Title: The Tower
Pairing: TBD* (see author's note)
Rating: K+
Genre: Gen/Het?
Cat: Angst, Drama, Friendship
Spoilers: None.
Warnings: None.
Summary: A major change in Ziva's life makes her do some self-examination . . . with a little help from her friends.
Author's Note: This will PROBABLY end up being McGiva, but at the moment, it's just friendship, and if any romance develops, it will be gradually and not as quickly as I usually do things. So you know. Also, some people are kinda touchy about the subject - not everyone, but I know a lot of people in fandom are weird about things like this, so keep that in mind while reading. AND the title is inspired by the Vienna Teng song of the same name, so do go listen to that to get more of a feel for what I'm going for here.

McGee breezed into the squad room, saying, "Good morning, Ziva," as he walked past her desk. He arrived at his desk and when Ziva still hadn't said anything in response, he turned to look at her, frowning as he took in the pale tone of her skin. "Hey, you feeling okay? You're looking a little pale."

Ziva shook her head and McGee's frown deepened as he dropped his backpack and walked back to her desk. She looked up at him, her expression confused. "I have been feeling nauseous the past few days and I do not know why."

"Did you eat something bad?" McGee asked, crouching down next to her desk.

She shook her head, closing her eyes as she pressed her hands against the edge of her desk, willing her nausea to disappear. "No, I . . ." She trailed off as she suddenly bolted from her seat, pushing herself away from her desk as she sprinted to the bathroom. McGee was on his feet just as quickly, his eyes wide as he looked over at the bathrooms.

He wasn't sure if he should go wait for her outside the restroom, but his dilemma was solved by Ziva reappearing from the bathroom, her face flushed. McGee made his way over to her, saying, "Ziva, you should probably go home. If you want, I'll give you a ride . . ."

Ziva looked up at him, not seeming to have heard anything he just said. "I think I know what is wrong," she said, and McGee gave her an expectant look.

"What?" he asked, worried about what it could possibly be.

She continued to stare at him. "I think I am pregnant."

Ziva could have told him she was a three-toed sloth for the surprise that registered on McGee's face. "What?" he asked, and she quickly turned away from him, heading back to her desk.

"Did you not hear me?" she asked, returning to her work. She refused to look back up at him, focusing her attention on her computer.

"Sorry," McGee mumbled, still coming down from the shock of her news. "I was just surprised, that's all."

"I know," Ziva said softly, and pausing in her typing, looking down at her desk.

McGee watched her and saw a moment where he could step in, so he took it, moving closer to her desk and saying, "Well, you don't know for sure . . ."

Ziva nodded, but then countered her nod by saying, "No, I am fairly sure. It makes sense." She blinked, and McGee could tell she was trying to hold back tears. "Perhaps I should go home." She finally looked up, only half meeting McGee's eyes. "Thank you for your concern. I will be fine."

"Okay . . ." McGee watched as she turned in her chair, bending to pick up her backpack and coat, and when she stood up, he tried to intervene again. "You sure you don't want a ride home? I mean . . ."

She gave him a thin smile. "I am not incapacitated, McGee. I can drive myself home."

He nodded, still looking concerned, and as Ziva was about to walk out, he called out, "What do you want me to tell Gibbs?"

She turned and gave him another smile, this one more genuine. "I was not feeling well, so I went home. I will talk to you later, McGee."

"Right. Talk to you later." He frowned to himself as Ziva entered the elevator and left.

Her news . . . That was the last thing he had expected her to say. Ziva was pregnant. Ziva was pregnant.

McGee wandered over to his desk and sat down, contemplating what would happen next. He tried to think of who the father could be and found himself drawing a blank. Ziva wasn't exactly forthcoming with her life outside of work, but as far as he knew, she hadn't been seeing anyone. So either she had a secret boyfriend, or else . . .


The sound of his name made McGee look up and he found Gibbs giving him a questioning look. "Yes, Boss."

"Where are DiNozzo and Ziva?" he asked, waving his arms at the squad room, which was missing half his team. "Do I or do I not have a team?"

"I don't know where Tony is," McGee started, "but Ziva went home. She wasn't feeling well." Gibbs gave him a look that said he didn't believe him, so McGee continued. "Uh, it came on pretty suddenly. She, uh, she was feeling a little . . . nauseous."

