Rating – M
Spoilers- A bit AU (obviously ), but this takes place sometime after the current season; this is a sequel to my stories Unattainable and Unexpected.
WARNINGS- Explicit; depicts slash and multiple partner sex and a monogamous, polygamous relationship. If this makes you uncomfortable, DON'T READ.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I'm beginning to find that angst is so much easiest to write then happy moments. This chapter was tough. I only envision one or two more at most. Thanks for those who have toughed this one out.
Disclaimers- Unfortunately, I don't own any of these characters, and make absolutely no profit from taking them out to play…although Gibbs and Tony can frisk and cuff me ANYTIME. Hell, so can Abby!
Tony brushed his teeth, looking through the doorway at Lee, who leaned against the headboard of their large, recently empty-feeling bed, reading. His glasses were low on his nose, the book easily balanced in one large hand, and the linens pooled at his waist. As much as Tony loved the view, it was missing something, something important—Abby. And that was the thought that wouldn't let him sleep easily at night in the bed.
A few minutes later, as Tony rinsed and put away his toothbrush, his eye caught Abby's black toothbrush in the holder. Being in their room without her, when her presence was voluntarily absent….Tony couldn't hold back a sigh, a sigh that was echoed from the other room and followed by footsteps padding across the wooden floor boards as Lee joined him.
Tony allowed Lee to wrap his arms around Tony's waist, pulling the younger man tight against him and studying their joined image in the mirror. "Its only temporary," Lee stated lowly, his voice confident.
"What if it isn't?" Tony replied, his voice shaky.
Leaning his forehead against Tony's shoulder, Lee hugged Tony even tighter. "Why do you assume it isn't?" The fatigue of fighting Tony's nervousness about the change in their sleeping arrangements, as well as his own, was evident in his tone as well as his posture.
"Because…I'm scared, Lee," Tony admitted. "Abby is physically miserable. This little peanut is now a pair of watermelons, sitting on her bladder, sapping her energy—taking away her job, which she loves. And I'm the one that did this to her. This is my fault. What if she hates me now, and doesn't want to come back after the baby is born?"
Lee relaxed somewhat at Tony's fear. It was a normal, every day new dad fear. It was nothing about their specific situation, it was not irrational, nor was it entirely out of left field. "I believe it takes two to make a baby—three, in our case. She will not hate you. Once she can sleep for more than an hour at a time, and once the babies are safely here, she will be more than happy to join us again."
Tony's arms tightened around Lee's. "Did Shannon…I mean, I don't want to pry where I shouldn't, but you've done this before…"
Taking pity on Tony's obvious discomfort at wanting to ask, and not really minding, Lee smiled. "I was away for a lot of Shannon's pregnancy. The few times I was home, she was obviously used to having the entire bed to herself. Neither of us slept very well. If I hadn't been scared shitless of having a kid, I might have had the balls to be able to sleep away from her so we could both get some rest. But I wasn't…and I didn't. I didn't want to let her out of my arms, because it was the only way I got ANY shut eye."
"But she didn't ask you to, either," Tony whispered.
Lee raised his head and studied Tony's eyes in the mirror. "She was just as young and scared as I was, Tony, and for once—probably the only time in our entire marriage—she didn't act smarter and braver than me."
Smiling, Tony shook his head. "She was quite a woman, Shannon Fielding Gibbs. Why do I have the feeling that if she could right now, she'd head slap me harder than you would?"
Turning away, pulling Tony by the arm toward the bed, Lee laughed out loud. "I have no doubt that she would. Woman had a hell of an arm."
Reassured by Lee's laid back reaction to mentioning Shannon, as well as the knowledge that at one time even the fearless stoic Gibbs had been frightened by the same things as Tony currently was, Tony allowed Lee to herd him towards the bed. Tony climbed in after Lee, curling against the older man's side and trying to relax his muscles enough to fall asleep.
