Title: Headlong into the Abyss
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Warnings/Spoilers/Rating: none | Spoilers for season 9, goes AU after 9x12 and includes Wendy but is AU | Teen
Parings: Tony/Ziva, Ziva/Ray, Tony/Wendy
Summary: Ziva marries Ray, Tony marries Wendy. They still get caught in each other's webs.
Headlong into the Abyss
Tony does not know what to say when Ziva says yes to Ray. Abby squeals. McGee congratulates her and Ray. Ray stands with a smug look on his face and his arm around Ziva's waist. Ducky tells a long winded story about a wedding he once attended in Dundee. Gibbs kisses Ziva's cheek and whispers in her ear. Palmer gives her the card with the name of a wedding planner. Tony just drinks. His mother's poison is his solace.
It appears God has not finished screwing with him when Wendy his ex-fiancé becomes a part of their subsequent case. He looks at her; she's only gotten more beautiful in the nine years since he has seen her.
He drives her home. She tells him about her son Fred and her divorce. As he walks her to her door, she kisses him. He does not resist. The kiss is familiar and safe. He wants familiar and safe.
The next few months pass like a montage on a bad family movie. He takes Wendy out and gets to know Fred. They slowly become a family.
After spending an afternoon with Fred watching Finding Nemo, Tony decides it's the right time to ask. Fred sits stunned as Tony explains his intentions to marry Wendy. After, ten seconds of thought, the child consents and asks to be Tony's best man.
The second time Tony proposes is less exciting and romantic than the first. He gets down on bended knee in the kitchen after Fred reveals that Tony had to tell her something. Wendy covers her mouth in shock. As she gives him her answer in the form of a kiss, he is glad for his second chance.
Late Spring through to early Summer of 2012 becomes the season of weddings. With Palmer and Breena's lavish event in May, Ziva and Ray's elegant affair in June, and Tony and Wendy's quiet one in July. Gibbs head slaps Tony down the aisle, much to everyone's amusement.
When he returns from his honeymoon, he finds a difference in Ziva. On Tony's second full day back at work, Ziva announces she is pregnant.
The team help her as Ray is what Ziva refers to as away. Ducky brings her tea. McGee drives for twenty minutes in rush hour traffic to bring her falafel, which is not only her craving but one of the few foods she can keep down. Abby hugs her when the mood swings start. Tony follows her into the men's room as she gags, with crackers and water on hand. Gibbs starts building a crib in his basement.
It was supposed to be a routine conversation with a witness, which was why Gibbs let Ziva tag along. But the witness turned violent. He pushed Ziva against a wall. She kicked and struggled before the witness released her sending her toward the ground with a thud. Tony cuffed the witness. Then he noticed the growing red blood-stain on her maternity combat pants. Ziva's eyes closed.
He stood outside her hospital room. All he hears are her sobs. His heart shatters. He walks away.
He takes the team leader job at the Pentagon. It's everything Wendy wanted. He gets better pay and they didn't have to move.
He cleans out his desk while the others are on the case and Ziva at home recuperating. He finds a package on her desk. He decides he will take it to her.
Ziva answers the door dressed in sweatpants, an undershirt and a loose cardigan. Her hair is a messy bun. Her eyes have circles under her eyes. She does not say anything. He just hands her the package. She opens it, revealing a little soft toy, obviously meant for the baby.
Tears form in her eyes. She throws the toy at him, accusing him of ill-timed gift. She asks if he has no conscience. He shows her the post mark on the parcel. Ziva's lip trembles. The gift was from Ray. She shuts the door on his face. He stands and listens as she breaks every plate, cup and glass in the apartment.
Wendy asks him if he wants children of his own with her, after all she is not getting any younger. He tells her he isn't sure. But he knows he has the blood of Ziva's baby on his hands. He knows he does not deserve one of his own.
His dealings with his former colleagues become less frequent. He has a wife and a step son now, he tells them. They all celebrate the New Year together at Tony's house. Tony watches his friends. Palmer and Breena talking about Jimmy's medical school graduation which will also coincide with Ducky's retirement, Abby tells him about her charity work, and McGee talks about his new book, which unlike his previous work will be completely original. Ziva does not talk much as Ray does most of the talking for the couple; he talks about their big house in Virginia which they are doing up. Ziva drinks wine like it is water, just like her father, though in this repetition of history she is her mother.
It is late spring when he sees them next. Ziva has them over to show off the newly decorated house. Tony does not notice the features that Ray point out, instead he notices the smile on Ziva's face, the way she rests her hand on her stomach and how she doesn't touch the celebratory champagne.
As they drive home, Wendy suggests they buy something bigger.
As he and Wendy sit down in their new much bigger lounge room while Fred is at his fathers. Wendy jokes about how she could get used to living such a way, with their adults only time every second weekend.
It is then Tony chooses to tell her he wants to have a child. One of his own. He tells her wants to be called Daddy not Tony.
Each time Tony sees sanitary wear on the shopping list his heart sinks. He knew it would take a while after all neither he nor Wendy is young. Each month he comforts Wendy as faces their failure. And each month their quest consumes them a little more. Their obsession leads them to try everything and anything, yet their efforts are futile.
Abby tells him that Ziva had a healthy baby boy, named Joel. He tells Abby to send his congratulations.
That night Wendy hands him a leaflet about IVF.
Joel is not even three months old when Ray leaves on another one of his trips. The others rally round, helping Ziva out where they can. Abby is supposed to take her some groceries when she gets swamped in her lab. She just assumes Tony will say yes. So Tony is forced into it.
