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 Post subject: Falling Memories
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:20 pm 
Director's Secretary

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:47 pm
Posts: 2382
Location: Southern Tier
Name: Jennie (please NOT Jen)
Gender: Female
link: Blog
link: First Novel
AN: This is based on one of the prompts for the LFWS mini-challenge, but I didn't feel it was appropriate for me to submit it for the competition. Hope you enjoy it! Also, thanks to Kyrie and Sandbar for their editing and help with three-year-old realism. ;) Also, this is set in future Breathe, but since it was for a competition, I kept Brie's other parent pretty vague. ;)

LFWS mini-challenge prompt: When you were young: Your goal is to write a story telling a childhood tale about one of the characters. It can be told by the characters themselves to someone/the group, or told by someone close to the character of your choosing (i.e. Tony's father telling a story about him, or Gibbs father telling a story about him, although it does not have to be those two characters specifically). The more embarrassing the better, although that is not a requirement.

Falling Memories

When Sarah walked in the front door, Tim looked up.

"Hey, Sis," he said. "Brie's been wound up all morning waiting for her Auntie Ima. I sent her out back with Jethro."

Sarah snickered. "Oh, I'll bet he loves playing cowgirl and horsie with her."

"This week it's princess and dragon," Tim said. "But seriously, thank you for helping us pull off this party."

"Are you kidding? I can't wait to see her face." Sarah looked around. "Do you have anything you need to sneak out?"

"I have the last of the stuff in here." He slung his backpack over one shoulder. "Everything else is over at Mom and Dad's."

Before she could reply, a small pink and purple whirlwind streaked through the room and tackled her around the knees. "Auntie Ima!" Brie held up her arms, and Sarah picked her up, not worrying about the dirt that smudged her skin.

"Brie, were you digging in the yard again?" Tim lifted an eyebrow.

"Nuh-uh, Daddy! Jefro was digging. I helped!" The almost-three-year-old nodded her head, sending her pigtails dancing in the air. Sarah pulled back a bit as one smacked her in the face. "Here." She opened one small hand, and Sarah yelped at the sight of the fuzzy bug.

Tim grabbed his daughter. "Sweetie, Auntie Ima doesn't like bugs. Why don't you go take Mr. Caterpillar back outside where his family is? They miss him."

Brie pouted, but when Tim gave her what Tony had dubbed the McEyebrow, she nodded. He put her down, and she trudged out back. When she came back, Tim made her hold out her hands.

"See! No kitty-bug!"

Sarah stifled a grin — sometimes Brie's version of a word sounded like she'd been spending too much time with Ziva.

"Not even in your pocket?" Brie shook her head at Tim's question. "Good girl. Now, why don't you and Auntie Ima get you all cleaned up? Maybe then she'll tell you a story."

"Please, Auntie Ima!" Sarah nodded, and Brie raced for the bathroom. A crash from the bathroom had Sarah hurrying back to join the little girl. "We're fine. Go," she called over her shoulder.

A few soapy, splashy minutes later, and Brie was clean. They went upstairs to change, and once Sarah had solved the sock dilemma by suggesting one of each pair, they were settled back downstairs on the couch.

"Storytime!" Brie snuggled in her arms, and Sarah laid a kiss on her niece's head.

"What kind of story do you want today?" She tugged one pigtail. "Do you want a Gabriella story?"

Brie shook her head. "No, a Daddy story."

"What kind of Daddy story?"

"Daddy play with kitty-bug."

Sarah took a second to figure out what Brie was saying. "You want to hear about your daddy and bugs? He hasn't played with bugs since he was little."

"Daddy and kitty-bugs." Brie crossed her arms, her little chin set. Sarah hid a grin and tried to remember stories about Tim and- Oh! Perfect. He'd kill her later, but oh, well. What were little sisters for?

"Once, before I was born, your daddy was visiting his Nana and Grampa."

"And Grumpa Gibbs?"

Sarah shook her head. "No, not your Nana and Grampa. Nana's parents, your great-grandparents." She settled Brie in her lap and thought back to all the stories she'd heard. "They lived on a farm, and one day, your daddy went out to explore the barn..."


Tim looked outside the window of his parents' house. "They're here," he called.

When Sarah and Brie walked in the front hall a few minutes later, the entire family was waiting. "Happy Birthday!"

