Choosing Between Old & New # 5
By: MChakotayParis (R. Mason)
The rest of December whizzed by and soon Ali found herself getting ready for their annual Christmas Eve night viewing of "It's a wonderful Life". Ali had been able to take the day before Christmas Eve off to clean the house and get everything ready for the movie. By eight-thirty everyone was at Ali's house awaiting their final arrival. Gibbs and Tobias had made arrangements with Jack for him to come back down for Ali's big Christmas reveal. Even though he had been down several times since they started Ali's present the wanted to be their for the big reveal so despite the bad weather that had recently hit D C Gibbs had made arrangements for him to come down and pick up Jack.
Ali had been in an excited state for the past few days after Gibbs and Tobias had told her that Jack was coming back down. She'd hoped that he could stay until they had their family portraits done in January. This year Ali had asked if along with the family portrait of the three of them that if maybe they could have a whole family portrait done. So Gibbs and Tobias had made arrangements for the whole family to attend so for now the whole family was come over to watch the movie.
"When will Daddy and Grandpa Jack get her Papa?" asked Ali for the second time since everyone had arrived.
"They should be here soon princess, are you sure you're dressed warmly enough?" asked Tobias as he looked at Ali.
She was still wearing only her sleep top and tee-shirt with a pair of shorts over her diaper. She'd slept late that afternoon and hadn't awaken from her afternoon nap until after four-thirty. Normally she'd have been dressed in her evening clothes by now but she'd wanted to do one final cleaning of everything so she'd stayed in her sleep clothes.
"Oh I guess I'd better go take my shower before Daddy and Grandpa Jack gets here" said Ali as she bounced up the stairs, then turned and looked at Tobias "Coming Daddy?"
"Yes princess, I'll be there in a second" called Tobias as he looked at the rest of his family. "Tony is everything ready?"
"All ready Tobias, the only thing we need now is Jack and Gibbs" said Tony with a smile as he looked around the living room.
Everything was ready with Ali's mattress laying in front of the fireplace with a roaring fire in the fireplace. On the coffee tables were several bowls of popcorn and a pot of tea on a warmer of spiced apple cider with a small plate of cinnamon sticks.
"Well then try and stay out of the popcorn until I come down with Ali, you know how she gets if we start without her" said Tobias with a smile.
"I'll watch him Tobias, you just make sure Ali is dressed warm enough when she comes down" said Auggie with a smile
"Don't worry Auggie, she will properly dressed when she comes down" replied Tobias then headed upstairs to Ali's room.
In the time between the Gala and Christmas Eve Ali had developed a sinus infection and it had taken her several days before she got over it. Ali had recovered but they still worried about her as the weather turned colder so they kept the house a little warmer than usual and Ali dressed in her winter play sets.
Fifteen minutes later Ali was cleaned, diapered and wearing one of her new winter play sets. After she'd gotten sick Tobias and Gibbs had ordered her some new sets and had just gotten them just the week before. She had chosen one of her new sets which was a scooped neck tee-shirt dress in a small red paisley print with a matching red tank top and pink flannel capri pants. They had also gotten her a pair of thick white socks with red and pink lace around the top, and a matching hair bow. As Ali stood in the middle of the room slightly twisting the skirt of her dress Tobias smiled then came over and gave Ali a kiss on the forehead.
"Are you sure you're feeling up to this sweetheart, we can skip the movie this year if we need to?"asked Tobias as put his hands on either side of her face
"No Papa, I'm fine really. I've done everything you've asked and Doctor Evanson said I was fully recovered and just had to make sure I stayed warm and I should be alright" reminded Ali
"Alright if you're sure, but I want you to stay covered up while you're watching the movie tonight alright?"
"Yes Papa" said Ali then hugged him
"Are you ready to go down and see if Grandpa Jack is here yet?"
"May we Papa please" answered Ali as he grabbed his hand and pulled him out of her room.
