When Tony DiNozzo went into work that morning he didn't know that his life was going to change forever. He didn't know that his co-workers which he considered his family would be coming together to help him, and he sure didn't expect his average day to be turned upside down. In typical DiNozzo fashion, he had been out bonging beers the night before. To his realization he wasn't as young as he was in college and the hangovers hurt worse now that he was older. He had his sunglasses on and his feet propped up on his desk. McGee walked in and seen a hungover Tony. He had seen Tony hungover before but he would normally be trying some weird way to get rid of it by now. He knew not to talk to Tony or he might get his ass chewed. Kate walked in taken back by the senior field agent. In the time she had been there she had not seen him in this kind of shape. She looked over at McGee with a questioning look.
"What is wrong with him?" Kate asked.
McGee put a finger up to her lips and hushed her. Before she could ask anymore question, Gibbs came walking in with his cup of coffee in hand. Gibbs stopped at Tony's desk.
"Out drinking too late again?" Gibbs asked his senior field agent.
Tony raised his head slightly "At least I wasn't building a boat while I was drinking."
With that Gibbs knocked Tony's feet off his desk and smirked. "Grab your gear we got a dead petty officer."
'I really should have called in this morning' Tony thought as he sluggishly got his gear.
"Today DiNozzo!" Gibbs yelled.
So much for being sensitive to his head.
Once the team got out to the crime scene they found a woman still in her car.
"DiNozzo, McGee bag and tag, Kate take pictures." Gibbs ordered.
As the team worked McGee was able to find the woman's military card.
"So we have a Petty Officer Velina Waters. Says she's 25." McGee stated.
"Good work McGee." Gibbs said giving Tim a pat on the back.
"Looks like she was stabbed multiple boss. A bit of an overkill if you ask me." Kate stated.
Tony’s head was pounding. He rubbed his temples wishing the migraine would go away.
Tony wasn't paying attention and didn't see a log. His foot caught it and he tripped almost going underneath the car. He slapped the ground after getting mud in his face. When he looked up he seen a bomb strapped to the underneath side of the car. It was already counting down and only had 45 seconds left before it would explode.
"There's a bomb!" Tony yelled.
"What!" McGee yelled back.
"I need you guys to run as far as you can away from here." Tony commanded.
"No we aren't leaving you!" Kate demanded.
"This is not up for debate. I am a lot faster than you two. Now go!" Tony yelled as he watched his team mates run for the road.
"Anthony you should have called in today." Tony told himself before attempting to get up and get away from the car.
As McGee and Kate reached Gibbs and the medical examiner truck they yelled.
"It's the car!" McGee yelled.
"It's going to…" Kate yelled. Before she could finish her sentence a loud explosion cut her off which sent everyone to the ground for safety.
"Tony!" She yelled.
Her partner never made it up to where they were. There was no sign of the agent which sent a gut wrenching sensation through Gibbs. He couldn't lose Tony, even if he did want to go out with a bang.
"Ducky go ahead and call 911 I'm almost positive we will need it." Gibbs said.
The agents made their way down to where the burning car was. On the hill side they found their team mate. Even as fast as he was, he could not out run the effects of the explosion.
Tony's ears were ringing as if he was at a loud rock concert half the night. He seen the team come up next to him but he couldn't hear anything they were saying. Everything was a blur. What were they saying? Why was McGee running away? Why did Kate look like she was on the verge of tears? And Gibbs, why was his face showing a sign of concern, a sign of worry? His body ached and he felt cold. It was a hot September day when they got out to the crime scene earlier. Why was he freezing now?
"Boss, I'm cold!" Tony yelled.
Why can't I hear MY voice? Tony started to panic.
He seen Gibbs nod and seen his lips move but he couldn't understand anything that the older agent was saying. He closed his eyes hoping that this was all a bad dream. Before he could slip off to sleep he felt Gibbs hand slap the top of his head. His eyes popped open to see Gibbs was saying something, but again he couldn't hear what it was. Tony always had something to say. The fact he was silent was almost painful to Gibbs. At this moment silence was not golden. The searing pain all over Tony's body over took him and he fell into a deep darkness. He could only hope when he awoke he could hear his team's voices again.
When the ambulance arrived they found that Agent DiNozzo was in worse shape than they originally perceived. It was a matter of life and death now. His breathing was shallow and his heart rate had dropped. A paramedic called in med-flight to take Tony to the hospital.
"Which hospital would you rather take him to?" The paramedic asked Gibbs.
"Bethesda, they have all his medical history on file there. He’s had the plague before." Gibbs answered.
"Very well." The paramedic said turning to call in the orders.
Kate didn't want to leave Tony's side. He had burns all over his body from the explosion. 'Why didn't he just run with us?' She thought. She tried to hold his hand but he let out a painful moan. Tears started to run down her cheek and she quickly swiped them away with the back of her hand. The wind started to pick up and Gibbs knew that that meant help was here. The flight crew came running down the hill to where the agent laid. They quickly tried to get him onto a gurney. His body quivered in pain as they tried to move him. As they got up to the hill toward the helicopter, Ducky got his first look at Tony.
"Oh dear Anthony." Ducky said.
"Is he alright Dr. Mallard?" Palmer asked before turning around. When he turned he seen flesh hanging off of Tony's lifeless body. Palmer who had went to medical school, knew it would take some major plastic and reconstructive surgery to make Tony look like the loveable DiNozzo they all knew. None of the team members were allowed on to the helicopter to ride with Tony, to comfort him on the way to the hospital. As the helicopter lifted off, Kate felt completely helpless and felt like she wasn't in control. Unafraid of what her boss may think of her, she sat down on the side of the road and began to cry.
"It's ok Kate, he's going to pull through this." Gibbs tried to comfort her.
"But what if he doesn't?" Kate looked up into his steel blue eyes, before wiping the tears from her face.
"It's a bridge we will have to cross if we get there."
On the flight to the hospital Tony had stopped breathing completely and had flatlined. Being very careful the inflight paramedics tried to bring Tony back.
What would have taken 30 minutes to get to Bethesda only took 15 with Gibbs driving his team. When they were arriving at the emergency room, the flight team was unloading Tony from the helicopter. Gibbs had to stay strong for his team as he seen the flight crew doing chest compression on his agent. He knew it wasn't good out in the field, but this just confirmed his gut feeling his agent was in grave danger. He couldn't lose Tony, not like this.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Gibbs wandered back to what he seen that morning. When he got down to Tony he was still alive, even if he did look like something from The Walking Dead or Night of the Living Dead. In fact, not much flesh was still attached to his body. As the flight crew came rushing towards the emergency room door it brought Gibbs out of his thoughts and back to the present. He watched as if it was in slow motion as the flight crew ran past him. He could see one of the flight crew members riding the gurney with Tony. She was on top of Tony pounding on his chest as another forced air into his scarred lungs. The skin on his face looked like it had been melted off his lifeless body.
"Code Blue!" a hospital nurse yelled as she went out to help bring Tony into the hospital. A team of medical staff came rushing out with yellow precaution aprons on over their scrubs and masks over their faces.
Gibbs truly feared for his agent's life. He pulled Kate in close to him as the young agent wailed with sorrow. The team waited in the hospital waiting room with other families. As nurses came out to get those families, Gibbs could only assume the worst as they hadn't heard anything. What seemed like hours had only been mere minutes. Gibbs had had enough. He sneaked back into the emergency room to find his agent, his son. He came to the trauma bay that held Tony. As he stood there and watched he almost regretted slipping back there. He watched as the nurses cleared away from Tony's body, charged up the paddles and tried to shock his heart. It was unnerving to see that flesh was on the paddles after shocking his lifeless body. Gibbs watched as they couldn't get a heart beat on the monitors and tried again to shock his heart. Poor Tony's body jerked off the table as they tried to restart his heart. A nurse finally noticed Gibbs and started out of the room pulling the curtain so no one else could see.
"Sir you can't be back here." The nurse told him.
"I am his medical proxy and he's my son. Let me stay. I have to be with him." Gibbs pleaded. "Please?"
The older agents piercing blue eyes filled with tears.
"Sir we are doing everything we can to save Agent DiNozzo. I promise, you will be the first one we tell of his condition. He is in good hands." The nurse said trying to comfort Gibbs. She showed Gibbs back out to the waiting room where the rest of his team was. He took a deep breath and tried to hide his tears. He couldn't let them know that Tony was gone. He had to hold on to hope that Tony would pull through this.
"How is he Gibbs?" Kate asked seeing the worry on her bosses face.
"They don't know much right now. But when they do, they will let us know."
Abby arrived at the hospital with a bag full of clothes for both Kate and Tony. Kate wanted to change out of her clothes that was soiled with mud and smelled of smoke. But she was afraid to, afraid that the doctor would come out and update them on Tony and she wouldn't be there. She desperately wanted to be back there with Tony even if the sight of him scared her at the moment.
"Kate, it's ok to go change. We will be right here waiting on him." Gibbs said with sorrow in his voice.
Kate nodded and slipped off to the bathroom and slipped into her yoga pants, tennis shoes and Tony's OSU shirt that was overly large on her. She pulled her hair up into a bun and headed back out to the waiting room. Just as Gibbs had said, no one had come out to update yet. Kate curled her legs up under her and folded her arms. McGee sat with an arm around a crying Abby, her makeup smeared all over her face. Gibbs paced the floor, he was the only one who truly knew how Tony was. The normally talkative Ducky was quiet as he sat next to Palmer. Kate had dozed off. She could see Tony telling her to run and the next thing he didn't even look human anymore. She woke up gasping for air as she remembered the events of the day. Gibbs put an arm around his crying agent. He knew that they had broken one of his rules, but they really did make a cute couple. He couldn't be too mad at them. Who knows they could have little DiNozzo's running around the bullpen one day. Gibbs smiled at that thought, but then the smile faded as he thought of the condition of DiNozzo. A doctor walked out to the waiting room with a discouraged look on his face.
"I am looking for the family of an Anthony DiNozzo." The young doctor said.
The team hesitated but Gibbs spoke up.
"We are the family of Tony DiNozzo." Gibbs said standing.
"Please follow me, I need to speak with you guys in private." The young doctor said.
Kate gave Gibbs a look. She had a gut feeling of what the doctor was about to tell the team and she prayed she was wrong.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
The team followed the doctor to a private waiting room that was normally reserved for families who loved ones had just passed.
"I can tell that Agent DiNozzo has a loving team behind him and he will need that in the coming days." the young doctor started.
'The coming days' Kate thought. 'that must mean he is still alive!' she straightened up to listen to what else the doctor had to say.