Ziva answers the door of her house wearing a loose button down shirt and a pair of Ray's boxer shorts. She thanks him for texting her rather than ringing the doorbell. She lets him in, closing the door very slowly.
As soon as the door closes, a noise somewhere between crying and screaming erupts from the upstairs bedroom. Ziva groans and runs back up the stairs.
She returns with the child. He is quiet but not silent, making a sort of mewing sound. Tony looks at the child. He notices Ziva's nose above Ray's mouth. He makes a joke about little Joel being a hit with the ladies when he grows up and watches a tired smile cross Ziva's face.
Joel cries again. Ziva tells Tony to take the groceries to the kitchen as he can't watch her nurse.
Tony puts the groceries where it seems most logical for them to belong. He notices the state of Ziva's farmhouse style kitchen and the adjoining laundry room. Dishes and packets litter the work surface and baskets of laundry remain unsorted.
He watches Ziva through the gap in the door as she nurses Joel. Stress had turns into serenity.
Once the groceries are away, he folds the laundry, loads the dishwasher and puts on of Leyla's reheats in the microwave for her.
She walks into the kitchen doing up the buttons on her shirt. She hugs him when she sees what he has done.
A month later, after their first cycle of IVF, they sit in the doctor's office. Wendy beams as the doctor confirms the pregnancy.
The pregnancy is hard on Wendy; she only uses just two words to describe how she is feeling; tired and sick.
The doctor puts her on bed rest when she is 28 weeks after a bout of contractions and a high blood pressure reading. He tries to do anything and everything to make her feel better. Every time he leaves the house for work he feels guilty for asking her to have his child.
He is trying to read the non-English instructions to build the crib, when his nearly ten year old step-son rushes in, telling him to come quick.
Wendy is sitting on the bed, tears falling down her face and a wet spot on the sheets. It's too early Tony thinks. She sobs as Tony calls an ambulance. He prays to a god he has long ceased believing in.
The doctors try to help Wendy and the baby. Wendy soldiers through the labour that lasts the whole afternoon and into the long night. The dawning sun brings with it a new complication as blood seeps into the sheets and Wendy's eyes roll back. The nurses rush around. Wendy's bed is pulled from next to him. The doctors use words like distress, emergency and NICU.
Tony paces the hallway outside of the operating theatre. He prays and prays.
After what seems like hours, the nurse reaches him. Wendy has lost her uterus but not her life. Their daughter is breathing but underweight.
He is lead to the NICU by the kind nurse. He looks at the other children, they look vulnerable and sick. He is finally shown his daughter. She is less pale than the others and has fewer wires around her.
He puts his hand into the incubator; she wraps her little hand around his little finger. Tony lets tears of joy fall down his face.
They name her Vida not for the name but for the meaning; life. Both Vida and Wendy are out of the hospital a few weeks later. It as they are released that Tony remembers that still unassembled crib.
As he looks for a bag to put Wendy's stuff in, he peeks in the nursery and finds a crib, with Vida's name carved in the headboard. He reminds himself to thank Gibbs.
The next few years pass in a blur. Wendy finally gets her big break in journalism and is away too often.
The team moves on without him. McGee becomes a bestselling author of children's fantasy books dedicated to his 'nieces and nephews'. Ducky retires. Gibbs retires and builds another boat named Family. Ziva joins the linguistics division. Abby solves the forensics on cases by day and saves the world by night. Fornell almost gets married again. Leyla gets American citizenship and starts her own business. The McSister gets stalked, and falls in love with the NCIS agent assigned to protect her. They marry when Vida is a nearly year old and have a son just six months later.
Vida is two when Palmer and Brenna who have been married the longest, announce their pregnancy. Things go swimmingly for them until the halfway mark, when Tony's quiet afternoon with his step-son and daughter is disturbed by loud knocking at his door. He answers the door to a distraught Palmer who reports his unborn son has Downs Syndrome. Tony comforts him as he comes to terms with the new reality. Vida is three weeks shy of her third birthday when Alex Donald Palmer is born. The team fawns over the beautiful child. Like all the children he is nothing if not loved.
Ziva also has another child, a little girl named Ella, born when Vida is three and a half. Tony figures Ella is a ploy to save her parents' marriage. Tony only sees Ziva and Ray occasionally but even he can see the strain. He watches each time as they excuse themselves to argue. They try to argue in French because their children only speak English, Spanish and Hebrew, but the language doesn't matter, and Tony sees the tears swell in Joel's eyes as his parents fight as he tells his baby sister it's all ok.
They attend PTA meetings and does neighborhood watch. Saturday mornings are for sport and the afternoons for braving the supermarket. They get pets named after sports stars, places and kids tv characters. Tony and Wendy hold onto their married for the sake of Vida. Ziva and Ray do the same thing for Joel and Ella. They both love their children but no longer love their spouses.
Their cases intertwine; Ziva's linguistic skills are needed on an anti-terrorism operation. She leans on his desk translating the document at ease. He watches as she flicks a random hair from her face. His eyes trace every inch of her body. She turns to face him as his agents take notes. Her eyes look into his.
An idea is born in both their heads. Visions of an affair fill their dreams. The happiness they both crave. But the happiness would have a flip side. They could lose everything.
They stand too close to each other in the elevator debating whether the risk is worth it. Temptation hangs over them. Self-control and morality fight an uphill battle.
Self-control will eventually lose taking morality with it and allowing temptation to conquer as they headlong into the abyss.