A/N: This is the last chapter of Apathy.
Any mistakes are my own.
Read longer author's note at the bottom.
Word Count(without A/N's): 3,858.
One Month Later – Middle December
Ziva sat on the small couch, her feet curled underneath her. She had a book in her lap, but she wasn't reading. The TV was on, but she wasn't the one watching it. The two people on the couch were watching the TV, and she found herself very happy about that.
Tony was laying flat on his back, his head resting on pillows, with Noah at his side. He had been the person to suggest watching a movie, and Noah had jumped right on the opportunity. Lately, if any opportunity came along in which Noah could spend with Tony, he'd jump on it. From things like watching movies to playing outside; Tony was getting better and Ziva could see it.
It all started with Ziva's self-diagnoses of depression. From there, Ziva forced Tony to go see Ducky. It took a while, but soon he and Tony were talking. Ziva didn't sit there with them, as she had to go to work, but when the work day was over, she walked down to find Tony and Ducky talking. Tony even had a slight smile on his face, which made Ziva's day. She had gone home with a new feeling inside of her, and she was sure that Tony was beginning to feel better.
After the first time talking with Ducky, Tony asked Ziva to drive him to NCIS again. It shocked Ziva at first, but she drove him anyway. Soon, Tony started to visit NCIS not just to see Ducky. He visited Gibbs, whenever Daisy offered to drive him. Tony would spend a lot of time with Gibbs, and slowly Ziva could see that bond being repaired. He was working on all of his relationships, and he even got along with Upham. Tony called him Charlie, which even caused Gibbs to crack a smile.
The most noticeable change was Tony's weight. Slowly, his eating habits had gotten better and he began eating more. It may have only been a month, but Ziva could see it in his face that he was gaining weight back. Ziva would sometimes come home to find Daisy sitting at the table and Tony making dinner.
A week earlier, Daisy had asked to sit down with Ziva and talk. Ziva didn't know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised when Daisy told her the things she'd observed. It seemed that Daisy thought Ziva really didn't need her around as much, and that with Tony becoming more involved she could only come every now and then. Daisy also mentioned she had increasing stuff to do with school work and college, and Ziva understood. Daisy now visited every other day, and usually did homework. Seeing as Daisy had independent study instead of full time school, she had no real schedule.
Now, Ziva looked down at her book. Lying on the page, she had a piece of paper and pencil. She was beginning to think about the holidays, which were two weeks away. She knew she wanted to have a small Christmas at home this year, unlike the past years. Usually, Gibbs or Abby invited her and Noah over. This year, Ziva had politely turned down their offers and decided to stay home over the holiday. She hadn't celebrated Hanukah in four years, and though she felt bad, she found herself not minding. She had informed Noah about the holiday, and neither made a big deal about it. Noah never remembered anyway.
She had already brought presents for Noah, and everyone was going to bring over their presents for him on Christmas Eve. Ziva also had a present or two for Tony, but they weren't big deals. She wanted to make him feel included in the celebration. All the presents were stashed away in the storage bedroom, far in one corner. Since Noah frequently went in there, Ziva had locked the door. He'd complained at first, but when Ziva told him that it was not negotiable, he'd nodded and went on with his day.
"I want to be a sloth." Noah said suddenly, and Ziva looked up. Tony looked down at Noah, smiling.
"Because then no one could blame me for being so slow."
Tony and Ziva laughed at him, and Noah looked between them.
"What?" He questioned, and Ziva shook her head.
"You are far too handsome to be a sloth." She said, and Tony nodded. Noah beamed. He turned back over, snuggling into Tony's chest again and turning his attention back to the TV. Tony smiled slightly at Ziva before doing the same.
"Is there any specific food you would like for Christmas dinner?" Ziva asked, looking down her list. When she looked up, Tony was biting his bottom lip in concentration.
"Not that I can think of." He said, and Ziva nodded. He had already looked over her list, so he didn't need to ask.
"Do you have carrots on there?" Noah asked, and Ziva smiled
"Yes, I am making glazed carrots just for you."
Noah smiled, mouthing yes to himself. Tony shook his head.
"You are a strange kid." He said, and Noah looked up.
"What's wrong with liking glazed carrots?" Noah questioned, and Tony smiled.
"I thought three year olds weren't supposed to like carrots."
"I'm more than three and a half." He said, and Tony laughed.
"I forgot, when is your birthday?" Tony teased, and Noah frowned.
"Dad! I've told you! It's on June 9th."
"Oh right. I must be getting old."
"Yeah." Noah said, glaring at Tony before laying back down. Tony looked at Ziva, and when he saw her amused smile, he smiled back.
Ziva watched as Tony followed Noah across the parking lot, his little snow shoes making his run more of a waddle. The snow had been falling since the beginning of the month, and Noah loved it. Ziva watched as Noah hid behind their car, and Tony acted as if he couldn't find the toddler. Tony smiled back at Ziva, jogging over to her and taking the cart.
