Me: Disclaimer- Wow. I can't believe I haven't updated in a year! Bad me. I do apologize for the long wait and I plan on finishing this up within the next few months with other one-shots or snippets from the Mcgee and Bella universe I have created. Thank you for having stuck with me for so long. I appreciate all my followers/reviewers. You guys are awesome.
~The evening of Ducky's Party…..approximately an hour or two later~
Driving around with no place in mind to go, Bella is sitting at a stoplight when she suddenly decides to change her course and heads for Georgetown. Pulling up to the familiar building, she slowly gets out of the car. Making the all too familiar walk down the pathway, she quickly finds herself near tears again. She puts her hand on her stomach and continues down to where her parents are.
Reaching the headstones, she kneels between them, placing a hand over her mothers' name, and the other over her fathers. Sniffling she begins talking, "Hey mom, hi daddy. I wish you both were here right now. Today hasn't been good at all. Uncle Jay and I aren't speaking, and Tim and I had a fight. You're going to be grandparents..."
She continues to tell them about what happened earlier in the night, and when she can't stand the chilled wind and rain anymore, she says her goodbyes, and walks silently back to the car. Placing her hand over her stomach she whispers to her unborn child, "Your grandparents would have loved you."
This has been their usual routine for the last year. Every weekend, Ziva would go to Tony's house (or he hers) and they would shut the world out for as long as they could. This week was slightly thrown off as the whole team was over at Ducky's house for dinner in celebration of Gibbs birthday; and Bella announced the news that she and Tim were expecting-which hadn't gone as well as Bella had hoped.
The pair is sitting on Tony's small sofa, ignoring the movie playing in the background. She never thought that she'd enjoy having a man play with her hair, but as Tony's hand gets lost in her curly strands, she smiles.
Pulling up to the apartment building, she tries to compose herself to the best of her ability. Here goes nothing. Making her way slowly, she finally stops in front of the apartment door she wants. Pausing, she lightly knocks on the door.
Ziva leans into Tony for another searing kiss when a faint knock is heard on the apartment door. Tony pulls away in frustration and Ziva places her hand on Tony's cheek, "Ignore it."
He nods and leans in again, laying Ziva down on her back. After a few minutes the knocking starts again but louder and Tony sits up on the sofa, "Oh for the love of God!"
He gets up and walks to the door, opening it in time to see a familiar brunette (albeit soaking wet) turning to leave, "Bella? What-?" Hearing Bella's name, Ziva walks over and joins Tony at the door.
Bella clears her throat, playing with the duffle bag that is in her hands. She bites the inside of her lip and gives him a small shrug. Her voice is soft and wavers slightly. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have come but I had nowhere else to go."
Knowing something is wrong, the door widens further as Tony waves her inside. "Come here," shutting the door after she slips in. Placing a hand on her arm, Tony looks down at her. "What happened?"
"I just-" Tim pauses as he looks over at Bella with uncertainty in his eyes. "Are we ready for this; to be parents?"
"Don't you think this is something that we, oh-I don't know, should have discussed sooner?"
"Bella," Tim pleads to try to calm down the whirlwind that can only be described as "hurricane Bella" that is already quickly approaching. "I'm not saying I don't want the baby, but Gibbs-"
Bella attempts to blink the falling tears away, her raging hormones unwilling to be calmed. "Its Tim and Uncle Jay."
Seeing the pain in her eyes, Tony wraps his arms around his soaked coworkers back as she tucks herself into him, cries turning into sobs as she leaned heavily into his chest. "It's going to be alright. You'll see everything is going to be alright." Holding the sobbing woman in his arms, his cheek rests against the top of Bella's head. It'll be all right…I hope. Tony looks at Ziva with pleading eyes, clearly not knowing what to say in Bella's situation.
Cautious and slow, Ziva glances at Tony as she walks over and joins the hug, "Would you excuse us for a moment?"
Nodding, Tony watches as Ziva leads Bella to his spare bedroom. Shaking his head at the sight of the departing and broken-looking form of the typically fiery Bella, when I find out why Bella is crying, Tim is a dead man.
Bella sits numbly on the bed as Ziva closes the door and walks over and hands her a towel before sitting beside her. Knowing that something happened after she and Tim were alone, Ziva turns to her friend, "What is it?"
