Previously on Sense of Direction:
The sickness, the doctors appointment, even the small scale abduction…that didn't change things. What changed things was the words she spoke once the elevator doors were closed.
"Tony…I am pregnant."
The elevator was silent. So silent, that it was deafening. No, wait there was sound. Tony's ears were ringing. Either that, or his Gibbs Head Slap Alarm was going off with a fierce advanced warning. Oh yeah, he was getting slapped for this. Big time. There was no way he was getting off this easily. Ziva was pregnant. The woman standing before him was pregnant. His best friend was pregnant. Now, he could do what he wanted to do - stand here and threaten to hurt, maim and dismember the guy who had done this to her - but he knew that there was a very real and very fear-inducing reason that she had grabbed him and pulled him into the elevator.
"It's mine," he realised softly.
"Yes," she nodded.
With just ten seconds, everything between them had changed. He'd fooled himself into believing that nothing between them had changed. After all, they'd managed to turn up to work every morning without alerting any of their friends to the fact that they'd stupidly stumbled into bed together. Even if it was an enlighteningly good night of passion, it was mistake to sleep with your best friend, right? That's what they'd told themselves, and it had worked. Nothing had changed.
But it had now.
"That's…that's why you've been sick," he realised.
"Yes," she repeated.
Then a flash of fear. "Abby-"
"Does not know you are the father," she assured him quickly. "She knows I am pregnant, she does not know the rest."
"Right," he mumbled, leaning back against the elevator wall with a sigh. He ran his hands over his face for a moment, trying to process the words that echoed around in his mind. There was no escaping them. He didn't know what to do, what to say…nothing. "How did this happen?" he mumbled.
She frowned, giving him an exasperated expression. "I think that is fairly obvious, Tony," she pointed out.
She leaned against the wall beside him. The elevator was plunged into silence again, filled only with the occasional sigh from Tony as he tried to find the words to say. Ziva chose to say nothing. She'd told him all she knew, sparing him the grisly details, of course. He knew that she'd been to the doctor and that she was pregnant, he didn't need to know the more intimate details of her examination, nor did he need to know the many things that Abby had questioned her about as they left the hospital.
"We can't talk about this here," he said suddenly, running his hand over his face and reaching for the button to restart the elevator.
She frowned. "Tony-"
He turned to her, putting his hands on her elbows. "Don't worry, we will talk about this, okay? I promise."
She laughed hollowly. "Yes, I know how this will go," she nodded. "You say we shall talk about this, and then we avoid this for as long as possible until Gibbs eventually notices. Then we shall be forced into speaking about this, and by that time many of our options will have been decided for us, yes?"
He gave her a slightly put-out look, as if he were insulted by her assumption. "No, actually," he told her.
"Then how is this going to go?" she asked him.
"Look, we stay in here for the amount of time it'll take to have a real talk about this, and Gibbs is going to get real suspicious," he pointed out. "When he finds about this, I'd like to be able to say something more than 'I don't know' to him."
"That still does not answer my question," she said simply.
"Tonight," he said, nodding his head. "Come over to my place, I'll cook dinner and we can have a proper conversation and figure everything out, yeah?"
She sighed, nodding. "Okay."
The day had been torturous. She had thought it was impossibly hard to sit across from him for most of the morning knowing that she was carrying his child, but it was much harder once they both knew, yet could not act on it or speak about it. They'd only been doing paperwork, but if anything that made it harder. She wished nothing more than to feel normal for the afternoon, to get out in the field and do her job, but instead she was stuck at her desk, trying to control the amount of times she needed to rush to the bathroom and attempting not to look too nauseated when McGee returned with their lunch.
She'd arrived at his house as planned, and they'd eaten a nearly silent dinner. After, they had curled up on the couch, both sitting cross legged, facing one another with their knees touching. Then, the talk began.
"I enjoyed it, you know?" Tony admitted first. She looked confused. "The night we spent together. I know that I shouldn't, and that it's wrong because we're just friends, but I did."
"It is not so wrong, I suppose," she agreed. "I enjoyed it also."
"Perhaps we enjoyed it a bit too much," he suggested.
"Fun is not without its consequences."
He sighed. "God, a baby."
She pulled her hair from the hairgrip, sending her curls spilling onto her shoulders as she ran her hands through it. "This is incredibly inconvenient," she murmured.
"Because of work?" he asked.
"Among other things," she confirmed.
He frowned. "What other things?"
She sighed, keeping silent for a moment, just long enough to show him how reluctant to give her answer. "My father," she told him simply.
He didn't know quite what to say to that. Ziva's father was obviously an issue, a very traditional man whom Tony had only heard stories of, and they were the kind of stories that would keep grown adults up all night warily watching the dark corners in the room. "Well, I guess we should get the most important part out of the way. Do you want this baby?" he asked her.
She shrugged her shoulders ever so gently, looking down into her lap, where her fingers were playing with a loose, fraying thread. "It does not matter," she said, trying to sound indifferent. "My father will not allow me to raise a child who's father is not Jewish."
At this, Tony looked mildly horrified. "What, you think he'll try and take the baby away from you?"
She bit her lip, and then took a slow breath. "That would be the kindest possibility, yes," she whispered.
"That's ridiculous!" he cried. "Ziva, I wouldn't let him do anything like that."
She looked up at him, shaking her head. "Tony, I cannot afford to fall in love with a child who is going to be taken away from me," she said.
"It's not going to happen!" he insisted.
"You do not know my father," she pointed out.
"And you clearly don't know me very well if you think I'd let him take our kid away from us!" he shot back.
Our kid. Us. Very choice words that stilled her troubled mind just a little.
"Do you want this, Ziva?" he asked her again. "Don't give me crap about your father or anyone else. I'm asking you. Do you want this?"
"I have spent most of my life taking the lives of others," she told him. "To have this opportunity to give life, to a child of my own…"
"Our own," he corrected her.
She smiled lightly, and took his hands in her own. "Tony, do you wish to go through with this?" she asked him.
"Being a dad? I think it'll be awesome!" he grinned.
"Tony, this is not about having a miniature version of yourself," she pointed out. "This is going to change our lives dramatically…"
"Look, I know," he assured her. "I just…you want this, I can see you want this, and I want to be a part of it. I want to be able to provide for my child, I want to be there for my kid. We might not be in a relationship, but we can still do this together, right?" he checked.
She was silent for a long time again. He squeezed her hands reassuringly, and she focused her attention on them. "Is this real?" she asked softly.
"It could be," he nodded. He reached out, nudging her chin so that it raised her eyes to his. "Ziva, I meant what I just said. If this is what you want, then I'm all for it. We can do this."
"It is so soon," she argued weakly.
"If we were actually in a relationship, then yeah, that might be an issue," he agreed. "But we're best friends. You can't get closer than that."
"I suppose you are right," she nodded.
"It's not about time, Ziva," he pointed out. "It's about whether or not we're ready for this."
"Are we?" she asked hesitantly.
He nodded firmly, letting her see the sincerity in her eyes. "I think we can do this, yeah." She gave him a smile in return. "So, you and me against the world?" he asked.
She matched his growing smile. "It certainly seems that way."