AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Anthony DiNozzo/Ziva David
SUMMARY: Ziva is suspicious when Tony buys champagne.
WORD COUNT: 1,145
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
"Champagne?" Ziva said raising her eyebrows as the waiter poured the ice cold champagne into their glasses.
"Yes," Tony said when the waiter had replaced the bottle in the wine cooler and left; he knew he sounded defensive.
Ziva sipped the champagne as she stared at him. "What have you done this time, Tony?" she asked.
Tony stared back. "Nothing!" he exclaimed, choosing to ignore the 'this time'. "What makes you think I've done something?"
She took another sip of champagne, put her hand on his and smiled. "Because you have not only ordered champagne for us when it is not our anniversary or my birthday, you have ordered my favorite champagne."
"Can't I order my wife her favorite champagne without having done something?" Again Tony knew he sounded defensive, but he couldn't help it.
She smiled at him. "Oh, Tony," she said and touched his hand again. "Just tell me. You have not resigned again, have you? I keep telling you things have changed; you cannot run the team the way Gibbs did and expect McGee to allow you to do so. He is the director, you have to respect him."
"I do. And no, I haven't resigned. McGee and I have reached an agreement."
He glanced away from her, picked up his own glass and took a long swallow, before breaking his bread roll into pieces, slightly rearranging the array of knives, forks and spoons that surrounded his place setting, bent down to scratch his ankle, took his glasses off and polished them, fiddled with the knot on his tie, removed the napkin from his lap, put it on the table and then returned it to his lap before once again looking at her.
He hadn't really expected her to have forgotten she'd asked him a question which he hadn't answered, but he had hoped she just might have. However, her dark brown eyes just stared at him as she waited patiently. He sighed and muttered, "That I'll do things the way he wants me to do them."
She smiled and linked her fingers with his. "You know it is the right thing, Tony."
He sighed. "I know, it's just -"
"Gibbs is no longer here, Tony. It is your team and McGee is the director - you did not want to be the director did you?" It was something they had never discussed.
He shook his head. "No way. No, Ziva. I'm really glad McGee was made director and I do respect him and we do work well together. It's just that . . ."
"Sometimes you cannot forget that once you were senior to him?"
He felt his cheeks flush a little. "I guess that's part of it. But mostly it's just that . . . So much has changed, Ziva."
"I know." She spoke softly and for a fleeting second he thought he saw a tear shining in her eye, but then she blinked and if it had been there it had gone. "So if it is not to do with McGee, what have you done? Oh do not tell me you 'forgot' to invite your father to spend Christmas with us?"
"No!" Tony spoke quickly as he hastily ran through the phone calls he'd made in the last few days. He was almost certain he had called his dad - almost. He made a mental note to call him the next day on the pretext of something or other and casually find out if he had already invited him.
"Good," she said. "Well?"
He sighed softly and again glanced away from her; he might have known. After fiddling again with the silverware, his napkin, his bread roll and his tie and taking a large gulp of the fine champagne and scratching his nose he looked back at her - once again she was waiting for him to tell her.
"It's just that tonight is the anniversary of the night Talia was conceived." He spoke softly as he squeezed her hand.
She stared at him and shook her head. "How can you know that, Tony?"
He took a deep breath. "Because it's the first time we'd," he paused; he couldn't say 'made love' because their coupling that night had been far more about hate and anger than love. "Slept together," he said quietly, wondering when he finally had grown up, "for months." He saw her swallow hard and this time he knew he saw a tear in her eye.
It was true; they had their first baby, a boy, within a year of being married and had expected to have a second child easily. But it had taken so long, months, years of trying, of visiting doctors or have sex at planned times. It had caused a huge strain on their relationship as both fell into blaming the other; they spent more time either arguing or in bitter silence than anything else.
Finally Ziva had accused him of not wanting another baby and he'd accused her of - it didn't matter. She had raised her hand to slap his face, he'd caught it and - it had been hard and fast right their up against the wall, fully clothed apart from the panties which he'd torn off her before plunging straight into her with no attempt at foreplay or gentleness. His teeth had cut her lip as he'd claimed her mouth with his and her tears mingled with the blood as they finally collapsed on the floor both crying now as they clung to one another offering silent apologies to each another.
Although for the first time in three months they had shared a bed, they didn't make love again until the day he came home and found her in the bathroom, kneeling on the floor in front of the toilet a pregnancy test showing a positive result on the edge of the bath tub.
The night had been a year ago to the day and now Talia was a beautiful baby, just like her mommy, who was adored and spoiled by her parents and big brother.
He tightened the grip on her hand as he saw the tear fall from her lashes and slide down her cheek; clearly she was remembering the night as well. She wiped the tear away and smiled at him. "Only you, Tony," she said softly with a hint of a tremble in her voice, "could remember such a date." And she smiled.
He smiled back at her; his heart was so full of love for her, he knew he'd never find the words to tell her just how much he loved her. Instead he picked up his glass and held it out, as she touched her glass to his, he said softly, "To Talia."
She smiled and shook her head. "No, to you, Tony." And she touched her glass to his again.