As Ali and Tobias descended the stairs the door opened and in stepped Jack with Gibbs right behind him. As Ali saw Jack enter the house she squealed and ran down the rest of the stairs stopping only as she stepped off the last stepped then slid across the foyer floor to stop right in front of Jack
"Grandpa!" cried Ali as she threw her arms around his neck and gently squeezed.
"Hello princess, how are you feeling?" asked Jack, Gibbs had called just after their Gala that Ali was sick and he had hopped that she was feeling better now
"I'm feeling better grandpa thank you, did you and Daddy have a nice trip?" said Ali
"Yes princess we did, looks like we just made it into D C before the snow started again. Looks like we might have a white christmas again this year" said Jack
"I hope so Grandpa, I always think it's so pretty just after a snow fall. Maybe Daddy and Papa will let me play outside in the snow for a while?" asked Ali as she looked past Jack to Gibbs just behind him.
"We'll see baby girl, right now why don't you take Jack into the living room and find a seat for the movie" said Gibbs as he took Jack's suitcase then headed towards the stairs to put his suitcase in his room.
"Come on Grandpa, we're just about to start the movie" said Ali as she gently lead him into the living room.
A few minutes later Gibbs returned to the living room he saw everyone sitting in living room, and before he sat down he gently kissed Ali on the head.
"Ali, before we start the movie we would like to give you your family christmas gift" said Tobias
"But Papa, you and Daddy have already gave me my gift earlier" said Ali.
Several days earlier all three and exchanged gifts, Ali giving Gibbs a new tool for their work shed and Tobias a new golf club for their new hobby. He had started teaching Ali to play golf recently, after she'd gone with him to the golf course one Saturday. Tobias and Gibbs giving Ali a new camera and a couple of new winter play sets.
"We'll this is from the whole family Ali, not just us. It's something that we all worked on together" said Tobias
"You mean the change to the house?" asked Ali as she knelt on the couch
"Yes, that's part of it sweetheart. Now we wanted it to be a surprise so you're going to have to trust us, Do you Ali?" said Gibbs as he came over and stood in front of her
"Oh Daddy, you know I trust both you and Papa with my life" said Ali as she threw her arms around his neck.
"That's my girl, now I need you to turn around and close your eyes" said Gibbs as he put her down in front of him, then turned her around to face the rest of the family.
Behind him Tobias came up Ali and gently placed a silk scarf over her eyes, Ali tensed at first, putting her hands up until Gibbs gently took her hands in his and gently held them until Tobias had finished.
"Now I need you to relax and let us lead you to your surprise alright Ali" said Gibbs as he gently took Ali's right arm while Tobias took her left.
Together they slowly lead her up the stairs with the rest of the family following behind them, as they got the the smaller staircase leading up to the attic Tony quickly moved in front of them opening the door for them before they lead Ali up the stairs. As Gibbs and Tobias carefully lead Ali up the stairs they stopped just inside the door as the other's came up the stairs behind them. When everyone was standing behind Ali, Tobias and Gibbs in the attic Gibbs asked.
"Are you ready Ali?"
At her small nod Tobias reached up and untied the scarf around her eyes, then slowly pulled it away to watch her stand in amazement at the sight before her. The attic had been transformed into a large spacious room with several large windows with a window seat under each. The celling and half of the walls had been painted a light sky blue with a big sun and fluffy white clouds, from the floor up there was tall green grass with Dandelions intermixed. In the corner of one end of the room there was a small round patio table with two chairs, a few feet away at the front of the window hung a two seated wooden bench hanging from the rafters.
As Ali came back to her senses she slowly walked around the room, gently touching each item then moving to the next until she got to the swing. Ali gently pushed the swing for a few minutes then stopped it and turned around and sat carefully on the swing gently moving her legs back and forth the make the swing move.
