Thanks for the follows and reviews, guys!
Just throwing this out here: There isn't that much of Ziva's thoughts put into this story because her thoughts are very crucial to how all of this turns out, and I don't want to give too much away too soon. That's why a large majority is just Tony's side.
Anyway, hope you enjoy this one! :)
When Tony woke the next morning after a nearly restless night, the first thing he did was look at his phone to see if any of his calls had possibly been returned. When he saw that none of them had, he sighed, taking his phone off the charger and walking into the kitchen.
She hadn't tried to call back, so she was most likely still pissed at him. He could understand that, though. Their argument from the night before played over and over in his mind, and each time he winced at the way he'd snapped at her.
Everything around them was entirely too stressful, but each day, the stress didn't lessen. It only got worse. And each day that it got worse, Tony feared that this baby was going to ruin them, tear them apart from each other and crumble the relationship that he'd loved having with her.
If that happened before she had the baby, he knew it would mean giving the baby up. If something happened in the midst of all this that destroyed that delicate bond they had, she wouldn't want to keep a baby that was his. He wouldn't get the chance to see if he could be a parent. She wouldn't, either, and he knew she'd been wanting children for a while, but she'd pushed the desires into the back of her mind after Ray had ruined her hopes of having a family.
Hell, he didn't even know if he was capable of being a parent. It wasn't like he'd been shown how by his own father. He was so messed up from his childhood that he would probably ruin his own child's if given the chance.
But that wasn't for sure, was it?
Maybe Gibbs had showed him enough over the years to make him a good parent. Was that even how it worked? Did you learn how to be a parent, or is it one of the tendencies you're born with? Was it a little of both?
No matter how long he turned the never-ending list of questions over in his mind, he didn't know.
He threw some Pop-Tarts into the toaster, trying to think of a way to apologize to Ziva for last night. He could simply apologize, but after what he had said, he wasn't sure if that would be enough. He racked his brain for any options that he could conjure up, but couldn't think of anything that he could put money on. The Pop-Tarts didn't taste well, so he threw them away and headed to work, already feeling the weight of the day on his shoulders.
Ziva wasn't there yet when he stepped off of the elevator, but McGee was sitting in his desk, doing something at his computer. Gibbs was also nowhere to be seen.
"Hey, Probie." He greeted simply, putting his stuff down. "I forgot to make coffee this morning, so I'm going to go grab a cup from the break room."
McGee nodded, but then spoke, stopping Tony midstep. "Hey, Tony?"
He turned back to face him. "Yeah?"
"What are you and Ziva going to do?"
He opened his mouth to retort that it wasn't any of his business, but stopped himself. He didn't need McGee upset with him, too. "I... I honestly don't know, McGee... I wish... I really wish I did, but I don't."
McGee nodded, again, seeming to understand. "Sorry."
Tony shrugged. "Yeah. I'll be right back."
He offered him a quick smile and continued his walk to the break room, almost wishing that he could obtain a life threatening illness so he wouldn't have to stay at work today.
Ziva had never felt more exhausted in her life. Though she'd been blessed with a morning void of nausea, she still felt terrible after the previous night's events. If there was one thing she hated, it was being treated like a child, and whether Tony realized it or not, he was doing exactly that.
Maybe he was right, and he simply was trying to help, but it didn't change the irritation she felt every time he asked her if she had taken her medicine or tried to avoid hurting her feelings. She was still the same Ziva, and she didn't appreciate being treated differently, especially by him, even if it was his child she was having.
Their child, she corrected herself.
Coming to terms with the fact that she was having her partner's child was still a work in progress. She acknowledged it, yes, but part of her still tried to remain in denial, no matter how impossible that task turned out to be, simply because their relationship was already dysfunctional enough. She hated to think about what, inevitably, having a child would do to that relationship.
Which was probably one reason why him treating her differently upset her. It wasn't because she didn't want to be treated like she was having a child, but she didn't want to be treated as if she was having his child, because that offered the possibility of ruining everything they'd built over the years.
But it was unavoidable, because there wasn't anything she could do to change it. She was going to have his child, and what she did past that was... tricky.
At the beginning of it all, they had concluded that there were only two distinct options, but they had been so wrong. There was so much gray area that offered uncertainty, but either he didn't realize that, or he was just as terrified as she was to bring it up.
Everything around them seemed to be crumbling, and all because they'd had one night with each other that probably shouldn't have happened. The relationship they'd built for so long was falling apart, all because they'd slipped up after a tough case.
When she got to work that morning and sat at her desk, she saw that the room was empty. However, Tony's bag was at his desk, so she knew he was there. A moment later, she heard footsteps approaching her, and suddenly, a cup of coffee was placed in front of her.
He shrugged, his eyes pleading for forgiveness. "You look like you could use it."
She pursed her lips, looking back to the cup of coffee after realizing that it was the only cup he had. "You do, too."
"Look," he began, looking down at his feet. "I know it doesn't make up for anything, but I'm ... I'm sorry for last night. I just don't want you to... I just don't want you to wind up getting upset when all those people get bored with the newest gossip of the office."
She sighed, placing her hands around the cup of coffee, despite knowing that the caffeine wasn't good for her. However, the warmth it offered her hands was pleasant. "I know eventually they will get bored, but until then, what does it hurt if they ask questions? Would you rather me be rude to the entire floor?" she asked, looking back up at him, hoping he would understand.
He put his hands in his pockets. "I guess not."
"I... I am sorry, too. I understand that you're concerned, but I can still take care of myself. However, if the time comes when I cannot, you will be the first person I tell. Promise." She said, putting on the most convincing smile she could muster.
He finally met her eyes, and she felt a small rush of relief. "Gotcha. Can I ask how you're doing this morning?"
