AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Anthony DiNozzo/Jimmy Palmer
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Tony and Jimmy have been keeping a big secret from the team. The day comes when it can be a secret no longer.
WORD COUNT: 3,830
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for sexycazzy: D - Daddies
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
"Daddy! Daddy! There's a man at the door. He says he's Timothy MGee."
"It's McGee, Stevie," Jimmy said, automatically pronouncing McGee's name correctly. Then he stopped and looked at Tony who was staring wide-eyes at him. "Tony?" he whispered and clutched Tony's arm.
"Maybe it's not our McGee. Maybe it's someone else." Jimmy just stared at Tony. "It could be!"
"He's got a cap like you and Daddy, Daddy," Stevie said, gazing up at Tony. "Well, like yours, because Daddy's," he turned and smiled at Jimmy, "is different." He beamed up at his fathers. "Shall I tell him to come in?" And without waiting for Jimmy or Tony to answer, he turned and trotted towards the door.
"Stevie!" Tony called, hurrying across the room and catching Stevie's arm.
"I -" Tony turned to look at Jimmy who just shrugged. "You stay here with Daddy, Stevie. I'll go and -"
"We have to invite him in, Tony," Jimmy said firmly.
"No, we don't."
"Yes, Tony, we do."
"All right. Stevie, go and play in your room."
"But, Daddy, I want to talk to the nice man. I told him I couldn't let him in until I'd asked my daddies and he said what a good boy I was."
"Good boys don't answer the door unless they're told to," Tony snapped.
"Tony!" Jimmy hurried across and put his arm around Stevie whose eyes were brimming with tears. "It's all right, Stevie, Daddy didn't mean it, did you, Tony?"
Tony dropped down onto his knees next to Stevie and put his arms around the little boy he dotes on. "No, Stevie, I didn't mean it. I'm sorry. Come on, let's go and invite Timothy in, shall we?"
Instantly the somber looking face vanished and Stevie beamed instead and wiped his eyes quickly before taking Tony's hand and going out into the hall with him.
Jimmy stood and watched them go and sighed. He had tried to tell Tony ever since Stevie had become theirs that they had to tell the team. However, Tony had been adamant that they should wait; that he didn't want Stevie dragged into their world; that he wanted to enjoy just the three of them spending together before Stevie met the crazy people who made up Team Gibbs. Jimmy had always known it was only a matter of time before some one from the team found out. He remembered one of the many things Ducky had told him: it's always better to own up than to be found out. Well, he and Tony had been found out.
He heard the front door close and a moment later Stevie, tugging McGee behind him, ran into the room. "Daddy! Agent Timothy said he'll fix my computer for me - you know you and Daddy said you can't do it."
Jimmy smiled at his son and looked at McGee. "That's very nice of Agent Timothy," he said, ruffling Stevie's hair before looking back at McGee, "Hello, Tim."
"Hello, Jimmy." McGee's expression was a mixture of surprise, shock even, as well as a degree of hurt.
Tony came back into the room and stood in the doorway. "Stevie?" he said.
Stevie turned to look at him. "Yes, Daddy?"
"Be a good boy and go and play in your room for a little while. Daddy and I need to talk to Agent Timothy."
"But, Daddy, I want to . . . Yes, Daddy," he said somberly. He let go of McGee's hand and trotted towards the door and then he stopped. "But you'll still let Agent Timothy fix my computer for me, won't you?" he said, looking up at Tony.
Tony smiled and nodded. "Yes, of course, Stevie. Now Daddy and I won't be long and then we'll all come to your room and you show Agent Timothy what's wrong with your computer."
Stevie smiled and ran out of the room and they heard him clatter up the stairs. Tony closed the door and locked gazes with Jimmy for a moment as McGee just stood in the middle of the room.
"Sit down, Tim," Tony said.
McGee hesitated for a moment before sitting down in the chair. Jimmy sat on the couch and after a second or two, Tony sat down next to him and once more they all descended into silence.
It was McGee who broke it. "Stevie seems like a nice little boy."