Abby made it to seven months, two weeks. And what a painful month and half of bed rest it was, for all involved. But when it happened, it was in the best way possible. There was no doubt the pains she had were labor, as her water had clearly broken when it broke—no crazy cases keeping Tony and Lee away from her—no calling Ducky to come take her to the hospital—no desperate waiting for her men to race to the maternity ward. It happened early on a Saturday morning, in the wee hours of the not-quite-dawn.
Abby had gotten up to go to the bathroom, having been woken up with an intense ache on her bladder. As she entered the bathroom, the need to release the pressure took over and she, much to her chagrin, appeared to loose control and wet herself.
Pregnancy had come with a lot of indignities Abby had forced herself to accept. Everyone in the free world ignoring the concept of personal space to touch her belly was the most difficult. Strangers giving opinions on baby names was one the less offensive verbal indignities. The fact that nothing fit her body that she wanted to be seen in in public had been hard, too, but she had done what she could about that. What her body would and would not allow her to eat was impossible to fight against. Lack of control over her bladder had come earlier than she had expected—but perfectly in time with two babies growing inside her. She learned to cross her legs when she sneezed, take advantage of any free time to take a bathroom break, and to carry a spare pair in her purse.
This was far beyond anything she had experienced so far. Recognizing it for what it was, Abby felt a bubble of excitement and fear build. This was it. No more waiting. C.C. and J.J. were on their way. In her scientific approach to everything, she had forced Vi to create a timetable for her, an estimation of how long the birth process would last. Abby knew it wasn't very accurate, because every baby was different, but Abby needed some kind of plan in her head, even if it included plans A, B, C, and D, to account for variation. She knew that when her water broke, without any actual contractions yet, she had plenty of time to get to the hospital.
Enough, she was sure, that she had time to clean up the mess she had just made, as well as shower. Not knowing when she would be able to shower again made Abby's skin itch. Abby knew, however, that she should tell her men what was going on before doing anything. Rather than make her way upstairs to Tony and Lee in the messy state she was in, Abby went back to her nightstand and called them on her cell.
"Gibbs," Lee answered, sounding amazingly coherent for having been woken out of a sound sleep. "And there better be a body for calling us on our day off."
"How about a couple babies instead of a body?" Abby teased. She felt amazingly calm, despite everything, calmer and more serene than she had in months.
"Abs?" Lee questioned, the sound of sheets and blankets being thrown off in the background and the slap of Lee's hand on some part of Tony's skin, waking him up. "Is it time?"
Laughing, Abby smiled. "Would I call you in the middle of the night, one floor up, for anything less?"
"Tony!" Lee called, the thump of feet hitting the floor above her as Lee jumped out of bed echoed over the telephone line. "Get your ass up! Babies are on their way!"
"Calm down, Lee! Its not an immediate arrival. My water just broke, no con—" Abby swallowed a deep breath and held it, the contraction hitting her harder than she imagined it would. It passed quickly, though. "Okay, one contraction. I have time, though, before we have to be at the hospital. I want to clean up the mess from my water breaking and take a shower before we leave."
Tony had apparently awakened, his voice frantic in the background. "Now? Its now? Really?"
The sound of the head slap was clear as day. "Are you sure, Abs?" Lee asked, his voice much, much calmer than Tony's.
"Vi said as long a the contractions were at least fifteen minutes apart, we didn't have to rush." Abby felt the thundering down the steps as Tony and Lee made their way to her. "And since I don't know when I'll be able to shower again—and people will be reaching into all sorts of places on me—I'd like to be clean and fresh smelling before we leave."
Tony slammed open her door, Lee steps behind him. "A shower? Really?"
Abby laughed at the state of Tony. He had thrown on his OSU sweatshirt, but it was inside out; the sweats he had grabbed didn't go to his ankles, so they were obviously Lee's and grabbed in the midst of panic. Lee, on the other hand, had on jeans with a belt and a t-shirt, USMC hoodie in hand. "Yes, really. Calm down, Daddy."