"Ali?" asked Gibbs as he watched her sitting on her swing
At his voice Ali looked up and with a squeal of delight launched herself at both men causing the swing to move back. When she reached the men she had and arm around each man's neck hanging between the two of them with each man holding her around the waist.
"Oh Daddy, Papa! It's wonderful!" cried Ali as she slide down the front of each man and stood bouncing in front of each man.
"Well the idea was Jack's really, but we all helped. He asked where you play once the weather started getting cold"
"Oh thank you Grandpa Jack" cried Ali as she launched herself at the older man who was just behind Gibbs and Tobias
"Ali be careful" said Gibbs
"You're welcome princess, I just hope you like the play room" said Jack
"I love it grandpa thank you, thank you all!" said Ali as she turned to each of her family members and gave them a quick hug and then moved to the next
"Well now you have a warm, safe place to play during the winter months squirt" said Tony as pulled Ali over to the window boxes showing her all the new toys, puzzles, and Lego's that were in each window seat.
They had gotten all new things for the attic that way Ali wouldn't have to carry her toys from the backyard upstairs, the only difference being that the balls were soft inside balls that wouldn't break the windows if they hit them. They'd also made sure there was enough space for Ali to run around if she wanted to without hitting her head or getting hurt.
"Daddy can I stay up here and play for a little while?" asked Ali as she looked at all the new toys she wanted to try.
"What about the movie princess?" asked Tobias
"Oh yeah I forgot, maybe tomorrow I can play upstairs then?" suggested Ali hopefully
"Tomorrow you can play up here as long as you want princess. Now how about we go back downstairs and watch our movie, then go to bed. Remember we've got to get up early tomorrow for church" said Gibbs
"Is Emily coming tomorrow Papa?" asked Ali as she took Tobias's hand and went back downstairs with him.
"She sure is sweetheart, I'm going to pick her up and we'll meet everyone at the church" said Tobias
"Great, I like it when Emily comes over. You think maybe I can show her my playroom tomorrow?" asked Ali as she snuggled on the couch between Gibbs and Tobias.
Normally she watched the movie on the mattress but tonight she felt like cuddling with her daddies and no one seemed to mind so she stayed where she was.
"I'm sure she'll enjoy seeing your playroom Ali" said Gibbs as he gently covered Ali with a blanket.
Over the year Emily had slowly become a little more accepting of Allison being Ali but was still not totally comfortable with little Ali yet. She was able to spend a little more time with Ali now that Ali's interest had broadened and she was able to act a little more mature sometimes, but she still got uncomfortable when she was in full little Ali mode. So Ali had learned to calm down and play quietly with Emily when she came over, since then they'd gotten along fairly well, Emily able to spend a little more time at their house now.
"Ready for the movie squirt?" asked Tony as he turned around and saw Ali cuddling with Gibbs and Tobias on the couch.
"Ready Tony" said Ali with a smile, then popped her pacifier in her mouth and hugged her stuffed toy.
A few minutes later the opening credits started and the classic "It's a Wonderful Life" began. Gibbs smiled as he looked down at his daughter in his lap, the love of his life by his side, and the rest of his family, including his father, sitting or laying around their living room on Christmas Eve. For once in his life it really was a wonderful life.
The next morning by seven o' clock the house was in controlled chaos as everyone got ready for church, this time Tobias woke Ali as Gibbs made coffee. As Tobias entered Ali's room she was just beginning to wake up and smiled as she saw him come over to her bed.
"Morning Papa, merry christmas" said Ali with a smile
"Merry Christmas princess, how are you feeling this morning?" asked Tobias as he sat down on the bed beside her.
Since they'd started the movie a little later than usually it had ran past Ali's bedtime so she's gotten to bed later than they'd wanted. They'd hoped that they would be able to get her to take a nap this afternoon but for now she was wired on little ones christmas excitement and there was no way they were going to get her to calm down.
"I feel good Papa, really. Maybe a little tired but I'm okay really" said Ali as she sat up and threw her arms around his neck.
