Title: Love Hurts – Chapter Three

Genre: NCIS

Pairing: Tony and Ziva

Rating: M, for mention of religious content and rituals.

Disclaimer: #Sigh# I just continue to play with them.

Written: January – February 2012

Word Count: 3,500

WARNINGS: There are some obviously depicted JEWISH RITUALS AND PRACTICES within this chapter. If you have a problem with that, go read something else.

A/N: This Chapter was originally part of the previous chapter, but due to their collective word-length, they ware subsequently divided. Again, keep your religion based opinions to yourself, there are many who are pro and many who are anti regarding this… Go voice your opinions on their websites.

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The closer it came to David's Brit, the more uptight Tony became. He was still upset with Ziva for not forewarning him of the ceremony, and what it entailed. Not to mention the fact that Eli had flown over from Israel for the occasion, and that his father was to be present as well. He felt as if his hands were well and truly tied, and that he had no other choice but to accept whatever experience was to befall his son.

He knew that Ziva was nervous as well, she could not hide little from him in recent times. However, him having been caught up with work and her been busy with David and her aunt, seeing to the preparations for the brit, there had just never had seemed to be a good time to discuss the matter with her. Especially since the event had to occur a week after David's birth, and they had hardly even settled into a routine yet, the newness of it all was still exceedingly overwhelming. He just wised that he had been better forewarned. He had no problem with Ziva's religion, never had, he was just uncertain if he wanted the traditions thereof enforced on his son. The ritualistic nature of a brit still churned his stomach.

He had learned the words she had given him, he could even recite them in his sleep, having practiced them whist driving. Because it was something Ziva had wanted, or at least he thought she did. Unlike him, she did not seem to have any doubts when it came to their son. He constantly worried if he was making the right decisions, or if he should even be making those decisions. He looked about their apartment, and how they would manage to fit twelve adult bodies into the apartment without a war ensuing, he was uncertain, especially considering the guest list. The table had been set for their dinner, and off to the side a smaller one had been set up, holding three candles, a chalice of wine and a prayer tallit.

He entered the kitchen hoping to catch Ziva alone for a moment, but her and her aunt had spent the better part of the afternoon preparing the meal that was to be consumed after the ceremony, He remained in the doorway as the two women moved about. Just then the doorbell chimed, and Tony turned to go answer it.

Opening the door he came face to face with a reserved looking man, dressed in a back robe and wearing a kippah.

'You must be Anthony, David's father,' The man said as greeting.

'Yes,' Tony replied looking over the man not certain if it was the mothel who had come to perform his son's circumcision, trying to contain the urge to close the door in the man's face.

'I am rabbi Meirowitz,' the man introduced himself, 'it is good to finally meet you. Ziva has explained to me the nature of your work and why you could not be present when the arrangements were being made.' The man continued and Tony's agitation lessened slightly.

'Come on in,' Tony invited stepping out of the way. 'Ziva and aunt Nettie are in the kitchen, seeing to dinner.' he continued as the rabbi stepped past him.

Tony was just about to close the door, he heard a familiar voice call. 'Tony, Tony wait!' Abby's voice extended down the passage, as she came hurtling towards the door, as fast as he doc's could safely convey her.

'Hey abbs,' Tony greeted as she stepped past him. 'She's in the kitchen,' he directed, not even nedding the question to be asked.

'Thanx, Gibbs and Ducky are behind me so hold the door,' Abby said before disappearing into the kitchen.

'How do you know?' Tony called after her.

'I saw them pull in as I entered the building,' her muffled reply came, followed by a frenzy of questions and answers between her and Ziva.

'Okay,' Tony replied half heartedly, then looked down the passage to see his father's approach.

'Dad,' Tony greeted as his father arrived at the door.

'Junior,' Anthony greeted in reply as he stepped into the room.

'Have a seat, we're just waiting for the others,' Tony returned indicating towards the lounge, watching his father's receding form, feeling even more uncomfortable. He waited for Gibbs and Ducky to appear before closing the door and joining them in the lounge. He saw Gibbs glaring slightly at his father and the rabbi looking at Abby with a puzzled expression on his face. Tony made introductions and was relieved when Ducky took it upon himself to engage the rabbi in conversation.

A few moments later Ziva came to stand next to him. 'Please explain to me why we would put your father, my father and Gibbs in the same room,' he asked in a lowered voice.

'The reason is called your son,' she gravely answered him.

