By MchakotayParis (R. Mason)
50 States Series: Wyoming
Chapter 3: Ali Oakley
For the next few days Tobias and Gibbs planned to keep Ali's activities to the less strenuous ones on the ranch, spending most of their time just relaxing at the lodge or in their cabin. The next morning Tobias and Gibbs took her fishing in a small pond that the ranch on the edge of their property and between the three of them they almost had enough to have a fish fry that evening for dinner. Gibbs and Tobias tried to talk Ali into getting into the small boat that the ranch had but she insisted that she wanted to stay on the bank. So after a quiet discussion with one of the ranch hands Gibbs went out in the boat while Tobias stayed on the bank with Ali.
By mid-morning Ali had caught at least a half a dozen fish and was beginning to get a little restless with the fishing so Tobias packed up their fishing rods and put the fish in a cooler and let Ali play on the banks of the pond until Gibbs was finished.
As Ali explored she discovered several frogs and even a few tadpoles along with lots of other pond creatures and by the time Gibbs finally rowed his boat back to shore Ali had waded into the pond getting her shoes and socks soaked and muddied.
"Daddy, Daddy! Look what I caught!" cried Ali as she ran over to him.
"Tobias, just look at Ali's shoes, and those were some of her good tennis shoes" said Gibbs when she ran over to his to show him the tadpole she had caught in a jar.
"Well I didn't think you wanted her to go wading bare foot and the shoes are washable" reminded Tobias with a smile.
"You're right, so what did you catch baby girl?" asked Gibbs as he looked down at his daughter
She was holding up a small mason jar with slightly green muddy water and several small black things floating around.
"Papa says there tadpoles" said Ali happily "Can I keep them?"
"Don't you think it might be better for them if they stayed in the pond until they grew up to be full-fledged frogs?" asked Gibbs
"Well, I guess you're right. And our lake already has frogs anyway" said Ali as she looked once more at the tadpoles then went to the water's edge and carefully poured them back into the pond.
"That's a girl, now why don't we go back to the ranch and get you cleaned up and maybe Mrs. Grady will cook our fish for dinner" said Tobias
"Okay Papa, do you think we have enough for everyone Daddy?" asked Ali as they headed towards the Lazy L's pickup truck.
"Between you, Tobias, Robbie and myself I think we will have enough sweetheart" said Gibbs as he helped load the pickup truck with all their equipment.
They'd followed Robbie in their rental car and after everything was loaded they helped Ali into the back seat of their car, taking off her muddy shoes and socks and laying them on newspaper on the floor board. As usual Ali ended up laying down across the seat during the drive back to the ranch but this time stayed awake talking all the fun she'd had fishing with Tobias.
When they arrived at back at the ranch, Gibbs got out and was just helping Ali out of the backseat when Mrs. Grady approached and saw Gibbs scoop Ali into his arms.
"Is Ali alright?"
"Oh she's fine Mrs. Grady" said Tobias with a smile as he held up Ali's wet shoes and socks
"Ahhhh, I see your little one discovered the wonders of our pond. Well give them here and I'll have the cleaned and dried in no time" said Mrs. Grady with a smile
"Oh no Mrs. Grady, we can put them in a plastic bag and wash them when we get home" said Tobias as he pulled them back when she reached for them
"None sense, by then they will be dried and you might as well throw them away. Give them to me Tobias and I will have the washed and dried by the time Ali wakes from her nap" said Mrs. Grady firmly then took them from Tobias' hands and started marching back towards the lodge.
Tobias looked at Gibbs and saw the smile on his face and shrugged his shoulders "Well don't look at me, would you want to argue with that" said Tobias sheepishly
"Probably not a good idea, once Alice Grady gets a notion in her head it would take an earthquake to shake her" said Robbie as he came over to the trio.
He'd seen the little encounter between Mrs. Grady and Tobias and thought it might be wise to come over and enlighten the pair.
"She's taken a shine to your Ali, so you two might as well except it that as long as she's here she'll be getting spoiled"
"Oh not another one!" said Gibbs with a little laugh that caused Ali to blush and lay her head on Gibbs' shoulder.
"What are we going to do with you little one?" asked Tobias with a smile
"Sorry Papa" mumbled Ali against Gibbs' shoulder
"It's not your fault baby girl, your just to damn cute as Ali. Now why don't we go get you cleaned up then we can eat lunch and put you down for a nap. Maybe after your nap Mrs. Grady with let you help with dinner?"
"Really Daddy, you think she might?" asked Ali excitedly
"Well I don't see why we can't asked her, after your nap of course" said Tobias
"Oh yes of course Papa" said Ali then threw her arms around his neck
"Well I think someone might need a shower before they eat lunch" said Gibbs as he headed towards their cabin.
"I'll make sure they know you might be coming a little late and keep your lunch warm" said Robbie as he watched the three enter their cabin.
"Thanks Robbie" called Tobias as he closed the door behind them.