"Tony was burned on over 90% of his body. The fact that he is even alive is a miracle. We did have to revive him a few times. He is in serious condition at the moment. He will have to have multiple surgery over the next few months. One thing that is more minor considering everything he has been through is both of his ear drums are busted due to the explosion. There is a chance that he may never regain his hearing and be legally deaf. He will need your help through this trying time and I ask that you be patient with him." The doctor explained.
The fact that his agent was alive comforted Gibbs. If Tony was deaf, Abby and himself could teach him sign language. They would make things work. The biggest thing was he was alive.
Kate wanted to cry. The fact that he would never hear her tell him I Love You again broke her heart. But the fact that he was still with her soothed her soul.
"Can we see him?" Kate managed to say through the tears.
"Yes but do to his burns I can not let you go in. You can see him from outside the room. When he gets stronger we can let visitors in to see him. Right now his risk of infection is very high."
When the team walked to Tony's ICU room all they could do was look in through the window and see him hooked up to monitors and a ventilator. His whole body was wrapped in bandages.
"If Tony could see himself right now, he would say that he looked like a Mummy and would make some crazy movie quote." McGee laughed. It sparked a laugh from the rest of the team and earned him a slap on the head from Gibbs.
He had a long hard road ahead of him, the team was going to be right there with him.
That night Gibbs ordered everyone to go home and get some rest. However, none of them followed Gibbs orders. Instead spending the night in Tony's ICU room.
Another team of NCIS agents came in and took over the investigation of the lady that was stabbed and then ultimately burned. Gibbs wanted his team to have enough time to support Tony.
Tony was in a lot of pain but couldn't speak. It scared Tony not being able to hear anything. All he could hear was a loud roar mixed with a high pitch ring in his ears. He could feel people touching his hand but couldn't make out who they were or if they were talking to him. He desperately wanted to hear Kate's voice and hear her tell him he loved her once more. He wanted to hear Gibbs tell him 'Dammit DiNozzo' for getting into the mess he was in. He wanted to hear one of Ducky's crazy's stories. He wanted to hear all about one of Abby's party she went to. Wanted to hear Probie ramble on about something to do with computers. Most of all he just wanted to hear something, honestly anything would be nice right now. Hell he even wished he could hear Palmer. He had always heard silence was golden but right now silence was killing him.
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
The team stayed the night out in the Burn ICU waiting room. Unknown to the team, Tony's condition took a turn for the worst overnight. With being burned all over his body, the team knew he was at an exceptionally high risk for infection but they weren't expecting it. He was Tony DiNozzo, he can pull through anything. It wasn't until a doctor came to the waiting room to tell them of Tony's condition that it was officially setting in they could still lose him.
"Are you guys the family of Tony DiNozzo?" the doctor asked.
The question woke the team from their sleep. Kate unfolded her legs and jumped to her feet. She rubbed her eyes to wake up just a little bit more. She looked at her watch. It was only 2am. The rest of the team had also gotten up from their chairs and joined Kate standing in front of the doctor. Jimmy knew anytime a doctor came out at this time of the morning, it normally meant bad news. He put his arm around Kate’s shoulders and pulled her into him. She leaned against him afraid of what they might hear.
"We are Tony’s family." Kate said the words barely able to make their way out of her mouth.
"How is he doc?" Gibbs asked.
"Sadly he has taken a turn for the worst. With Tony being burned so bad, he has contracted an infection and has become septic." The doctor explained.
Gibbs knew that most septic patients didn't pull through especially when they were burn patients.
"What are his chances doc?" Gibbs asked on the verge of breaking down.
"25%" The doctor said sadly. "We will keep an eye on him. We are hoping that we can give him a blood transfusion and help save him since the blood is also septic."
Kate walked to the window and looked upon the love of her life. He was still intubated and on a ventilator. She watched as nurses went in to check on him. Each one would wear yellow gowns, gloves, masks and shoe covers. She was ready for him to get stronger so she could go in and be by his side. Gibbs told his team to go home and get some rest.
"If anything happens I will call you." Gibbs said.
"Gibbs, we can't leave him. He would never leave us!" Abby cried.
"You need your rest. You don't want Tony seeing you with mascara all over your face when he comes to." Gibbs said kissing her forehead.
Abby smiled as McGee wrapped his arm around her waist and led her to the elevator.
"Jethro, this doesn't look good please call me if anything happens." Ducky said.
"You have my word Duck." Gibbs said giving the older doctor a pat on the shoulder. Palmer gave Gibbs a sheepish smile. They both knew the truth that the indestructible DiNozzo might have just met his match. After the team was gone, Kate and Gibbs sat back down in the waiting room. Gibbs sat with his arm around Kate as she slept soundly with her head laid against his shoulder. The poor thing had cried herself to sleep.
Around 5am, McGee got a phone call he was dreading. He didn't want to disturb Abby who was curled up next to him. When he seen on the caller ID it was Gibbs his heart dropped.
"Agent McGee…" Tim answered the phone.
"McGee, you and Abby need to get back up here. Tony's taken another turn. It doesn't look good Tim." Gibbs said. His voice cracking.
McGee jumped out of bed and pulled his pants and shirt on quickly. Abby patted the bed looking for her sweet little probie.
"Timmy, where are you?" Abby asked sitting up in bed.
"We got to go Abs, it's Tony!" McGee said putting on his shoes.
Those words awoke a sleepy Abby as she got up and put on a black shirt and black pants.
When the two got to the hospital they stepped on the elevator. As the elevator doors went to shut, Palmer yelled out.
"Wait for me!" Palmer said running for the elevator.
The ride to the burn unit was a quiet one. None of the team wanted to face the fact that their very special agent was probably never leaving this hospital, unless he was leaving in a body bag.
When the three made it to the waiting room they found Kate in a corner crying, with Ducky trying to console her. Gibbs was standing at a window looking out at where the sun would soon be rising with a cup of coffee in hand.
"Boss how is he?" McGee asked.
Gibbs never turned around. He couldn't let his team see him cry. Instead Ducky approached the three.
"I think it is best if we sit down and talk." Ducky said. The three sat near Kate and waited for an explanation from the older doctor.
"Tony has taken another turn for the worst. The doctors have found he has pneumonia in both lungs. When he had the plague it did a lot of damage to his lungs, now pneumonia has attacked both of his scarred lungs. His chances in surviving this have dropped even lower sadly. Some of the doctors don't think he will make it through the next 12 hours." Ducky explained to the young team. He didn't want to believe the words that were coming out of his own mouth. As hard as the team had tried to stay strong, they broke down into tears.
Dr. Pitt who had taken care of Tony when he had the plague allowed two visitors in to see Tony but they could only stay in there for 5 minutes. The team agreed that it should be Kate and Gibbs to go in. If anyone could talk some sense into Tony and convince him to survive it was those two. They donned the appropriate safety attire and headed in. Kate tried to keep her tears from flowing as she entered into the room of the man she loved. The fear of losing him was almost unbearable. She sat down in a chair next to his bed and carefully placed her hand on top of his. His body jerked in pain from her touch. She desperately wanted him to know she was there, but knowing he couldn't hear her she didn't know what else to do. She leaned down to his forehead and kissed him.
"You've got to pull through this DiNozzo. I have to have my senior field agent back. We got your six buddy." Gibbs said.
"I hate to run you guys out but the time for visitors is over." Dr. Pitt explained.
"I love you Tony." Kate whispered into his ear. She hoped by some miracle he could hear what she said and something wouldn't happen to him without him knowing that he was loved. Katr and Gibbs returned to the rest of the team who was sitting in the waiting room. Ducky took Kate into his arms and tried to comfort her. At this point the only thing that could really comfort her is if this was all just a bad dream.
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
Kate sat curled up in a chair and stared at the wall. The fact the love of her life was dying right down the hall broke her heart. She let her mind wander back to a happier time, one memory that came to mind was being undercover and “carrying his baby.” It made her smile and think of what he would really be like as a father. Then she thought back to when he had the plague. It was then she realized that Tony DiNozzo was the one she wanted to be with for the rest of her life.
Kate wanted nothing more than to see the face she fell in love with again, hear his voice and see that amazing smile that would melt your heart. But for now all she had was pictures of what he used to look like. She listened to a voicemail that he had left her a few days ago. She wished she had answered the phone that day. She saw the missed call still on her phone log. 'God why didn't I just answer the phone that day?' she thought beating herself up. She had already gone home that night. Tony had stayed at headquarters overnight to finish up a lot of paperwork. He had called her late that evening and left a voicemail when she didn't answer. She now pressed her phone against her ear and listened to the voicemail that had his sweet voice on the other end.
Hey sweetheart just wanted to let you know how lucky I am to have you in my life. I love you.
The fact in hearing him tell her he loved her, even in a voicemail was comforting. The waiting room was silent other than the sniffles from the rest of the team. Kate walked to the window of Tony's room. How she longed to be with him in the way they were a week ago, a month ago, even five months ago. To have the happiness they shared back instead of the guilt and fear in her heart.
"He's going to be alright Kate" Gibbs said placing a hand on her shoulder.
"I don't think I can do this Gibbs. I can't lose him not like this. It's almost like it would have been easier if he would have died out there on that hillside instead of seeing him in so much pain and suffering." Kate cried. Gibbs pulled her into a hug and placed his chin on her head.
"Kate, we need to talk about some options." Dr. Pitt said walking up to the two agents.
"Brad you know good and well that I am Tony's power of attorney. I am the one that makes all of his medical decisions." Gibbs spat. Gibbs believed he knew what was right for his agent and Kate was going to have no say in his medical decisions.
"Actually Agent Gibbs it says here in Tony's chart that Mrs. Kate DiNozzo is to make all medical decisions for Tony.
"What!" Gibbs spat. He then looked at Kate. "Mrs. DiNozzo?"
"We didn't know how to tell you Gibbs." Kate cried.
"Five months ago. We slipped off to the Hamptons and eloped. We knew if we told you that you wouldn't approve of it. With your whole Rule 12 and all." Kate said wiping away tears.
Gibbs was shocked. Why wouldn't they of tell me?
"I'm sorry Mrs. DiNozzo but we really need to talk about the options." Dr. Pitt interrupted.
"Yes, I will make the decisions but I would like Agent Gibbs input as well." Kate answered.
"Very well. This is Dr. Steven Williams. He's a surgeon that I highly recommend. I will let him explain what needs to be done." Dr. Pitt said.
"I believe Tony needs a debridement of some of the burn wounds. It will clear out some of the infected tissue. We can do it right here in his room. We just need your consent." Dr. Williams said
"Will this set back his healing process?" Gibbs asked.
"Not at all. It will give his body a chance to heal and recover from the pneumonia. At the moment I think it would be his best options." Dr. Pitt answered.
Kate looked at Gibbs who gave her a nod.