"Alright princess, but if you get tired I want you to tell us so we can put you down for a nap okay?" said Tobias as he took her arms from around his neck and carefully laid her back down.
"I promise Papa" said Al with a smile as she watched Tobias get up and get her diaper supplies then return to her bedside. A few minutes later Tobias had her changed into a clean diaper, then helped her up off the bed. A few minutes later Ali smiled then bounced off towards her bathroom.
With one more looked at the closed door Tobias headed back towards his bedroom to take his own shower. Twenty minutes later both Tobias and Gibbs came out of their bedroom just in time to see Ali coming out of her own room. Today she was wearing a dark blue dress with matching tights and shoes.
"Ali you look beautiful" said Gibbs as he came over and gave her a hug
"Thank you Daddy, not bad yourself. Both of you" said Ali with a smile as she looked at both men.
Both men were wear dark suits with a white shirt and a matching tie. Tobias wearing grey, Gibbs a navy blue
"Thank you sweetheart, are you ready to go see the rest of the family" said Tobias as he took her arm and let her downstairs.
They entered the family to find the rest of the family all lingering in the kitchen drinking their morning coffee or tea, as Ali and Tobias entered the kitchen Auggie came over and gave her a morning hug.
"Good morning sweetheart, my don't you look pretty" said Auggie
"Thank you grandma, Daddy may I have some juice and toast before we leave?" asked Ali as she looked at both men
"Are you feeling alright sweetheart?" asked Auggie as she put her hands on Ali's face and looked the woman over quickly
"I'm fine grandma, really just a little bit hungry so I thought I'd eat something so my stomach was rumbling during church" said Ali a little shyly
"A very good idea little one" said Auggie as she pulled the women into her arms, then lead her over to the counter to make her some toast.
"Ali I need to leave to go get Emily, I'll meet you at the church okay?" said Tobias as he finished his coffee then came over and kissed Ali on the head.
"Sure thing Papa, tell Emily hello for me and I'll see her later" said Ali as took a sip from her glass then looked up and smiled at the man.
With one more look at Ali, Tobias leaned in stealing a kiss from Gibbs then grabbed his coat and headed out the door. Fifteen minutes everyone was piling into their cars, with Gibbs driving Ali's SUV, as they parked in the church parking lot everyone gathered at the entrance to wait for Tobias and Emily to arrive. A few minutes later they arrived and everyone entered the church for Christmas Morning Mass.
An hour later after the priest gave the final blessing everyone left the church, following Gibbs and Ali home. After everyone arrived Christmas breakfast was started with the normal family chaos and after about twenty minutes everyone was sitting around the table eating the traditional pancakes with fruit and whipped cream. When everyone was finished Tony, Tim and Jimmy cleaned up the dishes while Gibbs took Ali upstairs to chance her clothes.
Five minutes later when Ali returned back downstairs she was wearing one of her play sets, this one a dark green tee-shirt dress with little white holly berry leaves a white tank top and red and white flannel capri pants. Ali saw Emily sitting in her new rocker and walked slowly over to her with a smile on her face.
"Hi Emily, would you like to go and see the big present Daddy, Papa and the family made for me?" asked Ali
"Oh sure Ali, where is it?" asked Emily as she stood up and looked at Tobias and Gibbs. Both men were talking to Ziva and Doctor Mallard by the christmas tree.
"Papa, Daddy. Is it okay if Emily and I go upstairs, I want to show her the playroom you made me?" called Ali
"That's fine Ali, we'll call you when it's time for Emily to leave" said Tobias as he looked over at his biological daughter and the daughter of his heart. Emily was finally comfortable enough to spend some time with Ali when she stayed calm and didn't get excited so for today Ali was trying to stay calm and spend time with Emily.
"Thanks Papa, come on Emily it's upstairs in the attic" said Ali as she gently pulled on Emily's hand leading her upstairs to the small staircase that lead up to the attic.