"I'll push it." He said, and Ziva shrugged. She didn't mind. She was beginning to freeze, and she wanted to get into the car.
"Mom, unlock it!" Noah yelled from his hiding spot, and Ziva obliged. Noah climbed into the car just as Tony reached it and opened the trunk. Ziva was about to help put groceries away when Tony gently pushed her away. She glared at him, and he jerked his head to the car.
"I have it." He said, and she crossed her arms. The wind pushed on her back, and she groaned. She quickly turned around and climbed into the car, glad for its safety from the wind. She started the vehicle, instantly turning the heater on. Noah had himself buckled into his seat, and he smiled when his mom looked at him.
"It's cold." He said, and Ziva smiled. She reached under the passenger seat, pulling out the blanket she kept there. Noah gladly took it, laying it over himself carefully. He was tucking it into his car seat when Tony got into the car. He shook his head, pulling his hood down.
"Gosh, it's freezing." He said, turning the vents to him. Ziva backed out of her parking spot and made her way out of the parking lot. Tony turned around enough to see Noah, and the two began talking. Noah rubbed it in Tony's face that he had won the race, and Ziva saw Tony act disappointed.
"Dad, when we get home can we play in the snow?"
Ziva was about to interject when Tony spoke.
"It's a little cold buddy. Besides, I think that we should help mommy put away groceries."
Ziva kept her eyes on the road, but let herself smile.
"Okay. I am not carrying them up the stairs though!"
Tony and Ziva both laughed, and Noah watched them. Tony turned back around, settling into the seat. The streets were empty of people, but full of cars as everyone tried to stay warm.
"I think it's going to be a white Christmas." Tony said, and Noah sat up straight.
"We can make snowmen then, right?"
"You can make as many as you want." Ziva said, watching Tony carefully. Tony nodded, and Noah cheered from the back seat.
When they finally got home, Ziva handed the front door keys to Noah and he ran up the stairs to unlock the front door. Ziva and Tony grabbed as many bags as they could handle and followed him, each thanking him as he held the door open for them. They dropped the bags in the kitchen, and Ziva looked at Tony. He looked cold and tired, so she stopped him from moving back outside.
"Stay here and get warm. I have it." She said, ignoring any protests from him. She quickly got all the rest of the bags inside, smiling when she brought the last one inside. She locked the door behind her, shaking off her coat. She hung it up before walking into the kitchen to find Noah and Tony arguing over where stuff went. Ziva decided to watch, covering her mouth as laughter bubbled up.
"No, dad. The orange juice has to go here because it's a bigger jug." Noah argued, pointing to the spot in which he always put the orange juice. Tony looked at it, and then pointed to the door.
"It would fit better there, and then we could put more in the fridge."
Noah crossed his little arms, and stared at his father. Tony stared back.
Ziva knew that Tony put the most effort into his time spent with Noah. She once came home to find Noah asleep on the couch, and Tony lost in another world at the opposite end. Sometime in-between talking to Ducky, and spending some time with Gibbs, Tony had started to put an effort to have energy around Noah. And, now, as Ziva watched them from the doorway, she saw that maybe it was helping more than she knew.
The smile that was spread across Tony's face looked effortless and genuine.
Tony woke up slowly, aware of something moving in the apartment. He sat up carefully, looking around the dark room. Noah was asleep at his side, as at first he had refused to sleep what so ever and then he fell asleep in Tony's lap.
Tony gently got out of the bed, stretching before grabbing his sweater and walking out into the hall. He followed the noise, and stopped when he saw Ziva hugging Abby at the front door. Ziva shut the door, grabbing the garbage back and walking over to the Christmas tree. Tony moved so he could still see her, and watched as she pulled the brightly wrapped presents out of the bag. There were about a million presents already under the tree, and Tony knew that Ziva hadn't pulled the presents out of spare room yet.
"I can see you standing there." Ziva whispered, and Tony half smiled. He walked over to where she sat, and sat down. He grabbed a present out of the bag, and chuckled.
"This one is for you."
"Abby always makes a point of wrapping my presents in the brightest wrapping paper."
Tony nodded, smirking at the neon yellow with black striped paper. He placed it on the ground, stacking it with the rest of the presents. Ziva finished pulling the presents out, and huffed.
"Noah is going to be so happy." She said, looking over all of the presents. Tony nodded, looking over the presents. Ziva had grouped all of Noah's presents closest to the window, as there was more space that way. Tony noticed a present was for him, and he picked it up.
"That is from McGee. He always wraps his presents in newspaper, and Noah always reads them before tearing them apart." Ziva said with a chuckle, and Tony grinned slightly. He then noticed that there were more presents for him, piled next to the presents for Ziva. He put the present in his hands down, and bit his bottom lip.
