So, now this is my first (published) story in English. I hope it turned out well enough.
At first, I just wanted to make this a one-shot, and knowing me, it probably will stay one forever. But perhaps I will continue the story, if anyone is interested and once I managed to finish my novel... until then, consider this a one-shot.
Ziva stared at the tiny, pink smilie-face on the test. Pink. Pink was bad. Really bad. Blue, blue was a nice color, nice and safe. Why was this face pink? It shouldn't be.
Congratulations, you are having a baby!
She must have read this line of the package insert a hundred times by now, and still couldn't quite comprehend what it meant. Having a baby. A tiny, pink, smiling baby. How the hell had this even happened?
Ziva felt like screaming. She felt the urge to take the test back to the drugstore and shove it into that smug cashier's face. Which probably would get her into even more trouble than she already was in. And it wasn't even this guy's fault. It all came down to Tony. Damn that man! How dare he do this to her?
Granted, she should have stopped him before it went too far. Knocked him out or kicked him in the groin or something. But that would have seriously ruined everybody's Christmas...
She had promised herself to stick to one Eggnog, and only one! But then McGee had bumped into her, and she had spilled half of it. And the second one wasn't really a second one because she never finished the first one. And when Abby had poured her that weird schnapps of hers that tasted like cinnamon, she just couldn't say no – Abby had bought the drink only for the occasion after all. And so Ziva maybe had one or two drinks too much. The rest of the Christmas party had been fun, and she had lost track of time. One second she was sharing a plate of Christmas cookies with Gibbs, and next thing she knew she was making out with Tony in the elevator. She didn't even recall how they had exited the building, but she definitely remembered the wide grin of the cab driver in the rear-view mirror. Then they were in the elevator again, taking them up to the fifth floor to Tony's apartment. They'd barely made it to the bedroom, the trail of clothes leading from the door to the bed had proved that. She just couldn't figure out how her shirt had ended up on the ceiling lamp...
And then there were the memories of the night. There was Tony, leaving a trail of light kisses on her skin while he removed her shirt and bra. He had pulled her close, so close, when she had turned him around and pushed him onto the bed before he could protest. His skin, hot against hers, when there where finally no more clothes left to separate them. He had kissed her and caressed her and whispered into her ear...
He had whispered this with stunning certainty.
You are mine.
When she had woken up in his bed at sunrise, that had been the only thing she remembered clearly. And it had been what had made her frantically collect her clothes and driven her out of his apartment before he could wake up and talk to her like that again.
She wasn't his. She couldn't be. Not if he made her feel so... torn. Vulnerable and safe at the same time. It confused her. He confused her. And she couldn't let that happen. She needed a clear head to fulfil her duties. She couldn't let this man distract her – especially if they were out in the field together.
This couldn't be.
They couldn't be together.
Ziva threw the test into the bin. The mirror showed her her face, eyes puffy and red. She splashed her face with cold water in a futile attempt to make it look like she had not just cried for half an hour. She wiped at her eyes stubbornly before she left the lady's room and returned to her desk. She couldn't think about this right now. She needed some time to pull herself together. She needed time to-
'Dead Petty Officer at the Monument!' Gibbs clapped his hands. 'Ziva, DiNozzo, get your stuff!'
Ziva nodded and grabbed her bag, while Tony shuffled around in his desk drawer. When Ziva hurried after Gibbs, he quickly caught up to her.
'Ziva, are you alright? You look like you've been-'
'I'm fine!' Ziva snapped, 'Mind your own business, we are at work!'
She pushed past him and practically ran down the stairs to avoid being scolded by Gibbs for being late. When she arrived, he and Tony already sat in the car, having used the elevator. She prepared for Gibbs's remark, but he remained silent. He shot her an odd glance, though, and suddenly Ziva wasn't sure anymore if she could keep this secret from the others.
But she had to.
At least until she knew what to do.
Tony watched as Ziva skimmed through the pictures of the crime scene. He knew he was supposed to call the dead guy's wife, but he just couldn't take his eyes off Ziva. He had to know what was going on.
She had been avoiding him. Ever since that Christmas party she had been nothing but professional at work – too professional. And not a single private encounter since then. She always left so quickly he couldn't catch up to her until she was in her car and speeding past him, and in the morning she was always the last one to come in. This was so unlike her, even the others had noticed that something was going on between them. Most of them had by now figured out what had happened after the party, but it had been six weeks, and even McGee knew that was too long to dwell in regrets about a one night stand with a colleague. And McGee usually was pretty clueless.
He had to ask her. Confront her, if necessary. But he wouldn't just let her go like this. If a fight was what she needed, alright then. He'd let her knock him out if she wanted to so she could draw something ridiculous on his face. And he would walk around and have everybody laugh at him, pretending he didn't know. But it would not end with this painful silence between them.
This evening, when Ziva headed to the elevator, he was prepared. He grabbed his things, yelled a 'See you tomorrow, Probie!' into McGee's general direction and practically jumped into the elevator just before the doors closed. As soon as the elevator started, he pushed the emergency stop button, and the elevator came to a sudden halt.
