This thing came from a mixture of prompts given by dinutzzo, youreverydayninja, and kinda sorta romantically-dysfunctional. I tried to do the four times style, but it may not have turned out quite right. Regardless, I really hope you enjoy this, and critiques would be awesomesauce. Thanks for reading!- Alivia
Her footfalls are lithe, but even her skills of the covert flavor won't save her from the impending demise she faces a few yards away.
Her destination is set- and her face unusually hot- and she reaches it, quickly. Her tongue is sandpaper.
Gibbs remains completely silent, and Ziva David wonders edgily if this will be the end of her life. McGee shifts in his seat awkwardly, and for a few moments his shuffling is the only sound. She sits at her desk; looking straight ahead, jaw set. Ready for the battle, ready for harsh words, a reprimand, anything.
She almost trembles with the anticipation for the fallout.
Then, the elevator dings, and ice nips at her veins- and she feels sweat bead on her palms. When Tony arrives, he's much less stern. Black shades shield his view from the harsh light, and Ziva knows immediately that he needs them for emotional protection, as well as to mask the raging headache- the one that always follows a night of bottoms up drinking.
Her gaze is still locked on some paperwork, still stiff and tense, but a wry smile picks at the corner of her mouth. It's still swollen from the bruising kisses.
Tony's presence is the dam breaking. "Sorry I'm late, Boss," he says, and she wants to scream at him, hit him, and fuck him all at the same time.
Yes, you are sorry, Ziva thinks darkly. We slept together and you are sorry and I wish we had not.
Finally, after McGee has painfully cleared his throat, and the silence has become a tight rope, Gibbs speaks.
"That makes two rules, DiNozzo. Wanna try for a third?" he barks roughly, and her stomach goes to her throat because in that moment she would have never, ever thought that Leroy Jethro Gibbs could sound so bitter, so hostile. Briefly, she thinks of Jenny, but slaps that skeleton back into the closet as quickly as she can muster.
For once in his entire life, Tony DiNozzo keeps his mouth shut, and Ziva has never been more pleased with him.
(Except, maybe, for last night, because she only remembers blurry touches and quiet sighs, and the sentiment is there that last night was the most peaceful she's ever been, so maybe he gets credit for that one too.)
Gibbs slaps his hand down on his desk, and her foot twitches, but that is all. McGee jumps about ten feet in the air, and the phone rings.
Gibbs sighs loudly, and answers it within the first two rings.
Ziva has been staring at the paperwork in front of her so long that the words have blended into black lines.
"We have a case," Gibbs says.
A few seconds later, when McGee and Tony start to move, he adds a little something extra, and it's enough to make Ziva pushes back from the desk and stride to the elevator.
"Don't let anything stupid happen again."
He eventually corners her like a skittish cat, in the evidence locker, of all places.
He grabs her elbow, and speaks in a hushed voice, one reserved for children keeping secrets on the playground, for torrid affairs. Ziva shies away from his touch like she's been burned, and focuses solely on his words.
"Ziva, we need to talk about last night."
Her face feels tight, almost as if she wears a rubber mask. "No, Tony, I do not think we need to do anything."
Before he can help it, a furrow mars his forehead, and she knows she's caused him pain.
She doesn't have it within her to care.
Ziva turns away from him, ponytail slicing his skin slightly.
"We are going to be late for the interrogation if we do not leave now."
They end up being absent for the first half, and Tim covers for them, but Gibbs still looks ready to eat somebody.
She has had one pregnancy scare in her life; she was twenty, and her target required a little more persuading than her usual gun to the head. Information was sought, and her seduction was precise, almost symbolic of a Black Widow and its prey.
She killed him while she was still naked, sheets drawn up around her body with one hand, gun in the other. Clean up was easy this way, too, even though she never quite gets the image of his blood splattered on her breasts out of her head.
Seldom does she become ill, but she does, nearly three weeks after the assignment.
Thoughts skitter, and her outlook grows solemn. Ziva had found a drugstore, a package, and, although seemingly silly, prayed.
The little blue line instilled within her a reclaimed faith in holy beings, and she stops sleeping with her targets for information.
Her period is five days late- and she knows, like she knew Gibbs would be angry, like she knew Ari was a traitor, and Tali was dead. She does not bother with tests, because at this point, the only thing it could possibly do is mock her and stupid happenings.
Abby's smile is infectious, but it does nothing to her that day. The signature black pigtails swish through the room, and she can barely make sense of the ramblings spewing from the woman's mouth.
It gives Ziva a headache, but she doesn't tell her that.
Since a few weeks ago, Abby has been quieter, more wary, and rarely speaks of anything other than cases with Ziva, but it appears today has become the exception.
It's comforting to hear the random- until of course, somehow, the gods find out she has a moment of rest, and Abby decides to pull up a picture of something unbelievably gory, involving lots of blood and guts, up on the screens.
Ziva makes a strangled sound in the back of her throat, surging forward to the trashcan and promptly vomiting up her breakfast.