Brie ducked behind Sarah's legs for a minute, then looked out and giggled. "Daddy! Nana! Grampa Gee! Grampa Jack! Grumpa Gibbs! Uncle Ducky! Uncle Jimmy!"

Tim scooped up his daughter to stop her before she listed every single one of the people crowded in the house. "Happy Birthday, Sweetie!"

Before too long, the cake Ziva had made was just crumbs, and Brie had unwrapped all her presents. The little boys and Abby were playing with the bowling set in the corner — though that mostly meant one of them would toddle off and try and hit somebody with a bowling pin before Abby could corral him. Jimmy and Brie sat on the floor with the little doctor kit and a stuffed dog.

"I make Jefro all better!" Brie stuck the thermometer in the dog's ear, and Tim winced, hoping the real Jethro would take the same sticking with his usual good humor.

"Is Jethro sick?" Jimmy held the dog for his goddaughter.

Brie nodded. "He eated a... a..." She turned to Sarah, who was sitting on the couch. "Auntie Ima, he eated bugs Daddy no like."

Sarah snickered, and Tim shot her a look. "They're called maggots," she said.

Tony reached down and pulled Brie up into his lap. "Brie, how do you know Daddy doesn't like those bugs?"

"Auntie Ima. She said when Daddy little, he fall on them."

Tim groaned. "Thanks a lot, Auntie Ima."

"Wait, I haven't heard this story." Tony grinned. "And if Brie knows it, I think the rest of us should."

Tim rolled his eyes at his partner, then glared at Sarah. "Please tell me you didn't give her the details."

"Don't worry, she won't have any nightmares." Sarah smirked. "But Tony's right, everybody should hear this story." She called Brie. "Come on, let's go upstairs and play with Nana's dolls."

The little girl nodded and wriggled her way down from Tony's lap, racing past Sarah and up the stairs.

Tim glared at her as she walked out, but the way everybody had gathered around, he knew it was too late. "OK, fine." He thought back.

"I was 10, and Mom and Dad sent me to visit my Nana and Grampa for a week because Sarah was due." He was going to kill Sarah for this. "Grampa was at work, and Nana was doing laundry, so I went out to the barn to explore." He shuddered. "It was kind of stinky, but I decided the hayloft looked like a cool place, and maybe I could find a spot up there to read where it didn't smell as bad."

"McBookish as always."

Tim just rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well, I was about three quarters of the way up the ladder when I found out the wood had rotted in places. The rung I was standing on broke, and I fell about 10 feet."

"Good heavens, Timothy. It's a wonder you weren't seriously injured."

Tim shook his head. "No, there was lots of hay on the floor, Ducky. It was soft where I landed." He shuddered. "Soft and squishy."

"Hay does not squish," Ziva said.

"No, but the rotting body of a woodchuck does," Tim said.

"Ugh!" "Ew!" The rest of the team had the same reactions Tim did back then.

"That wasn't the gross part," he said. "The pieces of the ladder fell on me, and I couldn't get free for a few minutes. By the time I did, the maggots from the body were crawling all over me." Even as he said it, he imagined he could feel them squirming along his arms and brushed them off automatically.

"No wonder you don't like heights, Timmy." Abby rushed over to hug him.

"Or maggots." Jimmy made a face. "I'm used to them, and I think that still would freak me out."

"As it would me, Dr. Palmer," Ducky said.

"Man, McGee." Tony shook his head. "I won't give you a hard time about maggots or heights again."

"Yeah, I've heard that before, after the parking garage fiasco."

"Oh, I'll give you a hard time — but not about that." Tony shuddered. "I can't even imagine what that must have felt like."

"I'd tell you, but I'd rather not have nightmares tonight." Tim shook his head. "Now can we change the subject, please?"

But before anybody could say anything, they heard little thumps on the stairs.

"Dolls never held Sarah's interest for very long either," Tim's mom said. "Come on, let's get all this wrapping paper picked up."

It wasn't until hours later, when Tim was tucking Brie into her new big-girl bed, that he thought of the story again.

"Daddy, I'll protect you from maggies." She snuggled into her pillow. "Me 'n Jefro, we'll protect you."

"I know you will, sweetie." He stroked her hair a few times until she fell asleep, then kissed her forehead and walked out quietly, flipping off the light so only the nightlight's glow lit the little girl's bedroom.

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