Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Pairings: Pre Gibbs/DiNozzo; Past Gibbs/Shannon
Word Count: 2,241
Note 2: This was also written for taylorgibbs's January 2012 prompt.
Summary: They became his guardians when he needed them the most. They were his family no matter what kept them apart.
Tony closed his eyes, trying to block out the pain radiating from his knee. The scene from the game kept replaying in his head, with the sickening crunch at the end. The doctors had already told him that it would take months of physically therapy for a full recovery. They were also telling him how playing sports for a living wouldn't be a viable option.
"Not that it matters," Tony huffed out loud. "No one scouts the hospital."
"It just proves the point I've been trying to get across to you since high school," came the unwelcomed haughty voice. "Sports is not a great career choice Anthony. Business is a much better option."
"And I'll ask again, Berty, how the hell did I end up with you as a guardian angel? You couldn't even keep a Michigan guy off of me."
"It's Albert for the thousandth time. And trust me, if I had had a choice, I wouldn't have been here either. I'm sure there are better –"
Tony looked up as Berty cut his ever familiar speech short. The angel was staring off in the distance with a look that Tony knew meant he was communicating with the powers from above. Finally the angel's attention snapped back to earth and he was sporting a satisfied smile on his face.
"They've finally listened after all these years! I'd wish you good luck Anthony, but I know your track record. Good bye." And for the first time since he could remember, Tony didn't see his Berty anywhere.
"Berty!" he called out as loudly dared to avoid the appearance of the evil nurses from the station. "Albert!"
"He's not coming back," a soft female voice answered. "Probably a good thing too, from what I gather."
Tony looked up at the source of the voice and was greeted by a redheaded woman smiling at him. "What do you mean he's not coming back? He may not have been the best at his job, but he's mine."
"Not anymore. From what I was told, he was never supposed to be yours to begin with. So they're making it up to you and giving you us instead."
"Us?" Tony asked confused.
"Us," she answered as she stepped aside to show a child hiding behind her.
"Hi," the girl said shyly. "Mom says that we get to be here to help you from now on. Kinda like my dad. Only he protects everyone and we just get to protect you."
At Tony's inquisitive look, the woman took over. "We just recently crossed over, so we're kind of new at this. I was told you were a special case and that we would be perfect for you and your future."
Tony gave a little smile. "Berty always said I was special even if we didn't see eye to eye on things. I've never met anyone else that can see their guardian angels. Of course, most people probably wouldn't mention if they did. Although, that might make a good movie."
"It might at that. Hope you like movies, because I didn't get to see Silence of the Lambs before…" she trailed off as a grimace crossed her face.
"How'd it happen?" Tony asked quietly.
"Started out with me being in the wrong place at the wrong time and snowballed from there. In the end it was a car wreck. I just wish," she paused as she glanced down at her daughter. "I just wish Kelly was still there to be with her dad."
Kelly sniffled a little bit before saying, "My dad's gonna be all alone now."
Acting on impulse, Tony gestured for the girl to come closer. "How about you sit up here on the bed and help me figure out what this food is?"
The woman smiled approvingly in Tony's direction. "I'm Shannon by the way," she said as she took up residence in the seat next to his bed.
"Tony," he said with a smile. "But I guess you already knew that."
"Why didn't you tell me the man was so frustrating?" Tony complained as he tossed his gear into the corner by the door and stalked toward his kitchen.
"I did tell you, remember? Back in Baltimore after I was able to string two words together and tell you who he was and why he had Kelly crying."
"Yeah, yeah. But I don't remember you telling me 'no' when I decided to switch to NCIS."
"Well of course not. It was a good move for you. It was just a bonus that Kelly and I would get to be around him even if he couldn't see us."
"That's one of the main reasons I've stayed for so long, you know. I didn't want to separate you guys from him. Wouldn't do that to you," Tony said as he calmed down and opened a beer.
"Not the only reason," Shannon said knowingly. "You need to tell him how you feel."
Tony shook his head and sat on the couch. "He's yours Shannon. And if those ex-wives are any example, you're still his. Plus, he doesn't like me the way I like him."
Shannon snorted. "Bull. I was with the man for years, so I'd like to think I'm as much of an expert on him as you are. He loves you Tony."
Before Tony could mount an argument, Kelly jumped on the couch next to him. "He does," she agreed. "You're the reason he didn't crossover when you saved him and Maddie."
Tony couldn't argue with Kelly and Shannon was just smirking. "Okay, suppose he does love me. What difference does it make? Am I just supposed to go over to that basement of his and kiss him until he kisses me back?"
"That might work," Shannon said sagely and Kelly just giggled.
"That's it you two," he said in exasperation. "I'm going to bed."
Once he was asleep, Kelly curled up on the couch next to Shannon. "I want them both happy, Mom."
"So do I, honey. We just need to help them along."
"How? Dad can't see us and Tony won't listen to us."
"I think I know a way your dad can see us. We just need a way to be nearby while he's sleeping," Shannon said thoughtfully.
"So we need Tony to go stay with him at home?"
"Yeah, and I know just the way."
"Boiler went out," Tony said with a shrug as he told Gibbs why he was at his house with his bags in tow. "Landlord said it would be a few weeks to a month this time because he finally decided to dish out and get the whole building upgraded."
"Probably a good thing," Gibbs said as he turned the steaks over the fireplace. "You know the rules."
