Note: Anything that seems familiar isn't mine; only Dani and a couple other characters...I researched what I could about the technical stuff so if I got something wrong, don't shoot me over it...think of it as creative liberties...Enjoy!
I awoke sitting in a chair with my hands tied to the armrests and my feet to the legs. Pain flared from several areas on my body but the most concerning was the pain in my stomach. I knew labour would be painful but this hurt worse than getting shot. I knew I needed to keep track of how close the contractions were and how long. I looked down at my wrist for the watch I always wore but I couldn't see the face to tell the time.
I started off on a cursing streak, swearing at John and Peter, my parents, Uncle Jethro and then even Jesus himself. Don't get me wrong. I'm not religious so I don't worry about going to Hell for cursing using Jesus's name. I'm already going to Hell for plenty of other reasons. Only another contraction stopped me from starting again.
"You need to breathe," Peter said from the doorway.
What light there was came through the window and hit his pale hair. It was the typical blond of a surfer and from what little I knew about Peter, he probably had been a surfer as a teen in California.
"Just let me go. I won't say anything. I need to get to a doctor who can help with this delivery. I doubt you know a thing or two about delivering a baby."
"John said no."
"And if John told you to jump off a bridge, would you? You have your own mind, Peter. Use it. Don't let some old man tell you how to run your own life. He's already gotten you into so much shit. Do you have any clue about who is looking for me? My uncle, a former sniper in the Marines. Forget about the dishonorable discharge or jail time. Uncle Jethro is the type of man who shoots first when it comes to family."
Peter left the room and I breathed through the next contraction. They were coming every couple of minutes and if Uncle Jethro didn't find me soon, I was going to be delivering this baby myself alone, tied to a chair.
"Gibbs, I found something. Chief Petty Officer John Bowden owns property not that far out of the city. It didn't come up because he still has it registered under his deceased wife's maiden name. I'm sending McGee and Ziva the directions," Abby Sciuto said with her music blaring in the background, her pigtails bobbing to the beat.
"Good work, Abbs. CafPow's on me," Gibbs replied.
Tim read off the directions to the property while Gibbs sped the car up. After losing his wife and child, the ex-Marine had shut down. His heart didn't know love anymore. He did marry but he also divorced. No woman would compare to Shannon and no one would fill the void of losing Kelly. Although having Dani back was a close second. As he drove the road, his mind fluttered back to the last time he saw his niece.
It had been at his sister's funeral 3 years ago. The cancer that had been eating away at her body finally did her in, just shy of Dani's acceptance into the Navy. She stood there quietly beside her mother's coffin accepting the condolences from friends of the family. It wasn't until she saw him that Dani allowed herself to cry. She was the only family Gibbs had left and he wasn't going to lose her. With that, his foot pressed further down on the accelerator.
The car pulled up outside of the cabin and the men slowly got out. Both pulled guns from their holsters and Gibbs motioned to Tim to take the rear. Tim sneaked off around the side of the cabin, trying to look in through the window for Dani. Gibbs crept up to the front door and was about to push open the door when he heard a scream. He threw policy to the wind and kicked the door in. He did a quick scan and followed the next scream to a back room.
"Gibbs," Tim yelled.
"In here. Check for Bowden and Carter. They have to be here somewhere," Gibbs said as he rushed to Dani's side.
Sweat covered her brow and she was biting her lip trying not to scream again. Her pants were covered in blood and from how her hands were clenched around the armrests, she was experiencing another contraction. Gibbs pulled out his knife (Rule #9) and cut through the ropes holding her to the chair. He pulled her up into his arms and lifted her over to the bed.
"Boss," Tony called out.
"In the back room. Call for an ambulance. Dani's gone into labour."
"Uncle Jethro, there's no time. I need to push."
Tony and Ziva came around the corner into the room but the male soon backed out. The Mossad agent went to the girl's side and tried to mop her forehead. Gibbs went to remove the bloody pants but Dani stopped him
I was glad that Uncle Jethro had found me but he was my uncle. I knew he had been there when Kelly was born but he wasn't going to be seeing that part of me. I grabbed his hand and pulled him up towards the head of the bed.
"That would be too weird, Uncle Jethro."
"I've done it before, Gibbs. I'll need clean towels and something to clean the knife with."
"DiNozzo. McGee. Get in here," Uncle Jethro bellowed.
"No sign of them, Boss," Tim said as he entered the room.
"Find towels and get a bottle of water from the car. See if there's anything to sterilize the knife."
"And something to use to tie off the cord," Ziva ordered.
I kept Uncle Jethro near my head while Ziva draped a sheet over my lower half before taking off the pants. Tim came back with towels, some water, and a bottle of vodka. I smiled through the pain and joked that this wasn't the time to be having a celebratory drink.
"The high alcohol content will help sterilize the knife to a point. The bathroom was kind of bare but I did find some floss. Tony's outside watching for the ambulance."
"Give it to Ziva and come here. Sit beside Dani and support her through the contractions."
I watched as Tim paled slightly as he moved to sit on the left of the bed, my shoulder against his chest. Uncle Jethro was in the same position but on the other side of me. I could feel Ziva testing to see how dilated I was and declaring that I was ready to push. Uncle Jethro and Tim held me up while I breathed in and pushed. I grabbed behind my knees as leverage.
