Chapter 126: A Rocking Chair
As Abby’s style changed, and she kept coming into work in Tim’s button downs or her 1950s dresses more and more anonymous baby gifts kept appearing.
In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that the handwriting and the messages kept changing, he’d be thinking that maybe Ziva was just going a little bonkers on the getting ready to be an Aunt thing. But the handwriting does keep changing, and the messages keep shifting, and apparently Abby is the single most popular person at NCIS because everyone wants to drop off little gifts for them.
And, of course, some not so anonymous gifts from the family showed up, as well.
Gibbs had kept Kelly’s high chair. So as the team gathered at their house for Thanksgiving, (Thanksgiving used to be at Ducky’s but since his mother died, Abby took over hosting, and now it’s at the McGees' house. Christmas is at Gibbs’ place. Fourth of July/Labor Day (depending on if they’re on) is hosted by the Palmers. Shabbat is at Tony and Ziva’s.) Gibbs brought with him her highchair, and a few of the toys he had made for her. Nothing very complicated, they’re baby toys, old baby toys. But a set of well-loved blocks, a top, and a small rocking horse, all joined the collection of presents.
After dinner, as Tim was taking the high chair up, Gibbs grabbed the other presents (By mutual accord, they would rather cut their own throats than allow Abby to lift anything heavier than an evidence sample while pregnant, and both of them will go far out of their way to accommodate that.) and followed him upstairs.
“We’re thinking this room for the nursery,” Abby says, having gone ahead of them and flicking on the lights. “It gets good light, and is close enough to our room we’ll be able to hear everything easily.”
They have four bedrooms, one of which is mostly just sitting around waiting for new occupants. One’s set up as a guest room, ready for anyone who might want to crash at their place to do so. This one is empty save for the collection of presents on the floor, and now a high chair, rocking horse, blocks and top.
Gibbs looked around at the room as he put the rocking horse down. “Gonna keep it like this?”
It had been a child’s room before they moved in. The walls were a light, bright blue, somewhere between robin’s egg and sky. The trim was white. And, like the rest of the house, the carpet was new, light gray.
“Sort of,” Abby said. “Trees. I’m going to paint trees on the walls, and grass near the baseboard. And maybe some fairies or dragons. At least a few butterflies. Maybe some clouds and more sky on the ceiling if I can get a good match on the wall paint. Our little elf is getting her own forest.”
Gibbs smiles at that, and Tim does as well. They hadn’t talked about what they were doing with the nursery yet. But he likes that idea.
“Dragons between the trees?” Tim asks.
“Yeah. I mean, if I can do one that looks decent.”
“You’ve done cartoon version of me easily enough.”
“I think I can do dragons, too, but if it looks dumb, I might just settle for trees and butterflies. I know I can do that.”
Gibbs looked around the room. “Abbs, dragons and trees is…” and he’s not entirely sure how to finish that sentence, because while it’s true it’s something he’d never do, it’s also very in tune with the family McGee. “It’ll take forever, and unless this is going to be your only child, come baby number two, he’ll be sitting in a plain room with a few coats of paint, and baby one will have a hand-painted mural.”
“Oh. Good point.” Tim gets that in a heartbeat. Mostly because of decades of his dad playing favorites, and he doesn’t want that for his children.
“I’ve been thinking about the crib.” And Gibbs had. He’d been playing with ideas, not getting too set on anything. Just because his gut says Baby McGee is a girl doesn’t mean she actually is. “And that could have a place for a smaller mural. If the top of the back was fairly high and wide, that’d give you room. The dragons and trees could go there.”
Tim nodded along at that idea, and added. “I bet we could find or make a mobile with the fairies on it.”
Gibbs isn’t sure if Tim is so set on the idea that the baby is a girl that fairies sound great for to him, or if he’s just so gender neutral he doesn’t mind the idea of fairies in his son’s room, but he decides he doesn’t need to know the answer to that.
She flung herself into his arms, sobbing.
Gibbs gently patted her back, staring at Tim in horror, no idea what set Abby off. Tim’s looking back at him with a pretty similar expression on his face.
Meanwhile Abby snuffled and sobbed, saying something that neither of them could make out.
Finally, Gibbs caught, “Shannon’s chair! The one you made her, and she nursed Kelly on!”
“Yeah, Abbs. That chair.” He said, patting her back some more. What he doesn’t say, but Abby appears to instinctively get, is that when he made that chair he had images of his children, grandchildren, and great grandkids in that chair. He built it to last forever and to be passed down.
And damn if that didn’t make Tim’s eyes water, too. Though he kept control of his voice, so he sounded fairly steady when he stepped over to Abby, rubbed her back a little, and said to Gibbs, “Don’t you want it?”
“I don’t use it, Tim. It just sits in Kelly’s room. Though, it’s got some strings attached. It goes to Tony and Ziva when they have their first baby.”
Tim smiled at that. “No playing favorites between your girls?”
Gibbs rubbed the back of Tim’s head. “No playing favorites between my kids.”