As she climbed the stairs she opened the door and then stepped back so Emily could come step into the attic. As Emily passed Ali she turned on the lights and the room was flooded with light. Emily stood in awe of the wonderful sight before her. Ali's family had turned her full sized attic into a very nice play room. They'd hung a two seater porch swing for the rafters at one end of the room and a small round patio table in one of the corners.
"Wow Ali, this is nice" said Emily as she moved around the room looking at the room.
"Thank you, Grandpa Jack suggested it and the whole family worked on it" said Ali with a smile.
For the next twenty minutes Ali and Emily stayed in Ali's playroom working on one of Ali's puzzles, when the call came from Tobias downstairs Emily got up and headed back downstairs. Gibbs and Tobias had installed an intercom system in the attic so that they didn't have to run upstairs or yell when Ali was in the playroom. As Ali followed Emily downstairs she came down just in time to see Tobias helping Emily on with her coat.
"Thank you for going to church with us Emily, and coming to see the playroom" said Ali as she went to stand next to Gibbs.
"You're welcome Ali, and thank you for inviting me. I'll call and let you know next time I can come over" said Emily as finished buttoning her coat then headed out the door.
"I'll be home as soon as I can little one" said Tobias as he came over and kissed Ali on the forehead, then headed out the door following Emily.
While Tobias took Emily home, Ali spent the time in her rocker reading with Jimmy until Tobias returned then everyone gathered around the Christmas tree for presents. Normally since Ali had been given the play room as a family present, Gibbs and Tobias wouldn't have allowed any more presents for Ali but it really hadn't taken that much work for them to change the attic into a play room for Ali after most of the heavy work had been done by the contractor they had agreed to one present from each.
As Ali sat on her mattress everyone else sat around her with each member passing Ali their present
"Ready Ali?" asked Tony as he picked up his present from under the tree then handed it to Ali
"Thank you Tony" said Ali as she took the package the started tearing open the wrapping. Inside was the complete series of a BBC series "Are you being Served?"
Next Jimmy gave Ali her present, inside being a couple of books for her to read, Abby and Ziva gave Ali another couple winter and spring play sets, Tim gave her another Lego set, Ducky gave her another couple of hair bows, Auggie gave her a couple of spring dress, Jack's presented Ali with a handmade wooden box, and last Gibbs and Tobias gave her small box with an additional charm and bead for Jack, they had chosen a little silver rocking chair with his birthday month bead.
"Oh Daddy, Papa. Thank you!" said Ali as she jumped up and threw her arms around both man then went to Jack "Grandpa, would you put your charm and bead on my bracelet?" then held it out to him
"It would be my pleasure sweetheart" answered Jack as he took the bead, charm and bracelet from Ali then after a few minutes started to hand it back to her but Ali just held her arm out to him. Jack gently fastened the bracelet on Ali's wrist then pulled her into his arms.
"Thank you Grandpa, I love it" said Ali she turned into his arms and looked at the bracelet on her wrist.
She finally had her whole family and for once she felt complete. After that the wrapping paper was cleaned up then Ali spent the rest of the afternoon upstairs in the playroom. At lunch Ali was called downstairs and helped fixed a quick lunch of sandwiches then Gibbs took her back upstairs for a change and put her down for her nap.
By four o' clock Ali was awake and after a quick diaper change was back upstairs along with Tony, Ziva, Tim, Abby and Jimmy were in her playroom spending the late afternoon breaking in her new toys. As the younger generation played upstairs with Ali Tobias, Gibbs, Ducky, Auggie and Jack spent the time fixing a special Christmas Day dinner. This year they'd planned to have a large Christmas Dinner, complete with Ham, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, corn, and several pies and cakes that Ali and Ziva had made before the holidays.
Around six o' clock Gibbs called upstairs to tell Ali that it was time to get ready for dinner and to meet him in her room. As he made his way upstairs, Auggie caught his arm and asked "Jethro, do you think I could change Ali?" then she moved towards him.