"Couldn't forget them," Tony mumbled as he walked to the kitchen to get beers and grab a couple of potatoes to go with the steaks.
It wasn't until they were both sound asleep that Shannon put her plan into motion.
"You really think he'll see us this way," Kelly asked hopefully as they looked down at Gibbs' sleeping form.
"I hope so. I think the whole team is susceptible to seeing spirits. They've all seen Kate. And Jethro has been seeing Mike since he died. So he should be able to see us too."
"Dad," Kelly said softly. "Can you hear me?" She placed her ghostly hand over top his. "I miss you."
"We both miss you," Shannon added as she joined her daughter. She leaned forward and placed a kiss to his forehead.
They talked long into the night to his sleeping form. Telling him how they'd gone straight to work with Tony after their deaths and that they knew that Tony loved him and vice versa. When day broke and Gibbs' eyes fluttered open, Shannon knew without a doubt he could see them.
"Shan-" he started to say, but then he cut the name off and headed for the bathroom.
"Stubborn bastard," Shannon muttered and Kelly nodded her head in agreement.
Over the next week, they kept up the same routine of talking to him at night and keeping their distance during the day as they followed Tony around. But they could both tell that he was at least seeing them part of the time.
Finally, Tony called them on it while Gibbs was holed up in the basement. "What've you done to him?" he said accusingly. "I think he can see you now."
"Then it's working," Shannon said pointedly. "With the way he could see Kate when she died and now Franks, I figured he should have always been able to see us too. He just didn't want to because we hurt him too much."
"So you're forcing the issue? And he can see Franks?" Tony asked, casting a nervous glance around the room for the former NCIS agent.
"Yeah, and don't worry. Franks seems to like tormenting only Jethro. Unlike Kate who visited all of you."
"I miss her," Tony said wistfully. "Bet she got some great assignment somewhere."
"It's just a good thing you already had us when she died."
"At the rate you two are going I'm not sure that's much better," Tony said jokingly.
"So, what does getting Gibbs to admit to seeing you prove?" Tony asked, going back to the topic at hand. "It still won't change anything."
"Give us time," Shannon said with conviction.
It was two weeks in that Kelly had a breakthrough.
Gibbs was in the basement and was looking at the picture of Kelly and Maddie.
"Been thinking about you and your mom a lot lately," he said softly. "Wondering why you never showed up like Kate and Mike did. Figure you must have had something important to do."
"We did, Daddy," Kelly said as she walked toward him. Gibbs looked up at her and sucked in a deep breath.
"Yeah. Mom and I've been trying to talk to you. Are you ready to listen?"
"Shannon?" Gibbs said with a shocked expression as Shannon joined Kelly in the basement.
"It's us," Shannon answered as she knelt with Kelly on each side of Gibbs.
All three remained silent for several minutes until Shannon started the conversation. "It wasn't your fault. It was meant to be."
"But I wasn't there to protect you!" Gibbs argued as he looked at his hands wrapped by their shimmering ones.
"You were doing your job and we understand that. Just like we've had a job since we died. A very important one."
Gibbs looked up curiously. "What?"
"Kelly and I became guardian angels. Not yours," she added hastily before he could ask. "Be we've been there for someone you care about deeply."
"And we've kept him safe for you, Dad," Kelly added. "And he really needs two of us watching out for him, because one isn't enough for him."
"Him?" Gibbs asked faintly, already knowing the answer.
"Yes, him. He was in a hospital with a messed up knee and all his dreams going away quickly when we met him. And the guardian he had before us was horrible when it came to what Tony needs."
Gibbs found himself smiling. "Yeah, he's a handful for the living too. Wait," Gibbs stopped, his mind jumping to a conclusion. "Tony can see you both, can't he?"
"He has since we were assigned to him," Shannon confirmed. "And he's known who we are to you since Baltimore. Although, it took a little bit for us to actually be able to tell him why we were shell-shocked after he tackled you to the ground."
"I bet. So he knew about you before I lost my memory?"
"Yeah. And between the two of us we figured out what you did to Hernandez and for the record we both agree with your form of justice."
Gibbs just nodded. "Why now? You've been here with him for over ten years. Why now."
"You weren't ready," Shannon said with a sigh. "And Tony wasn't either. But now I think you both are."
"Tony likes you, Dad," Kelly spoke up. "Like Mom likes you," she added. "And we know you like him. You look at him like you always looked at Mom when no one else was watching."
"So is this some kind of intervention?" Gibbs said, a small smile forming.
"If it has to be," Shannon said. "We never wanted you to stop living your life because you lost us. And now I think you'll be able to see us all you want, but I also think that you need to go upstairs and talk to Tony. Really talk. Like I used to make you."
"What about you both? Will I-"
Shannon cut him off, "We're staying down here for now. And like I said, you can talk to us whenever. We're with Tony for the long haul and he's with you. So there's no reason you shouldn't go make it official."
"Okay," Gibbs said, letting his nerves show through to his two favorite girls. "But don't get mad when I say I told you so when this all goes to hell."
"Don't you remember Gibbs," Shannon whispered into his ear. "I'm always right. Rule-"
"Ninety-nine," Gibbs finished. "I remember," Gibbs whispered back and then he headed up the stairs to find Tony.
"Think they'll work it all out, Mom?" Kelly asked hopefully.
"I think they will."