'Yeah I get that, but..,' Tony allowed his sentence to draw out, indicating to Senior and Gibbs openly glairing at one another, just as Netta joined them.

'They will put their differences aside, it is a time for celebration,' she answered, having in part picked up on their conversation.

Just then the doorbell once again chimed. 'I'll get it,' Ziva replied, turning from them to go open the door.

'Father,' she greeted, smiling warmly.

'Ziva,' Eli greeted, taking her by the shoulders and kissing both cheeks before entering the apartment. He nodded his greeting to Tony, Gibbs and Ducky, and for a moment looked pointedly at Anthony senior, before allowing Nettie to introduce him to the Rabbi.

'You think we should introduce them,' Tony asked quietly, when Ziva came to stand next to him.

'I think my father already knows all he needs to know about your father,' Ziva profoundly stated.

'That would not surprise me,' Tony returned just as profoundly. 'Where's David?' He finally asked.

'He was sleeping, but I think he will soon wake with all the commotion, I will take Abby to go and see.' Ziva replied. 'He seems to be rubbing off on her,' she glibly added.

'That would give probie something to think about,' Tony was quick to counter.

'What would?' Gibbs demanded nearing them.

'Nothing boss,' Tony was quick to reply.

Just then the door bell once again chimed, casing Tony to turn from them to answer it, and Ziva left with Abby to see to David.

Opening the door revealed the last three members of the party. 'Well if it isn't probie, gremlin and the ever beautiful Breena,' Tony said as way of greeting.

'Tony,' McGee acknowledged as he stepped past, followed by Palmer and Breena. He closed the door and followed them into the decidedly crowded lounge.

Once everyone had arrived, Ziva indicated to the rabbi that they were ready to start and placed a chair next to the small table, and indicated to Noda to sit down.

The others gathered round, standing in a semi circle about the room as Ziva settled her tallit over her hair.

'Where's Abby,' Tony asked Ziva having looked about nervously.

'She will be with us soon,' Ziva answered as Nettie sat down. Tony frowned slightly having expected Eli to take the seat.

Just then Abby entered the lounge with David safely wrapped in a cotton receiving blanket.

'Ba-ruch Ha-bah,' Ziva uttered, as David was handed to Noda. Abby was reluctant to let go of him and returned to Gibb's side, whilst Tony glanced towards Eli for a moment, knowing that it was his first glimpse of his grandson.

The rabbi looked down at the little boy before speaking up. 'Today we celebrate the Brit Shalom of David DiNozzo. His parents, Anthony and Ziva DiNozzo also welcome their first-born child into their family, wishing to share with him their ideals and the experiences of their traditions, hoping to provide him with virtuous values which to live by throughout his life.' The rabbi started. Ziva took a deep breath in order to maintain he calm as she looked at her son whilst standing next to Tony. 'Anthony and Ziva want to thank all those present for sharing the joy of this momentous occasion with them.' To which everyone glanced towards the coupe standing close to their son, Tony's uncertainty was evident to both ducky and Gibbs.

'With this ceremony we follow in part the ancient Jewish customs that mark David's entrance into life as a member of his people. It is in the wishes of his parents that their traditions and values will provide him a sense self, hope and belonging.' The rabbi continued looking from Tony to Ziva for a moment, their affection for their son evident for all to see. Tony for a moment mulled over the Rabbi's words, wondering just what portion of the customs they would be following.

'Anthony and Ziva DiNozzo, by partaking in this tradition, vow to give David unconditional love, a love that is not dependent on report cards, good actions, behaviours or popularity. Accept him for his human frailties, abilities and virtues. Give him integrity and make him aware of himself as a citizen of the universe, where there are many obstacles as well as fulfilments. Give him permission to make his own life independent of yours and bestow upon David the blessings of God, as these are the laws of honouring your child.' The rabbi addressed both Tony and Ziva before turning his attention towards the others in the room. 'From these laws will be built the Declaration of Independence for the coming generation, a spiritual and emotional independence that, in turn, will make the world, free, tolerant, and safe.'

The rabbi halted for a moment, then looked down at David. 'Although none can escape either sorrow and pain, we humbly ask for David the courage to face evil, the faith to transcend it, and the strength to subdue it. Lord, grant him health of both mind and of body, that he may enjoy a live filled with years of joy and happiness, and to do Your will in faithfulness.'

