Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Characters: DiNozzo; Jackson Gibbs
Word Count: 1,000
Setting: Post- 06x25 Aliyah
Note: Title of M*A*S*H episode 03x08 inspired this fic...
Series: 9th Story in Letters to Home
Crossposted: ncisfanfic; ncis_fic; ncis_slash; gibbs_dinozzo
Summary: Jack passes along some advice to Tony...
Thanks for the card, son. I've gone all these years since Kelly died without a father's day card and now I got two in one day. Yeah, that means Leroy left me one too. I think you're a good influence on him. Hadn't seen him since the funeral and now, in less than a year, he's written, called and been to stay. And he topped it off with a father's day card.
If you're anything like my son (and you're more like him than is probably healthy for you), you probably don't want me asking you questions about your childhood. But… I can't help but wonder if you ever had anything good you can look back on and remember. Let me tell you why I started the store before you shut me out on this…
My father was a miner to his dying breath. Black lung is what took him just before I married Leroy's mamma. Now, my dad made sure he provided for our family. There was my mamma and then Johnny and Peggy, Leroy's uncle and aunt. He kept us fed, kept a roof over our heads, but that was it. He never had more than enough and would have fallen under that 'poorest man' bit from your card. But I don't think he left a 'rich inheritance' like many fathers do.
I started out in the mines because it was a way to be closer to my father. But when Leroy was born, I realized I was well on the way to becoming him and I didn't want that for my own son. So me and LJ hatched a harebrained plan to start a general store in Stillwater. It got me out of the mines and I was able to be there for Leroy.
Now… It seems to me that even though my father didn't know me and I didn't know him, he left me something very important. He made me realize what I didn't want to be. Since I can't thank him for anything else, I thank him for that. From what I understand, you came up the same way in terms of learning what you didn't want to be. So maybe you got that 'rich inheritance' after all.
Since I'm being all philosophical and you can't tell me to pipe down in a letter, let me pass on some more food for thought. I can't tell you or Leroy how to run your lives, but maybe you should think about telling that Tim kid about you being together. From what I understand, secrets have done a lot of damage in your team. What happens when Tim finds out from someone else that you two are together? Just something to think about.
Now that I'm done butting into your life, how about I ask you about this Mildred character you mentioned. Sounds like maybe you had something good you can think about. I may sound like a nosy old man, but I just want a chance to get to know you. Heaven knows that Leroy will never tell me anything about you.
Next time you come for a visit we'll do an overnight fishing trip. There's this pond in the woods that rarely gets fished these days. Some large catfish out there if you know what bait to use.
You take care and at least think about what I said.
Other people… well… I would have told them to leave me the hell alone, but… I've never had many people to talk with and I guess I don't want to alienate one whose opinion actually matters to me.
I was about ten when I realized I didn't want to be my father. I was standing in his study, pouring him a drink and listening to him talk on the phone about some business merger. Earlier that day, we had a "What Does Your Father Do?" kind of day at school. I was thinking about this kid's, Joey was his name I think, father. He gave a talk in his police uniform and gave some spiel about being there to help people in need and catching the bad guys. At ten, it all sounded so exciting and there was my father engrossed in reports and phone calls about numbers. But I think what got me the most was watching Joey get a hug from his dad before he left. I figured people like my father didn’t hug and people like Joey's dad did.
Sounds like a lame excuse now for the reason I really got into law enforcement. I mean most kids grow out of the whole cop and robbers fascination at some point. But that day just stuck with me. It's why, even though I was planning on sports, I always took the criminology courses in college.
I guess I'm not sure if I really have my father to thank for that path or not. Maybe I should thank Joey's dad instead…
Mildred was great. She'd let me sit in the kitchen while she worked on all these fancy full course meals and just talk. Otherwise, I didn't talk much as a kid. I still write her once in a while. Actually, her birthday's coming up. I haven't talked to her since Jethro and I got together. Maybe I should. She's one person I definitely don't mind knowing. She actually introduced me to my first boyfriend, but that's a story for another time. ;) (you do know that means winking, right?)
Speaking of telling people… You might be right about McGee. I don't think we can afford any more secrets on our team. We've had one too many lately. I'm just not sure how he'll take it. Maybe we can get some input from Abby. I think she knows what makes his brain tick.
Can't write much more, but… I'm not sure if an overnight camping trip is the best. Just ask your son.
Thanks for butting in and take care…