"Let's do it." Kate said
The thought of what they were about to do made Kate sick. Gibbs knew that it wasn't just Tony's impending procedure that made her sick.
"Does Tony know yet?" Gibbs questioned.
"No. I had found out the morning of the accident and had planned on telling him that night. It was hard to keep it a secret even at the crime scene. Just the smell of the blood about made me sick. Gibbs if I lose him what am I going to do?" Kate cried.
"We will make sure you guys are taken care of. The rest of the team…" Gibbs asked.
"No one else knows yet. Just me and you." Kate wiped more tears from her eyes. What irony she thought. The day she finds out she's pregnant is the same day her husband almost dies. She prayed that he would pull through and be able to see their little one born.
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
It had been stressful on all of the team. But now to find out Kate and Tony were married, plus expecting a little one, Gibbs now understood why Kate was taking all this so hard. Tony was much more to her than her partner out in the field. Gibbs knew she needed a break. Stress wouldn't be good for her or the baby. As the two walked back to the waiting room, Gibbs called out to McGee.
"McGee, take Kate home. Get her some food she hasn't ate she early yesterday morning." Gibbs ordered.
"I'm fine Gibbs. I'm not leaving." Kate demanded.
"Kate, I'm not asking you to, I'm telling you to. Now go." Gibbs demanded as McGee put an arm around Kate's shoulders and led her to the elevator.
As McGee drove Kate knew she would have to tell him sooner or later, but she didn't feel like explaining herself at the moment.
"Could you drive me to Tony's apartment?" Kate asked quietly "I would like to pick up some things for him."
"Yeah sure thing." McGee answered.
The rest of the ride was quiet. Kate looked out the window at the passing scenery. Her morning sickness was trying to come back and she really didn't want to get sick in McGee's car. That would really alert him to her secret. When they reached Tony's apartment, Kate hurried inside. She went rushing for the bathroom and leaned over the toilet to get sick. McGee was very concerned. He knew it was probably from her worrying sick over Tony's condition and the fact that the doctors had told the team he may not make it through the day.
Kate held her stomach and cried. Anytime she was sick Tony was always right there to take care of her. He would hold back her hair back and comfort her. Right now she felt truly alone. Thoughts started to run through her mind. 'if Tony dies, I will be left all alone to raise this baby. I will be a single mother. I will not be able to work at NCIS for fear of getting killed in the line of duty and leaving my child an orphan.' McGee could hear the cries coming from the bathroom. He went in to find Kate sitting on the floor crying near the toilet. He went in and sat down next to her.
"It's not fair Tim, it's just not fair." Kate cried.
"Shhhh it's ok. He's going to pull through this." McGee said pulling Kate into a hug. He stroked her hair. 'poor Kate. She really did like Tony, even if he could be overly obnoxious' McGee thought.
"Thank you McGee. I think I am going to try and clean up now." Kate said getting up out of the floor.
"What would you like for breakfast?" McGee asked.
The sound of breakfast almost made Kate want to get sick again.
"Maybe just a few pieces of toast." Kate answered. McGee hurried out to the kitchen and Kate shut the bathroom door. As she turned on the water memories of Tony came flooding back to her. How they would make love in this shower, 'heck was there any place in this apartment that we hadn't done it?' Kate thought with a smile. As she let the water run over her, it was as the water was cleansing her mind. 'Tony has to get through this, for me and for our little one.' She thought.
McGee waited on Kate to come eat breakfast. He began to get bored and decided to look around the apartment a little bit. He found pictures of Kate and Tony throughout. On the piano was one in particular. It was of the two of them holding champagne glasses. It looked like they were on a yacht. Tony was in a tux and Kate was in a very beautiful evening gown. As McGee looked closer something was odd about the picture. As he picked it up to examine it, he heard the water shut off. He hurried and put the picture down and began to make Kate toast.
Kate pulled her wet thick hair into a bun. She slipped on some comfortable clothes and went over to a dresser. She opened the top drawer that revealed her wedding set and Tony's wedding band. They never wore them to work, afraid of getting reassigned to different teams. None of that mattered now. She was proud to be his wife. If he was going to die all be damned if she wasn't going to proudly say he was her husband. She slipped her rings on. How it felt good to have them back on her finger. She picked up Tony's ring. It was way too big for any of her fingers. She sat it down on the top of the dresser. She pulled her necklace off and slipped Tony's wedding band on the chain. She walked over to the bed and found the bag of clothes the hospital had sent with McGee to take home. It was what Tony was wearing the day of the explosion. She opened it and found his shirt and jeans was ripped almost to the point of not knowing what type of clothing it was. His badge was still perfectly placed on the waist of his pants. , One thing in the bag remained and it was almost as if it was untouched. She pulled out his NCIS ball cap he had worn that morning. She always did find him sexy in a hat. She brought it up to her face and smelled the inside of it. It still smelled like her beloved Tony. The tears began to flow again as she missed his embrace. When she finally came out of the bedroom McGee was sitting on the couch playing a game on his phone.
"Have you already ate?" Kate asked.
McGee nodded not looking up from his phone. "I took the liberty of going ahead and making you some scrambled eggs as well."
Kate smiled at the gesture. McGee really was a good friend to Tony and herself. She hurried and ate the eggs and toast, ready to get back up to the hospital. She felt guilty for leaving. She wanted to be right by Tony's side. 'what if he wakes up, what if he takes another turn, or worse, what if he dies and I'm not there. I won't be able to say goodbye.' Kate thought.
"Let's go McGee." Kate said heading to the door.
"But you haven't…" McGee protested.
"If Gibbs asks, I got a nap and I ate a full breakfast. Understood?" Kate demanded.
McGee gulped "Understood."
McGee and Kate got back up to the hospital a little after 10am. McGee went and sat next to Abby as Kate made her way down the hall.
"Do we know anymore Gibbs?" She asked. The older agent was still standing vigil outside his younger agent's door.
"No, he's still the same as he was when you left." Gibbs said. He put his arm around Kate and led her to the waiting room.
"You don't need to be alone right now." He whispered in her ear before kissing the top of her head. The two sat down across from the rest of the team. Nervous, Kate fidgeted with her wedding rings. Abby squinted. That couldn't really be what she thought it was, was it?
"Kate why do you have wedding rings on? Does Tony know your married?" Abby asked almost innocently.
Kate laughed and looked at Gibbs who also let out a chuckle.
"Abby there's something I've been meaning to tell you guys. Tony and I eloped a few months back." Kate admitted to the team.
"I knew it! I knew there was something different about Tony within the last few months but I couldn't put my finger on why. That explains why he's been nicer. But wait why was he out bonging beers the night before his accident?" McGee asked.
"Some of his old college buddies had come into town. I told him to go ahead and go. I had never seen him with such a hangover as I had that morning." Kate answered.
"So what's it like being Mrs. DiNozzo?" Abby smiled.
"It has been great!" Kate smiled and then looked down. She held Tony's ring in between her fingers. "Until now."
"I think you two make a lovely couple my dear Caitlin." Ducky popped up.
"Hey if you guys ever need anything or want to go out on a double date, Breena and I will go with you guys!" Palmer exclaimed. It was like her husband wasn't dying right down the hall.
It took several days but Tony's condition finally started to improve. It was by some divine miracle, his lungs were starting to clear up and the infection was about cleared up. The doctors were able to do more debridement and was able to take him off of the ventilator. Hope was finally starting to come through for Tony. Kate never once left his side after she was allowed to stay in with him. The first day he was fully conscious he looked around the room and seen Kate right there beside him. He reached for her hand and it startled her. She jumped to her feet and took his hand. He let out a painful moan. So she gently put his hand back down onto the bed.
"It's so good to see your awake." Kate told him.
Tony gave her a confused look. How could she be talking to him yet he could not hear her. He began to cry. He just wanted to hear her sweet voice. He tried to talk but yet it was as if his face wouldn't let him. She grabbed a piece of paper remembering he couldn't hear her. She wrote on the paper
Welcome back my love.
His eyes glistened he wanted to tell her so bad how much he loved her.
I have a surprise for you!
Was the next thing she wrote. His eyes got big wanting to know what her surprise was. Kate cried as she wrote the next sentence down.
You're going to be a father.
As Tony read the sentence his eyes got wide with excitement and he began to cry again. He was going to be a father. They were going to have their own little DiNozzo running around! Learning the news gave him the motivation he needed to want to get stronger. He had to. He had a baby on the way!
As the weeks of surgeries went on, so did the growing of their little one. Kate was started showing and she still hadn't told anyone except for Gibbs and Tony about their baby. After one of Tony's major graft's was done the team came in to visit. He wanted to desperately tell them about his blushing wife and their baby. When Kate ushered the team out into the hallway to tell them how Tony was doing Palmer popped up with a question.
"Hey Kate, have you put on a few pounds?" Palmer asked.
If it had not of been for her being in a hospital already, the chances of her killing Palmer for asking that would have been very high.
"Palmer your never supposed to say anything about a ladies' weight." Abby spat back.
"Actually I need to come clean with you guys about something. Tony and I are going to be parents." Kate smiled.
"Wait how did that happen?" McGee asked. The team turned and looked at him. "I mean I know how it happened but how did you well you know with him being in the hospital and all."
"Oh sweet McGee. I've been pregnant for a while now. I was pregnant before the accident, just didn't know until that day." Kate explained.
"So how far along are you?" Abby asked
"4 months or 16 weeks however you want to look at it." Kate answered. She pulled her sweater back to reveal her baby bump.
"You look so cute! Congratulations!" Abby said giving Kate a hug.
"So when will we be finding out if baby DiNozzo is a little girl or boy?" Ducky asked after giving Kate a hug.
"I have an appointment scheduled for next week. I just never thought I would be doing this alone. Tony should be right there by my side as we are finding out the gender, seeing the baby on the ultrasound. I feel like he is being cheated." Kate said.
"My dear he will be proud to have that little one in his arms before long. He will be there for you just as you are for him." Ducky reassured her.
'I sure hope so.' Kate thought.
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
As the days went on, Tony was getting stronger, and Kate stayed right by his side. Tony was finally able to talk a little but not very much due to the burns on his face. He was supposed to have plastic surgery on his face later on in the week which they were both nervous about. The day of her ultrasound Kate was excited to find out what their little DiNozzo was going to be. She had resorted to writing questions down on a dry erase board to communicate with Tony. She picked it up and wrote him a question.
If it's a boy, what do you want to name him?
His voice was still very weak, "Timothy James"
What if it's a girl?
"Vivian" Tony whispered.
How about Vivian Elizabeth and we can call her Viv or Vivvy? Kate suggested in writing.