The rabbi looked towards Ziva, who stepped forward to light the candles 'Ba-ruch a-tah Adonai, ehloheinu melech ha-o-lam, bo-rei m'o-rei ha-eish. There is a new light in our hearts and in our home.' She spoke up lighting the first of the three candles. 'These candles celebrate the birth of our child. There is one candle for each of his parents.' She said as she lt the second candle, 'And we kindle a third for David, the new life in our family.' she said concluded before stepping back and turning towards Tony.

'He has come forth out of the creative darkness of the womb,' Tony said looking directly into her eyes, having seen her slight nod.

'And these candles celebrates his emergence into the light,' Ziva returned, taking Tony's hand.

'Blessed is the woman who bears a child, for she knows how love covers pain,' Tony continued, the words suddenly making more sense to him, as his eyes firmly held Ziva's.

'Blessed is the man who fathers a child, for he creates a bridge between earth and the heavens,' Ziva returned smiling warmly at him, the expression in her eyes causing Tony's throat to close with emotion.

Squeezing his hand slightly, they turned towards David. 'Child of light, you know not yet of the love and joy that overflows from our hearts,' Tony and Ziva said in unison, before turning their attention towards the rabbi, Tony momentarily tightening his hold on Ziva's hand.

'We have come to realize that each of us is fully human from the moment we are born, able to feel and remember all the richness of each and every moment's experience.' the rabbi again spoke up, 'Will the grandparents Eli David and Anthony Daniel DiNozzo please come forward.' The rabbi requested.

Ziva let go of Tony's hand and turned toward Eli as he came so stand in front of her and Tony. 'Father, do you accept your responsibilities as a grandparent to David; to protect and guide him whenever needed.'

'I do,' Eli sincerely answered. Remaining where he stood, but allowed Anthony to stand next to him.

Tony then turned to his father, taking a deep breath. 'Father, do you accept the role as grandparent to David; to assist and guide him whenever needed, only as needed.' Tony spoke up, his voice conveying a slight hesitancy.

'I do,' Anthony replied.

With that, both Eli and Anthony stood back.

'Will the God-parents, Leroy Jethro Gibbs and ms Abigail Scuito please come forward,' the rabbi requested, looking towards the arties concerned.
Abby and Gibbs took up their places before Tony and Ziva.

Ziva turned towards Gibbs, 'Gibbs, do you accept the role as godfather; to assist guide and educate David, whenever needed and however needed.'

'I do,' Gibbs firmly replied.

Tony turned to Abby. 'Abigail, do you accept the role as godmother to David; to guide and assist him, and to make him realize that there is always hope as long as there are people who believe in it. That a smile and a hug can often help others get through their day, and that despite his mother's killer instincts, he needs some brains to go with the brawn.'

'I do, ' Abby assured, smiling brightly.

Ziva then tuned from them, as Gibbs and Abby returned to the other, reaching for the tallit from the table and turned towards David and Nettie. 'With every child born the world begins anew, and with this ceremony, your father and I formally welcome you into our world and our family. By giving you your name, we undertake our responsibilities as your parents to take you forward into this world, to love, guide and cherish you. You are whole, complete, and perfect.' Ziva started, opening the tallit and wrapping it around David. 'We promise to you, before our family gathered here today in your honour, to do our best for you each and every day hereafter. Baruch kol khai ba-olam, B'ru-kheem ha-kha-yeem ba-adam,' Ziva continued as she took David from Nettie. 'I have wrapped you in this tallis as we prepare to give you your name,' Ziva concluded, before stepping back and joining Tony.

They turned their attention towards the rabbi. 'When asked about children, Kahlil Gibran wrote: "Your children are not your children, they are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls. For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and bends you with His might, that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable."'

Tony and Ziva turned towards the others, and Eli stepped forward, looking between Tony, Ziva for a moment before looking down at their son. 'Blessed is the new beginning within every creation; Blessed are the possibilities in every existence; Blessed is the wonder within every birth; Blessed is the life bestowed upon every child,' he said then looked towards Ziva. 'Blessed are the tears cast within love; and blessed is the love found within every life.' He nodded his head in acknowledgement to Tony before once again stepping back to join the others.

'Our God, God of our Mothers and our Fathers! Sustain this child through his parents' loving care. Let him be known among the people of Israel by the name of Dovid, in English, David.' The rabbi spoke up behind them, pouring wine into the chalice. 'May his name be a source of joy to him, and inspire him to serve all people and all humankind. May his parents and his family rejoice in his growth of both body and soul. May they, with wisdom and patience, lead him forward with towards a love of learning, a life of good deeds, and to a marriage worthy of God's blessing.' The rabbi proclaimed waiting for Tony and Ziva to turn towards him.

