A/N: I am slowly creeping into the NCIS fandom. This is a little bit rough in places, but practice makes perfect, and I don't think it's too terrible. ;) Anyway, this takes place several years in the future from the current series. Enjoy!
The quiet sound of footsteps on the stairs halted Gibbs in mid-paint stroke. He looked up and smiled fondly at the dark-haired woman.
"What are you doing here, Ziva? I thought you and Tony would be enjoying your evening off."
"Well, we were," Ziva kept a hand on the railing as she turned the corner. She put one hand absentmindedly on her stomach. "I'm pregnant, Gibbs."
"Congratulations. You came all the way out here by yourself just to tell me?" Gibbs eyed his agent critically.
"Tony...didn't take the news as well as I hoped. He—well, he ran off, actually," She waved her hand in an exasperated motion.
"He's scared, Ziva. It takes a big man to be a father."
"I think he will make an excellent father. He will make mistakes, yes, but so will I. It doesn't take a perfect man to be father."
"I know," Gibbs said earnestly, "But does he know?"
"I was hoping you would talk to him."
Gibbs sighed. "I am really the last person you should go to for marriage counseling, Ziva. Or are you forgetting the ex-wives?"
"I'm not asking for marriage counseling, Gibbs. I was hoping you would talk to my husband as one father to another." She looked at him pleadingly and Gibbs did what he always did—gave in.
"All right. But, you go home and get some rest, Mrs. DiNozzo. Take care of that baby."
Ziva laughed and leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. "Thank you, Gibbs."
It hadn't been too hard to track down DiNozzo. He was sitting on a park bench staring at lights reflecting off the pond in front of him.
"DiNozzo." Gibbs held out the coffee cup in front of it.
"Hey, Boss." Tony took the cup with a sigh. "Ziva called you."
"Uh huh." Gibbs lowered himself onto the bench beside Tony.
"I can't do it, Gibbs. I don't know the first thing about being a dad. I'm terrified at the idea. I'm probably going to mess up and the poor kid will be scarred for life..."
"Let me ask you something, Tony. Do you love Ziva?"
"Of course I do. But, Boss, that's not the--"
Gibbs cut smoothly over his protests. "Then you are capable of the most important thing a father has to do."
"There's got to be more than that to it. What if I screw up?"
Gibbs laughed. "When I first held Kelly, I thought here's this perfect little girl. Everything's gonna be just perfect for her. She must have been given to the wrong guy, because she deserves a perfect man for a dad, and I knew I wasn't him. There's more to being a father than being perfect, Tony, thank goodness. You're gonna screw up. Every dad in the world has. The point is, you do the best you can and you love that little boy or girl the best you can."
"You make it sound so simple." Tony sighed wearily.
"It's anything but, DiNozzo. It's a learning process, one you and Ziva will figure out. Together. And you've got friends to help you as you go."
Tony hesitated, seeming to wonder if he actually wanted to say something. "My dad wasn't exactly a great role model. He drank all the time, never talked to me, was never there. He made it known to me frequently that he thought I was worthless. He cut me off from my inheritance when I was twelve! You know, I don't ever remember him telling me he loved me." Tony was clearly becoming agitated.
"Tony." Gibbs said quietly, laying a comforting hand on the man's shoulder. "You are not your father."
He fell quiet to let the words sink in and as the silence stretched between them, he could see his words begin to sink in. Five simple words and yet they held a profound truth. Starved of love for the entirety of his childhood, Tony had spent most of his adulthood trying to get everyone to love him. As a result, he was never quite sure if he loved and was loved in return. Gibbs remembered these insecurities manifesting themselves on the night before Tony's wedding and it made sense that it would resurface when he discovered he was going to be a father. Gibbs decided to switch tactics slightly.
"Ziva's already got that mom-to-be glow." Gibbs smiled slightly as he thought about how radiant she had looked earlier.
"You think so, Boss? 'Cuz I was thinking she looked more frustrated..."
"Ya think, DiNozzo?!"
Tony stood up and stretched. "I guess I better get home and appease the lovely Ziva DiNozzo." Tony's smile had the distinct markings of a love-struck man as he said his wife's name. An ecstatic look of realization suddenly crossed his face.
"We're going to be parents!"
The over-the-moon father-to-be had now made his appearance. "I know, Tony." Gibbs shook his head, a grin on his face. DiNozzo was going to do just great as a dad.
Tony sprinted towards his car. Gibbs thought about stopping him and giving him some advice about surviving Ziva's pregnancy, but thought better of it. Gibbs chuckled quietly. He was sure it was going to be an amusing nine months. However, when the going got tough, he'd be there...for all three of them.
---Reviews are love, as they say. :)