Ducky hasn't stopped beaming since Jack brought him back. He doesn't get much chance to work with live patients, and delivering babies is another whole higher level of satisfaction. If we're not careful, he's going to want to immigrate to Home. I'd miss him a lot but he'd also be safe there. Earth is pretty dangerous these days.
Rubbing my eyes, I wish for this bizarre case to end. Give me a plain old murderer or a missing person case any day. I'm not used to having the fate of the world in the balance while we investigate. Mother seems to feel more comfortable with my team so we're working on everything she brings us.
"Hey, Boss, I just asked if we could go home." Tony's voice comes over my shoulder, and I whirl my chair around to feast my eyes on him. His eyes are sparkling but the blue shadows under them are indicative of the tiredness we all feel.
"Sounds good to me," I stretch and watch his gaze turn sultry. I don't know if I'll ever get used to being the one who turns him on. But man! Do I want to try. "Home-home or our home-away-from-home?"
His grin is slow and sure. "A little vacation is called for, I believe."
"All of us?" And suddenly my stomach is doing flips. "Yeah, we all could use a little R & R."
"Kate is getting out of the hospital today and she said she was coming, too." His eyes are dancing. "She says if her mom tries one more time to baby her, she's going to go insane."
"Well, we can't have that." I lever myself out of the chair, and feel the world spin on me. Damn it, how long has it been since I ate?
Strong arms steady me, and I want to just let him hold me up but my spine is already straightening. I'm beginning to hate my stiff-necked Marine persona. I just want to be held. Green eyes tell me to hold on, and I manage a nod. Soon.
We pay a last courtesy call on Admiral Boyd, who's still trying to get used to a planet talking to him, then pack up to leave the Eisenhower. With barely a blink, we're back in NCIS headquarters in DC. Home at last, I sigh silently, and feel myself begin to relax. "People, go home. Keep your cell phones handy in case we're needed but for now, just head out."
McGee and Abby hurry out at once while I check to see if there are any messages from Tom. Nothing. Catching Tony's gaze, I tilt my head towards the elevator and he grins. With a graceful sweep of his arm, he gestures me ahead of him. But he's right on my heels.
"I've always loved walking behind you, Jethro. Did you know your ass is destined for the Great Ass Hall of Fame?" The little whisper goes no farther than my suddenly burning ears. "Oh yeah, you have the tightest, most adorable ass in this building."
I try for a glare when we step into the elevator. "I do not have an adorable ass. Tight, yes - adorable, no."
A big hand slides down my back to cup my left buttock. "Don't know, boss, it feels pretty adorable from here."
My cock is trying to stand to attention with just that touch, and I have to moan a little under my breath. "Tease."
"Not teasing if I follow through, boss." His hand keeps on fondling my tingling ass check. "Naked would be even better."
I sigh just a little when the doors open. "Home as fast as we can, Tony. My place, okay?"
"Yeah, boss, that's good. I'll see you there." He moves two parking spaces away to his muscle car. "Drive safe."
I unlock my door before turning to meet his eyes. "You too, let's not have a race. No more than 75 per."
His wink tells me I may just get there second. We leave the parking ramp decorously but luckily 11 pm means there isn't much traffic. I'm on auto-pilot until I park in my drive, when suddenly I'm so tired I can hardly get my car door open. The last week has been a real emotional rollercoaster.
"C'mon, Jethro, there's a great big bed calling our name." Tony's hand reaches for me.
I take it, letting him pull me up and out. "Sleep first then you can nail me to the bed."
"Definitely," Tony smiles at me. "Just think, a big wide bed and no one to overhear us if we get a little noisy."
"Heaven." I lead him into the house, and up the stairs to my bedroom. It smells a little stale, so the first thing Tony does is open a window. But then he starts stripping off his clothes, and I match him piece by piece until we're both naked. We meet in the middle of my comfortable bed, and our kiss is short but powerful.
********* Ezra *********
I wiggle further into the closet behind the clothes, trying not to make a sound. If he finds me now it will be bad. Really, really bad. I've only been here a week but I already have bruises. Even if I'm quiet and good, he'll hit me. And so far, nothing I've done is good enough.
