AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Anthony DiNozzo/Ziva David
SUMMARY: Things do not always go according to plan.
WORD COUNT: 500
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
His first sight of her wasn't as planned.
The plan was he'd be with Ziva when she gave birth, holding her hand, mopping her brow, letting her swear at him in the various languages she knew. He'd be there when their daughter made her appearance; he'd be there to see her born; he'd get to hold her, to tell her how beautiful she was.
But that wasn't what happened.
No one except the doctors and nurses were with Ziva when she gave birth. Not even Ducky, who'd been the person Ziva had called when she'd gone into dangerously premature labor, had been allowed to be with her. Tony hadn't even been in the same area; he, Gibbs and McGee had been following up a lead away from DC.
By the time Gibbs had got them back to DC, driving at a frantic pace through the rain, Ziva had given birth to a tiny baby girl, who could almost fit into the palm of Tony's hand. Not that he could hold her; he couldn't. His first sight of his beloved daughter had been through the window of the nursery; he could barely see her amidst the medical equipment surrounding her.
His first sight of Ziva after the birth had been a sight he'd never thought he'd see. Her devastation, her distress, her sorrow was beyond anything he'd ever seen. Tears poured down her face, echoing the rain pouring down the windows, and she made no attempt to stop them. Time and time again she'd blamed herself, refusing to believe Ducky or the doctors when they assured her she was not to blame.
He couldn't comfort her; he couldn't reach her; he tried, but he couldn't. No one could. Not until Gibbs strode into her room ordered everyone out, sat on the bed, took her into his arms and held her as she struggled and fought, until finally she gave in and accepted the comfort he was giving her. The comfort that on one else could give her. Tony had watched for a while, tears falling from his own eyes, before he'd left and gone back to his vigil outside the nursery.
The doctors told them there was little chance their daughter would live; she had been born too early. But Talia 'Tali' Caitlin DiNozzo, like her mother and the two women she had been named after was a fighter, a determined female even when she was only a few hours old. She lived. She was blind.
But that did not stop her; she told her parents she couldn't miss what she'd never known. Tony believed that Tali 'saw' better than most sighted people. And now, holding Ziva's hand, he waited for the first sight of his precious daughter, at the age of eighteen, who was about to perform her first piano solo with the local orchestra.
The curtains opened. Tali walked to the piano, but just before she sat down she glanced at the audience and smiled directly at her parents.