"Auggie, what are you up to?" asked Gibbs as he looked at the woman, she had a look in her eyes and it gave him a bad feeling. Well not really a bad feeling but a feeling that Ali was going to be spoiled.
"Don't worry Jethro, it's nothing major. It's just a special outfit that I wanted to give Ali for our Christmas Day Dinner"
"Auggie" said Gibbs and Tobias together
"Oh phooey, a girl always needs a new outfit for special occasions" said Auggie with a smile as she headed towards the stairs then went to Ali's room.
Five minutes later Ali and Auggie came back downstairs, Ali wearing a new dress scoop necked dress in Christmas plaid with a red tee-shirt underneath and a pair of green flannel capri pants. To complete the outfit Auggie had a matching hair bow made and socks with a ruffle of the christmas plaid around the cuff.
"Augustina Chandler what are we going to do with you?" asked Gibbs as he watched his daughter descend the stairs, she really did look cute in the outfit.
"Do you like it Daddy, Grandma said it was for our special Christmas Dinner but I thought we usually had our Christmas meal for lunch?" asked Ali
"We'll we usually do sweetheart, but this year the older generation thought that maybe we would start a new family traditional and have a big meal for Christmas Day dinner"
"Really Papa, really! You mean like we have for Thanksgiving?" said Ali excitedly
"Yes baby girl, except for Christmas we were thinking of Ham, sweet potatoes, stuffing things like that" said Gibbs
"Yeah! What about my cakes, pie's and cookies? Can we have them for deserts?" asked Ali bouncing
"Yes sweetheart, now are you ready to eat?" asked Tobias as he came over and took Ali by the arm and lead her into the dinning room.
In the middle of the table sat a large ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, a green salad and a large bowl of dinner rolls.
"Oh Daddy this looks wonderful" said Al as she moved to the head of the table and picked up the carving knife by the ham platter. "Daddy, do you think we could ask Grandpa Jack to carve the ham?"
"I think that's a wonderful idea Ali" said Gibbs as he smiled at his daughter's consideration, remembering that she'd made the same offer to Tobias for his first Thanksgiving meal.
As Jack carved the ham then put a large slice of ham on each plate everyone started passing around the bowls and then started eating after that dinner was a joyous occasion with lots of talk. When everyone was finished eating desert was passed around and everyone complemented Ali on her pies and cakes.
Since the older generation cooked the younger ones cleaned the only exception being that both Jack and Ducky pulled Ali into the living room for another family tradition. Ducky had talked to Gibbs and Tobias earlier and asked if he could read Ali the Christmas story and had found a book which told the story but left out all the scripture. With a grin Gibbs had agreed saying that he thought it was another wonderful family tradition to start for Christmas Day.
So as the others cleaned the dishes Ali settled on the couch between her Grandpa's to read the Christmas story, by the time the kitchen was cleaned and everything put away Ali was already cuddled against Jack's side with her Puffalump in her lap and her pacifier in her mouth.
The rest of the night passed peacefully with everyone watching Christmas programs until Tobias noticed Ali asleep against Jack's side. As he carefully moved out of Gibbs' arms he moved over to the couch where Jack, Ducky and Ali were sitting. Gently gathering Ali into his arms he carried her up to her bedroom, changing her then getting her ready for bed. As he pulled the covers up over Ali Tobias looked over his shoulder to see Auggie, Ducky and Jack standing in the doorway.
"Come on in and say goodnight" said Tobias with a smile as he stood up and moved out of the way so that each of Ali's grandparents could say goodnight to her.
"Goodnight sweetheart," whispered Jack as he leaned over and gently kissed her on the head.
"Sweet dreams my sweetheart" whispered Ducky as he to leaned down and kissed Ali on the head.
As Auggie moved to the side of Ali's bed she carefully sat down on the edge of the bed, then gently started stroking Ali's hair whispering "Good night my little angel" then kissed her on the side of her head.