Gibbs nodded. "Food poisoning?" he questioned.

McGee shifted in his chair, feeling uncomfortable. "Um, maybe you should talk to her about it." He didn't want to tell Gibbs Ziva's news, but he didn't want to lie to him, either.

Thankfully for him, Gibbs didn't press the issue, just turned to his own desk, tossing out an, "You check up on her later," as he did so.

McGee let out a deep breath. This was an extremely complicated situation, one he hoped they could all work through, Ziva most importantly. And now, he realized, he was saddled with the burden of being the only other person who knew of Ziva's condition. This was going to be a really long day, or week, or month, depending on how long Ziva kept the secret to herself.

He hoped for his sake that she told Gibbs later that day.

Ziva unlocked her apartment door, stepping inside and closing and locking the door again, then removing her coat and hanging it up before walking straight to her bathroom. She closed the bathroom door behind her, leaving her staring at a reflection of herself in the full-length mirror hanging from the door. After a few quiet minutes, she stripped off her shirt, then removed the ponytail holder from her hair, letting her hair flutter around her shoulders. She then reached behind her back and unclasped her bra, sliding the straps down her arms and letting the undergarment fall to the floor. She unzipped and pushed down her pants, taking her underwear with them, and was left standing naked before the mirror.

This was how she needed to look at herself, literally stripped down, to make sense of everything. She knew she had to be about two months along, if her memory served her right. She was fairly confident in that assessment, because she had kicked herself for about a week afterward for letting it happen in the first place . . .

Ziva was pissed, tired and sick of being around her co-workers, so rather than going to their usual haunt that Friday night, she found herself downtown, at a dive she'd seen many times, but had never imagined being inside. It was a typical "townie" bar, full of drunk men with large beer bellies and trucker caps, moaning about their wives with the bartender, who seemed like an old friend to them. Ziva wasn't even sure why she came in here, but she told herself it was because she needed a change, some place where she knew she wouldn't run into somebody she knew who would try to talk to her.

"What's a girl like you doing in a place like this?"

The pick-up line was expected and Ziva rolled her eyes as she turned around, expecting to find some sleaze ball with greasy hair and a metallic shirt. She was surprised to find a rather handsome man who looked to be about in his 30s, wearing a tailored sports coat over a pair of dark jeans. She couldn't help the smile that tugged at the corners of her lips, and the handsome stranger mimicked her action, waiting for her answer.

"I could say the same thing about you," Ziva responded, letting her gaze wander over his body. She settled on his eyes again, challenging him. "This does not look like your type of place, either. Unless, of course, you just come in to 'save' women such as myself?" She crossed her arms over her chest, but the stranger just smiled at her.

"You don't look like you need saving at all," he said, his eyes twinkling with deviousness. Ziva didn't back down, so he shrugged. "Just thought I'd ask, but you're not interested, so . . ." He stuffed his hands into his pockets and walked past her, up to the bar.

Ziva turned to watch him go, surprised he'd backed off that easily. Perhaps he was not what she had expected . . . And the more she thought about it, the more she just wanted to do something crazy tonight, something to get her mind off everything.

She sashayed up to the bar, leaning over the dark stranger's shoulder to murmur in his ear. "I never said I was not interested."

He turned slowly on his stool, his eyes smoky with lust, and said, "You have a place in mind?"

Ziva gave him a slow smirk. This was too easy . . .

Ziva blinked and focused on her reflection again, feeling angry with herself that she had tears in her eyes. She wiped at her face quickly, blinking to rid herself of the unwanted tears, and took a couple of deep breaths. She had acted stupidly that night, by sleeping with a man who'd snuck out without a word in the middle of the night, and now she had to pay for her actions.

Her hand fluttered down to rest on her stomach and she suddenly found it hard to breathe. She'd had a one night stand with a nameless stranger and now she was carrying his baby. It was like something out of some dramatic romance novel, but this was no work of fiction.

She was pregnant, and nothing would be the same.

A/N: I hate this not giving you any option for scene breaks other than the ruler. Ugh. But I'll live. :P Very much a WIP. Will update as I get chapters written. For updates/sneak peaks on what's coming up, "like" my Facebook page on my profile! Thank you in advance! :)