"You probably know that Gibbs wasn't pleased with the news," Seeing Ziva nod and gesture to continue, "Anyway, after you guys left things went down from there. Tim…he doesn't think he's ready and that Gibbs may have been right about everything." Bella trails off placing her head in her hands.
Ziva pulls Bella into her arms, and lets her friend cry on her shoulder. She rubs her hands over her arms as she shivers, "How in the world did you get so cold and wet? Surely you did not park that far away."
Nodding, Bella mentally cringes knowing that she will soon be in trouble. "I've been at the cemetery," she glances at the clock on the nightstand, "for the past hour."
"It is a torrential downpour outside, and you are pregnant! You should not have been outside in this! What were you thinking?"
"I know how the weather is, Ziva, I don't need you or a meteorologist to tell me that it's raining outside." Bella snaps angrily at the woman beside her before realizing she's released her anger on Ziva, "Ziva, I didn't mean it. I'm sorry."
Calming down, and softening her gaze, Ziva nods, "I am sorry, Bella. I just worry about you more so now than I did before" the olive skinned woman's arm coming to rest against Bella's stomach with a feather light touch, "considering you are carrying my little mal'akh."
Emerald eyes shine with confusion- looking up at Ziva while raising an eyebrow, "Your little what?"
"Mal'akh is Hebrew for 'angel'," she answers, smiling at Bella's confusion. Growing up she never understood why some of the women called their kids that, but now that she is older and is connected to this growing child in her best friend, she understands.
Of course it does, why didn't I think of that? Nervous and restless, Bella picks at the corner of the blanket, running her fingers on the edging trying to avoid the awkwardness she is feeling right now, knowing she crashed Ziva and Tony's evening. "Right, well Tony's probably wondering what is taking so long-"
"I will worry about Tony, right now I am concerned with getting you settled," Ziva tells her matter of factly, running her hand down her friends' arm to comfort her before pushing herself up from the edge of the bed where she has been sitting. "I will be right back."
Bella nods, and watches as Ziva leaves the room. Tony is instantly at Ziva's side, and follows her into his bedroom. "What's going on?"
Picking up a spare night shirt and pajama pants for Bella to change into, Ziva turns to him, "She had a fight with Tim between when they left Ducky's and before she got here. Tim apparently took some of Gibbs' thoughts to heart and told Bella so. She thinks he may not want the baby after all."
Tony shakes his head, "I'll kill him."
"Gibbs? Tony that may not be very wise."
Shaking his head vehemently, even he knows better than to take on Gibbs; even without the hormonal bouncy ball that is named Bella at the moment. "No, are you kidding, Gibbs could skin me alive. I'm gonna kill McHurtful."
Placing her hands on Tony's chest to calm him down Ziva shakes her head, "No you are not. It was just a misunderstanding, Tony."
Tony nods, knowing that she's right, and without thinking he grabs her hands and looks her in the eye, "Tonight has really had me thinking, but I want you to know that if we were to ever get pregnant, that I would be more than thrilled; I will also never say anything to hurt you intentionally or not. I am not going anywhere, Ziva; I want you to know that." He watches her face turn from confusion to shock then to happiness, and as the tears arise in her eyes, he brings one of his hands up, cupping her cheek and drying the tear that falls with his thumb. "I love you, Ziva."
Smiling, she slowly wraps her arms around his middle, "I love you too, Tony."
Tony smiles, and leans down to seal his promise with a kiss, pulling Ziva closer to him. Before their kiss can escalate, Ziva pulls away, "I have to go tend to Bella. I will be right back."
Tony nods, and watches as Ziva leaves his room and walks down the hall. Opening the door to the spare bedroom, Bella still sits mutely on the bed where Ziva left her a few moments ago. "Here," Ziva says, handing Bella the nightwear that she found, "You can use these, they are mine for when I stay over."
Giving Ziva a gracious smile, she takes the clothes from her. "Thank you and I'm sorry Ziva. I didn't mean to interrupt your guys' evening."
With a wave of her hand, Ziva smiles, "He will live, I am sure. He does not show it, but Tony's a very caring person, and he will help you whenever you ask, remember that ok, Bella?"
