I'm still deciding on the what genders the twins should be so if you have any last arguments for either choice be sure to let me know. I'm also wondering how long I can draw out this pregnancy. Maybe I should make you guys wait a few more chapters…. ;)
The blaring of the alarm was particularly obnoxious that morning as Ziva cracked her eyes and fought back the sudden feelings of nausea. Already in her sixth month of this horrid pregnancy, Ziva thought for sure that the morning sickness would have disappeared. Apparently this was not the case as it appeared that the annoying guest had no intentions of ever leaving. Most morning she was fine, but every once in a blue lagoon she would spend a full half hour in the bathroom bringing up whatever she had eaten the night before. It was on these particular days that Ziva came close to regretting her decision to have more children.
"Too early," Tony mumbled, his voice muffled by the pillow his face was buried in. He threw his arm around Ziva's body and attempted to pull her closer.
Ziva smirked as she threw the covers back and dropped her feet to the ground. "You better get up. We have a busy morning."
Tony's arm flailed wildly as if swatting at an insect. "Five more minutes, mom."
Ziva grinned and shook her head. She already had two children to take care of, did she really want to double the work load? Speaking of children…she stepped into the master bathroom and she began the mental countdown. '5…4…3…2…'
Small footsteps pounded down the hallway toward their room. The bedroom door slammed open as a squealing Tali ran in and threw herself on Tony's sleeping form.
"Morning daddy!" she smiled brilliantly.
Tony ran a hand over her wild curls, so much like her mother's in the morning. She really was like having a miniature Ziva running around. "Good morning, Princess. Are you excited about today?" Tali nodded her head emphatically. "Well why don't you go brush your teeth and hair and get dressed while I make you a special 'First Day of Preschool' breakfast. What would you like?"
"Pancakes! With M&Ms and peanut butter!"
Tony laughed. "That is a lot of sugar that I'm sure you don't need. How about just pancakes?"
Tali tilted her head to the side, her teeth chewing on her bottom lip. "Banana pancakes?" she bartered.
Tony squinted at her. He couldn't believe he was negotiating with a five year old. 'At least it's quasi healthy,' he thought. "Deal."
By the time Ziva and Tali descended the stairs Tony had a stack of pancakes on the table, some with bananas and some without. There were also two mugs of steaming tea sitting on the counter. Since Ziva was no longer allowed to drink coffee, Tony had given up his favorite beverage as well in a sign of solidarity. The first week had been hell without the morning caffeine jolt, but eventually he got over that. Now he was only mildly irritating in the morning.
"Something smells delicious," Ziva said. She entered the kitchen and wrapped her arms around Tony at the stove, pressing her ever expanding belly into his back.
With a smile he turned around and laid his hands over her stomach. "And how are my boys this morning?" he asked with a quick kiss.
"Your girls are doing wonderful. They have spent the last twenty minutes kicking me like crazy. I believe that means they are hungry." Taking a seat at the table Ziva placed a banana pancake on Tali's plate and cut it up before preparing her own breakfast. She had learned long ago to avoid bananas as they almost certainly came back up shortly after being consumed.
"You better eat up, Tali. You're going to need your energy for school today."
Tony took a seat across from Ziva and claimed two pancakes for himself. Smothering them with maple syrup he stuffed two large pieces in his mouth. His attempt at conversation was futile as both Tali and Ziva just laughed at his mangled words.
It was shaping up to be a great morning. Tony hoped the rest of the day would follow suit.
Slow days at NCIS meant paperwork, and paperwork meant irritable agents. Tony was doing everything in his power to avoid the reports that demanded his attention. After creating a rather impressively long paperclip chain he moved on to computer games. These did not hold his attention long before he was drumming against his desk with two pencils.
"Tony," Ziva growled.
"Yes my ninja?"
"If you do not stop tapping I will be forced to break every one of your fingers." The fact that she never once looked up or paused in her typing made the threat slightly more terrifying. But for whatever reason, Tony decided to push his luck that day. Some would call it hardheadedness others would define it as suicidal tendencies.
"You would never do it," he ventured. "And you know why?" Ziva's eyebrow lifted quirked in challenge. Tony leaned forward and lowered his voice just marginally. "Because you love my fingers too much," he said with a wink. Ziva rolled her eyes and fought the blush that threatened to color her cheeks.
To Tony's right, McGee made a disgusted noise and rose from his desk. "I'm going to see Abby," he called.
"Have fun, McVirgin!"
Ziva shook her head. "You are such a child. Why do you love torturing him so much?"
"Because it's what big brothers do." The conversation ended, the silence returned…as did the tapping.
"You know," Ziva interrupted, "you can admit that you are nervous."
"Tali." Ziva stopped her work and leveled a stare across the bullpen at her husband.
"I'm not nervous," Tony lamented. He did his best to look nonchalant, but she had long ago learned to read his subtle nuances.
A short silence filled the void before Ziva spoke. "I am." And with that simple admission she had leveled the playing field and opened the flood gates.
A thousand thoughts were racing through Tony's mind. What if Tali didn't like school? What if the other kids teased her? What if something bad happened and he wasn't there to protect her? What if, what if, what if…It was endless. Taking a deep breath, he wiped the worries from his mind. 'Tali is perfectly fine. If something happened the school would have called us. She. Is. Fine.'
"And then Mrs. Biggs let us go outside after lunch and play on the playground. And they have all kinds of slides and swings and tubes to crawl through!" Tali's hands gestured wildly as she talked.
Ziva watched as her daughter regaled every detail of her first day of school, flinching a few times as she thought the plate of spaghetti was going to end up on the floor, a casualty of storytelling. She was glad that Tali had had such a great day but she wondered idly how she was ever going to get the very excited girl to sleep.
"Did I tell you that we get to have art class too?"
"Really? That sounds like fun," Tony said.
Tali sucked a long noodle through her lips coating them with sauce in the process. "We're gonna make balloon animals next week!"
Ziva laughed as her daughter continued to weave her tale. It was good to know that all the worrying she and Tony had done had been for nothing. Of course, she knew that Tali was going to be fine. Call it mother's intuition, call it whatever you like. She knew her little girl.