I want to cry but I'm a big boy now I've turned five. Wrapping my arms tight around my knees, I try to make myself really small so he won't find me. Rocking back and forth, I listen hard to make sure he isn't still looking for me. He was muttering while he drank, and that had given me warning.
"Stupid kid, stupid bitch, stupid welfare system." His slurred voice meant he'll soon be looking for me.
When I grow up, I am never, ever going to drink anything but water.
"Where are you, you little brat?" He's in the bedroom now and I shiver, holding my knees tighter so I can be even smaller. "Stupid kid, come out, come out where ever you are."
The little singsong in his voice is really scary. I'm shivering so hard, I'm afraid he'll hear me. But his stumbling footsteps leave for the hall while I blot tears against my jeans. I wish I wasn't here. I don't really remember anything from before waking up in a hospital. Sometimes I hear a sweet voice singing 'hush little baby', and I remember someone rocking me.
But that was long ago and now I'm just like a package the mail man delivers. It's not wanted so it gets turned back to the post office until they send it out again. I wish someone would want me. Sometimes I get to watch TV, and I see families there who like each other. I wish I could find one like them.
I'm beginning to think it's my fault no one wants me. I'm too little and too girly, my last foster mother said. She liked to hit too when she sniffed a white powder. I was always hungry there but this place isn't much better. I sneaked some crackers and a banana yesterday. I haven't had anything today.
It's nice and warm here in the closet. If I curl up, maybe I can sleep for a while. I can sneak out when he goes to sleep. I'm thirsty but that will have to wait. He might hear the water running in the bathroom, and then he'd be even madder when he finds me. I'm dozing, I think when loud bangs echo through the house.
I start awake, listening hard. Somebody else is out there. It doesn't sound like Mr. Rivers. These are boots, and there is more than one set. Maybe he has friends over? I shrink back into the corner, making myself as small as I can. Maybe they'll take him away with them.
********* Tony *********
Home's sunlight is golden. I wonder if Earth's light used to be like this before we smogged it up. Standing on the white sand beach, I watch Jethro lying in the gently swaying hammock. I love to watch him when he doesn't know I am. But he could wake any minute so I head for him. Dripping sun warmed water on him, I lean down and kiss him awake.
"Hm-m, Tony," his husky murmur makes me feel ten feet tall. "Love you."
"Love you too, Jethro," I straddle him, sitting lightly on his thighs. "You feeling better?"
"I feel great. You do, too." His blue eyes sparkle up at me while his hands slide up my legs to rest gently on my hips. "Naked is a good look for you, my bronze warrior."
I blush all the way down to my toes. "Jethro! I'm going to have to start looking for your stash of Harlequins if you keep this up."
He winks at me before cautiously sitting up in the slightly tippy hammock. "You'll never find them but there is something I need you to look for right now."
Our cocks are dueling between us, and my hands are stroking his long arms. "I've got everything I need right here, boss."
"Me, too." His eyes soften to azure. "But I've also got an ache deep inside of me that only you can reach."
I know exactly what he means. "Time to pop your cherry, Jethro?"
Blue fire, that's what his eyes remind me of. "Past time, Tony, I'm so ready I'm about to explode."
"Okay," I've got a lump in my throat but I stand, helping him up and out with me from the hammock. The walk to the hut where we're staying is both short and long. The anticipation is rising in both of us but I'm also feeling a little anxious. What if I can't make it good for him? What if I hurt him with my passion?
He reads my mind. "Tony, I love you. I also trust you with everything I am. You won't hurt me, just bring me more pleasure than I've ever felt before."
My heart is beating so quickly, I'm amazed he can't hear it. But we're in the hut now, and he's sliding onto the wide bed with a feline stretch that makes my cock throb. The sultry look he's throwing me heats the air white-hot. I'm helpless to do anything but follow him down onto the cool sheets. He's already holding the tube of Wet. Squeezing some out onto his fingers, he hands me the tube then begins to coat my cock with his hand.