Jimmy felt a huge smile appear on his face. "He is. Isn't he, Tony?
Tony's smile was a large as Jimmy's. "Yeah, he is. He's - McGee?"
"Tony?" McGee turned to look at Tony but Tony turned and looked at Jimmy who shrugged; he didn't know what to say either.
Once again it was McGee who broke the silence. "How long have you had him?"
"Six months," Jimmy said. "He settled in straight away. It was as if he'd always been with us, wasn't it, Tony?"
"Yeah. He's a great kid, Tim, bright too. Really bright - and I mean really. It won't be Phys Ed for him, oh, no, not for my son. He's Ivy League, right, Jimmy?"
Jimmy smiled at Tony. "But maybe not this year," he said, putting his hand on Tony's knee for a moment.
"Does Gibbs know?"
"What? No. No one knows - well Human Resources do, we had to tell them. But we didn't tell anyone else."
Tony looked at Jimmy; his look saying 'your turn'. Jimmy sighed and looked at McGee. "It wasn't that we didn't want to tell you, to tell all of you. It was just that we . . . Are you going to tell Gibbs?"
McGee looked from Jimmy to Tony and back again and sighed. "No, Jimmy, I'm not. It's not my place to tell him. It's yours; yours and Tony's. Even if you don't tell Ducky, Abby and Ziva, you really should tell Gibbs. And you know that, don't you, Tony?"
Tony nodded. "Yeah, Tim. I do. It's just . . . I'll tell him."
"When?" Jimmy said.
"But, Tony -" Jimmy fell silent as Tony gave him a pleading look. "Very soon," he said firmly and after a moment or two, Tony nodded. Jimmy looked back at McGee, "Thank you, Tim," he said quietly.
McGee nodded. "And I won't tell the others either."
"Thanks, Tim." Tony held out his hand and McGee took it and squeezed it.
"Now, do you want me to go and look at Stevie's computer?"
"That's be great if you would, Tim. Have you got time?"
McGee nodded. "Yes. If I can't fix it here, I'll take it with me, if that's all right with you?"
Tony nodded. "Thanks. I'm sure it's something simple."
"Like actually plugging it in?" McGee teased, and to Jimmy's relief Tony began to laugh.
"Something like that," he said, patting McGee on the back as the three of them laughed.
THREE HOURS LATER
The problem with Stevie's computer hadn't been quite as simple as plugging it in, but McGee had it fixed within ten minutes. It had taken Stevie less than five to have McGee completely under his spell, the spell he'd worked on Tony and Jimmy from the second they had met him. By the time McGee had left, Stevie had a new cap, several new games on his computer and a promise that McGee would come and visit again.
They had dinner during which Stevie had chattered away about school and how he was going to be a doctor like his Daddy when he grew up and how he'd told his teacher he had the best two daddies in the world and how much he'd liked Agent Timothy before Tony had taken Stevie off for his bath.
Jimmy had put the dishes into the dishwasher and tidied up a bit before going up to Stevie's room for story time. As long as Jimmy and Tony were both at home, story time always involved the three of them with Jimmy and Tony taking it in turns to read to Stevie. Not that Stevie actually needed either of them to read to him as he could read very well himself and loved books. But he still enjoyed being read to, and thus neither Jimmy nor Tony were in any rush to give up story time.
Once they'd settled Steve down and kissed him goodnight they went back to the living room and Jimmy closed the door and looked at Tony.
"Don't say it, Jimmy," Tony said, before Jimmy could speak.
"Don't say what, Tony?" Jimmy asked, although he knew what Tony was going to say.
"'I told you so'. That's what you're thinking, isn't it?"
Jimmy sighed and put his arms around Tony and held him in a loose embrace. "Yes, Tony," he said softly, and brushed his lips over Tony's. "And you know I'm right, don't you?"
Tony sighed and put his arms around Jimmy. "Yeah. But - what do you think they'll say?"
"They'll be happy for us, Tony."
"You sure about that, Jimmy?"