Abby walked in on their baby naming conversation. She was the one that was going to be taking Kate to her appointment today. She felt comfortable with having Abby at her side even though she really wished it was Tony that would be there to hold her hand and see their pride and joy. Kate leaned down and gave Tony a kiss on the forehead. He reached up and patted her stomach and tried to smile. He was so proud to know he was going to be a father. As Abby and Kate went to walk out of his room, Tony called to Kate.
"Wait" he whispered.
Kate turned real quick hearing his voice. What was he wanting to wait for? She walked back over to his bed and looked down at him and was beginning to write. Again he touched her stomach and whispered "wait." It dawned on her.
You want me to wait to find out the gender? she wrote.
Will do my love! She wrote. She leaned down and kissed him one more time before returning to Abby who was standing in the hallway.
"What was that all about?" Abby asked curious to know what was going on.
"Tony is wanting me to wait to find out what the gender of the baby is until he or she is born." Kate explained as they walked.
The whole car ride over to the doctor's appointment was almost painful for Kate as she listened to Abby go on and on about how this baby would be the first team baby, how excited she was to have a baby around headquarters, how spoiled the little one would be. Kate really just wanted to tell Abby to shut up but to be honest she had never seen Abby so happy and she didn't want to ruin it. As the two girls waited in the doctors waiting room Abby decided to ask a question that was on her mind.
"Kate, if you and Tony don't want to know the gender, can I at least know and maybe the team? You can hold out on telling us the name but at least let us know the gender. Pleasssse?" Abby begged.
"Fine Abby, you guys can know the gender. But Tony and I want to be surprised. We picked out the names this morning." Kate told her. She rubbed her eyes. She hadn't had a good night's sleep since before the accident.
"Oooh I bet they are good!" Abby said clapping her hands together.
"Mrs. DiNozzo?" The nurse said calling for Kate.
"That's us! Here we go!!" Abby said grinning. She jumped up and was pulling Kate out of her chair. If Kate didn't know any better she would think this baby was Abby's.
"How are you today Mrs. DiNozzo?" the nurse asked.
"I'm good just ready to see my little one." Kate answered.
"Will your husband be joining us today?" the nurse asked.
Kate ducked her head. "No he is in the hospital."
"Oh I'm sorry to hear that. I hope he will be ok."
"Yeah me too."
By Kate's reaction the nurse didn't want to pry and ask more questions. She took Kate's vitals.
"The doctor will be in shortly." The nurse said turning to walk out.
"You know we should have a girls day after this!" Abby told Kate patting her hand.
"Abs I really need too…"
"Oh come on Kate it will be fun!" Abby tried to convince her.
"Ok but as long as we get back to Tony pretty soon. I feel bad for leaving him long enough to go to the doctor."
Before Abby could say anymore, Kate's OB/GYN walked in.
"Good morning ladies. I am Dr. Chris Anderson. You must be the wonderful Kate DiNozzo that I will have the privilege of delivering your little one. And who are you?" the doctor asked Abby.
"Oh I am Abby, Kate's friend and co-worker." Abby said grinning. If her and McGee weren't a couple she would totally be trying to get with Dr. Anderson. He was a tall drink of water. If Abby had to guess, he was 6'2, brown hair and green eyes and had a similar hair cut to what Tony did in his younger years.
"Let's take a look at this little DiNozzo shall we!" Dr. Anderson said.
Kate raised her shirt to reveal her growing bump. Abby thought it was adorable. Kate was already making a very cute pregnant lady. Dr. Anderson put the gel onto Kate's stomach and the first thing they were allowed to do was hear the baby's heartbeat. The sound brought tears to Kate's eyes. That's when it hit Kate, she was going to be a mother. That was her baby she was listening to. The next thing was the ultrasound. It was pretty amazing because it was the 4D ultrasound. As the doctor ran it across her stomach, she could see what her baby looked like.
"Hi little one, Abby that's my baby!" Kate said. Abby had never seen Kate so excited.
"Awe look, little one looks a lot like you. I bet it will have Tony's eyes." Abby said.
About that time the baby smiled. "And of course Tony's smile." Abby added.
"Right now the baby is the size of a pear. If you haven't already thought about it, I would suggest going out and revamping your wardrobe and buying some cute maternity clothes to show off your bump." Dr. Anderson suggested.
Abby beamed. Kate didn't know she was in for a shopping trip after this.
"Would you like to find out the gender of the baby?" Dr. Anderson asked.
"No, my husband and I would like to be surprised when the baby is born." Kate said. She looked over at Abby and smiled. "But you can tell Abby."
"Very well." Dr. Anderson said. He leaned over and whispered to Abby the gender. Abby couldn't help but smile. Kate and Tony were going to be so excited when they found out.
The doctor printed out a picture of the ultrasound. Before handing it to Kate, he wrote on the bottom of it Baby DiNozzo. He handed it to Kate and she just stared at it. That was her baby and Tony's baby. The child that she was afraid wouldn't have a father. Now she was seeing that little one for the first time, and Tony was getting better. Everything was finally starting to fall into place.
"Ok Mrs. DiNozzo, I will see you back in here in about 4 weeks." Dr. Anderson said shaking their hands.
As Kate and Abby walked out to the car Abby asked "Are you ready for your girl's day out now?"
"I suppose" Kate said. She had no idea what she was getting herself into.
First thing the girls did was go out for lunch. Kate was going to eat just a light salad until Abby kept pushing food at her.
"Come on Kate, you got to eat. You're eating for two now." Abby said.
"Abs, I've been eating for two for 17 weeks now. I think I'm ok." Kate laughed.
Next stop was at a maternity wardrobe shop.
"Abby, I will just wear sweat pants or yoga pants and some of Tony's t-shirts until the baby is born." Kate protested.
"No ma'am. You're only pregnant for 40 weeks. Embrace the bump, show it off, wear cute clothes." Abby said trying to get the point out there.
"Abby there is nothing cute about being sick every morning and feeling like a whale." Kate again tried to protest.
"Come on it will be fun!" Abby pleaded.
"Fine Abs, only for you." Kate smirked.
Abby squealed with excitement.
As they looked around at clothes Abby found some really cute shirts for Kate.
"Oh look Kate you can even have the ultrasound put onto a shirt." Abby exclaimed.
"Yeah because that's not creepy at all." Kate rolled her eyes.
The madness went on for well over an hour of Abby finding clothes for Kate to try on. Gibbs had already told Kate that she could take paid time off while Tony was in the hospital and rehab. When he found out she was also pregnant it helped too. He didn't want her coming back to work until after she had the baby. With Kate knowing this, she knew it would be long drawn out days at the hospital and wanted something comfortable that would fit. She settled on a few maternity dresses and a couple of pairs of maternity jeans. She had no idea how many maternity tops Abby had put up at the register to buy for Kate. Kate was just ready to have this shopping trip over. Abby had more shopping stops planned but Kate protested.
"Abby I am exhausted. Can you please take me back up to the hospital?" Kate pleaded.
"Yeah I guess we can go shopping some more some other time." Abby said. She was just glad she got Kate away from the hospital awhile, she really needed it.
When Kate went back into Tony's room, he was asleep. Dr. Pitt was in the room with him checking on him.
"How is he doing Brad?" Kate asked.
"Not bad actually. We will do a few more skin grafts tomorrow and if all goes well we can start the reconstructive surgery on his face by the end of the week." Brad answered.
"How long before I will get to see his face again?" Kate asked.
"It may still be a few weeks. He will have to have a few reconstructive and possibly plastic surgeries. I just want to warn you Kate. He will never look like the Tony we both knew before." Brad explained.
"He didn't look the same the day he came in here. I don't care what he looks like. All I care about is that he is alive." Kate said.
Tony started to wake up and Kate moved closer to his bed.
"How's our baby?" Tony whispered.
Kate nodded. She pulled the picture from her bag and showed Tony the ultrasound. Tony looked at it and began to cry. He was excited to be a father. He just wished he could hurry up and heal and be able to go with Kate to her appointments. Tony seen Kate's little bump and rubbed it with his hand.
"Daddy's...baby" he whispered. Kate felt something she had never felt before. It was like something kicked her right in the gut. She hurried and got her dry erase board and wrote
Say that again
"Daddy's...baby" he whispered once more this time keeping his hand still on Kate's stomach. This time the baby kicked harder. Kate and Tony both laughed and smiled.
"Our baby." Tony was able to say. Their little one was wanting to encourage its daddy to get stronger. From then on, anytime the baby heard Tony's voice it would start kicking. Kate knew this little one was going to have Tony wrapped around it's little finger.
Chapter 8: chapter 8
When Gibbs found out that the DiNozzo's were having a baby, he put aside working on his boat to work on a different project in his basement. Abby went over to Gibbs' house after dropping Kate off at the hospital. She couldn't contain her excitement over finding out what Tony and Kate were having. She felt like she would bust if she didn't tell someone soon.
"Hey Gibbs, whatcha working on?"
"Just a crib for baby DiNozzo. I know Kate and Tony won't have a lot of time to go out and buy a bunch of stuff so I decided to take matters into my own hands and make the baby a crib." Gibbs answered as he worked on the crib.
"It's going to be wonderful Gibbs. The baby already has Grandpa Gibbs wrapped around its little finger." Abby said.
Gibbs looked up from his work station and smiled. "I guess you're right. It already does. Did you find out the gender of the baby Abs?"
"I did!" Abby smiled. She went over to Gibbs and gave him a big hug and whispered into his ear what little DiNozzo would be. A smile spread across his face when he found out.
"Are you planning a baby shower?" Gibbs asked.
"Already in the works! I'm thinking we should do it at the hospital or wait until Tony's in rehab and have it in his room that way Tony and Kate can both be there." Abby suggested.
"I think that's a wonderful idea Abs." Gibbs smiled. He then kissed her forehead and went back to working on the crib.
Kate had the bags from her and Abby’s shopping trip earlier that day.
Would you like for me to try this on for you? Kate wrote on the white board before holding up a bag.
"Only if… it's a…skimpy negligee!" Tony smiled.
He was always such a prankster. If he wasn't burnt so bad she probably would have hit him. She slipped into the bathroom and tried on one of the maternity dresses. It was a blue and white polka dot dress that complimented her baby bump perfect. She had always been tiny, and to think she was only going to get bigger was almost depressing to her. She stepped out of the bathroom. Tony's first glance at her was nothing but pure bliss.
She turned to the side putting one hand below her bump and one above it to accent her bump.
"I can't wait… to meet our baby!" Tony said.
Kate wished she could lay down in the bed with Tony and hold each other. She desperately looked forward to the day she could take him home.