"I am.." She hesitated. "I'm fine." She told him, looking back at the coffee in front of her. "I really probably shouldn't drink this. The caffeine isn't very good for me."
He smirked at her. "A little won't hurt. We can share it." He suggested, shrugging.
"Well pour her some into a cup, DiNozzo. Got a dead body and I need you with me." Gibbs said as he walked in, McGee right behind him.
Ziva stood, reaching to grab her gear, but Gibbs shook his head at her. "Sorry, Ziver. You're staying here."
She sighed, plopping back down in her seat, and glaring at her computer. Gibbs, Tony, and McGee grabbed their things, but Tony waited back a minute.
"Hey, don't pout." he told her, and she could tell by his tone that he was still unsure about something. "You'll get plenty of time to explain your scandalous pregnancy to every woman on our floor."
She looked up at him quickly, but then realized he was kidding and rolled her eyes. "Not funny."
He shrugged apologetically. "Sorry. See you in a bit. And... " he took a step but stopped, hesitating. "We're okay?"
So that was what he was so unsure about. She smiled the most reassuring smile she could manage, nodding. "Yes. We're okay. Go. McGee and Gibbs will be angry if you make them wait any longer."
He reached up to tousle her hair quickly as he walked past, but something about the touch she'd always loved suddenly felt wrong. As he walked to the elevator, she sighed at the bounce that seemed to be back in his step. She could bet that he thought everything was going to work out perfectly, and that made her heart lurch painfully, because out of everything in the world she hated doing, disappointing him was at the top of her list.
That was what hurt the most though. She felt that no matter what happened where the baby was concerned, somehow, she would still wind up disappointing him.
When Tony offered to drive Ziva to the appointment that was supposed to tell them the gender of their baby, he wasn't sure if it was out of kindness or the fact that he really wanted to know. He supposed that yes, he did want to know if it was a boy or a girl, but if she was going to give the baby away, then would that just give him an emotional attachment he wasn't prepared for?
He hadn't seen a single sonogram yet. Ziva hadn't offered to show him any, and he hadn't asked. They also hadn't revisited the options for when the baby actually arrived, either. She hadn't given him any indication that she did or did not want to keep the baby once he or she was born, and he'd been terrified to bring it up.
He glanced over at her where she sat in his passenger seat. It had officially gotten to the point where whether or not she was pregnant was unarguable. She had her hand resting on the bump on her abdomen, and she was tapping her index finger to the rhythm of the music coming from his radio.
He swallowed, trying to conjure up a way to approach the subject indirectly. "So..." he began, stopping at a red light. "Are you excited?"
She looked over at him briefly. "I suppose so."
"You suppose so?" he raised an eyebrow at her, feeling the sense of dread he'd become accustomed to feeling late at night after having one of his nightmares.
She shrugged. "Yeah, I suppose so."
He opened his mouth, but then snapped it shut to think about another angle to the burning question in his mind. "You're not excited?"
She didn't reply, and she wasn't looking at him. Eventually, she pointed out the window to a road coming up on their right. "Turn here. The doctor's office is down this road."
He did as she said, trying to think of something to say but failing miserably to create a way to get back to the conversation after she'd distinctively cut it off.
Since when had she become so indifferent, anyway?
"Okay," the doctor pursed her lips as the picture on the screen began to clear up. Tony was leaning against the opposite wall, eyes locked on the fuzzy gray picture. "Looks good. You said you want to know the gender?"
Ziva nodded, but her eyes seemed unsure. Tony tried not to feel nauseous at the thought that just a few weeks ago, she'd been almost sentimental when she told him she thought the baby would be a girl, and for the life of him, he couldn't figure out why that had changed.
"Okay, well it looks like it's a girl."
Well damn, she was right.
He voiced so, and Ziva shrugged, a small smile on her face now. Better, he thought, looking back up at the screen.
The doctor let Ziva hear her heartbeat, and Tony felt his throat closing up at the sound that proved he had a daughter growing inside his partner. He briefly allowed himself to wonder what she would look like, but he only indulged for a moment before pushing the image of a green eyed, dark haired girl out of his mind.
He felt nauseous again, and Ziva's face no longer held the smile it did a few moments ago, which didn't help.
When the doctor let them go, he drove Ziva home, not saying much, because he didn't trust his tongue to support anything he tried to say. He dropped her off, barely managing a "See you later" before she had closed the door.
Driving much too fast the entire way, he drove to Gibbs' house, not bothering to knock and going straight to his basement.
"I can't do this." he said once Gibbs had looked at him. "I can't do this."
Gibbs shook his head. "No, don't do that, DiNozzo. Man up. You don't have a choice."
He felt like his heart was going to implode. "Well, I mean, I don't know if 'm ready to be a father, and I don't even know if Ziva's going to keep her. By the way, it's a girl. I bet she's gonna be just a beautiful as her mom, if I ever even get to see her."
He knew he was overreacting a bit, but he couldn't stop seeing the dead eyed, no-longer-pregnant Ziva from his dream.
Gibbs was silent for a moment, and when he spoke, his voice was soft. "I wish I could tell you something to help you, but whether or not she keeps that baby is between the two of you. It's got nothing to do with me."
Tony frowned. "Yeah, I figured you'd say that."
"But I will tell you this: Being a parent is the most rewarding thing a person can be."
Tony felt tears stinging the corners of his eyes. "But I don't even know if I can do the whole parenting thing, and I don't even know if she's going to give me the chance."
"Do you want the chance?"
He went to say he didn't know, but stopped, because even though he hadn't entirely weighed his current fears concerning the entire situation, he knew which fear was worse. The fear that she would simply give the baby away without even giving him the opportunity to know her scared him more than the fear of not being able to be a good parent.
So he nodded, slowly, swallowing past the sudden lump in his throat. "Yeah." he whispered. "I want the chance."