Author's Note: Thank you to everyone who reviewed the last chapter! Hope you enjoy this one too :D
They departed from Dulles International Airport at six the next morning, but after two layovers and a baby crying for the entire flight from the seat behind them, to say they were grateful to finally land was an understatement.
"Our baby is never going to act that way," Abby insisted, the lack of a caffeinated beverage that compared to her beloved Caf-Pow! beginning to wear on her nerves.
Tony just chuckled quietly and wrapped an arm around her shoulders as he led her toward the baggage claim. "Never say never, baby. Any spawn of ours is bound to be a pain in the ass."
"Spawn of yours, maybe," she shot back, allowing him to lead her to an empty bench.
"Uh huh," he teased, dropping a kiss to her lips and setting their carry-ons on the floor next to her. "I'll be right back, alright?"
He turned back to the baggage claim when she nodded, watching for their luggage while keeping an eye on her. She hadn't been sleeping soundly since he told her about his promotion, and the 28-hours of travel time they had just endured on top of the pregnancy hadn't helped to get rid of the dark circles under her eyes. Sighing, he pulled their bags off the carousel and started to walk back to where Abby was sitting when he heard his name being called.
"Special Agent DiNozzo?"
He turned to see a tall man with dark hair who was probably about ten years younger than himself approaching him. "That's me," he said, sticking his hand out when the other man approached. "I'm guessing you're our ride?"
"Yes, Sir," he said, shaking his hand. "Probationary Agent Andrew Sanders, Sir."
"A Probie, huh? We don't rate a Senior Agent coming to pick us up?"
"The job was... delegated, Sir," Sanders replied, reaching for one of the large suitcases. "Is this everything?"
Tony glanced at the bags and nodded toward the large windows across from them where Abby was sitting. "Just my wife over there and our carry-ons," he said, heading toward her. "Abs? You ready to go? Our ride's here."
She pushed herself to her feet slowly and offered the other agent a polite smile. "Yes, please. I'm ready to sleep for a week."
"It's nice to meet you, Ma'am," Sanders greeted, the smile falling from his face when he saw the look she shot at Tony. "Sir?"
Tony cringed at the second, more intense look she gave him and he reached out to pat Sanders on the shoulder. "Cut it out with the 'Sir's and 'Ma'am's, huh? It's Abby and Agent DiNozzo."
When she reached out and socked him in the shoulder, he quickly corrected himself. "Tony," he said, rubbing his arm. "Abby and Tony."
"Whatever you say, Sir."
Abby slipped past them with a sigh and headed toward the doors. "Really," Tony said, picking up their carry-ons and following after her. "She'll start punching you next if you don't cut it out."
It didn't take long for Tony and Abby to get settled into their room at the Navy Lodge, and they didn't waste any time crawling into bed in hopes of sleeping off their jet lag. They slept wrapped up in each other's arms for nearly twelve hours before Abby woke up and climbed out of bed.
"Go back to sleep, Tony," she whispered, pressing a kiss to his lips before heading out to their small balcony.
She figured that it was nearly midnight based on how long they had slept, but she couldn't be sure. From their room on the third floor they had a pretty good view of the ocean, and she couldn't stop the smile that crossed her face at the sight of the moon's reflection on the water.
From behind her she could hear Tony climbing out of bed, and when he wrapped his arms around her she leaned back against him gratefully.
"Reminds me of home," she said quietly, staring out at the water as he held her. "Isn't it beautiful?"
He nodded, leaning down to kiss her neck. "Not as beautiful as you though."
"Maybe," he grinned against her skin. "You're gonna have to tell me where you lived in DC that had a view like this."
She tipped her head back to look at him and laughed. "Not in DC, in New Orleans."
"Oh yeah. Your parents' house, right? The one we went to see when we went down there last summer?"
Abby nodded, feeling lighter than she had in days at the memory. "I'm really gonna miss it, you know, being able to go down there whenever."
"Yeah," he said, squeezing his arms around her gently. "I know. But we'll get through this, alright? I promise."
"I'm sorry, Tony," she said, turning in his arms when she sensed that he was giving her a curious look. "I haven't been myself lately, and I'm sorry. I just... don't know how to accept the fact that our lives are changing."
Tony offered her a sad smile. "The important things don't change, Abs. Family, friends, who you are... those don't change."
She nodded again, feeling tears forming behind her eyes. "I'm gonna get over this," she assured him. "I'm just sad, okay? You have to just let me be sad."
"You take all the time you need," he said softly, pulling her back into his arms. "Just don't push me away."
"Okay," she agreed, tucking her head under his chin and wrapping her arms around his waist. "I love you."
"I love you too, baby," he said, kissing her hair. "Let's go back to bed, huh? I'll take you out to breakfast in the morning."
Pulling away from him, she reached down and gave his hand a squeeze before heading back inside. They climbed back into bed and Abby immediately wrapped herself around him, her long fingers tangled gently in his chest hair. "Thank you," she whispered.
