This little one-shot is actually going to be part of a big, long, epic series. But I have sworn I will not start said series until I finish "Dark Angel" (which is a standalone) and some of my other fics out there. But this scene would not leave me alone, to the point where I was freaking dreaming about it (good dream, though) and playing with baby announcements (yeah, I'm hopeless). So, here it is, a contrast of happy to the more somber tone of "Dark Angel," and pure unadulterated McAbby love. And now it might be possible for me to listen to "One Boy, One Girl" again without going "OMG MCABBY LOVE SCENE." And, yes, there is shameless Tiva in this universe as well.
The distinct lack of any STAT lab results was about to drive Abby out of her mind. She was running all the routine studies and scans that came through on a given day at the Navy Yard, and her machines were humming as they should. But without team leaders breathing down her neck, she didn't have her usual pressed-for-time vibe going. In the past, she'd cherished moments like this, because she could work on her side projects. Now, she was just...bored. Maybe it was the caffeine deficit, new to her but necessary for the time being. Or maybe it was hormones.
Abby fussed with her wedding ring, twisting and turning it as she glanced at the scribbled post-it note stuck to the side of her computer. Her appointment, next week. Routine, just an ultrasound to see how things were going. And then Abby realized what was bugging her. Like a little kid in the weeks before Christmas, she couldn't wait. She wanted to see her baby. Hers and Tim's. The thought was still new and kind of amazing, and she dropped one hand to her stomach, smiling.
Nine weeks. Abby was extremely familiar with fetal development, but she still found herself running Internet searches in her spare time for nine-week ultrasounds, for diagrams of what little parts had formed in those itty-bitty humans-to-be. The pregnancy had been a surprise, but was certainly not unwanted. She and Tim had planned for children eventually. They just hadn't realized it would happen so soon. And she was dying to tell the world.
Convention dictated that Abby should wait out the first trimester in order to share the news, in case anything happened. She was still going back and forth with herself on that one; now that Tony and Ziva had returned from their honeymoon, Abby could no longer use the excuse of not wanting to steal their thunder. Three weeks, she and Tim had been keeping their excitement to themselves. She didn't know if she could do it for another four or five. Everyone had assumed Abby was on another health kick when she had announced she was giving up caffeine...again. Bets were already being placed on how long it would last this time.
Abby had a lot of equipment in her lab she rarely had occasion to use – and as she fidgeted, restless, it dawned on her that while the government had provided her with an ultrasound machine with the thought it would be used on evidence, it was medical-grade and therefore totally safe. She could have smacked herself for not thinking of it sooner. Sure, she couldn't get away with it all the time, but brushing off the dust and using it for personal means once couldn't hurt. She sent a text to Tim, telling him to meet her in her office, and went to roll the machine out of its storage alcove.
Whether it was fate or his mysterious sense of timing, Ducky strolled into the lab as Abby had the machine halfway to her office. He paused, looking amused, and glanced around at the complete lack of evidence piled up on the workstations. "Rearranging a few things, my dear?"
Ducky usually called before he came up, but Abby wasn't bothered. She laughed. "No, I'm just...I hadn't used this in awhile, thought I'd run some tests on it. What can I do for you?"
Ducky smiled serenely, in that way that made Abby think he knew all the secrets of the universe. "Actually, I was coming to see if I might help you. As you know, there has been a lull in active murder cases lately – always a good thing, but as a result, Autopsy has been a bit..."
"Dead?" Abby couldn't resist.
Ducky laughed. "You might say so." He studied her, then the ultrasound machine. "While it's always a good idea to maintain your equipment, might this sudden interest in ultrasound technology have something to do with your recent abstinence from caffeine and the fact that both you and Timothy have been walking on air for some time now?"
Abby blushed, knowing she was caught – and it was kind of nice, actually. "Yeah." She grinned. "Nine weeks. I've got an appointment next week, but I was...getting impatient."