Shakily, I squeeze some out, and move between his legs. I will not hurt him. He's taken two fingers, and enjoyed them so I start with that, sliding into his heat with little resistance. "Damn, Jethro, you're so hot."
He's squirming a little but he's still smiling. "I'm feeling a little heated. But I think it's about to get even hotter."
I fold in a third finger, and he clamps down around me like a vise. "Easy, love, just relax, and let it happen."
"Big, feels really big." He's panting a little but gradually he relaxes. "Okay, let's play find Jethro's prostate."
I chuckle, sliding deeper to find that magic bump. He flushes from head to toe, and arches a little when I make contact. "Feels good, Jethro? I can hardly wait to feel it for myself."
"Oh yeah, I never dreamed it could feel this good." He's panting a little more but also opening up for me. "More, Tony, give me all of you."
"I can do that, love." I slide my fingers out, bending his legs back towards his chest. "Relax for me, and let me in."
He nods, and takes over holding his legs back so I can position my cock at his hole. Did I stretch him enough? Pressing harder, I feel his resistance then suddenly I'm in, sliding deep. And it feels so right. He's glove tight around me, rippling around me like a living creature.
"God, he feels huge." His smile is so big they could probably see it across the galaxy, and he's panting a little. "And . . . he feels . . . right."
I lean down, kissing him slowly before beginning to rock in and out an inch at a time. Part of me wants to just slam in but most of me feels so privileged he's let me in at all, I have no trouble keeping it gentle. "I love you, Jethro Gibbs."
"I love you too, Tony DiNozzo, now show me fireworks." His grin is cheeky.
"Roman candles and starbursts galore, boss." I promise him, beginning to move a little faster. Once I've got his prostate targeted, his shout is good to hear. Sweat is trickling down my back now but I'm going to burn him down to the sheets before I even think about coming.
Slow and steady is the way to go.
********* Teal'c *********
Life is good. My mate is healthy and happy; our son is thriving; our friends have all born their children safely; our world is constantly surprising us with new discoveries; and I have never been so satisfied in my life.
O'Neill still worries about the events back on Earth but only when he's not holding our son. Small Sebal'c brings only joy with his sweet smile and happy nature. When I see him, I give thanks to the God of Mercy. Our children on Home will never know war, or at least, that is what we all wish.
"Teal'c?" Dr. Mallard approaches me, and I lean down a little to hear him better over the many conversations around us in the dining hall. "I wonder if I might ask a few questions about the Gou'ald you host?"
"Certainly, Doctor." I smile at him, enjoying his enthusiasm and curiosity about the Jaffa. Perhaps he will be the one who solves the dilemma of maturing Gou'ald? O'Neill still worries I shall leave him alone but that is not possible. He owns me body and soul.
Our conversation is soon joined by Janet, carrying baby Te'ak who's been fussing a bit. The moment he reaches my arms, he quiets and begins chewing on his tiny fingers. Perhaps it is my scent or some primal coding of his DNA but he bonded with me at birth, the same way he did with O'Neill. I am very glad Terry and Janet wish us to be active fathers to our children.
When the talk turns to scientific formulas, I excuse myself to find my mate. It has been too long since I last breathed in my One. He and Terry are nursing Sebal'c and Jonathan in a corner of the room. There is no more beautiful sight, I think. The look of contentment on both their faces is good to see. Terry's nipple falls from Jonathan's lips when I arrive as if he knows it is Te'ak's turn. We trade babies so I can burp the tiny miniature of my One.
O'Neill's smile is tender when he slides a little closer to Terry on the bench so I may sit beside him. His body now heats my whole left side, and the need to take him to our beach is strong. Sebal'c finishes sucking and my One puts him to his shoulder to begin the same patting I am doing to small Jonathan. Their burps come in unison.
Terry laughs out loud. "Stereo burping - now how did I not know that was coming?"
O'Neill teases her. "We're working on trio burping next - or even quad-burping if we can just get Cheyenne in sync with them."