Tony smiled and ran his hand over her back reassuringly. "Anything for you, baby. Get some sleep."
-One Month Later - November 22, 2006-
Abby couldn't help but sigh in relief when she closed the dresser drawer after emptying their final box of belongings. Tony had been slammed with cases at work so she was left to do all of their unpacking by herself, but she finally got it done. She was debating the merits of a mid-morning nap when her laptop dinged from it's place on the bed.
Walking over, she answered the call and smiled when McGee's face appeared on the screen. "Hey, you're up early," she said, glancing at the alarm clock next to her. "Heading into work already?"
"Just got home, actually," he said. "Ziva and I had a stakeout last night."
"Sounds like fun. Anything juicy?"
"Nah, just the usual. You know how it goes," he replied. "What about you? How's everything going?"
She shrugged, offering him a smile that she was sure he could see through. "Pretty good. Finally got moved into our house."
"Oh yeah? Take me on a tour," McGee said.
"Alright," she said, picking the laptop up and showing him the bedroom. "This is the master bedroom."
"Where the magic happens," he teased, earning himself an eye-roll as she walked across the small hallway and entered an empty room. "Is this gonna be the nursery?"
"Someday. I have to figure out where I'm gonna get baby furniture first," she sighed, turning the computer back to face her as she headed toward the living room. "I don't know the first thing about having a baby, Timmy. And with as much as Tony's been working... I don't know that he's gonna be much help."
McGee frowned. "You're gonna be a great mom, Abs. You just have to let yourself settle in a little bit."
"Yeah, I know," she said, turning the laptop around again and effectively ending the conversation. "This is the living room, and in here... is the kitchen."
"It's a nice house, Abs. How much is it running you?"
"It's on base. There's a lot of rules, but it's better than living somewhere else when I don't speak any Spanish," Abby said, sliding onto one of their barstools. "I'm sorry, I'm splitting hairs. I just... miss home."
"We miss you too," he said. "Hey, are you and Tony doing a big turkey dinner tomorrow?"
She groaned, turning to glance at the calendar on their refrigerator. "No, I totally forgot about it. Between unpacking and trying to get my sleep schedule back to normal, I didn't even realize what day it was."
"I'm sorry," McGee apologized. "I shouldn't have brought it up. I just... I'm headed up to my parents' tomorrow with Sarah, but I'd really like to talk to you and Tony, if you guys have the time."
"Of course," she said, smiling warmly. "I'm here all the time now, so feel free to call whenever."
"No luck finding a job yet, huh?"
Abby shrugged half-heartedly. "The field office runs all their stuff through the Navy hospital on base. I put an application in, but now that I'm in my second trimester, it's not very likely I'll get it since I'm not really supposed to be around the chemicals and stuff."
"Well, maybe you should take it as a sign that you're supposed to take some time off," he suggested. "Just go with it one day at a time, huh? Things will fall into place."
"Yeah, I know."
He smiled and glanced at his watch. "I'm gonna go, alright? Wanna get a couple hours of sleep in before I have to head back into the office."
"Alright, Timmy. Sleep well," she said. "Thanks for calling."
"No problem, Abs," he grinned, blowing her a kiss. "I'll talk to you tomorrow."
They disconnected the call at the same time and Abby relaxed against their pillows with a sigh. It had been nice to talk to McGee, she decided, even if it hadn't really helped with her homesickness.
Since they had returned from their vacation a week earlier, she had barely seen Tony for more than a few minutes between him coming home and going to bed thanks to their hectic schedules, but as she closed her eyes to take a nap, she could only hope that things would get better soon.
-The Next Morning-
If there was one thing that had remained consistent since their move to Spain, it was their breakfast ritual. Every morning since they moved in with each other two years earlier they found a way to eat their breakfasts together, even if one or both of them didn't manage to make it home.
Tony had done his best to come home every night since their move in an attempt to make things as stable as possible for both of them, so when Abby woke up to his side of the bed having been unused on Thanksgiving day, she couldn't help but frown. Sitting up, she slid out of the bed and tugged on her robe before heading out to the kitchen for a cup of coffee.
She was surprised to find their small dining table set with two places, glasses of orange juice and milk, and a small bouquet of freshly picked flowers - she was sure he would get in trouble for that - in a glass that was substituting for a vase.
He poked his head out of the kitchen, a bright smile on his face. "Mornin', baby. Go on and sit, I'll be out in a minute."
True to his word, he appeared at the table a minute later carrying a plate of pancakes in one hand and a dish of eggs, bacon and fresh fruit in the other. "Tony... you didn't have to do all this."
"The hell I didn't," he said, dishing up her plate before leaning in to kiss her. "What would you have eaten otherwise, hmm? Coffee? Maybe a piece of toast?"
"Maybe," she admitted, spearing a strawberry with her fork and biting into it. "Everything okay at work?"