'Ba-ruch a-tah Adonai eloheinu melech ha-alom bor-ay peri ha-gafen.' Everyone said, before the rabbi took a sip from the cup and handing it to Tony; who also took a sip and held it for Ziva to drink, then dipped his finger in the cup before wetting David's lips.

'Baruch ha-ba.' The rabbi said before handing Tony David's certificate.
'Amen,' the Rabbi pronounced, to which everyone replied, 'Amen.'

Ziva then led everyone to the table, allowing each to take up their individual places. Eli stood next to Ziva and Anthony next to Tony. 'Bread is the symbol of sustenance. Please, we invite you to break bread with us in wishing David a prosperous life.' Ziva invited their guests, then turned towards Eli.

'Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu melech ha-alom ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz,' Eli recited the blessing, before breaking a piece from the loaf, handing it round before eating it. Everyone then sat down, except Ziva and Nettie. Ziva handed David to Abby and followed her aunt into the kitchen, whilst Tony and Eli saw to the wine.

Ziva and her aunt then returned with the lamb stew and vegetables. Ziva took David from Abby before sitting down and joining the meal.

It was only much later that evening, after everyone had left, that tony stood looking from the doorway as Ziva fed David. His heart warmed at the sight of the two people who had become the pivoting points in his life. Ziva sensing his gaze looked up at him, smiling lightly as he came over to them.

'I can't help feeling envious of him,' Tony said as he joined her on the bed.

'Oh, and why is that,' Ziva replied smiling slightly at the affection in his tone.

'He was allowed access to you within moments of birth,' Tony replied, indicating to the David who was greedily suckling, 'I had to wait years before you allowed me to.'

'I remember allowing you a lot more access, all of which resulted in him,' Ziva returned, trying to gauge his mood.

Tony remained silent for a while watching his son feed.

Ziva changed sided then looked at Tony again. 'What's it Tony?'

Tony reached out soothing a finger along his son's cheek, 'I still find it hard to believe,' Tony said his finger tracing over her breast slightly. 'How does it feel when he drinks?'

'It is difficult to explain, I feel very protective of him, but it is also very calming,' Ziva tried to explain.

'You seem serene when he drinks,' Tony spoke up softly, his finger once again brushing David's cheek. 'So different from me.'

Ziva frowned slightly at his words, then placed he one hand on his cheek. 'Your touch is very different,' Ziva softly said, drawing his eyes from the baby to meet hers. 'Your touch both soothes and stirs me,' she concluded, realizing that the past week had been just as demanding of him as it had been of her, there had been moments they had almost lived past one another, when they had hardly spoken.

'Thank you,' Tony said looking at David again.

'For what?' Ziva asked suddenly confused.

'Everything, David organizing his brit,' Tony returned looking at her again, 'I was concerned about it at first.'

'Why?' Ziva asked confused, knowing that they had not discussed it before.

'I read up about it, and was upset that you would make such a decision without me,' Tony finally owned up.

'And now?' Ziva questioned, lifting David to her shoulder after he detached, and rubbed his back slightly.

'I understand why, and that it is not something he should have been denied.'

'You are not angry?' She asked outright, having noted his discord earlier the week.

'No I'm surprised. We had Gibbs, your father and my father in the same room, without a war ensuing,' Tony returned as Ziva got up to put David down.

'I think they are big enough to place their differences on hold when it is needed,' Ziva said quickly checking David's nappy.

'Place their differences aside,' Tony quickly corrected her.

'Whatever,' Ziva returned before wrapping up David and covering him for the night.

Tony got up drawing back the sheets before settling in bed, waiting for Ziva to join him, then snuggled up behind her. 'I love you,' he whispered into her neck.

Ziva smiled and turned her head slightly, 'I love you too.'

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For the Curious…

Hebrew translations:

Ba-ruch Ha-bah (Blessed is the newborn.)

Ba-ruch at-ah Adonai, ehloheinu melech ha-o-lam, bo-rei m'o-rei ha-eish. (Blessed are You, Source of All, Who creates the illuminations of the flame.)
Ba-ruch at-ah Adonai eloheinu melech ha-alom bor-ay peri ha-gafen. (Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.)
Ba-rukh kol khai ba-olam (Precious is every living thing in the world.)
B'ru-kheem ha-kha-yeem ba-adam (Precious is the life of humankind.)

Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu melech ha-alom ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz. (Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.)