She laughs harder. "We'll have our own chorus when Grae'c joins in - maybe even some harmony. We're so lucky."
I agree wholeheartedly. "Each day brings more joy than I ever thought possible."
O'Neill's eyes look into mine. "You said it, my Own. Now if we could just get Mother Earth to work a little more on changing the human men who want to bear children, it would be just perfect."
//finished yesterday// the somewhat smug tones of the my One's former planet fills my head
"That's great!" O'Neill immediately searches for Anthony and Gibbs.
They are seated very close to each other, talking to Mel'tic and Gaal'c near the table of finger food my old friend prepared. We leave Terry for the moment, joining them to pass on the good news. Mother Earth tells them herself while we watch their faces.
Anthony's smile can not be brighter while Gibbs' whole face momentarily freezes. He still fears this and I see his mate realize it. Great sadness flashes through his green eyes before his lips lose a little of the joy.
"That's wonderful, Mother. Perhaps you can change me for your test subject? Jethro and I can use condoms until we're ready to create a child." His hand strokes his mate's soothingly. Such love and commitment is rarely seen even among the Jaffa.
"Are you sure, Tony?" Gibbs reaches for his hand, and Anthony grips it with a reassuring smile.
"I'm sure, Jethro. We won't rush ahead but I do want the option in place if . . . if we ever decide to procreate." He speaks with restrained passion. "I love you, Jethro. Some day, if we're lucky, we can grow our love even more."
"O-o-okay," Gibbs breathes deeply. "Mother, I guess we're ready."
And with that, she teleports them away. I cuddle O'Neill close to my chest. "We will pray for them both, my One."
He nods. "I just hope Gibbs realizes how strong Tony's need is before it's too late."
********* Ezra *********
I am really scared. Loud crashes are coming closer to my closet. It sounds like giants picking up the furniture and throwing it around. There are ripping sounds too, like knives slashing through pillows. I don't think it's Mr. Rivers anymore. I haven't heard his voice since the loud bangs.
My skin is cold and my chest hurts. I felt that way once before, when my last foster mother came looking for me with a big hammer. Her eyes were scary, and she was humming a song that hurt my ears. I ran fast out the backdoor and into the garden. She looked for me until the neighbor's dog distracted her with its barking. I think she did something bad then, but I'm not sure what it was.
The neighbor called the police. They came and found me hiding under the big pine tree. I never saw her again because they took me back to juvenile hall. I don't like it there because the big kids like to pick on me for being so small. But I get to eat three times a day, bathe three times a week, and have a bed to myself where it's safe to sleep.
I have to leave. Now. Gulping, I creep to the door and listen. The footsteps are coming closer, and there are at least two pair of them. Silently, I push the door open just big enough for me to see. There's nobody here just yet but they're close. Luckily, I'm on the first floor so I streak across the room to the window. I'd rubbed the sides with the stub of a candle so it opens real quietly.
The screen is torn so I pull myself up and out of the window in one fast wiggle. It's a long way down to the ground but I'm getting more and more scared. I hit the ground kind of hard but there isn't time to be hurt. The door to my room is opening. My ankle hurts really bad but I force it to work while limping behind the bushes to the side of the house.
There is a wooded lot between this house and the last one on the block. Mr. Rivers told me a real mean old man lives there, and I am never ever to bother him. He said the neighbor would shoot me because he's somebody in the government, and has lots of secrets he's hiding. But right now, he can't be any worse then the bad men in Mr. River's house.
My ankle hurts really bad now, and sharp pains are stabbing me but I have to get away. Running through the woods, I shiver. It's cold out, and I don't have a coat. I haven't had one since two foster homes ago.
Should I go to the front door and knock? Biting my lip, I hesitate on the edge of the woods. The house looks kind of sad. It's gray with white shutters, and it feels empty. Maybe the man who lives here is on vacation or something? Hugging my arms tight around my body, I take a step onto his lawn. Then another, and another until I'm right in front of the wood door.