The next few days were a blur for Kate with doctors and nurses coming in and out to check on Tony. She felt overwhelmed. They were having their first baby and they were not able to do anything she had ever dreamed of. She always dreamed that on her and Tony's first baby they would be able to go and pick out cute baby clothes, pick out furniture for the baby's nursery, actually decorate a nursery. All of that was down the drain now. After the baby was born, for the first few months, Kate feared its nursery would be in the hospital room right there with her that had turned into her bedroom since the accident. Since Tony had improved so much and was out of the woods so to say, the team had gone back to work leaving Kate and Tony in the room most of the day alone except for the occasional nurse coming in. Kate sat next to the bed and watched as Tony slept. He was nervous about his reconstructive surgery that afternoon. She was ready to see his face again. She knew it wouldn't be the face she fell in love with but it was still the same guy.
A nurse walked in and wrote on the white board and then shook Tony’s foot waking him from his slumber.
Mr. DiNozzo are you ready to get your first reconstructive surgery out of the way?
"If it means I can be the handsome devil I was, then yes." Tony answered.
Kate rolled her eyes and smiled. He always thought he was a ladies' man.
I will see you after surgery. Kate wrote before giving him a kiss on the forehead.
Kate sat out in the surgical waiting room alone. To her surprise Gibbs came walking in.
"They just took him back." Kate said. Gibbs sat down next to her.
"How are you holding up?" Gibbs asked before taking a sip of his coffee.
"Alright I suppose. Tony's getting stronger with each day. The morning sickness is finally starting to calm down a little bit."
"I know" Gibbs smiled.
"You know what Gibbs?" Kate questioned.
"I know what you're carrying. Abby told me that you and Tony wanted to be surprised. I will tell you this, that baby is going to be spoiled." Gibbs smiled before kissing Kate on the head.
She started rubbing her stomach. The little one was very active that day. Baby DiNozzo always kicked the hardest when it heard its daddy but it was just moving around a lot that day.
"Tony and I got to feel the baby kick for the first time a couple of days ago. Anytime he talks to the baby, it kicks the fire out of me.” Kate grinned.
Gibbs couldn't help but share the smile. The little one was going to be very active and wouldn’t be able to stay still, just like Tony.
"Would you like to go down stairs and get something to eat? I am needing a refill on coffee." Gibbs raised his cup and shook it.
"No I would like to stay right here, in case…" Kate’s voice trailed off.
"Kate, nothing is going to happen. Tony's a fighter. He has come this far." Gibbs said lifting up her chin.
"I know but I still want to be right here when he comes out." Kate cried.
"Ok, would you like for me to bring you anything?"
"Actually I have been really craving some mashed potatoes with ice cream, chocolate syrup and potato chips together."
"Like mixed together?"
"Yeah! And don't forget the pickle on top!"
Gibbs shook his head. Women and their pregnancy cravings. "You got it Kate."
Dr. Pitt was walking through the waiting room when he saw Kate sitting alone in the waiting room rubbing her stomach.
"Are you alright Kate?" Brad asked.
"Yeah just the baby is moving a lot."
"I am still surprised you and Tony are having a baby."
"Why is that" Kate asked, her interest perked.
"Well Tony just never seemed like the kind of guy that would settle down or even become a father."
"Did you know him before he was one of your patients?"
"Yeah actually we played ball against each other in college. Funny thing is I broke his leg."
"He probably deserved it."
Brad let out a laugh "Anything to try and win the game. We used to run into each other on spring break and bong beers together. Of course Tony was always the fastest."
"Tony does know what to do with a beer." Kate laughed.
"Tony and I reconnected after I was his doctor here several years back. He had come in with the plague. We seriously thought we were going to lose him that day. I was just glad that the bug had a suicide gene or else he wouldn't be here now. It hit him hard."
"Yeah he still has a lot of trouble out of his lungs."
"I know…so tell me Kate, how did you and Tony meet?"
“I was on board Air Force One working as secret service. We had a military guy die on the plane and NCIS was called into to investigate. Gosh Tony was so stubborn back then.” Kate laughed.
"Sounds about like Tony."
“I always thought of us more like brother and sister. But after the plague it really opened my eyes to how much I cared for him. Shortly after we started dating, in secret of course do to Gibbs rules.”
“So do you know what the baby is yet?”
“No, we wanted to be surprised. We do have names picked out. For a boy, Timothy James, or a girl Vivian Elizabeth.”
Gibbs walked back in carrying Kate’s crazy food choice.
"Here ya go." Gibbs said handing her the food.
"Oh my gosh thank you! You’re the best Gibbs!" Kate said opening it to reveal the food. She took the pickle and dipped it into the mashed potatoes and ice cream. "oh it's so good."
Gibbs shook his head. Brad laughed as he learned forward to speak to Gibbs "Pregnancy cravings."
Brad got up and stuck his hands in his white coat pockets. "I will come by and check on Tony after he comes out of surgery. Good to talk to you Kate and good to see you again Gibbs."
"See ya later." Kate said with a mouthful of food.
"See ya Brad." Gibbs said.
Kate didn't know that Gibbs had listened in to some of what Brad and Kate were talking about. He didn’t realize that Kate and Tony had been together for so long. And he was the reason they had to do everything in secret.
Chapter 9: Chapter 9
Tony's surgery went off without a hitch. Kate was able to be by his side as they started to take off the bandages. She grabbed a hold of his hand. She knew he had to be nervous because she was very extremely nervous.
"We tried to make Agent DiNozzo look as much as he did before the accident. He will still be really red due to the surgery and will have some scaring on his face but we tried our best to give you back who you once knew." The doctor unwrapping the bandages.
Kate’s first look at Tony's face was pure shock. She could see a little bit of her beloved Tony in their especially in his eyes. She could see the definition of his face. Before the accident he had a fuller face, now it seemed to be a lot slimmer. It would take a while to get used to a slimmer face but she still loved him. The doctor handed Tony a mirror so he could see his face for the first time since the accident.
"let's see this handsome devil" Tony joked.
As he raised the mirror up to his face, his smile went away. He didn't look anything like he did before. He began to cry. His chin was shorter, his jawline was too defined, and his cheeks sunk in. not to mention all the redness and scares. He slowly put the mirror back down.
"I look like a hideous beast." Tony cried.
No you are very handsome Kate wrote and put her hand on top of his.
It took some getting used to but Tony came to grips with he would never look the same again.
With more surgeries and grafts Tony looked similar to himself. He had even made the comment that he looked a lot like Chris Pine, of course going back to his movie references. After being in the burn unit for 4 months, Tony and Kate found out that he would be moving to the hospitals rehab unit.
Kate was starting to pick up on some sign language thanks to Gibbs and Abby while Tony was learning to read it.
"Can you run home and get me some shorts and soft t-shirts? I have a feeling I will start working out pretty soon." Tony joked.
Of course my love Kate signed.
The hospital staff showed Tony and Kate to his new room. He was put into a private room due to the grafts and surgeries making him at higher risk for infection. Since he had already had sepsis, they didn't want to take any more chances.
I will be back Kate signed kissing Tony on the forehead.
As she drove home she realized she hadn't been in her own bed for 4 months. She had come accustom to sleeping in the hospital recliner the nurses brought into Tony's room for her. It wasn't very comfortable especially with her growing belly and the little one wanting to kick half the night. She got to their apartment. It was just as they left it 4 months ago, the day of the accident. She laid down across the bed just for a moment. It felt so good that she fell asleep quickly.
Abby was able to arrange the baby shower with the nursing staff. They were going to allow them to have the shower right there in Tony's room. The team knew they didn't have a whole lot of time until Kate would be back so they tried to work quickly. Tony was so happy that he finally got to be a part of something in this pregnancy. He helped decorate as well as bring in the food and cake. After 2 hours and Kate had not returned, Tony started to get worried. Did she have an accident? Did she go into labor and is having the baby at home?
"Boss please call Kate for me." Tony pleaded.
Kate’s phone was laying right next to her. When it started ringing it made her jump. She didn't realize she had been asleep for so long. She looked at her phone and seen it was Gibbs. Panic ensued. Had something happened to Tony?
"Gibbs is everything alright?"
"Everything's fine I was calling to check on you. Tony said you were going home to get some clothes and then you would be back."
"Yeah I'm sorry boss. I fell asleep. I was exhausted with this pregnancy and all the stress with Tony. I am so sorry."
"No need to be."
"I am on my way right now, I'll see ya in a bit."
Gibbs hung up the phone and addressed a worried Tony.
She's on her way. She fell asleep at the apartment. Gibbs signed.
"Oh ok I'm just glad she's safe."
Kate walked onto the rehab unit. A nurse stopped her before she could walk any further.
"Ma'am can I ask who you are on your way to see?" the nurse asked.
"Yes I am going to see Agent Tony DiNozzo in room 832. I'm his wife Kate DiNozzo."
The nurse smiled "Yes right this way."
The nurse stopped at Tony's room. As the two went in, the light was off. As Kate went on in the light came on real quick.
"Surprise!" the team yelled.
Kate was taken back. There were baby decorations all over the room. Kate started to cry. It was the sweetest thing anyone could ever have done. This was her baby shower, and the team was throwing it for her.
"Are you surprised?" Tony asked her.
Kate nodded her head.
"Come on you have to open presents!" Abby said very excited.
Gibbs was the first one to give his gift. Since it was too big to bring in he stuck photos down in a sack. Kate pulled out the pictures that revealed a beautiful crib.
"Gibbs this is beautiful! Did you make this?" Kate asked.
"Yeah it's sitting down in the basement right now. If you want, I can move it in this evening." Gibbs suggested.
"That would be great! We haven't started to think about the nursery." Kate admitted.
"Girl you are only weeks away from the baby being here!" Abby mentioned.
It hadn't set in with Kate or Tony yet. Their little one would be here in just a matter of weeks and they felt very unprepared.
McGee handed his bag to Kate next. She pulled out a baby monitor.
"It's so you guys can hear when the baby cries or starts to get fussy." McGee explained.
Gibbs gave him a swift slap to the back of the head. "Seriously McGee, Tony won't be able to even hear the baby’s first cry." Gibbs whispered.
McGee felt bad about that. He didn't even think. "I will also be setting up a video monitor in the nursery that way you can look in on the baby as it's sleeping."
"That's better McGee." Gibbs whispered.
"Thank you boss."
"Here you go my dear." Ducky said handing his sack to Kate.
Kate pulled out a book called Baby's First Autopsy. Kate gave him a look. Tony took the book and busted out laughing.
"Ducky this is great!" Tony said.
"Yes I believe it is never to earlier to teach a child about the human body." Ducky said.
Palmer handed a big sack to Kate.
"This is actually from both myself and Breena." Palmer explained.
"Please tell her thank you for me Jimmy." Kate smiled.
Inside was a baby blanket and crib sheets. Kate was so thankful that the team knew what they would need because she was totally lost. Abby went last, because in her opinion you had to save the best for last.