Jimmy nodded. "Yes. Yes, Tony, I am. Why wouldn't they be? They were all happy and supportive when we got together. Even Gibbs gave us permission to break Rule #12, so why wouldn't they be happy about Stevie?"
Tony sighed, let his arms fall from around Jimmy and instead took his hand and led him to the couch and pulled him down with him. "It's just that - Come on, Jimmy, not everyone approves of two men being fathers to a child, or two women being mothers, come to that. You know a few of the parents at Stevie's school think it's . . ."
Tony shook his head. "I was going to say unfair, but yeah, maybe wrong is right."
Jimmy squeezed Tony's hand. "We talked about this, Tony, before we got Stevie. That's why we wanted a little boy rather than a little girl. We thought it would be fairer."
"I know. But - Jimmy, were we right?"
"What? Tony, what are you saying? Do you regret getting Stevie?"
"What? No. No, Jimmy, of course I don't, I love him. He's . . . He means so much to me, Jimmy. You know how much I love him. Of course I don't regret it. How can you ask me that?"
"I'm sorry, Tony. Of course I know how much you love him. It's just that . . . Look, Tony, you're the one who was determined we shouldn't tell the rest of the team. I wanted to, you know that. But you wouldn't. And now you're asking if we did the right thing, well, what am I meant to think?"
"Have you never, not even for a second, Jimmy, asked yourself if we did the right thing? The right thing for Stevie," Tony added silencing Jimmy who'd been about to reply. "Not for us. The right thing for Stevie. Well, Jimmy, can you?"
Jimmy stared at Tony and realized he couldn't. He swallowed hard, sighed softly and put his hand on Tony's shoulder. "No. No, Tony. I wish I could say I could. But you're right; there's been a time or two when I have - Yes, when I have had the odd thought that maybe we'd been unfair. But then I look at Stevie, I listen to him and I see the well balanced little boy who loves us and who is so happy and I know we did the right thing. And you know it too."
Tony's eyes glistened for a second before he leaned nearer to Jimmy and they kissed gently. "What did I do to deserve you, Jimmy?" he asked when they broke away in order to breathe.
Jimmy smiled at Tony and felt his cheeks grow a little warm. "What did either of us do to deserve Stevie?" he said softly and Tony nodded. "So we'll tell the others?"
Tony nodded. "Yeah. We will."
Tony nodded again. "Very soon. In fact, how about this weekend?"
"You're not working this weekend, are you?"
"No. It's not our turn. How about we invite Gibbs, Ducky, Abby, Tim and Ziva over for lunch and they can meet Stevie? What do you think, Jimmy?"
"That I'll be doing a lot of cooking."
"Hey, I can cook!"
"Yes, I know. But in case you'd forgotten, it's my weekend to do lunch and dinner."
"Is it?" Tony gave Jimmy his wide-eyed innocent look.
Jimmy laughed and put his arms back around Tony and kissed him again.
"Daddy! Daddy!" The door was flung open and in raced Stevie, his cheeks were flushed and his hair was tussled.
Tony and Jimmy sat up, but didn't pull away from one another as they both stared at their son. "You, young man," Jimmy said firmly, "should be asleep."
"I was, Daddy. But I woke up, 'cause I 'membered."
"What did you remember, Stevie?" Jimmy asked.
"I didn't ask Agent Timothy for his email address."
Tony looked at Jimmy for a moment before holding his hand out to Stevie. "Come here, Stevie." Stevie hurried over to them and climbed onto the couch between them and snuggled as up to them as closely as he could get. Tony still had one arm around Jimmy and they both put an arm around Stevie and hugged him tightly. "You can ask Agent Timothy for his email address at the weekend, Stevie."
Stevie twisted his head and looked up at Tony. "Can I?"
Tony nodded. "Yes. And you'll be able to ask four other people for theirs as well. Would you like that, Stevie?"
"Yes, please, Daddy. Do I know them?"
Jimmy shook his head. "No. But you will."
"Will they like me?"
"Of course they will, Stevie. They'll love you. Like Daddy and I love you."