"I will be right back." Ziva said, getting up and placing her hand on his shoulder before disappearing down the hall. Tony knew she was getting more presents, and he decided he better get out of her way. He moved over to the couch, noticing there were two cups of hot chocolate on the coffee table. One was only half-full, and Tony knew it was Ziva's. The cookies Noah had put out for Santa were sitting next to the coco, some of them gone. Tony grabbed a sugar cookie and took a bite, settling into the couch. Ziva walked back in, hands carrying two very large bags. She plopped down onto the floor and began putting presents away.
"You may have the extra coco." She said, looking over her shoulder at Tony. He took the cup, wrapping his fingers around it and took a sip. Ziva finished putting out the presents and put the bags in the garbage before joining Tony on the couch. She picked up her mug, taking a sip before sighing.
"Something wrong?" Tony asked, looking over at her. She shook her head, relaxing against the pillows.
"No. Something is very right through." She said, and Tony nodded. He looked at the Christmas tree, and then back at Ziva. He was about to say something when a small voice caught both of their attention.
Ziva got up instantly, walking across the room and down the hall. Tony could hear her feet walking swiftly, and then he heard nothing. She reappeared a couple seconds later, Noah half asleep on her shoulder.
She plopped down onto the couch again, letting Noah fall into a comfortable position.
"It's Christmas." Noah mumbled, and Ziva nodded as she rubbed his back gently.
"It sure is." Tony said. Noah looked his way.
"I wanna open presents." He said the words slowly, as he was fighting sleep.
"How about when you are more awake?" Tony offered, even though he had an itch to open some presents. Noah groaned. He shut his eyes again, and within seconds, he was fast asleep. Tony smiled at Noah, reaching over and touching his hair.
"Do you want to take him?" Ziva asked, and Tony shrugged. He put his cup down on the table and took Noah from Ziva. Noah groaned before snuggling closer into his father's body. Tony looked over at Ziva to see her smiling, and what looked like tears in her eyes.
She shook her head, and turned away.
"Sorry." She said, and Tony touched her shoulder.
"Apologizing is a sign of weakness." Tony stated, and Ziva laughed. She didn't say anything, and Tony squeezed her shoulder.
"Something's on your mind. What is it?" He asked, and she turned to look at him slightly.
"He loves you. A lot." She said, referring to Noah. Tony looked down at his son, wrapping his arms tighter around the sleeping child.
"The feeling is mutual."
Noah woke up with a start. He quickly opened his eyes, and looked around. He was trying to find the clock, but couldn't seem to get his eyes to un-fog. Blinking, he rubbed his eyelids and then huffed. He looked up to see that he was in his father's lap, and he turn looked down to find his mother with her head on his father's leg. Smiling, Noah slowly got up off Tony's lap. He looked at his parents, and then carefully walked into the kitchen to see the time on the microwave. Ziva had said that any time after 6, they could open up presents.
The microwave said 6:23.
Noah walked slowly back into the living room, debating waking his parents up or not. He then remembered the presents, and ran over to the tree. He soon realized that all of his presents were stacked on one side, and he started to count. He got to ten and then stopped. He didn't have enough fingers for this. Turning around, he saw that Tony was awake. He was also looking down at Ziva, with a look on his face. Noah had seen it before. On Uncle Tim's face, when Abby had fallen asleep at her lab. Noah had been there, as he'd requested, and seen the look. Later, when he'd asked his mom, she'd only smiled.
Now, Noah walked over to his parents and put his hands on Tony's unused leg.
"Daddy, can I open a present?"
"Wait until Ziva wakes up."
Noah looked at his mom, impatient. He saw his mothers mouth twitch, and then he smiled.
"Mom, you're awake."
Ziva smiled, opening one of her eyes. Tony laughed at her, and Noah scowled. He crossed his arms.
"I want to open presents!" Noah said, and Ziva smiled.
"First, bring Tony's and mine over here. Then you can open up all of yours."
Noah hurriedly got all of his mothers, then fathers' presents over in front of the couch. Noah was quick at pulling presents out from around the tree, and suddenly there was an explosion of wrapping paper. Tony had to smile as Noah opened them all on his own, making noise as each was unveiled. Ziva chuckled at his enthusiasm, and that was when Tony realized her head was still on his leg. Tony moved his hand to her back, and sat back to watch Noah in his flurry of happiness.
By the time Noah was done opening presents, it was almost 8 and he had a very large pile of mismatched wrapping paper next to him. He turned around where he sat, and smiled. He got up, walking over to where his parents were.
"Are you guys going to open your presents?" He asked, pulling a piece of wrapping paper that was stuck to his foot and throwing it into the pile of wrapping paper.
"Yeah, we'll eventually get to it."
