Tony wasn’t used to getting up
early and not having to be at work, but with a two-year-old on hand, he didn’t
exactly have the luxury of sleeping in. Tali had climbed out of his bed without
much difficulty – ninja baby – and padded
to the sofa where he slept, patting him on the face and saying, “Abba,” until he woke up.
This was going to take some
Even in the short time he’d known
her, Tony could see that Tali was so much like her mother. The way she moved,
so smoothly and almost stealthily, was so goddamn Ziva that his heart ached to
watch her. If only she had told him, they could have been a family.
“I’d have given everything up for
you and your Ima, you know,” he murmured,
nuzzling a kiss into the child’s curls. Would her hair be long and unruly like
Ziva’s? Only time would tell.
“Juice?” Tali asked, and Tony
grimaced. He didn’t exactly have the kind of beverages a toddler would need on
hand. They’d have to go to the store to pick up some supplies. Something he
might have thought of before he’d driven home, his head in a daze and his child
buckled securely into her car seat in the backseat of his car.
Luckily, there were still some
diapers left in the bag she’d come with, and Tony took care of changing her and
getting her ready to go out, blowing raspberries on her stomach and making her
giggle, the juice all but forgotten. He put Tali’s shoes on and led her out of
his apartment, turning momentarily to lock the door and instructing her to hold
onto his pocket.
She clung to his pocket for dear
life, her eyes so big in her head and so trusting, already.
“Ima,” she cried, and Tony’s
heart broke at the sound. How would he explain to this precious child that her
mama was gone? He shoved his key in his pocket and turned to take Tali’s hand
and lead her outside when he looked in the direction of his daughter.
He almost couldn’t speak. She
couldn’t be. She was – no. There was no way.
But Tali was already walking
toward her, rushing to give her mother a hug.
His jaw dropped, and he still
couldn’t speak. She couldn’t be. It wasn’t possible. “Come, tateleh,” Ziva instructed, and then Ziva
was there, touching him, wiping the tear that had fallen down his cheek.
It was only then that he was able
to speak again. “How?” And then the words all rushed out, at once. “You were –
you didn’t – the house … I saw it.
You … she … Tali … came without you. I thought … I …”
“I know, Tony. I am sorry.” And
then he was wrapping his arms around her, around her and his daughter, his family, and the tears came, he couldn’t
stop them. He sobbed with relief. Ziva was alive.
“I wanted to believe so badly,
but I couldn’t …” He couldn’t finish his sentence. She was here. Alive.
He held her tight. She was alive.
She was real. They were together. They had a child. Together. “I am so sorry,
Tony, for everything.”
She squeezed him tightly in response,
a soft chuckle leaving her mouth as she held him. “Never more so.”
“Ima, juice?” Tony had forgotten that Tali wanted juice. He’d
forgotten the whole of his existence ever since she came back into his life.
Everything was Ziva.
“We were heading to the store,”
he said sheepishly, knowing that Ziva would understand that he didn’t have any
juice in his apartment.
“Would you mind if I tag along?”
Tony finally let out a relieved sigh. She was here. Alive.
“Yes, Ima, come!”
Tony grinned, taking Tali by the
hand, and watched as Ziva took the other. “You heard the lady.”
“You love her already.”
“She is you, Ziva. She is us. Of
course I do.” They glanced at each other over their daughter and a tear rolled
down Ziva’s cheek. All she had wanted was this.
“I have waited too long, Tony. I
should have told you many things. About Talia, first. But also that I love you.”
Tony couldn’t tear his gaze away from hers, his heart feeling as though it
might explode with everything he was feeling. She was alive and she loved him.
He could scarcely believe it. This is
what he had waited a lifetime for.
“God, Ziva, I am so glad I don’t
have to regret never telling you that I love you, too.”
“Juice!” Tali shouted, not in the
least bit interested that her parents were having a moment together. Ziva
reached up and brushed the tear away from her face, finally tearing her gaze
away from Tony as they walked the rest of the way out of the apartment building
and toward his car, and into their new life together.
There was no body. She is not dead. I will forever believe that until
the day I draw my dying breath. I hope you enjoyed this and please review if
you are able.
So I just found that digital drawing of Tony & Ziva that I started in September but apparently never finished and completely forgot about. Thought I’d share it with you guys nonetheless. (made with photoshop CS5, wacom tablet)
“They’re reindeer, Ziva. You know, the ones that pull Santa’s sleigh?”
“Fine, but I still say shoes are an impractical gift for an infant.”
“But they’re cute.”
“He is not even walking yet, Tony. He does not need them.”
“But they’re cute.”
“It was you who bought them, wasn’t it?”
“Remember that case at the mall last week? McGee and I went to interview the rival store owner and I saw these in the window of one of those baby boutiques. I couldn’t resist. They were so—”
“Let me guess, cute?”
“You don’t think so? Wait, let me stand him up so you can get the full effect. There, now he’s using them! Aren’t you, buddy? I take that spit bubble as, ‘I love my reindeer booties, Daddy! I don’t know what Mama’s thinking, either.’”
Tony and Ziva were walking hand in hand through the park, with their daughter running just ahead of them,
“Oh no Tateleh! You’re not meant to eat it!” Ziva quickly rushed to their child’s side and stopped her before she had eaten the dandelion currently in her hands.
“What can I say? She has a DiNozzo appetite” Tony grinned from behind them.
Ziva shook her head and faced their daughter, “you’re meant to make a wish, then blow on it sweetie."
Their daughter replied with a confused look.
"You see the fluffy things on it? They’re little fairies, and if you make a wish then blow them off, they all fly away and make all of your wishes and dreams come true!" she said before demonstrating on a nearby dandelion, “see?”
"Fairies!” Lydia replied with enthusiasm,
“Yes, fairies.” Ziva said through a wide smile.
Lydia squeezed her eyes closed as tight as possible and made a wish before blowing on the dandelion, “bye bye fairies!”
Ziva stood up and felt Tony’s arm wrap around her waist,
“You’re a wonderful mother.” he whispered into her ear.
“You really think so?” she questioned him with a small smile forming on her lips.
“Yes, and I’m sure peanut agrees” Tony said before nodding towards Zivas growing stomach.
At that point, Ziva winced.
“What happened? Are you okay?” Tony asked, suddenly worried.
Ziva grabbed Tony’s hand and placed it to her stomach,
“Do you feel that?” she asked whilst moving his hand a little before placing it to rest,
Tony let out a sigh of relief, “I told you peanut agrees.”