry and cold and stinging on his face. He did a few quick stretches and took off at a warm up pace. He ran until his lungs burned, his route through the neighborhood brought him around full circle and he had slowed to a cool down pace when he turned that final block to head home. The street was dark, Tony couldn't wait for spring to come so that it wasn't dark so early in the evenings. It was only seven thirty, but the dark made it feel much later. Movement down the block near his house caught his attention, he paused and realized that someone was going through their trash.
Tony bobbed and weaved through parked cars and trees and was able to come up unaware on the person digging frantically through the trashcan. Dressed in a dark overcoat with a hot pink knit hat, Tony assumed that it was a homeless person. Not unheard of in the city, but not often seen in this neighborhood. He was observing from a few feet away when he got a shock, it was a teenager, a teenaged girl to be precise. She didn't have the look of a junkie, but there was still a desperate air about her. When he saw that she was about to eat a half a sandwich out of their trash he exclaimed, "Don't eat that."
The girl looked up in horror and Tony could see that she had been recently crying. She didn't say anything and without her eyes leaving Tony's, she scrambled around with a hand to try and find the knapsack that she had put on the ground when she had started rooting through the trashcan. She was looking to bolt.
Tony stepped out on to the sidewalk with his hands outstretched, trying to be non-threatening, "I just don't want you to get sick, that sandwich was sitting out for a while and the mayo's bad. My name's Tony, what's yours?"
Her eyes were now fixed on his NCIS sweatshirt, and he looked down and then back up at her, and before he could explain what NCIS stood for, she asked in a little voice, "You're a Navy cop?"
Lightly Tony replied, "Hey! You know what NCIS stands for, I have to spell it out for most people. Yeah, I'm a Navy cop, well sorta, actually I'm Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo."
"I didn't steal anything." she said quickly.
Tony said gently, "I know. Look it's okay." He was able to take another step towards her, now that she realized he wasn't some deranged pervert. She stepped out from behind the trashcan and he was shocked to see that she was pregnant, her coat barely buttoning over the baby bump.
Tony would be the first to admit that there were many things in life he knew, and many things he didn't, but he was dead sure that he wasn't leaving a desperate, hungry, and pregnant teenager outside in the middle of March on her own. It just wasn't happening.
"When did you eat last? I mean a real meal." he asked.
She dropped her eyes, "Three days ago."
"Why don't you come inside? Gibbs was making a chicken pot pie big enough to feed a Marine platoon when I left to go running. Something hot'll be good for you. Okay?"
Her stomach growled at the thought, and she nodded. As they walked up the driveway together she asked, "Is Gibbs your wife?"
Tony chuckled, "Not exactly."
When they entered the back door, Gibbs was pulling plates out of the cupboard to set the table. He saw the girl and his eyes flashed to Tony's, the question obvious. Tony said lightly from behind her, "We've got company for dinner, Jethro."
Gibbs didn't question, he could see that Tony was handling the girl with kid gloves, and that the girl looked spooked enough. He nodded and grabbed another plate and finished setting the table.
Tony winced as the girl took off her coat and saw that she only had on a thin turtleneck underneath. Winter was lingering this year and it had been well below freezing at night all week. He showed her where the bathroom was so she could use it, and quickly headed back to the kitchen.
Gibbs asked, "What's going on?"
"I found her eating out of our trashcan." The grimace on Gibbs' face matched Tony's own. "She hasn't really eaten in three days. That's about all I know. But I think there's something else going on, and I just couldn't leave her outside like that."
"She say anything about her family or where she's from?"
"No, I haven't even been able to get her name."
A quiet voice answered, "It's Elizabeth. But everybody calls me Betsy."
The forlorn, broken look on Betsy's face and deep in her eyes made the father in Gibbs just want to pull her in and hug her until it went away. No child should ever have that look in their eyes. He tried to give her a little smile as he said, "I'm Jethro, Betsy. C'mon let's have supper."
As they ate Gibbs and Tony were able to pull things out of Betsy, finding out that her father was in the Navy, a submariner. And he had just gotten home from a six month deployment and found out that Betsy was pregnant. From the way she described their home life her parents were very strict and very religious, and having an unmarried, pregnant seventeen year old daughter wasn't acceptable. Her dad had simply blown a gasket and thrown her out of the house.