Noah gave them a look, grabbing each of them a present and handing it to them. Tony smiled, noticing that Ziva still hadn't moved her head off his leg. She also was opening her present at an odd angle, but Tony didn't think about it much longer. Tony carefully began to open his present, not knowing what to expect. What he found, however, made him smile.
Ziva and Tony watched as Noah played with his new Lego toys, and Noah made sure they opened their presents. Ziva was on her last, and Tony was already finished. He had a small stack of clothes, movies and a hand written card from Noah. Noah had also gotten him a watch (but Tony was convinced that Ziva had bought it so that Noah could give him it).
"Ahh, thanks honey." Ziva said, reaching out towards Noah. He walked over and kissed her cheek, before running right back to his new toys. Ziva looked up at Tony, and suddenly she jumped up.
"Oh!" She said, running out of the room. Noah looked at Tony, and Tony just shook his head. He stood, finally able to feel his legs. He'd been sitting for too long, and even though he had enjoyed sitting with Ziva, he also enjoyed feeling his lower limbs. He walked into the kitchen, pouring himself some juice. He walked out just as Ziva walked back into the room with a small present.
"I forgot a present." She said, and Noah looked up. Ziva shook her head at him, and he went back to playing. Tony walked over to Ziva, sipping on his juice.
"I forgot one of your presents, Tony." Ziva said, holding the present out for him. He took the present, smiling as Ziva took his glass.
"It's small." He said, and she shrugged. She watched him pull the paper off, a smile spreading across her face. Tony wasn't sure what to expect, and as he opened the small box, he was slightly confused.
"A key." He said, and Ziva nodded.
"For here. You do not have your own, and since… well, I only guessed you would be staying here with Noah and I…" She trailed off, forgetting her train of thought. Tony was staring at the key, a strange look in his eyes. He smiled, looking up at her. She smiled back, not sure how to react. She wasn't sure what he was thinking.
"You want me to move in here?" He asked, holding the key up in front of his face. He was examining it, and Ziva chuckled.
"Why else would I give you a key?" She said, and Tony shrugged. They were quiet for a moment, and they both looked at Noah as he laughed. He had a large tower of Lego's built, and he'd knocked them over. He was giggling slightly to himself, and Ziva had to laugh at him. She then looked back at Tony.
"I do not want you to miss any more of his life. I have realized that in the time you've been here."
Tony looked straight at Ziva, knowing it was a weighted statement. Something else was in her mind, but she wasn't going to say it without him pointing it out. So he did, and she crossed her arms. She bit her lip slightly, before offering him a small smile.
"And, because I have missed you too."
Tony smiled as he reached forward and pulled Ziva into a hug. Ziva smiled, wrapping her arms around his waist and gently slipping Tony's glass onto the table behind him.
"I've missed you too."
Suddenly, small arms were wrapped around their legs, and they both looked down.
"Can you guys come play with me?" Noah asked, smiling up at them. He was well aware that they were in the middle of a serious talk, and he had planned it this way. Tony told him one minute with his finger before looking back at Ziva. He squeezed her shoulders, and she looked at him.
"Thank you." He whispered into her ear, through her hair. She smiled, squeezing him.
"Merry Christmas. Now go play with Noah while I make breakfast." She said, smiling at him before letting go of his waist and moving into the kitchen. Tony looked over his shoulder at her before looking across the room at Noah. The toddler was smiling excitedly at his father, and as Tony walked over to sit on the ground, he decided that he couldn't remember a Christmas morning that was better than this.
Not even the one when he woke up to find Ziva naked on top of him, a sly grin on her face.
Not even that.
A/N: So, another happy ending to a somewhat sad story. I'm a sucker for happy endings. I couldn't end this on a sad note even if I tried. Anywho, that is it. I finally finished it. I was talking to someone last weekend (prob. Hayley) and I just randomly said "I'm going to just type one huge long chapter and end Apathy" and that is what I did. It's not really long... but it's longer than most.
Anyway, I just want to say thanks for the amazing reviews I got on this story, and thanks for following this AU, OOC story. I can honestly say that stories where I have OC's which are kids are my favorite, and I love them. They are my favorite to write, and to think about, and so sad when they end. So, I'm going to say good-bye to Noah and then probably go read Forever Tomorrow to smiled at Annie. :(
Btw; FF decided to take away my way of editing. If I put in two dashes (--) anymore, it disappears, so if you read anything older of mine.... that is why it all runs together. I'll fix it in the summer, when I feel like it. I sent them an e-mail, but I have no clue. I just want my editing marks back. :(
I'd love (wink wink) to get up to 500 reviews on this last chapter. It would kind of make the ending of my school year better to know that I finally finished this, and got 500 reviews. :)
So, get to it. Remember, last chapter. This has the most alersts I've ever gotten, so I know who's reading.
P.S: Who saw NCIS last night? Holy...