Allison, Tobias and Jethro Fornell-Gibbs were a strange trio but once you'd met them you couldn't help but notice the love the two men had for Ali and how much she cared in return for each man. He didn't totally understand there situation but that wasn't really important. What was important was that Ali, Tobias and Jethro cared about each other and would do anything for each other. Love like that was rare in a normal relationship not to mention a three some or what ever they were.
Thirty minutes later Ali was showered, diapered and wearing a clean western shirt with one of her denim skirts and cowboy boots to the lodge for lunch. After they sat down Mrs. Grady brought out their lunches and all three dug into their delicious lunch. When Ali was finished Gibbs took her back to their cabin where Ali went willingly down for a nap.
By four o' clock Ali was awake again and after getting redress and eating a snack she spent the rest of the afternoon helping Mrs. Grady and the cook shuck corn, cut up cabbage for cole slaw and make hushpuppies. That evening for dinner they had a fish fry eating Ali's fish, corn on the cob, cole slaw and hushpuppies along with tea and cake for desert.
After dinner they stayed around the lodge and at seven thirty listened to the country western band that played for entertainment. Ali sang a few songs from her seat until she was finally coerced into getting up on stage and singing along to one of the songs she knew. After a few songs Ali finally declined all requests and spent the rest of the evening sitting with Gibbs and Tobias just listening. By nine o' clock Ali was leaning heavily against Tobias' shoulder so they excused themselves and took Ali back to their cabin and put her to bed.
The next afternoon Gibbs and Tobias had set up a skeet shooting session for Ali so after her nap and a snack Tobias, Gibbs and Ali headed towards the open area that was designated the shooting range. As they neared they noticed a small crowd standing around talking to the ranch hand.
"Afternoon Mr's Fornell-Gibbs, I hope you don't mind but they heard about your skeet shooting session and wanted to watch Ali shoot. If that's okay with both of you?"
"As long as Ali doesn't mind we have no objections" said Tobias then looked at his daughter.
Ever since Ali's heroic rescue of Tobias from his run away horse the other guest have been taking an interest in their activities. While no one came close to stalking them or made any rude comments it was a little unnerving to have people watching everything they did.
"I don't mind Daddy, just so long as everyone understands that this is the first time I've done this."
"I'm sure everyone realizes that Ali. Now how about we pick out a rifle for you" said Kyle as he lead Ali and Gibbs over to the rifles.
After helping Ali pick a rifle that she felt comfortable holding and showing her how to load it, Kyle explained the steps of skeet shooting and then demonstrated how to shoot by blasting the clay disk out of the sky.
"Wow Kyle, that was awesome!" said Ali as she came over beside the man.
"Well I'm glad your impressed, now do you think your ready to give it a try?"
"Sure am!" said Ali excitedly as she took the gun from Gibbs, after helping her position the rifle on her shoulder Gibbs stepped back to stand beside Tobias.
Ali waited for a few minutes, then looked back at the two men
"You have to call pull Ali" said Gibbs with a smile
"Oh yeah, Pull!" called Ali then looked back and fired the rifle totally missing the disk.
"Give it one more try little one" said Tobias encouragingly.
"Okay Papa," and after a few minutes put the rifle to her shoulder once again and then after a few minutes called "Pull" then pulled the trigger once again missing the disk. "Damn! I can't do this Daddy!" her eyes beginning to fill with tears.
"Allison Desirae Fornell-Gibbs, what have we told you about giving up just because something is hard" said Tobias as he and Gibbs came over to her
"I'm sorry Papa, but I just can't seam to hit the damn thing" said Ali exasperatedly.
"Then how about I pattern" suggested Gibbs
"You mean like you did at the firing range when I got my gun?"
"Ali carries a gun?" asked Kyle as he came over to the pair.
"Yes, and has a concealed weapons permit to go along with it. She is after all a retired Federal Agent" reminded Tobias
"Oh yes sir, I remember the Grady's mentioning that when they told us you were coming. So by all means do whatever you think is best to help Ali" said Kyle nervously
"All right baby girl, just like we did it at the firing range" said Gibbs with a smile then came over to stand beside Ali.
Patiently Gibbs came up behind Ali and after watching her reload the rifle, helped her position it in the crock of her shoulder,. Gently re squaring her hips, Gibbs took a half step back and whispered in her ear.
"Whenever your ready baby girl"
After a few minutes Ali called "Pull" and a few seconds later pulled the trigger, this time hitting the only the very edge of the disk "Damn!"
"Much better baby girl, just keep you eye on the target and remember aim a little ahead of the target" said Gibbs with a smile.
After Ali reloaded her rifle Gibbs moved up behind her and once again helped her position the rifle. This time he didn't move away from her and stayed against her back helping her hold the rifle, then looked over at Tobias and nodded.
"Pull" called Tobias
This time Ali and Gibbs pulled the trigger at the same time Tobias called pull and the disk was blown out of the air.
"I hit it Daddy, I hit it! Did you see that Papa!" cried Ali as she handed Gibbs her rifle then ran over to hug Tobias
"I did sweetheart, and I'm very proud of you" said Tobias with a smile as he looked over at his husband
"Very nice shooting sir, where did you learn to shoot like that?" asked Kyle as he came over to themselves
"Oh Daddy was sniper, Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, then worked for NCIS" said Ali proudly as she looked back at her other father
"Oh well thank you for your service sir. Ali would you like to continue to shoot?" asked Kyle
"Oh yes please, may I Daddy, Papa?"