"Understandable." Ducky nodded, then smiled. "Well, allow me to offer my deepest congratulations – and my help. You'll find getting the proper position for the best view to be a bit awkward if you're operating the device yourself."
Abby nodded enthusiastically. "Thanks." She shrugged, feeling a little sheepish. "I wanted to tell everyone sooner, but...they keep saying you should wait...and I get that, because it would be awful if anything happened..."
"True," Ducky allowed, "and I do see the wisdom in the advice. But given your relationships with those closest to you, it might be more beneficial to be met with a wave of love than unknowing silence. And, fortunately, at nine weeks, the odds have already begun to shift favorably."
Abby couldn't stop smiling. She bounced forward and hugged Ducky, who returned it with his usual warmth. She looked up and stepped back as Tim came into the lab. It didn't take him long to assess the situation. Abby hadn't said exactly why she wanted him to come; she'd just asked him to stop by.
"Hey." Tim smiled. "Getting sneaky, are you?"
"More like impatient, I should say." Ducky chuckled. "But no matter. A little peek could hardly hurt."
Abby spread her hands as Tim glanced at her. "He figured it out. But I say we forget waiting and just tell everyone already. I'm going crazy here!"
Tim nodded. "Yeah, it's hard not to slip, especially now that Tony and Ziva are back."
Abby laughed and motioned toward her office. She was glad she'd had a couch put in there awhile back, though at that point, she'd have laid down on her desk if it meant getting a look at her baby.
Tim settled down next to Abby, holding her hand as Ducky got everything set up. She pulled her shirt up, assessing her abdomen, not for the first time. She thought she looked bigger, but it was still a bit soon. She wasn't sure if Tim was humoring her when he agreed with her daily assessments.
Ducky smiled as he started the scan, his grin getting even bigger as he turned the screen to let Tim and Abby see. There was their baby, still resembling a hamster more than a human, but with a wildly beating heart, a mostly defined brain, and a tiny little leg. It wiggled around and Abby looked up at Tim to find him staring at the screen in awe. He looked down at her, his eyes wide and perhaps tearing a bit. Abby was already misty-eyed.
"We made that," Abby whispered, squeezing Tim's hand.
Ducky gave them a few more minutes, then moved on, wanting to check the placenta. As a doctor, he was nothing if not thorough, even if it wasn't typical for him to work on the living. He paused after a moment, which concerned Abby, but she relaxed when he smiled again. "Well, hello, there," he murmured.
Abby looked as Ducky turned the screen back toward her and Tim, and she giggled, watching the baby squirm and move its tiny forming limbs. It was hard to believe, that little creature, no bigger than her thumb, would be cradled in her arms in a little more than seven months. Then she frowned. "Wait, did you zoom out? I could've sworn he – or she – was bigger a minute ago."
"Yes, this one is slightly smaller – no cause for concern, though. Well within normal parameters." Ducky zoomed back the view, looking expectant for their reaction. There were clearly two tiny little squirming creatures, and Abby gasped.
"Twins?" Tim looked both shocked and delighted.
"Oh, my God." Abby shrieked, her joyful tears finally overflowing. Tim bent down to kiss her cheek, and she pulled him toward her for a real kiss. Ducky turned away to give them privacy, though Abby didn't miss his low chuckle.
In the background, Abby heard her computer chirping, and she knew she had to get back to work. She grabbed a tissue to wipe off the ultrasound gel and rearranged her clothes, then hugged Ducky again. "Thank you."
"My pleasure." Ducky reached out, taking her hand and Tim's. "As the old Scottish blessing says, may health, honesty, and happiness be your gifts."
Tim stepped forward, hugging Ducky as well. "Thanks." He kissed Abby on the forehead, then hugged her tightly. "Things are about to get wild, huh?"
"Yup." Abby melted into his embrace for a moment, then reluctantly dragged herself back to her machines. She was already thinking of creative ways to spread the good news.
So if you want to see the eventual McAbby twins, just pop by my profile page – I uploaded the link to the baby announcement I was fooling around with.