disclaimer: I don't own NCIS or its characters...

Tony pulled her close, until her protruding belly was pressed tightly against his own flat stomach. The distance between their faces was still vast enough that he had to lean in to kiss her. He kissed her forehead and her cheek, her lips and her neck. His hands roamed under clothes, caressing her skin.

Kate smiled at him and returned his eager embraces. The heat and desire between them intensified until she reluctantly broke it off, pushing him away. He gave her a puzzled looked at being deterred.

"It's not that I don't want to, Tony," Kate tried to explain. "But I'm six and a half months pregnant. You know-"

"Yeah, yeah. It wouldn't be good for the baby," Tony conceded. Kate gave him a frustrated look.

"It really wouldn't be good for the baby if I went into labor and it was born almost three months early!" she snapped at him. She was feeling very uncomfortable carrying all that weight around. Her back was beginning to ache, and she really just wanted to be held in Tony's arms again. And it really was his fault she was in this situation. If he hadn't gotten her pregnant she wouldn't be in pain right now. Not to mention that she would be able to enjoy his affections again.

He sighed at her emotional turbulence. He had thought that she could change moods quickly before, but now that she was over six months pregnant her mood changed direction faster than the wind. Not more than a few seconds ago he had been kissing her and she had been affectionately returning his embrace. Now she was looking at him with fury and contempt in her eyes. He knew not to take it seriously, that there was love somewhere beneath the resentment on the surface. "Why don't you lie down, Kate? It's been a long day," he suggested.

Kate sighed. "I guess you're right," she conceded, her hand resting on her lower back, trying to support the weight of her overburdened belly.

Tony escorted her to their bedroom. They had decided to move in together after she had revealed her pregnancy to him. He was glad that she had accepted him instead of pushing him away when she found herself in the awkward situation of an unexpected pregnancy. Their relationship had strengthened since then, and he thought it had been going pretty well. He wasn't sure what the future would for him and Kate, but he knew they were both committed to their unborn child, which was currently wreaking havoc on her body and emotions.

He helped Kate onto the bed. She wiggled around, unable to get comfortable. She whined in frustration as she moved to lie on her side, and then proceeded to shift onto her back again. Tony truly felt bad for her. She seemed to be in a constant state of discomfort or outright pain for the past week.

"Is your back bothering you again?" he asked in as innocently a tone of voice he could muster so as not to provoke a verbal assault.

"What do you think?" Kate growled from her unsettled position on the bed. She realized that he was concerned about her discomfort and gave him a pleading look, begging for him to relieve her suffering.

He knew what that look was for, and he wasn't going to deny her in sorry state. "You want me to give you a back rub?" he offered, smiling at the fact that he was the solution to her problem. He had to admit to himself that he secretly liked that part of the pregnancy best. The fact that Kate needed him was a great source of pleasure for Tony. He would have loved to draw out the moment longer, and force her to plead and beg with him. But he also remembered the fact that he was the cause of her discomfort, at least partly. So when she nodded at him with that pleading look in her eyes, he immediately sat down on the bed behind her and began to massage her back.

Her little sighs of relief and pleasure mad him smile. They sat in relative silence except for the sounds of Kate's heavy breathing and the seldom moan as he hit a sore spot in her muscles. It became an almost meditative state between the two of them, their bond almost tangible, like the child within Kate's womb.

The phone rang, breaking their silent reverie. Tony jumped up to answer the phone as Kate sighed in disappointment. They both knew who would be calling and why. She heard him talking in the other room, and with her suspicions confirmed Kate heaved another sigh and lied back down on the bed. Her back pain had almost been alleviated by Tony's massage, too.

He walked back into the room to find Kate tossing around on the bed trying to get comfortable. "Umm…Kate. I'm sorry. That was Gibbs. They need me back at HQ," said apologetically. He felt bad about leaving her when she needed his attention. "Is there anything I can get you while I'm out?"

Kate seemed to perk up at the offer, propping herself up off her back in order to look at Tony. She hadn't considered the fact that he'd feel guilty about leaving her and could be forced to fetch something that she desired. She had only been thinking about spending another night alone in discomfort. Her stomach rumbled, letting her know what she should request. "I'd like some Chinese food…please?" Kate requested with the most pathetic look on her face that she could rally. She knew that she had to lay the guilt on thick because finding Chinese take-out at the time of night he'd be returning would prove difficult, and he'd need motivation.

He felt so bad at having to leave that she could have requested the liver of an extinct animal species and he'd still try and obtain it for her. With the look she gave him, he'd probably do anything she asked, even thought he knew it was a ploy to instill guilt in him. "Okay, Kate. Your wish is my command," he said with his usual DiNozzo charm.

"Wait, Tony!" she stopped him as he was leaving the bedroom. "Maybe I want Thai," she said timidly. She couldn't decide. She changed her mind, thinking about how her stomach might react to the spicy food. "No. I want Chinese.'

Tony shook his head at her, laughing at how indecisive she had become. "Whatever you want," he told her, walking over to where she was lying on the bed. He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead.

"I want Chinese," Kate said, finally making up her mind.

"Okay. Chinese it is," Tony confirmed her order. He kissed her on the lips this time. "I'm sorry," he whispered in her ear before leaving her to spend the night alone and uncomfortably pregnant in their apartment.