Abby gasps involuntarily, a high pitched, childish sound, and Ziva barely gets her head up before she ducks it down again.
Her stomach feels like it has shriveled into nothing and even the strawberry gum Abby threw her direction hasn't helped to soothe the acidic taste on her tongue. She is slumped against a lab table leg, much to Abby's insistence, and in all honesty, she had been too exhausted to protest.
Her friend looks down at her with a strange, pitying look in her eyes, and Ziva kind of wants to cry because she hates it. It reminds her of her mother, and her mother is dead, and she can't fathom why she is getting so worked up over the littlest things.
Abby moves away, and then comes back with a stuffed hippo, holding it out hesitantly to Ziva. Ziva hasn't the heart to turn it away.
Slumping down next to Ziva, Abby reaches out to draw circles on Ziva's bare arm, still as calm as if she is touching a wild animal.
When Abby speaks, she sounds like a very old woman, and it is so drastically different that Ziva listens as hard as she can.
"Ziva, you're pregnant."
And then, suddenly, so suddenly Ziva's head twists gratingly with the force of moving it, a sound emits in the lab, and both women look up.
It sounds like something choking.
And Tony's eyes are a bottomless ocean as the drill her further into the floor, and all she wants is to dig a hole and crawl into it. Abby leaps up, alarmed. "Oh, oh Tony."
He starts forward, slowly, and for a moment all she can do is study his shoes that grow nearer and nearer to her slouched form, the shoes that must have cost a month's paycheck.
When he is literally inches away, a hand is pushed in front of her.
She reaches out, and the distance feels like a mile, but reach out she does, and he helps her up gingerly. He treats her like glass, and her eyes burn from the fluorescence.
His expression is priceless; a mixture of shock, awe, and maybe, just maybe, a little bit of fear.
He stares at her forwardly, and can't look away. They communicate, and Abby steps back, let's them be.
Machines whir around them, and outside, cars roll. They do not notice.
"Ziva?" he murmurs.
She swallows, and there is something pushing down on her windpipe. "Yes?"
He nods a little. "It's going to be okay."
Two days later, he shows up at her door at ten in the morning. Her throat is still raw from where she vomited again that morning, and her hair mussed, but he smiles at her like she's wearing lingerie.
They still don't really know what they're doing, and they're still too shaken to speak properly, coherently about the pregnancy, so he asks her on a date instead. The idea is so pleasantly random that she doesn't know whether to slap him or hug him.
"Virginia Beach," he tells her. "It's great this time of year. I know its short notice- you can say no-"
She agrees, and ends up patting him on the shoulder instead.
And even though she sleeps the whole way there, she kind of knows things will work themselves out.
Before, she had been worried he would, inadvertently, deny her.
It was a subconscious, needy, uncalled for worry, and she wants to pinch herself for even giving it a thought. His character is too tall.
It does pick at her though; she hopes to all the gods that he won't do something deafeningly stupid on their first date, like ask her to marry him. The thought of it is spontaneous, and sounds like him.
She doesn't know if she could handle that at this point.
They get there just before noon, and they sit in the car a moment when they arrive.
"What are we doing?" she asks him, and even though he doesn't know is she refers to the baby thing, or this dating thing, or the rule breaking thing, he answers her.
The water is freezing, and laps at her bare toes.
He stands a few yards back, and she can feel his eyes. Drudging up what little courage she possesses, she calls to him, "Tony, I want the baby."
She's loud, and people can hear, but she doesn't care, not really. He walks up to meet her, and the water settles around their ankles before sloshing back out.
He is cautious in touching her, but he pulls her into a semi-hug anyway, and she thinks it feels warm and he is warm and there is a ninety percent chance this whole family thing could work for them.
"I know," he tells her, and slips his hand into hers, pulling them back towards the sand.
"Ice cream?" he suggests, once they've settled onto a bench. He glances down the way, and he makes a sound of disappointment.
"Actually, sorry, I think we missed the truck."
"That is okay," she assures him, resting her elbows on her thighs gently. She takes a deep breath. "I think it is time we talked anyway, Tony."
And so, on that beach, in broad daylight, miles and miles from Gibbs, they talk.
They don't dare touch on the past, and merely drabble in the future, but they discuss the present predicament- from the costs, to the consequences, to the look on McGee's face, to the bets that will circulate, to the relationship, even though they get pretty vague on that subject.
She can't help it when she leans over and rests her head on his shoulder- and she wonders lightly if the world has finally gone mad, or if she's finally gone to heaven.
The beach is rather vacant, which is rare. However, about two hours into their conversation, a little family arrives.
A small boy clings to a woman with hair the color of wine, and the man Ziva assumes is the father ventures in front of them, a girl on his shoulders.
At his daughter's begging to get down, he lets her, and Tony and Ziva watch as the little girl jets off in the direction of the water, curled hair billowing behind her, tangling in the wind.
The meaning is there.
These are our wishes, laid naked to the world.