"Oh yeah," he said, taking a bite of his bacon. "Just wrapping up this case. Sorry I didn't make it home last night."
Abby shook her head. "It's okay. To be honest, I didn't even know you were still gone until I woke up."
They fell into a comfortable silence as they ate, and after awhile Abby noticed that Tony was staring at her from across the table. "What?"
"It's true," he smirked. "It's just like they say. Pregnant women glow."
She rolled her eyes and took a sip of her milk. "What they don't say is that your breasts feel like someone pounded them with a meat tenderizer."
"Which is only slightly less appealing," Tony teased, taking her hand in his. "Hey, don't you have a doctor's appointment coming up?"
"I do, on Monday. I know you've been busy with work, but I'd really like you to be there if you could."
He leaned over and pressed a kiss to her lips. "Of course. I wouldn't miss it for the world," he said. "Did you have anything planned for tonight?"
"No," she sighed. "McGee called yesterday and until he mentioned it I didn't even realize what day it was."
"I didn't either until I got here this morning. Mrs. Nolan was on her way to the Commissary and she asked if we wanted to join them for dinner tonight, since we just got moved in. What do you think?"
"I guess we could. I mean... McGee said he was gonna call later to talk to us, but after that, sure."
Tony smiled and squeezed her hand. "I think it'd be good for you to have a couple friends, you know? To keep you company while I'm at work and stuff."
She cocked an eyebrow at him. "You don't think I can find something to occupy my time?"
"Didn't say that, I just... you had work before, like me, and now with the baby coming and all the changes we're going through... I don't think that you should be cooped up in the house all the time."
Abby didn't say anything, and after a few minutes Tony stood up to take their dishes to the kitchen. "I have to run back to the office for an hour or so to finish up a couple things, but I'll be back before lunch," he said, returning to the table and kissing her briefly before pulling away. "I love you."
"Love you too," she replied, watching from her seat at the table as he headed for the door. When she heard his car pulling out of the driveway she dropped her head into her hands with a sigh, wishing that there was something she could do to push herself out of the rut she had found herself in.
Tony made it back to the house just in time for McGee's call, and once they were done talking, it was time to head to the neighbor's for dinner. It was supposed to be a casual dinner, but they both dressed up a little - Tony in a nice shirt and jeans, Abby in a dress that was a little tighter around her growing belly than she would have liked - before grabbing a bottle of local wine and walking out the door.
The neighborhood they had moved into was mostly made up of duplexes, and the couple who lived next door was Lieutenant Daniel Nolan, his wife Janet, and their one year old, Tyler. They were friendly, but between Tony's schedule and Abby dealing with moving them in, they hadn't had much time to spend socializing.
Abby smiled, pulling her fingers through her ponytail to straighten it. "Yep."
He was reaching up to knock on the door when it opened, revealing Janet standing in front of them with Tyler on her hip. "Hi there," she smiled, stepping back to allow them inside. "I'm so glad you two decided to come over. Thanksgiving's just not the same without having people to eat all the food."
"Well, thanks for inviting us," Tony said, leading Abby inside with a hand to the small of her back. "We usually have our holidays with friends back in DC, but with the move-"
"It's always hard the first few months away," she said, putting her son down on the floor and turning to Abby. "How far along are you, sweetie?"
"Almost eighteen weeks," Abby replied, looking down and smoothing her dress. "I'm finally starting to show a little."
"You wear it well," Janet nodded, motioning to the couch. "Danny's in the backyard with the grill if you want to join him, Agent DiNozzo."
He glanced at Abby as she made herself comfortable before agreeing. "I'll let you ladies talk then."
Once he was sufficiently occupied with her husband, Janet took a seat next to Abby on the couch. "How have you been handling the move? I know it's no fun to do all that housework while pregnant," she said, pouring two glasses of water.
"It hasn't been too bad," Abby lied. "Aside from a little bit of weight gain, it's been a pretty easy pregnancy."
"That's good to hear, I had morning sickness for the first five months with Ty. Have you tried yoga?"
Taking a sip of her water, she shrugged. "I've thought about trying it, but with the hours I worked back in DC I didn't really have the time."
"You should join my prenatal class. There's only a few other women right now and it meets twice a week," Janet explained. "I think you'd really enjoy it, and it'll give you a chance to meet some other new moms."
Abby was silent for a moment before nodding. "Sure," she agreed. "I'll give it a try."
"Oh, good. It's a great stress reliever, and it really makes labor a lot easier," she said, looking up when their husbands walked in from the backyard.
"You girls having fun?" Danny asked, setting the grilled chicken and steak on the dining room table.
"Always," Janet replied, standing up to help him with the rest of the food that was in the kitchen.
Tony walked over to Abby and kissed her gently. "Hungry?"
"Starving," she smiled, allowing him to lead her over to the table. It hadn't been an easy few weeks, but as she sat down at their neighbor's table she couldn't help but believe that things were starting to look up again.