Ziva buried her face in her hands. She glanced disbelievingly at the paper, but the stony face hadn't disappeared from the flyer.
"Oh my god, Tony. What are we going to do?" She asked, her voice muffled.
Tony sat beside her, resting his hand on her back.
"I don't know, Zi. I really don't." He said quietly. suddenly, he realized something:
I am her father.
Abruptly, Tony stood, and ran towards the steps.
"Tony, what are you doing?" Ziva asked. He didn't answer her, just kept bounding up the steps, two at a time. He skidded to a stop in front of Maddy's door.
Suddenly, ever so gently, he knocked on the painted white wood.
"Maddy? Maddy, it's me." He said quietly.
Silence. Not even the slight ruffling of movement
Then, a small voice, muffled by the door, broke the silence.
"Tony, you can come in."
He cast a look at Ziva, who nodded. Slowly, he turned the doorknob, and stepped inside.
Maddy was curled up on her bed, her head tucked between her knees. Only one time before had Tony seen her so broken.
And he thought he would never have to see her deal with it again.
He sat beside her. She looked up, sniffling.
"Tony." She said, looking up at him. Tears ran down her cheeks, leaving wet trails. The look of pain on her face was one of anguish and agony. It terrified Tony. He was barely a father, but something about this troubled him, and deeper than ever before.
"Maddy." He whispered. And he wrapped his arms around her, and pulled her tight to him. She buried her face in his chest, and cried. Just cried. He rocked her back and forth, all the while not saying anything, letting her cry for while. The only thing Maddy could hear was the beating of his heart against his ribcage. Tha-thump. Tha-thump. Tha-thump. It made her feel like she was with her father, those special nights before he shipped out. Suddenly, she looked up at him. "Look at me." She said quietly and, to Tony's shock and horror, shamefully. "My father would be ashamed for me to look like this. Broken over a simple memory." She muttered, and roughly wiped her cheek on the back of her hand.
"Hey." He puts his finger under her chin and lifts her head. "Don't you ever say that. Your father would be so proud of you. He is so proud of you."
She smiled sadly, and nestled into his chest even more.
"And you know what would make him even prouder?"
"Finishing this, like I know you can." He kissed her forehead, pulling back her hair.
"You're right." She hugged him tightly. "Thank you, Daddy."
She buried her face in his shoulder and he smiled, looking down at Maddy.
She called me Daddy.
I thought I would never find a real family after what happened that fateful day.
Never was I so wrong.
Almost immediately, I had met Ziva. She was never a mother, and I had never really known what having a mother was like. So it was something new and unexpected for both of us. Then, we grew closer. Me and Ziva were too alike in some ways. Both victims of rape, both terrified of love. Both wanting someone who understood them. Then, by sheer fate, when we both felt we were at our lowest, our paths crossed. Two strangers, yet they understood each other to extremely complex levels. Then, we grew closer. She found out more about me, I learned more about her. She is the closest thing to a mother I have had since my mother passed when I was six. I don't believe in superstitions, but I believe that we were meant to meet each other. Someone up there is looking after me, after all. Who it is, I don't know, but they are doing a good job.
My father had never been much of a father to me, so I really didn't know what it was like to have a father, or really know what one was. I was used to nannies and babysitters, and to never having a permanent parental figure in my life, let alone a father figure, like a lot boys were accustomed to. I always had promised myself never to be like that, that, if I did have a son, I would be there for his everything. Then, my decisions were clouded. I let go of the father image completely. I let go of that, the image of being married, the image of having kids, the image of even having a real relationship. Then Ziva happened, then Maddy.
I had never known what it was like to have a father, but now, I know what it's like to be one.
And it was one of the most amazing feelings that the world has to offer.
I laid back, and started absentmindedly going through channels, not really watching any of them. Suddenly, a shout from the bathroom. I sat up abruptly and ran to the bathroom door. I knocked on it. "Zi? Ziva, you okay?"
I heard shallow breathing. "T-Tony?" I heard her ask me.
"Ziva, can I come in?" I asked, somewhat urgent.
"Yeah. It's not locked." She replied in the same quiet and slightly panicked tone.
I opened the door slowly. Ziva stood there, her face white as a sheet. She was staring at something in her hand. I picked up the box on the counter.
"Pregnancy test? Zi, why?" I asked. "We use protection."
"So tell me this is wrong." She showed me what was in her hand. A strip of plastic and, in a small box, a plus sign.
"I hope Maddy won't mind a younger sibling."
Sorry, I just wanted to throw in a nice sweet father/daughter moment for Tony and Maddy. Felt like there needed to be a bit more of them.
So? I was planning to do this for a while, but I just didn't. I know that it's a lot thrown into the last few chapters, but it's just what imagination hands me.
Please, read and review!