"I used up the last of my money on the bus to get here, there was supposed to be a shelter for girls like me over by the church, but it wasn't there."
Gibbs sighed, he had heard about that, "Yeah, it closed a few months ago, they ran out of funding." He stood and went to clear the table with Betsy jumping up to help, and he let her. Tony was oddly quiet, observing Gibbs with Betsy. He wondered if Gibbs saw his own lost daughter in her. And he wondered what they were going to do, because adding to that list of things in life that he knew, he could guarantee that Gibbs wasn't going to let this lie.
Betsy brought the plates to the sink and as she ran the water to rinse them she dropped her chin to her chest and couldn't stop the tears from coming. Gibbs turned off the water and didn't hesitate this time to pull her into a hug. He squeezed her tightly and let her cry. He stroked her hair and murmured soft, comforting words, and promised her that they would figure it out. Tony watched Gibbs with awe, he was so good with kids, fathering just came naturally to him, and he always seemed to know just what to do.
When she had cried herself out, Gibbs had snagged paper towel for her to blow her nose on, and looked at the time. It was getting late, and he could tell that Betsy was exhausted. They would deal with her parents tomorrow, which thankfully was Saturday and a Saturday that his team had off.
He crooked a finger under her chin and made her eyes meet his, "Tomorrow we're gonna go talk to your folks. But tonight the guest room's yours. Okay?"
She nodded gratefully. Tony approached them and said hesitantly, "Um, Betsy, there is something you should probably know about us. We're not, um, roommates, we're..." he stumbled trying to find the right word.
"A couple?" she asked brightly, with the first real smile they had seen on her face.
"Yeah. That. That okay with you?"
She nodded, "Don't tell my mom, but the youth minister that was at our church last summer was gay, and he and I are good friends."
Tony let out a big breath, "Okay, cool. I just didn't wanna freak you out or anything."
Gibbs showed her to the guest room and pointed to her knapsack, "You got a change of clothes in there?"
She shook her head, a little embarrassed, she knew that she didn't smell particularly good. Gibbs diffused her mortification with a light touch, "Tell you what, I'll grab you some sweats and after a hot shower you can throw those in the washer. They'll be good to go for tomorrow."
He slipped into his bedroom and pulled a clean t-shirt, sweat pants and sweatshirt, and a pair of thick woolly socks out of the dresser. His next stop was the linen closet for a towel, wash cloth and spare toothbrush for her out of the stash they kept on hand. Gibbs handed her the stuff and said with a little grin, "Bathroom is all yours. Tony's got more hair care products than most women I know, so he should have something in there that'll work for yours. We'll be downstairs."
She looked at the pile he had handed her and said quietly as he was turning to leave the room and leave her to her shower, "Jethro?"
"Why are you both helping me?"
"Because it's the right thing to do."
Gibbs found Tony in the kitchen finishing up the dishes. He stepped up behind Tony and placed an affectionate hand on the small of his back and leaned in for a quick kiss. Then he said seriously, "You realize you are going to have to keep me from shooting her father tomorrow, right?"
Tony shook his head, "How could he just kick her out like that in the middle of winter? No money, no where to go, no nothing. I just can't get a handle on it, Jethro. I can't."
Tony finished the last of the dishes and wiped his hands, and turned to face Gibbs with a very sad look on his face, "I can't get the image of her getting ready to eat a three day old sandwich from our trash out of my head."
Gibbs knew that behind his comic, frat boy image, that Tony had a big heart, and that things stuck with him, and bothered him. It was one of the reasons why he was a good agent, a good cop. He wanted to make things right, and to do the right thing. But sometimes the things that stuck with him ate away at his soul a little, and Gibbs knew that this would be one of those things. He pulled Tony into a tight embrace and whispered against Tony's neck, "I know. But she's safe and we're gonna fix this tomorrow."
Tony took the reassurance from Jethro, their relationship one of love and support. And it was an equal partnership, some days it was Tony that needed the shoring up, other days it was Jethro, and they both did it willingly and accepted it just as willingly.
Tony said half seriously with his chin still tucked on Gibbs shoulder, "Think we should call Ducky and tell him to have bail money handy?"
