this one was inspired off a picture prompt on tumblr; it may read different out of context, but i like it enough to save it here.

jae


She doesn't hear the door as it opens slowly, nor the sound of it falling just as softly shut; too immersed in the warm weight against her chest, too distracted by the serene infant in her arms. Though she's been attuned to his presence for what feels like a lifetime; the weight of his steps, the shuffle of his feet, the familiar scent of faded cologne and aftershave and something that's so uniquely and undefinably him - his arrival goes wholly unnoticed as her eyes flutter shut in the setting sun's warm glow. Little fingers flutter over her wrist; a grip growing with strength each day clutching at her skin, and she smiles at the sensation.

Her face is only partially visible from where he rests against the room's doorframe, hovering silently, half hidden in the hall's shadow. But he sees the peaceful smile pulling at one corner of her mouth, and he doesn't quite dare interrupt the tranquility of the moment just yet. While he's growing accustomed to these moments between her and their son and the way they make his chest warm and his breath catch in his throat, they're still new enough to render him mesmerized.

He doesn't think he'll ever get enough of this. Enough of them.

Tony doesn't move until the infant makes a quiet noise of protest; his feet kicking swiftly through the air, and Ziva's body shifts to accommodate him, easing his restlessness. She murmurs hushed, soothing words for the child's ears alone, but they stir him into at last, moving across the floor, and walks towards her, transfixed.

"Hey," he finally breathes in greeting, coming from behind her, and he grins widely as their son's eyes roll up to meet his; a small smile half visible, though he never seizes nursing, nor breaks away from Ziva's breast.

Ziva's head falls back against him then; resting against his stomach, her eyes flutter open; smiling up at him with so much peace, so much love, it feels as though his heart has just slammed against his chest.

She hums lowly, turning her head into the touch of his palm he places against her cheek, and smiles into the kiss he leans down to press against her lips.

"He seems happy." He mumbles softly against her skin as he places a lingering kiss on her cheek. She chuckles against him, and he pulls away to trace the back of the baby's hand with his finger. The small hand curls around Tony's finger, causing him to grin, and Ziva casts him a knowing smile.

"He was very good today," She reveals, brushing a few loose curls behind her ear. Tony smirks at her expression, and the relief that's evident in her eyes. The scene he's come home to was, indeed, a complete contradiction to what he came home to find just yesterday. He's amazed to find none of yesterday's reservation in her eyes, however; instead, endless patience, despite the dark circles that have shadowed her eyes in the recent weeks. He marvels at her strength, and tries to push down the guilt that threatens to bubble to the surface at the thought of her home alone and on her own since he had returned to work.

He must not hide the tension well though, for he feels Ziva's hand tighten over his, and he rolls his eyes down to see her sympathetic gaze trained up at him.

"How is your team coming along?" She asks kindly, her touch leaving his momentarily as their son breaks away from her skin with a hiccup, and she clucks softly under breath; guiding his mouth back to her breast.

Tony heaves a tired sigh, kneeling down behind them and resting his arms against the couch, his chin falling on Ziva's shoulder. He smoothes his finger's through the infants dark hair.

"Okay," he concedes, though his tone indicates otherwise. Ziva doesn't push; falling silent and waiting until he's ready to continue.

"It's just…." His voice trails off, searching for the right word. "It's just different."

She nods against his head in understanding. Though Tony had taken over his own team mere days after she had gone on leave, she was all too aware of just how different things were, and how they would be once she returned to work. The bullpen she would be walking into wouldn't be the same bullpen she left, and she knows that losing him as a partner was something that would cause the both of them to ache for the rest of their lifetime.

But as much as she will miss him, she is far more proud of him.

Turning her head toward him, she brushes a light kiss to the stubble that's beginning to shadow his jaw.

"It is different," She doesn't disagree, but she keeps her tone gentle. "But you are ready for this, Tony. It will be good for you." She pauses, looking at him firmly. "And you will be good at this."

Tony presses a kiss to her bare shoulder, and she drops her head against his; both of their gazes falling to their son as his eyes begin to droop sleepily.

"I know," He mumbles against her skin, and he pulls his hand from under hers, drawing it up her arm softly. "But I'm gonna miss you guys." His admittance comes so softly, she barely catches his words. "And I'm gonna miss you being on my team."

Their son pulls away from Ziva at last; finally succumbing to sleep, and his even breathing fans out against Ziva's skin with each, steady breath. Tony chuckles at his sudden fatigue, and Ziva echoes his amusement with a chuckle of her own. As she shifts her shirt back into place, expertly moving their son from one arm to the other without so much as stirring him, she turns to better face him, cupping his jaw with her free hand and directing his mouth to hers for an intimate kiss.

"I will always be on your team." She murmurs sincerely, and Tony's eyes flutter open to find Ziva's staring back at him, full of intensity. "We are just a new kind of team." She smiles, lifting their son in her arm a breath higher. "We are your team, Tony. Always."

Tony's grin spreads across his face, and he looks between them both; his love for them, completely all consuming.

His team; his family. Forever and always his.