Lee shook his head. Abby was…beatific. He didn't see a trace of anxiety in her, an odd change from the tension they had been living under almost since the moment of knowing she was pregnant. She was more than ready for these children, he realized, and was probably better able to cope with delivery than either he or Tony. "Yes, Tony, a shower. Were you in bed when your water broke, Abs? We'll get the bed cleaned up while you…"
"Bathroom. I got up to pee and, well….more than peed." Abby shrugged. "I threw a few towels on the puddle, but they need to go in the wash and the floor should be quickly mopped."
"Tony, take her up to our bathroom to shower." Lee headed to her bathroom. "I've got this."
The fear on Tony's face would have been amusing under other circumstances. But Lee needed him to snap out of it and into calm, cool, collected federal agent mode. "Get in with her, in case a contraction hits while she's there. I'll be up as soon as I'm done here."
"C'mon, Mistress of the Dark. Let me wash your hair for you," Tony tried to sound normal, but didn't quite make it. The fear in his face was still evident, if somewhat tamped down.
Stopping for a moment to give Lee a kiss, Abby followed Tony. "Bring up a stretchy skirt and t-shirt for me to put on, Lee?"
"Sure Abs," Lee answered, already gathering the sopping towels from the floor and tossing them into a laundry basket.
Taking Abby's hand, Tony lead her to the stairs and followed carefully behind her.
~~~~~NCIS NCIS NCIS NCIS NCIS~~~~~
Abby slipped off her nightgown while Tony ran the water for a warm shower and got out clean towels and a washcloth for Abby. Stripping out of his own clothes, Tony stepped into the shower first and held a hand out for Abby. "Let me help you step in, Abs—no arguments. I don't want you to slip."
Sighing, but not fighting, Abby took his head and carefully stepped up and into the large tub. The water felt good against her skin; she could already feel the stickiness of the amnio fluid washing sluicing off of her and washing down the drain. She allowed Tony to lather up the wash cloth with her bodywash, a citrusy-spice she found didn't disturb her stomach or cause nausea (and then had proceeded to purchase by the case), and slide the cloth all over. The rough cloth, coupled with the slick bubbles, felt wonderful against her skin, easing the tension building in her muscles.
Until another contraction hit, and Abby winced again. Tony quickly rinsed the lather off and began washing her long hair. It was not nearly as thorough or gentle as he would normally have washed it, but it got the job done. By the time she had unclenched, Tony was finished washing Abby and already turning the water off.
He waited for the moment to pass before again helping Abby step over the side of the tub. He wrapped her in a big fluffy towel after a quick wipe off, and then began toweling her hair dry as another—the third—contraction hit. This one lasted longer and hurt a bit more than the other two. Tony stopped his ministrations, took Abby's hands in his, and let her squeeze the hell out of his. She panted through the worst of the pain, while he calculated the time between in his head. "Uh, Abby, weren't those closer together than fifteen minutes?"
Closing her eyes as the last of the pain washed away, Abby nodded. "Yeah. I guess we should hurry a little."
Lee walked through the doorway, Abby's comfortable clothing in hand, just then. "Hurry? What's wrong?" his voice was carefully neutral, but Abby picked up on the thread of worry.
"Contractions are coming on faster than I thought they would." Abby sat up straight and let go of Tony's hands. "We should get going."
Lee grinned. "Your bag's in the car. Let's get you dressed and we can go."
Abby allowed the men to help her into a sports bra and her t-shirt, then panties and her skirt. She didn't even attempt to lean over to put on her knee socks and Chucks. Her hair was loose, a scrunchie around her wrist to pull it up when it dried. Looking around the bedroom, seeing the scattered items of their daily life entwined, a small basinet in the corner waiting for their babies…suddenly, this was real. This was it.
Abby was going to be a mommy very, very soon.