Stevie pulled away and looked at Tony. "I don't want them to love me like you and Daddy love me," he said quietly.
Tony glanced at Jimmy who said, "Why not, Stevie?"
"'Cause if they love me like you and Daddy love me, they might want me to go and live with them. And I want to stay here with you and Daddy. I can stay here with you and Daddy, can't I, Daddy?"
Jimmy kissed Stevie's cheek and hugged him a little tighter. "Of course you can stay with Daddy and me, Stevie. You're our little boy."
Stevie beamed happily and then turned around and knelt on the couch to kiss Tony and then Jimmy. "I'll go back to bed now," he said happily, getting of the couch and starting to run towards the door. "Night, Daddy!" he called, "Night, Daddy!" and ran off.
"Goodnight, Stevie," Tony called.
"Goodnight, Stevie, and make sure you go straight back to sleep."
They listened to Stevie run up the stairs and along the landing into his bedroom and winced slightly at the sound of him launching himself into his bed.
Tony looked at Jimmy. "Well," he said, "do you think Gibbs'll want to be 'Agent Gibbs', 'Agent Jethro' or even 'Uncle Gibbs'?"
"I guess we can ask him and the others on Sunday."
Jimmy nodded. Neither of them needed to go and check that Stevie had gone to sleep, because they knew he would have done so.
"Are you sure we're doing the right thing, Jimmy?" Tony asked, as Jimmy began to set the table.
"Yes, Tony. We are. Trust me." Jimmy smiled at Tony and squeezed his arm.
"I just hope so."
"Daddy! Daddy! I can't find my red sweater."
"When did you last wear it?"
Stevie frowned as he looked up at Tony. "Um, last week, I think."
"And what did you do with it when you took it off?"
"I can't remember, Daddy."
Tony laughed softly and took Stevie's hand. "Let's go and see if we can find it."
"When are Agent Timothy and the others coming?"
Jimmy glanced at the clock. "In about half an hour, Stevie. Now go with Daddy and find your sweater."
He watched as the two most important people in his life went out of the room and he sighed softly. He loved them both beyond measure and not a day went by when he didn't wonder, at least for a moment or two, about what he'd do if something happened to either of them. He even found himself wishing that Tony wasn't a field agent, but instead was one of the agents who spent their time behind their desks. However, that wouldn't suit Tony at all.
HALF AN HOUR LATER
The doorbell rang and Stevie, who'd been lying on the floor coloring a picture he'd drawn for McGee, jumped to his feet and began to run towards the door. However, Tony caught his arm and stopped him. "Daddy?" Stevie said looking up at him.
"I want you to stay here with Daddy and I'll answer the door," Tony said.
"But why, Daddy?"
"Because Daddy wants to surprise our friends," Jimmy said.
Stevie frowned. "But Agent Timothy won't be surprised."
Jimmy smiled, even after six months he was still getting used to the logic of a child. "No, Stevie, he won't be. But the others will. Now stay here with me."
Stevie sighed in his dramatic fashion that made both Tony and Jimmy laugh and rolled his eyes, but ran back to where Jimmy stood.
Jimmy watched as Tony took a deep breath, pulled himself upright, planted a smile on his face and strode off to answer the door. He put his arm around Stevie's shoulders and pulled him against him as he listened to the team exchanging greetings - it appeared they had all arrived together.
"Oh, Ducky, you needn't have done that," Tony said.
"But you won't say no, will you, Tony?" Jimmy heard Abby say.
"Of course I won't!"
Jimmy guessed both from Tony's tone, as well as from knowing Ducky, that Ducky had bought something edible.
"Well, DiNozzo, are you going to let us in, or are we having lunch out here?"
Jimmy could feel Stevie's excitement as he bounced on the spot next to him and hoped Tony would bring the others through soon, as he didn't know how much longer Stevie would be prepared to stand there and wait.
And then they were all there. Tony led them into the room. Gibbs and Ducky were behind him and Abby, McGee and Ziva behind them.