As Auggie stood up Tobias handed her Ali's bottle, smiling as she placed it in Ali's mouth watching her suck greedily. Ducky turned on Ali's sleeping music and they all exited quietly going to their respective rooms. As Tobias entered the master bedroom he found Gibbs sitting on the bed waiting for him.
"Ali down alright?" asked Gibbs as he put down the book he'd been reading
"Yep, down for the count and hopefully the whole night" said Tobias as he removed his clothes down to his boxers then headed towards their bathroom to get ready for bed.
"You think she'll wake up again?" asked Gibbs as he got out of bed and came up behind Tobias in the bathroom.
"Well as you know Ali sometimes has trouble sleeping through the night after she's had a really busy or exciting day" reminded Tobias
"Then I guess we'd better get to bed as soon as possible so we can get some sleep just incase our little girl needs us" said Gibbs, then came up behind Tobias pulling him against him, gently grinding himself against Tobias behind.
"Jethro, were not going to get to bed any faster if you keep this up" said Tobias with a smile, then gave himself into the feelings that the other man was invoking in him.
"Oh I don't know" whispered Gibbs against Tobias' neck as he slowly walked Tobias back into their bedroom then laid the other man down on the bed then followed him down, slowly and methodically made love to him until both feel into the deep realm of sleep.
Jack indeed stay until just after the New Year's Eve when at everyone earliest convenience they met at the photo studio were Tobias, Gibbs and Ali had been their pictures taken. Ali, Jack, Tobias and Gibbs were the last ones to arrive having to stop at the tailors to pick up a tuxedo for Jack. After twenty minutes of everyone getting dressed in the two small rooms in the back the photographer assembled everyone in the main room of his studio.
As before in most of their family portraits the picture was centered around Ali, Tobias and Gibbs, but instead of having Ali sitting on a stool with Tobias and Gibbs around her this year they photographer had Ali, Tobias and Gibbs standing with the older generation sitting in front of them and the younger behind. As before there were individual pictures taken, a couples picture of both Gibbs and Ali and Tobias and Ali. After that Ali wanted pictures of her and each of her grandparents, then a group of Ali, Tobias and Gibbs with the grandparents. Then it was the younger generation's turn to have individual pictures taken with Ali then as a group with Ali, Tobias and Gibbs.
After almost two hours of taking pictures everyone was happy and they all re changed back into their regular clothes and headed back to work. Since it was still cold outside Ali and Jack had a picnic in the her attic playroom, then Ali went down for her nap.
Two weeks later they received the proofs and after a night of laughing and fun loving joking around the final proofs were chosen and sent back to the photographer. It took another week for them to be developed, printed and framed, Gibbs and Tobias making special arrangements with the photographer but on the last week of January the large box with the photo's arrived.
Gibbs and Tobias made arrangements for everyone to come over for a family weekend that Saturday and planned a special revealing of the pictures to Ali. Jack had gone back to Stillwater just after the photo session so he wasn't able to come down again but they made sure to call him as they revealed the pictures to Ali. They had made copies of the group family portrait, the grandparents and Ali, and the grandparents and all three of them and had then sent to him just after they'd chosen the proofs. All three pictures were hung prominently in Jack's living room for the whole world to see.
As always everyone was over at Ali's house by eight-thirty and after breakfast and the week-end chores were done Tobias and Gibbs called Ali and everyone into the living room. Sitting in the middle of the living room on the coffee table was a large box addressed to Allison Gibbs-Fornell, Leroy Gibbs and Tobias Fornell from the photographer.
"What's in the box Papa?" asked Ali as she came over and looked at the address label.
"It's our pictures Ali, they took a little longer because we asked the photographer to matte and frame them for us" said Gibbs as he came over to stand next to Ali.
