It was Ziva who took the call. McGee had left his cell phone on his desk when he went down to talk to Ducky about Lt. Calvin's autopsy. The phone vibrated, letting off a high-pitched buzzing.
Tony eyed it.
"Tony, don't you dare," Ziva said.
"Why not, Zee-vah?" Tony asked. "If McGeek is dumb enough to leave his phone unattended, then I should have the right to answer it."
"And prank call anyone on the other end?"
Tony shrugged, not denying it.
"It's probably Abby wanting peanut butter mangoes or something like that."
The phone vibrated again.
Tony surged forward, but Ziva beat him to it. Darn her and her ninja skills!
Shooting Tony a look of triumph, Ziva snapped the phone open.
"Special Agent McGee's phone," she answered.
"Ziva?" Abby's slightly panicked voice sounded on the other end.
"Abby?" Ziva said. "Is everything alright?"
"Where's McGee?" Abby asked.
"Downstairs in autopsy. You didn't answer my question. Are you alright?"
"No, I don't think I am," Abby said.
Fear coiled in the pit of Ziva's stomach.
"What's wrong? Is it the baby?" she asked. Beside her, leaning close so he could hear, Tony's face showed all the worry she felt.
"You could say that," Abby continued. "My water just broke."
Ziva stood in shocked silence for a moment, absorbing that information.
"But you're not due for another three weeks," Tony said, snatching the phone from Ziva.
"Try telling that to my baby."
Ziva seized the phone back from Tony.
"Have you called the ambulance yet?"
"Yeah, it's on its way. Listen, I need Tim here, ASAP."
Tony had already taken off like a shot, pressing the elevator button frantically.
"Tony's already on his way," Ziva promised.
McGee fidgeted. He couldn't help it. Every few second he would shift in his seat, or fiddle with his seat belt, or try to take deep calming breaths.
"Ok, McDaddy. Either you cut that out, or you're riding in the trunk," Tony said, from beside him.
McGee glared at Tony.
"I'm nervous, ok?" he snapped. "It's not like it's your wife who's in labour right now."
"Everything's going to be fine, McGee," rumbled Gibbs from the driver's seat as he took a sharp left.
They were on their way to the hospital, much faster than the speed limit allowed, but then Gibbs was driving. Ziva had wanted to drive, arguing that she could get them to Bethesda in half the time, but McGee had wanted to be alive for the birth of his child.
"What if we don't get there in time?" McGee asked, almost panicked.
"It is Abby's first child. Labour always takes a long time for the first," Ziva said authoritatively.
"Too much information."
McGee fidgeted. He just couldn't keep still. Not when his beloved Abby was in labour, all alone, without him. He needed to get to her, and he needed to do it now.
"McGee! You're doing it again!" Tony whined.
"DiNozzo!" Barked Gibbs. "Lay off. Being a father for the first time is nerve-wracking."
"Sorry, boss," DiNozzo answered automatically.
McGee would have felt grateful for Gibbs' defense, but his thoughts had already returned to Abby, and their child.
They screeched to a halt outside the hospital doors.
"You go, I'll park and catch up," Gibbs instructed.
McGee nearly leaped out of the door. Ziva and Tony were close behind him. He forced himself to take measured steps, to calm down.
The woman at the front desk smiled pleasantly at him.
"Can I help you?" she asked.
"Wow, she's hot," Tony said under his breath.
Ziva gave him a death glare.
"For a receptionist," Tony muttered.
"My wife is in labour," McGee stuttered.
The receptionist gave Ziva an appraising look.
"Oh really," she said.
"She called us to tell us she was being taken here. Perhaps you could tell us her room number?" Ziva said smoothly.
The corners of the receptionist's mouth twitched up.
"Name?" she asked, fingers poised on the keyboard.
"Abigail McGee," McGee said.
She typed it in.
"Ah, yes. Admitted a half hour ago, in room 243, Maternity ward. And… congratulations," she said to McGee.
McGee gave her a weak smile.
"Thanks," he said, and started walking.
"I'm going to stay here and tell Gibbs where Abby is," Tony said, winking at the receptionist, who turned slightly pink.
McGee was already walking down the hall. Ziva walked beside him to the elevators, where they waited for the next set of metal doors to slide open.
"You're not nervous, are you McGee?" Ziva asked, with a smile.
"No, not at all. I'm just going to go meet a tiny human who is going to rely on me for everything. Nope, no nervous at all."
"You are going to make a wonderful father, McGee," she said assuringly.
"How do you know?" he asked.
Ziva shook her head.
"You are kind and caring and you have much love to give. I know that you will be able to handle anything that this child throws to you."
"Throws at you," McGee corrected, a small smile forming.
"Exactly. You and Abby are going to make excellent parents, McGee, I'm sure of it."
"So then I decided that I wasn't going to take no for an answer, even if it was from gravity."
McGee held Abby's hand, and waited for her to continue. She was dressed in an uncomfortable looking hospital gown, and her fringe was plastered to her forehead with sweat.
"You jumped off the roof, didn't you?" he asked with a smile.
"Yup. And I broke my arm. But I still hold the score as Abby: 1, Gravity: 0."
McGee laughed, and then winced as Abby clutched his hand. Her lips pressed into a thin line, and she gave a sharp intake of breath.
"Another contraction?" he asked.
"They're coming closer together now."
"I think that's a good sign," McGee said.
"For you maybe!" she said. "It hurts. Have I told you what I'm going to do to you when this is all over, McGee?"
McGee nodded his head solemnly.
"Most of it involves medieval torture devices."
"You bet it does. Don't you ever come near me again, Tim McGee, and I mean it!"
Another contraction hit her, and she winced in pain.
"Owie, owie, owwwwie!" she hissed.
"You can yell, you know," McGee said.
Abby let herself relax against her pillows.
"I don't want my baby's first sound to be its mommy yelling in pain."
"But it's going to be worth it in the end," McGee assured her.
Abby gave him a dazzling smile.
"Oh yeah. It's going to be worth it," she agreed.