Bella's smile widens as she nods her head, "I will Ziva, I promise. I owe you one."
"Yes, well, remember that the next time I do or say something that I should not have," Ziva says with a smile knowing Bella would understand.
"I can't make any promises, but I'll try," she replies with a laugh before she tries to fight back a yawn.
Nodding Ziva smiles, "You should go change. It has been a busy day, and you need to rest. We will be right down the hall if you need anything, laila tov, Bella."
"Good night Ziva." Watching as she walks out and shuts the bedroom door, Bella changes into the warm and soft clothing. Crawling under the covers, sleep quickly claims her, albeit with a settling uneasiness.
Once they are sure that Bella is asleep, Tony and Ziva change for bed and crawl under the blankets. Ziva slides over and rests her head between Tony's shoulder and neck, and she runs her hand across his chest, smiling when she feels Tony lightly kiss her forehead.
"She looks so broken, Tony; there is nothing that I can do to fix her. That unnerves me," Ziva whispers into the dark, snuggling closer to her boyfriend when she feels his arm tighten comfortingly around her.
"She's safe now, Zi. We will talk with her more in the morning, but right now we all need a good night's sleep," Tony whispers softly to comfort her.
He feels her nod, and smiles when she whispers, "Laila tov, my love."
The faint ringing of his cell phone wakes Tony from his slumber. He gently untangles himself from Ziva and reaches for his phone, looking at the caller I.D. Accepting the call, he says quietly into the phone, "Its one thirty in the morning, Probie, what is it?"
"I know what time it is, Tony. But I can't find Bella, we had a disagreement after dinner and she took off. I thought she'd be back but she's not. Abby hasn't seen her, and I can't find her anywhere. You're my last hope. Have you seen her?" Tim asks, and Tony can hear the concern and fright in his co-workers voice.
Knowing that if Bella wanted Tim to know where she was, she would have called, Tony plays it as if he hasn't seen her since dinner. "You lost your wife? How'd you manage that one, Tim?"
Growling into the phone, "I did not 'lose' her, Tony. I just can't find her. Her cell phone is off and she hasn't called. I'm worried about her," he says and adds softly, "I'm worried about them."
Going against his better judgement or perhaps not wanting to make the younger man suffer he caves partially; "She's fine. I know where she is and I know she's deeply upset."
Eagerness and a renewed hopefulness seem to pour out of Tim's voice at the news. "Is she there? Tony, where is she?"
"Sorry McGoo, this time it's out of my hands. She doesn't want to see you and personally, I don't think it would be wise for you to show up at where she's hidden herself away at either."
"What?" Disbelief, frustration and a bit of anger twine together in his tone."This has nothing to do with you Tony. This is between Bella and I."
"Well, you should have thought about that before you made her run thinking you didn't give a damn about her or your child. She came to me asking for help and I would rather die than let her be hurt again. She will call you when she's ready. No sooner. Do you understand?"
Tim sighs, resignation in his voice. "I-yes. I'm sorry I woke you. I guess-I guess I'll talk to you later. Tony, thank you for letting me know she's safe."
"Try to get some sleep," Tony says, trying to calm Tim down. Hearing the faint click of the phone signaling a disconnection, Tony shakes his head as he puts his phone back on the nightstand, and gets comfortable again, Ziva moves closer to him and whispers sleepily, "Who was that?"
"Tim, he's looking for Bella."
"This thing between them is taking more out of them than they would like to admit."
Playing with the ends of her hair, he nods in agreement, "I know, Zi. We will get to the bottom of this in the morning. Go back to sleep."
Morning light streams into the bedroom and wakes Ziva from her slumber; she rolls over, reaching for Tony, feeling only cool sheets. She listens and hears movement in the kitchen, and grabs for the robe she leaves here for mornings like this. Walking down the hall she debates on waking Bella, but decides that the more rest she gets the better. Turning into the kitchen, she leans against the wall, and smiles, "Now, this I can get used to."
Tony turns at the sound of her soft and yet seductive even if still early voice, "Well, by all means, do get used to it."
Ziva smiles, as Tony moves to where she is standing and she can't ignore the tingle she gets when he slips his free hand in the opening of her robe, wrapping it around her waist. Smiling up at him, she leans in and kisses him, "Boker tov, Tony."
