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“Get out of that bed.”

The idiot clutched her special blankie closer. If they weren’t there to deliver pizza, Pepsi or chocolate; she didn’t need to tip them. “Put it on the nightstand.”

“You mean this disgusting stack of pizza and Godiva boxes? I said, get up!” At the pathetic whine, he lost patience. Grabbing the top box, he whacked her on what he thought was her bottom. The indignant head indicated he had not been talking to her head. The scene degenerated into a tug of war over the faded quilt.

The idiot would swear that he deliberately let go causing her to tumble to the floor. She whined. “My mom is very sick. They don’t know how long she has.”

“So that gives you permission to wallow in self-pity?”

“You’re supposed to be nice to me.”

“You’re supposed to be nice to me,” he returned. “I’m still practically a newlywed and if you don’t get any work done, I don’t get any.”

“You have not one, but two…” She held up two fingers in a gesture not considered polite in England. “…new born babies. Whether I work or not you’re not getting any. Plus, you have to have surgery.” She said in a “so there” tone.

“We…” Tony gestured from himself to her and back. “…have got to talk. A newfie? Really? We live in the Washington corridor. Lap dogs, poodles, dachshunds all over the park. Even German shepherds and all kinds of retrievers. You have to run me over with a Newfoundland? Where did you get such a stupid idea?”

“I saw a picture in Wolfnjag’s magazine.”

"So if you'd seen a water buffalo... Don't answer that." He narrowed his eyes. “Did Wolfnjag know you had her magazine?” This violated so many cabal rules.

“She left it lay on the table.” The idiot said defensively.

“While she….” He prompted.

“Bad sushi.”

“Speaking of food, I got your Easter card. What were you thinking?” The pizza box was repeated thumped on her head.


FLASHBACK STARTS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“What’s that?” Jethro asked putting Chris in his seat.

“It’s an Easter card for the twins.” Tony smiled as Linnie managed to squash a handful of mashed carrots into Jethro’s hair.

“How nice.” Jackside placed a bowl of hash browns on the table. “Read to us.”

Tony eagerly opened the envelope. It was a nice card; two toddlers playing with bunnies and Easter eggs. He showed it to the twins. “It says…. This morning I woke up and then I looked around,
There was no new bonnet, no candy to be found.

There were no colored eggs waiting to be seen,
That Easter bunny didn’t leave a single jelly bean.

So I made my mind up and now I’m on the hunt,
And if I catch that bunny, guess what we’ll have for ...”

Jackson ripped the card out of Tony’s hands. “Who would send something like this to babies?”

Jethro shook his head. “The idiot?” He said looking at his husband who nodded slowly. “I thought you were going to talk to her.”

“I tried but...” Tony shook head. “She has this hurt look and seems so innocent and confused. The next thing you know you're babysitting an aardvark till it's mommy comes back."

Jackson looked at his so-in-law. "So that's what Zuma chased out of my garden." He shook his finger. "No more baby-sitting animals."

“She needs to understand what is appropriate to send the twins.” Jethro stood and let Tony wipe the carrots out of his hair. “And the shot in the hip, the newfie, the back surgery.... Either you talk to her or I will.”

Tony looked sadly at the card. “I will.”

FLASHBACK ENDS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - -


“You didn’t like it? I worked hard on the picture. I had Coke and Pepsi and the clones pose and everything. We used the field by the barn and all the lambs and the alliance helped with the makeup and the eggs. They were real fragile.”

“Why were they fragile?”

“We couldn’t boil them.”

“You had real eggs? Where did you.... No. Never mind.” Tony tried to avoid the tangent.

“They were ostrich eggs.”

“Where did you get ostrich eggs?” Tony could see her being arrested for smuggling.

“Kiwi knew a couple ostriches who loaned them to us.”

“The mothers gave them to you so you could paint them?”

“Of course.” Tony have her a look of disbelief. “Okay, fine. They may not have known they were going to be decorated.”

“Geminiangel, you know better.”

“We scrubbed them all before we gave them back.” The idiot grumbled. Thank heavens for water colors.

“Look...” Tony pulled his phone out. “Very Special Agent DiNozzo. Uh-huh... Ducky and Palmer in route? Be right there.” He put his phone away. “You will get up, get showered and get to work. Otherwise, I’m cutting off the pizza and chocolate deliveries. You understand?”

“Meanie!” The idiot yelled as he left the room. She picked up her blankie and went to sit on her bed.

“Now, idiot! Don’t make me come back there.”

Maybe parents did have eyes in the back of their head.