Kate opened a black gift bag and pulled out a onesie that read I got my good looks from my daddy. It was perfect! Tony grabbed it and put it up to himself.
"Do you think I could fit into this?" Tony joked.
The team smiled and shook their heads. The next little outfit was black and read Future Very Special Agent DiNozzo. Kate oohed and awed over this one as well. If this baby was anything like it's parents, it would be a special agent. The last thing in the bag was a stuffed animal. But not just any stuffed animal. This one was a hippo just like Abby's that she called Bert.
"Oh Abby, the baby is going to love this!" Kate said holding the hippo next to her making it fart. This ensued laughter with everyone on the team, except Tony.
"What is everyone laughing about?" Tony asked.
The laughter went away. Bert the hippo always made Tony laugh when it farted now to not even be able to hear that was heartbreaking to Kate. Even if life seemed a little bit more normal, in that moment reality hit Kate that normal was gone. This was their new normal.
Chapter 10: Chapter 10
As the weeks went on Kate got bigger and bigger. She looked like she was about to pop. She felt like a huge whale. She had become sad when she gained the weight and began to not be able to see her feet, but now she felt like she couldn't do anything without getting winded and tired. Gibbs normally came and picked her up and took her to the therapy sessions with Tony. They both got to be in there for Tony for support. The grafts were looking a lot better and his face was healing well from the reconstructive surgery. Tony had come to grips for the most part with not looking like himself. He felt and looked like a totally different person. In therapy they were teaching him how to walk again. One of the motivations they used to help him was having Kate stand at the end of the rails and have him walk to her. Her stomach was huge. It was Kate and the baby that was his motivation. He wanted to get better so that he could be there for the little one. It was a huge challenge to even stand up. That was the huge feat of the day. As the weeks went on he would be trying to walk more, but for now he would be in a wheelchair and by far would be when the baby was born.
"As time moves on we will work on teaching both of you more ASL. It will help Tony to communicate with you better and it will be good therapy for his hands." The therapist said.
Tony was learning how to read lips as well and could understand a bit of what the therapist was saying.
"Will I be able to be there for the birth of our baby?" Tony asked. Since he couldn't hear his own voice it was more like he was yelling.
"If all goes well, I don't see why not. I just don't want you standing by yourself. You won't be able to hold the baby on your own for a while due to not being strong enough but as time progresses you will be able to hold your little one." The therapist explained. "I think we have done enough for today."
"I'm going to go home and get some rest and I will be back up here for the session tomorrow." Kate told the therapist. I am going home. Will be back tomorrow. Kate signed to Tony. He smiled at her. He wished he could be going home with her. She gave him a kiss. How they missed each other's embrace and loving touch. Tony leaned over and kissed her huge belly. He looked up into her eyes.
"I can't wait to meet daddy's baby." Tony said. This made the baby kick and squirm as if it was doing a tap dance.
"How far along are you?" the therapist asked.
"38 weeks. It could be anytime now." Kate answered.
The therapist looked at Kate and smiled. "I bet it will be a lot sooner than you think. I've seen you in here with Tony but haven't had a chance to work with you guys. It looks like your baby has already dropped."
"Dropped? What does that mean?" Kate asked.
"Just means the baby could come at any time. If you go into labor have someone on the rehab floor know. We will bring Tony over so he can meet his baby."
On the ride home it was mostly quiet. Kate looked out the window until the baby started kicking a lot. She then rubbed her belly. Could it really be anytime now? She was getting nervous about having the baby. She was all by herself on this adventure. Tony wouldn't be able to stand there and hold her hand, he wouldn't be able to hold their baby or cut its umbilical cord. All this made Kate want to cry.
"Kate, you ok?" Gibbs asked
"Yeah it's just thinking of all the stuff Tony won't be able to do with this baby. It breaks my heart. A child always looks up to its parent. After we got married we had talked about kids. Tony had said how he wanted to teach them how to throw a ball and how to catch, play football with them and tackle them to the ground if they tried to beat him. Now looking at all of it, he will never be able to do any of that with the kids." Kate cried.
"We will be there for you guys. I promise." Gibbs reassured her.
"Gibbs, can you be in the delivery room with me, please? I can't think of anyone else that I would want there to be the first one to hold the baby except you and Tony."
"I would be honored."
That afternoon Kate had a huge burst of energy more energy than she had had her entire pregnancy. She pulled her hair back and put on some comfy clothes and started nesting. She deep cleaned the entire apartment, organized cabinets and the closet, she arranged the drawer that all the baby's clothes were in. By time she was done it was around 7 that night. Her back was starting to hurt but she didn't think much about it thinking it was just from cleaning so much. She laid down in her and Tony's bed. She tossed and turned feeling like she couldn't get comfortable with any position. The baby was very active that night and wouldn't let its momma sleep. Kate started rubbing her belly and talking to the little one she carried.
"Please let's get some rest. We are going to see your daddy again tomorrow as he tries to get stronger. He really does want to come home and be with us." She got up and got one of Tony's shirts that surprisingly still smelled like him. She placed it on her stomach and cuddled up to Tony's pillow. She could not wait for her and Tony to meet their bundle of joy.
The next morning McGee and Abby were on Kate duty. Gibbs knew the baby could come at any time so he wanted someone with her most of the time. He did not want her alone when she went into labor. Kate woke up that morning with back pain like she had never experienced before. It felt like someone had knocked her in the back with a sledge hammer. She heard the doorbell ring and peeked out to see it was Abby and McGee. She didn't feel the least bit embarrassed that she was still in her pajamas.
"Hey guys come on in." Kate said as they walked through the door.
"How are you and our team baby?" Abby asked doing baby talk while leaning down to Kate’s belly.
"I'm fine just have a lot of pain in my lower back." Kate said rubbing her back. "Come on in and make yourself comfortable. I will be ready here in just a few minutes. I need to get dressed and put my hair up.”
Kate started having pain down low in her stomach. She passed it off as the baby kicking. She stood in the bathroom and brushing her hair. As she went to put it in a bun she felt a gush almost as if she had just peed all over herself.
Abby had heard the shriek and went running to the bathroom with McGee hot on her heels. There was an ever growing puddle at Kate’s feet. Kate looked up at the two.
"I think my water just broke." Kate said with a worried look on her face.
"Oh my gosh what are we supposed to do. That means the baby is coming. We can't have the baby here in the apartment. We need to get her to a hospital. Oh my gosh what if she has the baby in the car, Tony would kill me if he didn't get to be there for the birth." McGee frantically said.
Abby gave him a Gibbs slap. "Calm down McGee. We just need to get her to the hospital."
"Call Gibbs and let him know we are on our way to the hospital." Kate said with pain surging through her body.
Abby tried to get Kate into some different clothes and put on some shoes while McGee called Gibbs.
"Yeah Gibbs." Gibbs answered.
"Boss we have a bit of a problem."
"And what's that McGee?"
"Kate’s water just broke."
"What? I'll meet you at the hospital in ten." Gibbs said hanging up the phone. He quickly grabbed his coffee and went speeding to the hospital.
"Gibbs will meet us there." McGee explained.
"Ok McGee, now help me get her to the car." Abby said.
Kate had a hard time walking due to the pain. Her contractions came hard and what seemed to her fast. Abby had started timing them at 6 minutes apart. Once they got in the car McGee tried to take it nice and slow to not cause Kate anymore pain. She was laying in the backseat of his car with her head in Abby's lap. She tried to go to the breathing classes with Abby but felt embarrassed when all the other women had their husbands and boyfriends with them and she had an Abby. Thankfully Abby was trying to walk her through the breathing techniques.
"Just breathe Kate. In and out." Abby said. Then the excitement over a baby DiNozzo coming into the world over took Abby. "Baby DiNozzo is going to be here today. Our first team baby!" Abby rambled on about the baby, what it would look like, how it would probably have beautiful hair like Kate and green eyes like Tony.
During a hard contractions Kate snapped at both McGee and Abby.
"Abby would you shut up we will meet the baby soon if McGee don't step on it. Hell I might be able to deliver it myself right here in the car." Kate spat.
Abby didn't take offense to it. She knew that labor could make a woman say some crazy things. McGee finally stepped on the gas when Kate grabbed ahold of his arm during her next contractions. Needless to say he sped it up quite a bit. Anything to get Kate to let go of his arm before she broke it.
"Don't know if it's Timmy's slow driving or if your progressing that much but the contractions are at 4 minutes apart now." Abby yelled.
They finally got to the hospital. Gibbs was waiting outside for them.
"Did it take you long enough McGee?" Gibbs said giving him a famous slap on the back of the head.
"Thank you boss." McGee answered. They tried to get a screaming Kate out of the car and into a wheelchair. Abby took Kate and ran inside with her.
"I have Mrs. Kate DiNozzo. Her water has already broke and her contractions are 4 minutes apart." Abby said with enthusiasm. She looked over at Gibbs "We're gonna have a baby!" she said clapping her hands together.
A nurse came out and got Kate. "Mrs. DiNozzo I'm going to take you to labor and delivery." She said as she rushed Kate to the elevator.
"McGee, go over to rehab and have them bring Tony over. I'm going with Kate." Gibbs ordered as he jumped on the elevator with Kate and the nurse.
Tony was in his therapy session. He was surprised that Kate and Gibbs hadn't come in yet. They were always here for his sessions. He couldn't focus worrying about the two.
"Mr. DiNozzo you need to focus." The therapist said.
Another therapist came over and whispered to Tony's therapist.
"Tony, it looks like you're getting out of therapy early."
"What do you mean?" Tony asked.
"Your wife was just brought in. Her water has broke and they are taking her to labor and delivery now. Congratulations!"
Tony was all beside himself. He wanted to get there and be by Kate’s side.
Gibbs and Ducky were in the room with Kate as they hooked her and the baby up to all kinds of machines. It sounded like a race horse as they listened to the baby's heart rate.
"Ok Mrs. DiNozzo here comes a strong contractions." Kate’s nurse Molly said.
The pain was almost unbearable. Kate let out a blood curling scream. She was always a very strong woman but the pain of labor even made her feel weak.
Gibbs and Ducky tried to comfort her.
"It's going to be ok Kate. No pain no gain." Gibbs told her as he wiped the sweat from her forehead.
As another contraction hit Ducky thought it would calm Kate if she heard a story.
"Yes this reminds me of an autopsy I done back in my younger years." Ducky started.
"Seriously Ducky, now is not the time for autopsy stories. Trying to have a baby here." Kate snapped.
Gibbs gave her slap to the head.
"What the hell was that for Gibbs?" Kate snapped.
"Because I don't care if you are in labor, you're not going to be rude." Gibbs said.