A little while later, Gibbs had headed down to the basement to work on the boat and Tony was sitting on the edge of the couch waiting for his turn in the shower when he heard Betsy making her way down the stairs with her little bundle of dirty clothes. He stood up and gave her a little smile, "Feel better?"
The little grin she gave him in return made him feel better about the whole situation and she said, "Yeah. A lot. Um, Jethro said I could put these in the washer."
"Oh, yeah, sure. It's in here." he led her to the laundry room, "Although I gotta warn you, in this house Jethro is the master of all things laundry. He's got some sort of formula for what gets washed with what. He claims it's some sort of Marine thing, but I'm not really buying it. Me? I toss everything in together and hope for the best."
She chuckled, "Me too."
They got the washing machine started and Tony left her to pick out a movie while he ran through a quick shower of his own. He was pleased that she had picked out a silly comedy, silly was something they could both use. Halfway through the movie they paused it and rotated her laundry to the dryer. They were raiding the freezer for ice cream and Tony stuck his head in basement doorway and asked Gibbs if he wanted any. Gibbs' sarcastic response from downstairs sent Betsy into a fit of giggles, "I thought you said we weren't gonna have any more ice cream because we're getting fat."
Tony made a face and replied, "I went running earlier. Besides, we have company, I don't want to be rude."
The two men's bantering was playful and familiar and Betsy could tell it wasn't an act that they were putting on for her, this was who they were all the time.
Gibbs had declined the ice cream, teasing that he had more willpower than Tony. As he and Betsy made their sundaes Tony whispered conspiratorially, "Has more willpower my foot. See that package of cookies over there, I'll bet you another sundae that half of them are gone by breakfast. He comes up here for a coffee refill and grabs a couple. He comes up to use the john, he grabs a couple more on the way back down. His sweet tooth is just as bad as mine. He just hides it better."
It was a good thing a little while later that they had finished their sundaes already because the sight of Gibbs in the doorway to the living room with a coffee in one hand and a cookie in the other set both Betsy and Tony off into snorts of laughter.
After the movie was done, Betsy's eyes just wouldn't stay open and she headed up to bed. Tony slipped downstairs to hassle Gibbs with a yawn, "Betsy went to bed, and I'm thinking that's not a bad idea. You planning on staying up much longer?"
Gibbs chuckled, Tony was so transparent at times. After the two years they had been sleeping together, and the year of practically living together with Tony's apartment kept just for appearances, Tony still didn't like to go up to bed alone here in Jethro's house, it was like he was invading Jethro's personal space. Gibbs knew that the only way for Tony to get over that was for him to move in officially. And they couldn't do that without opening up a whole other can of worms. So until they could, he let Tony have the facade of dragging him off to bed.
Gibbs shut off the light and they headed upstairs. He made a beeline for the kitchen and set the coffee pot up for morning, and without hesitation flipped the lock on the back door. Tony was in the living room putting away the dvd and turning off the television and saw Gibbs head for the front door and heard the click of the deadbolt on the front door. It was a little, innocuous thing that most people wouldn't think twice about, but Tony recognized the significance. Gibbs protected what what his, and right now that included the sleeping teenager upstairs.
As they got into bed and got comfortable, something that generally involved Tony sprawling on his back with Gibbs splayed on top of him like Tony's own personal teddy bear, Tony started chuckling to himself and had to share, "You realize this is the first time we've ever slept together with clothes on?"
Jethro chuckled, they had both by an unspoken consensus decided to wear sweatpants to bed. As Tony massaged Gibbs' head on his chest he said softly, "You're really good with kids, Jethro. Have you ever thought about maybe adopting or something?"
Jethro let out a little sigh but answered honestly, "Yeah. But not for a long time. What about you?"
It was Tony's turn to hesitate, "I think it would great to have a kid but I'm petrified that I'd screw up the fatherhood thing."
Gibbs lifted his head and met Tony's eyes, "You'd be a great father, Tony. You have a big heart and that's what important. Kids'll forgive anything as long as they know you love'em."
Tony crooked his neck and kissed Jethro deeply but gently, and it was the type of kiss that was generally followed by making love at a slow, leisurely pace. But they broke the kiss with a little groan, part of their unspoken consensus was that they behave themselves tonight. Gibbs dropped his head back to Tony's chest and Tony turned off the bedside lamp and they settled in to go to sleep.