"As long as your shoulder holds up little one" said Gibbs with a smile as Ali ran back into his arms.
The rest of the afternoon was spent with Ali getting progressively better at skeet shooting until finally she hit all the disk by herself. After that Kyle mentioned something about wondering how she would do with a fire arm and after a little badgering Gibbs went to get their guns from their cabin.
The had brought all three guns with them just encase they were needed but so far this was the first time they'd been out of the cabin. While Gibbs was retrieving their guns Ali and Kyle set up some targets so when Gibbs returned he unlocked the box and they each retrieved their gun. Tobias and Gibbs still preferred to use their service revolvers, a Gluck 45 while Ali used the smaller but just as powerful Colt 45.
After checking their guns and loading them, Tobias stepped up first and fired off six rounds hitting each of the targets squarely in the middle.
"Way to go Papa!" called Ali as she ran over to him after he had removed his gun clip. "You're turn Daddy"
After giving Kyle as chance to replace the targets, Gibbs stepped up and expertly fired of six rounds hitting each target squarely in the middle.
"Good shooting Daddy" cried Ali
"Now how about our Ms. Ali Oakley?" asked Mr. as he and Mrs. Grady as they came over to the crowd.
They knew that Gibbs and Tobias had set up a skeet shooting session for Ali that afternoon, and soon heard the rumors of how good Ali was at skeet shooting. Given her background they hadn't doubted that she would excel at anything she tried but want to see what all the commotion was about.
"Who's that Mr. Grady?" asked Ali as she turned around in Gibbs' arms
"Annie Oakley? One of the best female sharp shooters of the wild west. Was part of the Wild Bill Hickok's wild west show for years" said Mrs. Grady
"I thought that was just a legend?" said Ali
"Well, there was never any real proof that there was a Annie Oakley. But folks around her take their wild west legends seriously"
"Oh well then I guess I have a lot to live up to huh?" said Ali nervously
"Don't worry sweetheart, you just be yourself and do your best and you'll be fine" said Gibbs as he handed Ali her gun.
After checking her stance Ali fired of six consecutive rounds each bullet hitting it's target squarely in the center. When she was done she opened the cartridge and gave the gun to Tobias.
"Well done Ali, I think you did the name proud" beamed Mrs. Grady
"Thank you ma'am" said Ali shyly.
"Well why don't we get cleaned up for dinner and then maybe you can check the library for books on Annie Oakley?" suggested Mrs. Grady
"Oh can I Daddy, please?" asked Ali as she bounced in Gibbs' arms
"Well see after dinner baby girl, right now I think Mrs. Grady's right. Someone probably needs to be changed" said Gibbs
"Oh yeah, I guess your right Daddy" said Ali shyly
They had been out shooting since after Ali's nap and she was indeed wet and a little stinky from the heat.
"Well then how about a quick shower and change before dinner little one" said Tobias as he came over and took Ali from Gibbs' arms.
"Thank you again Kyle!" called Ali as she and Tobias headed towards their cabin.
"You're welcome Ali, and thank you for helping Mr. Fornell-Gibbs" said Kyle
"It's really the only way Ali will learn once she gets frustrated" said Gibbs with a smile then left to follow his daughter and husband back to their cabin.
After a very playful shower Tobias and Gibbs dressed Ali in another one of her western shirts and denim skirts this time with a blue denim vest they had found at the gift shop and her cowboy boots. At the lodge all the talk was about Gibbs, Tobias and Ali's shooting and Ali blushed continuously until dinner was served and everyone started to eat. After dinner Gibbs, Tobias and Ali stayed at the lodge and listened to the evenings entertainment while Ali ready a book about the legend of Annie Oakley out of the library. At Ali's bed time they excused themselves and took a very happy but sleepy Ali back to their cabin and after a quick diaper change put her to bed.
Ali, Tobias and Gibbs did extend their vacation another week and by the time they left the Lazy L Dude Ranch and Wyoming Ali was totally enthralled by the western life style even asking if they could by a cattle ranch. Luckily Tobias and Gibbs talked her out of the idea with the promise that they would come back and visit the Lazy L Dude Ranch again. Back at home Ali begged and pleaded with Gibbs and Tobias to get her some skeet shooting equipment and after much discussion and even a few punishments they relented and bought Ali the equipment.
Ali practiced faithfully for a while along with her shooting her gun until she got to be a very good marksman. After that she fell back into her normal routine of retired life and stayed at the house until they closed up for the winter months and returned to D.C.
Ali's christmas that year had a decidedly western theme to it which the family loved along with all the pictures, sketches and stories that they brought back from Wyoming.
An: well that's all for this little story and I want to once again thank everyone who read, followed, favorited or review my little story. Hopefully another story will be coming soon but until then "Happy Trail to you, until we meet again!"