Having Gibbs and Ducky in with her really did keep her calmer than it would have if she would have had Abby and McGee. She would have ended up killing one of them.
"Where is Tony? I need my sexy bear in here." Kate said.
"Sexy Bear?" Ducky questioned trying to hide his face from laughing.
"He is on his way Kate. McGee went to get him." Gibbs said.
"Oh great. If McGee's getting him, the baby will be leaving for college before he gets here.” Kate spat.
Dr. Anderson came in to check on Kate. "Ok Mrs. DiNozzo let's see how much you are dilated." The doctor checked and to his surprise she was getting close to pushing but not yet. "She's dilated to an 8 so I would say we should have a baby here before too long."
Another contraction hit Kate. "Get me Tony, Gibbs!" she screamed through the tears.
Gibbs called McGee's phone.
"McGee where the hell are you and DiNozzo?"
"Sorry boss, we are…uh… kind of… stuck in the elevator, they are supposed to be sending help now."
"And you haven't called to tell me this why?"
"Because boss I don't have much service."
"Just get DiNozzo in here as quickly as you can. Kate will be having this baby really soon."
Gibbs hung up the phone. 'Only you Tony DiNozzo would get stuck in an elevator the day your first child was to be born' Gibbs thought.
Chapter 11: Chapter 11
Tony was freaking out.
"McGee you got to get me out of here. Kate needs me. Our baby needs me. I can't miss this." Tony yelled.
When McGee and Tony were finally off the elevator, McGee was running with Tony to the Labor and Delivery unit. McGee stopped at the nurse's desk out of breath.
"We are… here for… Kate DiNozzo." McGee said in between breaths.
"And which one of you is supposed to be the father?" a short heavyset older black woman asked.
Tony could tell she was asking something and was giving McGee some sass. He looked at McGee trying to figure out what the nurse said.
"He is" McGee said pointing to Tony.
"Can he not answer for himself." The nurse smarted off.
"He is deaf ok. He is or as I should say was a special agent with NCIS and I have you know he was a damn good agent. He's deaf not dumb. Now tell me where the hell his wife is before I start going through each one of these rooms and finding her myself." McGee spat back.
"She's in room 1042"
"Where is Kate, I need to get to her" Tony yelled.
"Thank you." McGee said running down the hallway with Tony. "We are getting there Tony." McGee said and then realized that Tony didn't even hear what he said.
They finally got right outside Kate’s room. McGee could hear her screaming inside. 'sounds painful in there.' He thought. He knocked on the door. Gibbs swung it open revealing Kate in the room screaming and crying wanting Tony.
"My dear he just came in." Ducky said trying to calm Kate down.
"It's about time you get here McGee." Gibbs said taking ahold of Tony's wheelchair.
"Ok boss I will be out in the… waiting room." McGee said getting the door shut in his face.
After her last contraction was over, Kate raised her head up to find Tony had rolled in.
Gibbs wheeled him over to the side of the bed so he could be with his wife. Tony took her hand.
"Hey there Katie, I'm here." Tony said as he went to kiss her hand.
"Oh Ton...owe….." Kate said mid-sentence as another hard contraction hit. She squeezed Tony's hand until he could no longer feel it.
"Kate, Kate, let go of the hand, ow ow let go of the hand." Tony said as she let out a scream of pain.
Tony was frantic he knew she was in pain but didn't know how to help her. Ducky tried to calm him as Gibbs ran a cool rag over Kate’s forehead. Ducky tries to fill Tony in on what had happened. He signed to him that her water had already broke, that chances are she was in labor overnight and didn't realize it, that she was dilated to an 8 at last check and with that that she should be able to start pushing before too long. Gibbs and Ducky both didn't know if Tony could tolerate the stress after all he had been through the past few months. They were afraid he would get too exhausted.
"Boss help me stand up. I need to be with my wife." Tony yelled at Gibbs.
Are you sure you want to stand right now? It may still be a while.
"I want to stand now boss. I need to stand and help my wife through this."
Gibbs nodded his head and came over to Tony. He helped Tony stand and let Tony grab a hold of the bed rails. He stood right beside Tony just in case he needed to sit down really quick.
"Kate you got this just breathe." Tony said. Kate gave him a smile and reached up for his face. She was so glad that he was able to be there for her and for the birth of their first baby. She put her hand down just as another contraction hit.
"Tony DiNozzo why did you do this to me. This is all your fault." Kate screamed as one of her worse contractions hit.
Tony just stood there. Kate had turned onto her side and he was trying to rub her back. He had no idea she was chewing him out.
"I want drugs. Please Gibbs find me some drugs, I can't take this pain anymore. Ducky I know you can get drugs." Kate screamed.
"My dear, you are too far into your labor to have an epidural. The next thing is to start pushing." Ducky said.
Kate said something under her breath which Gibbs and Ducky could only imagine was curse words.
Dr. Anderson came into the room.
"How are we doing?" Dr. Anderson asked.
"How does it look like I'm doing?" Kate spat.
"Let's go ahead and check you again Mrs. DiNozzo."
Ducky stood on the other side of the bed and signed to Tony everything the doctor was saying while Gibbs helped Tony stay stable on his feet.
"Mrs. DiNozzo, it's time. Your dilated to a 10 and the baby has already started crowning. I need you to give me a big push." The doctor explained as he counted to ten. Kate pushed with all her might and screamed in agonizing pain.
"You're doing great honey." Tony told Kate.
Another push and the doctor looked up at Kate.
"Ok the baby's head is out. I need you to give me one more big push and get the rest of the baby."
With all her might and hearing the doctor yell push, Kate pushed until their little Baby DiNozzo was born.
"It's a girl!" Dr. Anderson said holding up the baby.
"It's a girl!” Kate said grabbing Tony's face and laying a kiss on his lips.
"Mr. DiNozzo, would you like to cut the cord?" the doctor asked.
Gibbs helped Tony into his wheelchair and asked him.
"Yes please!" Tony answered.
With Gibbs help, they were able to cut her cord. A nurse cleaned the little girl up a little bit and handed her to Gibbs. With Gibbs supporting the baby's weight, Tony attempted to hold his baby girl.
"Have you guys picked out a name?" Ducky asked.
"Vivian Elizabeth DiNozzo" Kate answered.
Tony looked down at his daughter. She had a full set of hair already. "She's my little Vivvy." Tony said with the realization he was a father setting in. Vivvy opened her big green eyes and smiled. It brought tears to Tony's eyes as well as Kate. Tony let Gibbs take the baby and handed her over to Kate.
"Happy Birthday Miss Vivian." Kate smiled. "Your mommy and daddy love you."
Tony was able to lay in the bed next to Kate as they marveled at their baby girl.
Gibbs walked out into the waiting room where McGee, Abby and the Palmers were waiting.
"Gibbs, is everything alright?" Abby asked.
"Everything's perfect! It's a girl! Vivian Elizabeth DiNozzo born September 8th at 12:55 pm. 9lbs 14 oz. 24inches long."
"Poor Kate, she had a chunky baby." McGee said.
"She does have the cutest chubby cheeks." Gibbs admitted.
"Can we see her?" Abby asked.
Gibbs smiled as the team followed him back down to Kate's room. He was one proud Papa Gibbs.
Chapter 12: Chapter 12
Kate was transferred to a regular room on the OB floor after herself and the baby were cleaned up. The team was allowed to come in after they got settled in. The team found a glowing Kate and one proud Tony laying up in the hospital bed holding their new buddle of joy. She had a pink hat to signify she was a little girl.
"Guys I would like you to meet Miss Vivian Elizabeth DiNozzo. Viv for short. Tony has taken to calling her Vivvy." Kate said turning Viv around so the rest of the team could see. All the oh's and awe's woke little Vivvy, but instead of crying she opened her big green eyes and smiled at the team. She was a DiNozzo through and through with the eyes, the smile, she was going to be tall like her daddy and not to mention she looked a lot like Tony did before his accident. Kate took off the little hat revealing a head full of thick hair.
"Here's why I always had heartburn." Kate laughed.
"Hey guys look at my little Vivvy." Tony yelled pointing at his daughter. The team couldn’t help but laugh.
"Can I hold her?" Breena Palmer asked.
"Of course!” Kate said handing Viv over to her.
"You look good holding a baby Bre. Just think in a few months you will be holding our baby." Jimmy said.
"Your baby?" Kate questioned.
"We didn't want to say anything but we are pregnant with a little girl!" Breena said after the cat was out of the bag.
"Congratulations!" Kate smiled. While the team was giving Palmer a pat on the back and telling Breena congrats, Tony was so lost.
"What's going on?" Tony asked.
Breena and Palmer are having a baby girl Kate signed.
"Get it Autopsy Grimlin!" Tony said embarrassing Palmer.
"You know anytime you need a baby sitter McGee and I are willing to help!" Abby said.
"We are?" McGee questioned.
"Of course Timmy. It would be fun to have a little one around." Abby smirked wrapping her arms around his arm.
"And we could always watch her too." Breena added.
"Lord knows I need some practice changing a diaper before our little one gets here." Palmer said.
Tony was allowed a few days out of rehab to be able to stay with his wife and new baby until they were released from the hospital. He couldn't believe he was a new father. He wanted more than anything to be able to hold his little girl without help but it was impossible at the moment. He felt like his little girl wouldn't know who he was by time he was finally able to come home. 'gosh' Tony thought 'she will be 5 months old before I ever get to go home. I will have missed most of her baby moments. Vivvy is going to be my motivation to do what I need in order to be able to go home with my family.'
Three days after having little Viv, Kate was released from the hospital. She had planned on going back to the apartment, but instead Gibbs insisted they stay with him saying that a new young mother should not be on her own. Viv was so spoiled being the first team baby. Gibbs showed Kate to the make shift nursery he had set up in his spare room. It held furniture he had made himself for the baby. Kate was so grateful for a team she called her family. Gibbs insisted that Kate needed her sleep. Reluctant, she went upstairs for some rest. Grandpa Gibbs, Aunt Abby, Uncle Tim and Uncle Jimmy kept a watchful eye on baby Viv. Gibbs took charges of rocking her when she got fussy. Abby took over diaper duty. Jimmy gave her bottle when she got hungry and Tim, Tim was just the goofy uncle that tried to keep her from crying. Kate didn't want Viv to be deprived of her bonding time with her daddy. She would take Viv with her during visiting hours to see Tony.
"There's daddy’s little Vivvy Beth." Tony would say. He still wasn't strong enough to hold her so either Kate or one of the nurses would have to support Viv’s weight. "Daddy loves those little chubby cheeks. Yes I do" Tony would talk in baby talk. Viv loved to hear her daddy’s voice. She would smile at him and kick just like she did before she was born. She loved her daddy even if she couldn't be around him all the time. It broke Kate’s heart. She knew how much Tony loved their little girl and that he would give anything to be home with them.