'Tony! What are you doing?'
The look Ziva gave him he would never forget. He had expected regret, anger, fury even, given that she was a very passionate woman – in many ways. But this look of sadness and grief, that was like a bullet straight into his heart. She looked resigned, defeated. And he didn't know why, and that made him furious.
'Ziva, what the hell is going on here?'
He saw her flinch at his words, which irritated him even more. She was his crazy Mossad-ninja, she didn't flinch!
'You've been avoiding me for weeks! I haven't talked to you about anything except cases since that party. If you are mad at me for that night, fine! I'm okay with that, but you should remember that I am not the only one responsible! And if you want to yell at me, I'm okay with that, too. Just tell me what the hell I have done that made you so angry!'
'Stop shouting at me!' she screamed with a high-pitched voice so unlike her usual tone, 'I swear if you don't get us out here in a minute I will kick your sorry ass into next week!'
Great. He had made her angry. Now he only needed her to tell him why she was so mad at him.
'You didn't seem to find my ass sorry!' he snorted, 'I remember something more along the lines of sexy when you last saw me butt naked."
He took half a step back, expecting her to hit him for that particular remark. And she did. Hard. Just not the way he had thought she would. He had expected some crazy, ninja-like Mossad move. Instead, she had slapped him. Just like any other woman furious at a man. And now she was in tears, her face red with anger, and he didn't know what to say. This was Ziva. She didn't cry. Never. What was going on here?
'Don't you dare saying that again!' she cried, 'Never, ever talk about that again!'
'What... Ziva, why are you crying? I didn't mean to hurt you, I just... Ziva, I'm so sorry, if had known you didn't want to-'
'But I wanted to!' she cut him off and banged her fist against the wall, 'I wanted to, and that's why I'm here and cry and wish I could kill you just now so it never happened, but that would not make anything right, and Gibbs would be angry and Abby and McGee probably too, and I would have screwed the baby's life up even before it was born, and I just can't do that!'
By now, she was lying in his arms, sobbing and punching him and muttering swear words under her breath in Hebrew. And he was none the wiser. What the hell was she talking about?
'Okay, Ziva, you lost me at the killing me part' he said, 'why would Gibbs be angry? And what does this have to do with babies?'
'You just don't get it, do you?' she howled, 'During that damn night after the party, you idiot knocked me up!'
'You... I... what?'
Tony was completely taken aback. He had done what to her?
'I'm pregnant, you ignorant bastard!'
She looked so furious that Tony decided to keep holding her. Less room for her to strike out, although it brought her teeth dangerously close to his throat.
'You're pregnant' Tony repeated weakly, 'how long did you know?'
'About a week.'
Her voice was quiet now, shaky, and her face was wet from all the tears. Tears he'd liked to kiss away, each tear a kiss, until she had no more tears left to cry. Instead, he gently pulled her down with him to sit against the elevator wall.
'Why didn't you tell me?'
'I was scared!' she snapped, 'Tony, do you even realize what all this means for me? My life is going to change forever! First I thought I could get over this, that this night was a mistake and nothing like that would ever happen again. I couldn't let it happen again!'
'Why?' Tony demanded, 'What is wrong about us being together?'
'It makes me weak, Tony!' She looked at him, defeated, exhausted. 'I'm in love with you. Have been for a long time now. That's why I didn't stop you that night. But these feelings... I couldn't do my job anymore if I allowed them to take over. I would always be worried, distracted, and I can't be distracted. I could put us all in danger, do you understand?'
'But, Ziva, that's how it is now!' Tony pulled her close, and she didn't resist. 'I am always worried about you. And that's why I work twice as hard to do my job right. To protect you!' He chuckled, and she frowned upon the sound. 'You just don't get it, either. I'm in love with you, too. Why do you think I let all that happen at the party? I wouldn't have gone so far if I had planned to leave it at that one night. I would never treat you like that!'
He kissed her forehead and looked down on her.
'Listen, Ziva, I'm sorry how this happened. It just went all wrong, and I wish I could undo it so we could start again. And I sure as hell didn't mean to get you pregnant. But now we are in this situation, and we are in this together, no matter what.' He sighed. 'I can't even imagine right now how this is gonna turn out, but I promise that we work something out. One way or the other, we will find a way out of this. But really,' he glanced up at the control panel, 'this is no place to talk this over. No coffee, no pastries and no annoying McGee to ask nosy questions. What the hell is security doing, anyway? Shouldn't they get us out of here or something?'
As if on cue, the speaker cracked, and a voice filled the elevator.
'Sorry, guys, I was taking a smoking break. So, what did you do to get stuck in that thing?'
'Never mind' Tony muttered, 'just get us out of this thing, okay?'
When one of the security guys pried open the doors a few minutes later, Ziva was holding Tony's hand. He was holding her, safe and warm, and suddenly she wasn't afraid at all. He was right. She could do this. They could. And they'd do it together. No matter what.