Tony hurried across the room and stood on the other side of Stevie. "Boss, Ducky, Abby, Ziva, Tim," he glanced at McGee and gave a half smile, "this is Stevie. He's our," he paused and looked at Jimmy, "son," he said. Jimmy had to swallow hard to stop tears from flashing into his eyes at the proud way Tony had said 'son'.
For a moment Gibbs, Ducky, McGee, Abby and Ziva were silent as they just stared at Tony, Jimmy and Stevie. Then Ducky smiled and said, "Well, well, well, many congratulations to you Anthony and to you Jimmy. This is wonderful - I'm really so very pleased." He hurried across to where Tony, Jimmy and Stevie stood and held out his hand to Stevie. "Hello there, Stevie," he said, "I'm Doctor Ducky. And I'm very pleased to meet you."
Stevie put his small hand out and took Ducky's. "Hello, Doctor Ducky," he said. "Do you work with Daddy?" He nodded towards Jimmy.
Ducky smiled. "Yes, Stevie, I do."
"Doctor Ducky's my boss, Stevie," Jimmy said quickly.
By now Gibbs, McGee, Ziva and Abby had joined Ducky. "Hello, Agent Timothy! My computer's still working."
McGee ruffled Stevie's hair. "I'm glad to hear it - that means your daddies haven't been near it." Stevie giggled and then put his hands over his mouth and looked at his fathers; both smiled back at him. "Say hello to Ziva and Abby, Stevie," McGee said.
Stevie looked at Ziva first. "Hello. I'm Stevie."
Ziva smiled at him and put her hand on his shoulder. "And I'm," she hesitated for no more than a second before saying, "Agent Ziva."
"It's nice to meet you Agent Ziva," Stevie said and then added, "you're pretty."
Ziva's cheeks flushed just a little and smiled. "Thank you, Stevie."
Stevie grinned back at her before he spun towards Abby. "Are you Agent Abby?" he asked.
Abby squatted down in front of him and shook her head. "No, I'm just Abby. I'm a scientist. And if you ask your daddies nicely, they might let me show you my lab."
"Oooh, can I, Daddy? Please, Daddy?" Stevie looked from Jimmy to Tony.
"Oh, I think we can arrange the full tour," Gibbs said, speaking for the first time. As Abby had done he dropped down in front of Stevie and stared at him. "Hello, Stevie," he said. "I'm Agent Gibbs and I'm your other daddy's boss."
"Hello, Agent Gibbs. Do you like working with Daddy?"
"Now, Stevie -" Tony started to say.
However, Gibbs interrupted him. "You know what, Stevie. I reckon I do."
Stevie beamed merrily and Jimmy saw a look of happiness cross Tony's face. Everything was fine; just as he knew it would be. The team clearly liked Stevie and Stevie liked them; everything was fine.
"I drew you a picture."
"Did you, Stevie?" McGee looked both surprised and more than a little moved.
Stevie nodded and ran across the room to pick it up he brought it back and gave it to McGee, who thanked Stevie and admired the picture. They were joined by the others who also admired Stevie's artwork and Jimmy heard Stevie promising to draw pictures for all of them.
"I'll get some drinks." Jimmy hurried off into the kitchen. He came back with a tray of champagne and handed it around to the team.
Ducky cleared his throat, in the way someone does when they have no need to actually clear their throat, and everyone turned to look at him. "I do believe a toast is in order, do you not?" He didn't wait for anyone to comment; instead he turned and looked at Stevie and held up his glass. "To Stevie - the newest member of our family," he said.
As the others echoed Ducky's toast, Jimmy once again had to fight to keep tears from his eyes and a swift glance at Tony showed he seemed to be having the same problem. Everyone began to talk as Jimmy poured more champagne and Stevie trotted from person to person asking for, and being given, their email addresses.
Jimmy just took a moment to stand and enjoy being with the family who meant so much to him. He breathed what he realized was a sigh of relief; even though he had been the one to assure Tony that all would be well, he suddenly realized a very small part of him had feared that maybe it wouldn't be. But it was. Everything was well. Everything was very well. Everything was perfect.