"You're doing good, Dani. Just breathe," Tim said encouragingly.
I rested until the next contraction hit and pushed again. I knew I was being stretched past my limits when Ziva said the head was out. Now the shoulders and the rest of the baby should come out naturally.
"I need to rest. Give me a second," I pleaded.
"Just one more push, Dani," Ziva ordered.
I glared at the woman and started swearing at her going back and forth between Russian and French. I grabbed my knees once more and pushed. Ziva lifted the baby and placed it on a towel that was draped over my stomach. She rubbed it clean with the towel and soon we heard it wail. Ziva used the floss to tie off the cord and cut in between the two spots.
"It's a boy," Uncle Jethro said.
"How does he look? Nothing's wrong with him, is there?"
"He's perfect, Dani," Tim said.
The paramedics came in followed by Tony. They took over for Ziva and delivered the placenta. Afterwards, they wrapped the baby up in blankets and lifted me onto the stretcher. Uncle Jethro told them to take me to the nearest Naval hospital and for the team to continue the search for my kidnappers.
"Uncle Jethro, relax. You'll find them but not today. OK?"
He accompanied me in the ambulance while the team followed us to the hospital. The gash on the back of my head was cleaned and patched but I was busy staring down at my son. He had a small tuff of dark hair on the top of his head and his brown eyes were gazing up at me.
"Have you thought of a name?"
"Spencer Gibbs Quartermaine."
My son was checked out at the hospital and declared perfectly healthy. He weighed in at 9 lbs 7 ounces and 23 ½ inches. I didn't have to spend any extra time at the hospital but I stayed while I ordered the doctor to check Tim's wound and made sure that it hadn't reopened.
Naturally since I couldn't really go home until my C.O and the other Petty Officer were caught, I was placed in protective custody. Uncle Jethro gave me a room at his house but made the team take shifts staying with me. He wanted to be out there looking for them. The first shift that Tony stayed with me and Spencer was too funny. He walked in while I was changing the diaper and gagged at the smell. Ziva was better but still seemed weary to be around someone that little. Only Uncle Jethro and Tim seemed great with Spencer.
"Probie, wasn't there a case awhile ago where you held the baby at arm's length? What makes this kid so different?"
"If you don't back off, Tony, I'll make you change Spencer," I threatened.
"He's not screaming and he's comfortable around me, unlike when you come in close and he starts crying."
Uncle Jethro was running late to the team's dinner get together. I couldn't make the rest wait for him since the meal was getting cold. I brought in the last of the meal and told them to sit down at the table. I made several dishes that wouldn't normally be served together but I wanted a bit of everything that they would enjoy.
"As you can see, there's a variety. I've made some Italian, some English, a vegetarian dish, and tried my hand at something Israeli. I hope it all tastes good."
"You didn't have to do this, Dani," Ziva offered.
"No, I did. You all helped me when I needed it and have been keeping an eye on me. At least once those guys get caught, I rely on you to protect me and Spencer. If only Uncle Jethro allowed me a gun."
"You can barely shoot," the man said from the doorway.
"Hey! I was 9 when you first took me. I can shoot more than just a stupid pistol, Uncle Jethro. Now get in here and eat. The food's getting cold."
"You can move back to your apartment tomorrow if you wish. I just came from seeing the Director. Bowden and Carter were caught. Well, Bowden tried to run his car through a blockade and was killed. Carter's being processed."
"That's great," Abby said.
"Yeah, it is," I sorrowfully said.
It was great that they were dead or in custody but it would likely mean that I'd be forgotten again. I know I could have contacted Uncle Jethro before this but my life was hectic and busy and, hell, I'm making excuses. I silently cried as I washed the dishes after the dinner. The team was in the living room relaxing. I never heard Tim enter the kitchen with Spencer.
"Hey, what's wrong, Dani?" he asked, coming to lean against the counter.
"It'll go back to what it was before. Uncle Jethro and you guys will be working for NCIS and I'll live alone in my little bubble with Spencer. Did you know I had more excitement in this last little while than I had in the last 3 years? My mother died and part of me shut down, the other focused so intently on my career that I didn't have a life outside of the core."
"Dani, look at me. You came into our lives and you won't be shut out. Gibbs will be there for you and Spencer and I hope you allow the team to be as well. And maybe even let me take you out?" he said, faintly quieter as he mentioned the last part.
"Tim, are you asking me out?" I smiled.
"Yes. You and me. You, me and Spencer. I had a great time protecting you, except for being shot but you being worried about me made up for that."
I took my son from Tim's arms and hugged him. I looked up into the bluey green eyes of the man in front of me and felt in my heart that life was going to be better.
"I'd love that, McGee. Just don't let Uncle Jethro know. He might work with you but to have you dating his niece might be weird."
"There's no rule about dating a colleague's family. Just dating colleagues," he whispered before lightly kissing my lips.
"You hurt her, McGee, and I'll show you exactly what I do to people who hurt my family," Leroy Jethro Gibbs threatened from the doorway.
The newest member of the NCIS team seemed to pale but a quick kiss from the woman who he was being to fall for calmed his nerves. He would do anything for her and hoped to prove it for many years. He looked at the baby in her arms and smiled. Tim McGee was looking forward to being part of their lives. As either a friend or husband or father. He wasn't going to let her get away. He didn't know it at that moment but Dani was thinking the same thing.