There's a lion's head on the door knocker but it's up way too high for me to reach. So I knock once. I can hear it echo through the house, and I just know there's nobody home. That means there's no one to hear me. I want to cry so badly but I mustn't. I've got to be brave but it's harder than it's ever been before. I wish I . . . I lean against the door as if that would make it open.
And it does. It really, really does, just like magic. Should I go in? It's warm inside, I can feel the air from the hall floor vent. Will the man shoot me when he comes home? Maybe I can hide and rest for a little while until he returns. Suddenly I hear sounds from the woods, and that makes up my mind really fast.
Sliding in through the small gap, I shut the door really quietly behind me. I can just reach the dead bolt underneath the doorknob, and I use both hands to turn it to the locked position. Then my ankle gives out, and I fall to the floor. I'm sniffling a little but I just wipe the tears away with my shirt sleeve.
It's warm here, and the shivers slowly start to subside. A long rug runs down the hall to an open doorway, showing a kitchen. My tummy growls, and I bite my lip. Would it be all right to go get a drink of water? That helps sometimes when I'm hungry. Water is free so it wouldn't be stealing, I tell myself.
There's nobody to see so I start crawling to save my ankle. The rug is nice and clean so the man who lives here must be okay. Bad people don't ever seem to run the sweeper or dust unless they get somebody like me to do it for them. I learned how to dust and make beds when I was three. That foster mother liked to pinch so I was black and blue the whole six months I lived with her.
But I learned to take care of myself then so it isn't so bad, I guess. Once in the kitchen, I take a careful look around. It's clean all over or at least it smells clean. The floor isn't sticky; the chairs are pushed in under the pretty wood table; there aren't any dishes sitting out with dried food on them - I hate that. If I push a chair over to the sink, I'll be able to crawl up and get a drink.
It takes more energy than I think it should but I guess maybe it's been longer than I thought since I last ate. But I'm finally sitting on the counter with the spigots in front of me. There is a glass sitting in the drainer upside down. It's kind of heavy but I get it under the faucet, and turn on the cold water. I only fill it half-full since it will be too heavy to lift if I fill it too far. It tastes good so I drink it all, and go back for seconds.
My eyes look all around up here. It's pretty white tiles with green ones set in a kind of random pattern on the counter, and up the wall to the cabinets. I'm really hungry now I've had something to drink but food isn't free. There's a big bowl of apples and bananas near the side with the refrigerator. Maybe the man wouldn't miss one? I think about it for a long time but when my tummy growls loud, I decide to eat one.
I'll pay him back somehow. I pick the smallest one, and bite into it. It's sweet and crunchy. I like apples but I've learned not to be picky. Food is food. I'm careful not to get any juice on the tiles, and I eat every single bit except for the stem and the seeds. Getting back down hurts since my ankle buckles when I try to put weight on it. Looks like I'll be crawling for a little while until it heals.
Carefully, I put the seeds and stem into the garbage can under the sink. Then I push the chair back under the table, and head for the hall again. There's a closet there and I'm sleepy. It's nice and warm in here, and a jacket has fallen off a hangar so I have something to cover me with. There's an old scarf tossed in the corner so I even have a pillow for my head.
I want to smile but I'm a little worried about when the owner comes home. Will he be really mad I came in? Could Mr. Rivers be right about him shooting me? And what's happening back at my old house? Are the bad men still there? I hug the jacket closer to me. It smells of something nice, and it's soft on the inside - almost like fur.
I suddenly wish I could just stay here. Maybe the man could use a foster child like me. I can cook a little, clean real good, and I can be very quiet. I don't need much food 'cause I'm used to being hungry so I wouldn't be eggs-pensive like my last foster mom thought I'd be. This place smelled good, kind of like that faint memory of someone who rocked me and sang softly.
Maybe he'll be nice. Maybe he'll let me stay until my ankle feels better. I yawn wide, almost forgetting to cover my mouth. I like being warm even if the floor is a little hard. It's clean and that's even better. I'll have to sleep lightly in case the man comes home and realizes I'm here.
I hope he talks first instead of hitting right away. I hope he's nice.
The end of part thirteen