A/N: This is part of my Zibbs AU. I originally had wanted to add a little someone into their family, but with the recent news of Cote's departure from the show, my story took a different route. I hope that despite the character death at the beginning the story is still one that you can enjoy.

Ch. 1

Micah Izaak Gibbs came into the world at the same time his mother, Ziva left it. The joy mixed with the pain was a moment that rocked the life of his father, Leroy Jethro.

No stranger to the pain of loss, his father held him as his eyes filled with tears and he lovingly caressed his wife's face. He felt frozen in time unsure how to move forward. How would he survive without her, let alone take care of their infant son and his four and a half year old brother, Jakob?

He felt a strong hand on his back and turn his now tear streaked face to see his long time friend standing there, his own grief apparent on his face.

Knowing his friend was wont to hide in his despair, Dr. Mallard, better known as Ducky, told him, "You are not alone this time."

Gibbs wanted to argue, but knew his wife was loved by all those he considered his family. True when he'd lost his first wife there were others that shared his loss, but he'd been too filled with guilt and anger to accept their support.

This time there was no one he could blame. Nothing anyone could've done to prevent the tragedy that he now faced.

It had been Ziva's desire to have another child. Kate and Tony's newest addition had left her feeling the need to have her own baby. Jakob was a wonderful son and would make a great big brother, she insisted.

Not on to deny her and secretly thrilled at the prospect of another child, even as he moved on in years, he agreed.

The pregnancy had been uneventful, until the end. Her headaches had increased in number and duration during the final month, but she refused to mention them until it was too late. By the time they realized the risk of labor and childbirth she was in the midst of delivery.

A c-section was called for, but the damage had been done. The clot that had resided within her brain ruptured the blood vessel and no medical intervention could bring her back.

A nurse came and gently took his new son from his arms to give him time to say good-bye to his wife, though the sentiment was more for his benefit than hers.

The next few days were a blur of arrangements and condolences. Bringing Micah home and trying to explain to Jake what had happened and how his mother was not coming home to them. She had been a big part of Jakob's world, as she adored him like no one else could.

Gibbs had no idea how he'd continue to raise his boys without her by his side. He'd been older when he'd lost his mother and his father had been younger, but still he glimpsed what his father must've faced.

A new appreciation for him grew as the days passed. Jack had come for the funeral and stayed to help him sort things out. There were too many decisions to be made.

He moved through his days on autopilot, taking care of the needs of his children and neglecting most of his own. Abby came to give him time to regroup, and the rest of the team lent hands when they could.

He didn't relish returning to work and seeing the empty desk by his side. She had filled a void when she first arrived and a bigger one when she became his bride.

Now a larger hole was left with her passing. Sure, eventually another agent could fill her seat, but the void in his heart would take a lifetime to heal.

Gibbs was back at work, the team down a member with no plans to fill the spot any time soon. They were still healing and did what they did best putting all their effort into solving cases and saving any remorse for down time.

Life was moving ahead and Gibbs found that having his children dependent on him was the only thing keeping hem from wallowing in despair- them and the rest of the family who rarely let an evening pass when at least one member made his or her way to his home.

Jakob asked questions, but seemed to accept that his mother was in Heaven and looking down over him. He had moments when he had quiet talks when he shared his day's events with her.

Micah, of course, had only his own basic needs that had to be met and was content to be held by anyone willing to snuggle up with him.

Fall was approaching and Jakob was getting ready to start at school. Gibbs worried that his son would be alienated not having a mother to talk about with his classmates, but hoped that it wouldn't turn out to be an issue.

He couldn't help but recall Kelly's first day of kindergarten and the stories she had to tell when she got home. He was certain school had changed since then, so was curious what his son would have to share.

He got the morning off to take Jake to school himself and help ease him into his new environment. The teacher welcomed all the parents for the first day so that they could see how things were set up in the classroom. He immediately found the teacher likeable and shared with her in confidence the recent loss that had affected his family. She was understanding and empathetic and promised that she would watch for any signs that her students showed that were concerning and would contact him immediately if necessary.

Jakob quickly found some friends to hang with and Gibbs ruffled his hair when he said good-bye. He wasn't surprised by the hug that his son gave, so he smiled down at him and winked promising to see him at the end of the school day.

Kate had volunteered to watch Micah, even though she had her own son, who had only recently celebrated his first birthday and was beginning to run circles around her home. She said she found peace holding the little one who was happy with the closeness. It wouldn't be too much longer before Micah was mobile himself already trying his best to follow his brother around their home (though not making any progress).

Gibbs was relieved at 1400 when he hadn't received a phone call and left to retrieve his son from school. He waited with other parents outside the school doors pleasantly surprised that there were at least a few other dads present. He spoke with a few parents as they waited for the teacher to lead the children out of the school.

All the parents smiled seeing the orderly lines the children kept as they exited the doors, before the teacher saw each one meet up with a parent holding back a few whose parents had yet to arrive.

Jakob jumped into his father's waiting arms already trying to fill him in on all he'd done during the day. Gibbs nodded and replied excitedly enjoying his son's exuberance for school.

"I can't wait to go back tomorrow," Jake shared.

"I'm glad you had a good first day," Gibbs hugged his little boy and carried him to the car wondering how many more days he'd have left before Jake found himself too big to be carried.

"Are we going to work Daddy?" he asked.

"Not today. I'm going to take you to Auntie Kate's house so I can pick you and Mickey up when I'm done with work," Gibbs explained.

Jakob nodded. He loved his aunt and had missed his baby brother. He'd get to see his cousins, Angela and Little T, too so he didn't complain.

"We'll talk more about school after dinner," Gibbs told him knowing he'd have more to share later.

"Okay," Jake agreed.

When they drove up the driveway to Kate and Tony's house the front door opened and Kate came out to greet them.

"Both boys are asleep, so I was hoping to keep the noise to a minimum inside," she smiled.

Gibbs nodded unbuckling the seatbelt for Jake. "I'll just pop my head in to check on Mickey," he told her.

Kate was touched by the pure love she saw in her former boss's eyes. Yes, despite the pain of loss he had to endure, he never regretted the love that he shared and the children they created.