"Good morning, sweet cheeks," Tony returns, and pulls her with him. "If you are up to it I was attempting to make pancakes, wanna help?"
"That might be best; cooking is not one of your finer qualities, Tony."
He raises his eyebrows, "That's not what you said last week."
"That is what I said until you caught the oven mitt on fire."
Bella wakes to the sound of light laughter and the sounds of breakfast being made. The morning sun is high in the sky and she looks around the room, momentarily forgetting where she is. Surveying the room, the events from the night before suddenly flash through her mind. Gibbs…her and Tim's fight…coming to Tony's…
The sudden reminder almost makes her sick to her stomach. Rolling over onto her right side like she would if Tim was there, she holds the pillow close against her burying her face against it as she silently cries.
The two men she loves most are angry at her, and she's not sure what she's going to do to get them on her side. She already loves this baby more than she thought she could love another person, she's not about to do anything to harm it, or make it feel unloved. She vows to always protect her child no matter what, and right now she's protecting it from the men who should love him or her unconditionally. How could that be possible?
(Later that day around 1:30)
Hearing a knock at the door, Tony glances at the shut bedroom door before he walks over to the front door, opening it to reveal a very tired McGee. "Probie?"
"Tony, I- ."
"I told you not to come here Probie. I'm not telling you where she went." Tony's voice hardening at the younger agent mostly for having ignored his orders to stay away, "give her space."
"I tried and all last night I kept thinking about something happening to her or that she may never come home. I can't wait Tony. I have to talk to her; what I said it doesn't matter, none of it. She is all that matters and I'm not just going to sit in the sidelines and hope I get the chance to tell her that."
Hearing voices, both Bella and Ziva come out of Tony's room where they were watching a movie to investigate. Recognizing Tim's voice instantly, Bella freezes on the spot as she feels some of the anger from the previous night flair up. But hearing Tim's desperation to find her and talk things out strikes a chord within her. He does still want you and their child.
Tony, unaware that the girls are standing in the hall, hearing everything continues on his blockade to keep Tim from entering further into the house. After all, Bella's still drenched jacket is hanging from his coat rack just on the other side of the door. "I'm not going to sit and stand by while she is forced to talk about it. She may not by blood, but she is the little sister that I never had. If you think I will stand idly by and watch her get hurt, you're wrong. I will protect her from anyone who hurts her, including you."
Feeling a hand on his arm, Tony looks to the left of him and sees Bella standing there. She doesn't have to say a word but he can see in her eyes that she's ok with Tim being there. His eyes probe hers asking if she is truly ready and seeing her head nod 'yes' he takes a step back as she moves to the doorway. Tim stops almost unsure as if it truly is his wife in front of him. "Tim-" she says meekly.
She never gets a chance to finish her statement before Tim is across the door's threshold, his fingers instantly on her face, moving to run through her dark locks before moving to the base of her neck and around her wrapping her in a tight hug."Bella, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have let Gibbs get into my head like that. I-"
Bella shakes her head no, silencing him. "I shouldn't have run away like that. I want to know how you feel Tim and talk to you about it and last night…I was angry and I was hurt. I didn't want to hear anything else you had to say and it wasn't fair." She can feel the pressure building up in her eyes; she sniffs trying to keep the tears at bay. "Can you ever forgive me? I just don't want you to hate me"
She thinks I would hate her? Has this truly affected her self esteem that much? "I don't hate you; I could never hate you Bella," pulling her away enough to look at her, his fingers softly stroking the side of her cheek, feeling the wet streaks to remind him of her tears."Never. You mean too much to me."
Her green eyes focus on his tired ones, "Promise? No matter what happens?"
"I promise Bella, no matter what happens. Not tomorrow or twenty years from now." Gently stroking her cheek with his thumb, "I am so glad you're safe. I didn't mean it to sound the way it did last night. You have to believe me."
Bella nods, "I know, I know Tim. I'm so sorry."
V: Well, as you can see Gibbs' hissy fit does not sit well with the newlyweds and is causing problems already on a personal level. Hmmm…..makes one wonder about professional doesn't it? :D But honestly, who doesn't love big brother Tony?
Anywho, that is all folks. Thanks!