As he pulled out his knife, carefully slicing the packing tape that sealed the box Ali held her breath. She knew that the other's had already seen the pictures, since they'd gotten their portraits last week but had been warned on fear of death not to tell her what the finished pictures looked like. So now Ali was finally going to see them for herself, she vaguely remembered what the proofs looked liked and since Gibbs had taken them away from her she couldn't look at them to remind herself. So she'd had to wait and worried, trying to remember every detail of that day.
"Ali, whenever you're ready sweetheart" said Tobias as he gently put his hand on her shoulder.
As Ali looked back at both men she took a deep breath then opened the box and pulled out the paper until she came to the first picture. The picture was in a large heavy frame with brown paper wrapped around it so as Ali sat down on the couch she carefully tore off the paper. On top was the family portrait of Ali, Gibbs and Tobias, Ali standing in the middle with Gibbs on her right and Tobias on her left. Each man had an arm around her waist and Ali's hands were over their's at her waist.
"Oh Daddy, Papa! It's beautiful!" cried Ali as she carefully put the picture on the couch beside her then threw herself into the arms of each man.
"Just like you sweetheart, is it what you wanted?" asked Tobias
"Oh yes Papa, it's just what I wanted. It's perfect"
"Well look at the next one baby girl" suggested Gibbs as he released her and Ali went back to the box.
Just as before Ali carefully removed the paper packing until she came to the next large frame, and once again carried it to the couch before tearing off the paper. This was the second largest framed picture and it was of Ali's whole family, Ali, Tobias and Gibbs in the center with her grandparents in front and her brother's and sister's behind them.
"Oh Daddy, Papa! It's...it's..." stammered Ali then stopped as she broke down, hugging the picture to her chest and crying.
"Ali baby, what's wrong. Don't you like it?" asked Tobias as he gently pulled the picture from her arms, then pulled her into his lap.
It took both Tobias and Gibbs a few minutes to get Ali to calm down and stop crying before she could explain. As she sat on Tobias' lap with Gibbs by her side she looked up at her extended family and smiled.
"It's everything I've ever wanted guys. All my life I've dreamed of having a family that loved and accepted me for who I was and now I finally have one. A bigger family than I dreamed possible with two loving father's, grandparents and sisters' and brother's who love me"
"And we do love you little one never forget that" said Jack over the phone. She'd known that Gibbs and Tobias had told her that they were going to call Jack so he could hear her reaction to the pictures but she really wished he was here.
"Oh Grandpa, I wish you could see it. It's beautiful" said Ali in awe as she looked at the family picture in Tobias' hands.
"I've seen it little one, Jethro and Tobias had copied send to me of your individual pictures, the three of you together, the one of you three and all the grandparents plus our whole family portrait" said Jack
"Oh grandpa, do you like them?" asked Ali
"I love them little one, as I told you before your a Gibbs-Fornell now" said Jack with a smile in his voice.
"Thank you grandpa"
"Now are you going to look at the rest of the pictures?" asked Jack
"Yes sir!" said Ali with a smile as she jumped off Tobias' lap and went back to the box in question.
After that the rest of the pictures were pulled out in rapid secession. There were three slightly smaller frames of the three individual pictures of Ali, Tobias and Gibbs, then smaller frames of Ali, Gibbs, Tobias and the grandparents and another of Ali, Gibbs and Tobias with the younger generation. When all the pictures were taken out and passed around Ali helped Gibbs and Tobias hang the new pictures prominently over the mantel rearranging the older ones.
As Ali, Tobias and Gibbs stood back and looked at the new mirage of pictures that hung above their mantel Ali slowly moved into Gibbs arms and put her head on his shoulder
"Thank you Daddy" whispered Ali
"For what princess?" asked Gibbs as he looked down at Ali's head on his shoulder
"For loving me and finally giving me the family I've always dreamed off"
"Any time princess, anytime" answered Gibbs then pulled Tobias to him with his other arm and stood looking at the combination of his old and new family.