Kate continued to go to physical therapy with Tony with Gibbs coming in on occasion. Kate and Viv had moved back into their apartment and Viv was sleeping in a bassinet next to Tony and Kate’s bed. The Palmers along with Abby and McGee would watch the baby when Kate would go to therapy with Tony. They would normally wait until Kate got home. But today was different. Abby and Tim tried everything to calm a fussy Viv. She wouldn't eat, she didn't need her diaper changed. No matter how much Abby tried to rock her, Viv would continue to cry.
"Tim we've got to do something. Vivvy has been crying for way to long now."
"Tony gets out of therapy in about 20 minutes. I guess we could head up there and just give Kate back Vivvy there." McGee suggested.
"McGee you're a genius." Abby said. She grabbed the baby go bag and Viv and out the door they went.
"Is Tony DiNozzo out of therapy yet? Tim asked once they got to the rehab floor of the hospital.
"Yes he just returned to his room." The nurse said.
Vivvy was wailing so hard Abby figured everyone within the hospital could probably hear this screaming child. Once they got close to Tony's room Kate came running out to find her daughter bawling her eyes out. She took her into her arms.
"What's wrong with her?" Kate worried.
"We don't know. We decided to bring her to you because we couldn't get her to stop crying." Tim answered.
"Ok Vivvy, shhh mommy’s here. Let's go find daddy." Kate said walking back down to Tony's room. She walked in and pointed Tony out to little Vivvy. "Look there's your daddy!"
The minute Viv seen Tony her tears dried up. All she wanted was her daddy. Kate sat down on the bed next to Tony and held the babies weight as Tony attempted to hold her as well.
"There's daddy’s girl." Tony said.
Vivian loved Tony so much even though Kate was her primary caregiver and Tony had been hospitalized her entire life, they still had a special bond no one could take away. She tried to babble at her daddy and tell him about her day in baby talk. Sadly Tony can't hear anything she is saying. Kate could feel her heart breaking in two. Tony would never be about to hear their little girl tell him daddy I love you. As Kate got ready to go home with her little girl, she took baby Vivvy’s hand and positioned it into the sign of I love you as little Viv grinned from ear to ear at her daddy. It warmed Tony's heart. He had to get better for his little girl.
Chapter 13: Chapter 13
Today was a very important day in the DiNozzo family. They had hope. One of Tony's therapist told Kate and Tony that there was a chance that Tony could get hearing aids so he could still hear some and not feel like he would be missing out on hearing his little girls first words. As Kate and Tony sat at the ENT's office, Kate held his frail hand. She looked at her sweet husband. How was it 10 months ago he was a perfectly healthy and strong agent. Now she looked at him, he didn't have the same face he once had, for that matter he didn't have the same skin, he couldn't hear a word she said to him, and he couldn't walk very far. She had to hand it to Gibbs for helping Tony stand during the birth of their daughter Vivvy. Tony had been a big guy, tall and strong. Now he looked so weak.
"Mr. DiNozzo?" the nurse asked opening the door going back into the office.
It's our turn Kate signed to Tony. He nodded his head and she pushed his wheelchair through the door.
"How are you guys doing today?" The nurse asked pleasantly.
"Ok" Kate said short and sweet.
"It looks like Mr. DiNozzo has a hearing test with us first. The doctor will come in and explain to you guys what the test will involve and talk to you guys about the possibilities of hearing aids." The nurse said. "Would you like for an interpreter to come in so you can both understand what the doctor is saying?"
"That would be wonderful." Kate answered.
Tony looked around the room. His nerves was about to overtake him. The fact that he could possibly hear Kate’s voice again and hear little Vivvy’s first words gave him hope. The interpreter and the doctor entered the room at the same time.
"Hi I am Doctor Bryan Gordon this is our in house interpreter Kelly Jameson." Dr. Gordon said shaking both Kate and Tony's hands followed by Kelly doing the same.
"We are going to be running a hearing test on Tony. If all goes well we could fit him with hearing aids that could give him back some of his hearing. It will never be like his original hearing but it would at least give him some. If you will follow me we will administer the hearing test.” Dr. Gordon explained.
Kate sat in the room while Tony was placed into an enclosed booth. The doctor put headphones on Tony. As the test began there was different types of tones and sounds. The doctor would turn them all the way up. The sounds would hurt Kate’s ears while Tony sat there content and waiting for the test to begin. Kate could feel the tears welling up in her eyes. All hope she had of Tony hearing again was slowly dwindling. After the test and having a look at Tony's ears came the news Kate was now dreading to hear.
"Mrs. DiNozzo, with the way that Tony's ears were ruptured during the explosion, hearing aids will not be a good fit for him." Dr. Gordon explained.
Kate tried to wipe the tears fast from her eyes so Tony wouldn't see.
"However, we could look into the possibility of cochlear implants. I would like for him to finish out his rehab first and get stronger, and then we can talk about the procedure. I think it would be his best chance at hearing again."
That was still months away, but Kate would take anything at this point.
It had now been three months since little Viv DiNozzo had been born. Her father was still in rehab, her and her mother had moved back into the apartment. Vivvy didn't have a nursery in Tony and Kate’s apartment. Instead she slept in a bassinet beside their bed. Kate had decided to go back to work part time while still attending Tony's therapy sessions. Vivian now attended the NCIS daycare center where her grandpa Gibbs would also go in and check on her. Kate felt like a single mother and had contemplated turning in her badge and gun but instead decided she had to do what was best for her. The team would help her raise Vivian. As she had always heard it takes a village to raise a child.
Tony knew within the next few months he would be coming home.
'Shoot that house isn't big enough for me and my wheelchair. We need some place bigger. Some place more for a family.' Tony thought.
When Gibbs came that night he expressed his concerns to his former boss.
“I want a house. An actual house for Kate and Viv.” Tony explained.
There's a house right down the street from me that's for sale. Gibbs signed.
That was perfect! Gibbs lived in a nice neighborhood. Plus he wouldn't be far away if they needed him.
“I will arrange for the down payment to come out of my investment account. I want you Gibbs to sign the closing documents and help deal with getting a mortgage.” Tony told Gibbs.
What about Kate? Don't you think she would want to be a part of the processes? Gibbs asked.
“This is my surprise to her. She has been through so much with me. She needs something nice.”
Gibbs agreed and it couldn't have made Tony any happier.
2 weeks before Tony was set to be released from rehab, Gibbs came by and gave Tony a key to his new home.
It's all yours Gibbs signed.
Tony gave Gibbs a big hug and signed thank you to him.
Little did Tony know that the team was busy working on his new house. They were installing ramps, moving everything from his and Kate’s apartment, which even Kate was unaware of since she was down in the NCIS daycare picking up Vivvy and about to head to the rehab center to see Tony. Abby was busy at work decorating Vivian’s nursery while McGee was hooking up monitors and cameras in the nursery.
"You know McGee it would be really nice to have a little one running around our place." Abby said with a smirk.
"Yeah um maybe one of these days." McGee answered.
"One of these days?! Timmy, my biological clock is ticking I don't know how much time I have left." Abby exclaimed.
Kate walked into the room with Viv who as always was happy to see her daddy. The minute she seen Tony she no longer wanted her momma.
"Kate I have a surprise for you." Tony yelled.
What is that my love? Kate signed.
He pulled out a key from under his pillow.
"I figured since we were finally going to be a family, that a family should have a real house to live in." Tony explained.
Tears welled in Kate’s eyes. Thank you she signed to him before giving him a hug.
After 10 months combined from being in the hospital and being in rehab Tony DiNozzo was finally going home. The doctor told him that he could walk with a walker around the house but to not get to tired. He was still to continue using the wheelchair if they went out places. What Kate was more excited than anything to do was to finally have the love of her life back in the bed with her. For long agonizing months she had went without him, slept in a bed alone, now tonight she was finally being able to hold the man she loved. The team threw Tony a welcome home party and showed him around their spacious new house. It was a three bedroom three bath. Of course Abby would joked with Kate that the extra bedroom could be turned into another nursery if her and Tony decided to have another little one. As much as Kate loved the team she was also thankful when they left. It was around 8 p.m. and it was close to Vivian’s bedtime. The sweet little angel had no trouble falling asleep in the crib her Grandpa Gibbs had made for her. Once she was out, Kate knew it was her time. Tony thought she was going to help him into his night clothes, instead she helped him out of all of his clothes. She knew he was weak considering it was just his first day home. That's why she was on top. How they didn't wake the baby is a mystery with a bit of noisy love making. Even if Tony couldn't hear her screams he could see it on her face that he was getting the job done. After the big finish, they laid in each other's arms. It was so good to have her Tony back where he belonged.
Chapter 14: Chapter 14
The first week Tony was home, Kate had taken off work to make sure he was made comfortable and adjusted to the new house. She also took that week to really show him how much she loved him and to make up for lost time in the bedroom. The hardest day for Tony was a week later when Kate went back to work full time. Knowing full well that Tony couldn't take care of Vivian by himself, she took Viv to work with her and would drop her off at the NCIS daycare.
"How is Tony adjusting to being home?" McGee asked when Kate walked into the bullpen, sitting her bag down beside her desk.
"Fairly well. He was comfortable on the couch watching his movies when I left. He is frustrated with having to read subtitles now." Kate explained.
"Oh I can just about imagine. Tony always did love his movies." McGee said.
The two looked over at the empty desk that they both knew would never be filled again by the once larger than life agent. The fact that Tony was alive was great, but for him to never be able to come back to work hurt. He had trained them both, and now he was the one that needed the help.
Tony had never felt more alone in his life. With his wife back at work and his daughter at daycare, he was alone in his thoughts. He felt like any place would be better than to be alone in his thoughts. He got up off the couch and made his way to the kitchen. He found several bottles of scotch that he had from his old apartment. As he sipped the scotch, he began to think on his life and spoke out loud.
"I lost my career and for what? For trying to protect probie and my wife? It's not fair. Why can they still work and I can't? I'm the one that taught them. I was the one that instilled in them everything they know. So why me? Why do I have to be the one that can't walk good and looks like a monster. I can't hear my own daughter when she cries. And Kate, why is she still married to me? I am not the man she fell in love with. That man died out on the hillside the day of the explosion. I don't know who I am anymore." Tony cried.
As Tony let his depression run away with itself he continued to drink. After 3 glasses, he decided to stop and lay down on the couch. That evening he had no idea when Kate came home from work. She made dinner before waking him up. She knew he had to be exhausted. This past week had taken a lot out of him. Once dinner was ready she helped him to the table. He was in a bit of a mood but Kate had no idea why. As Tony tried to eat he looked at his silverware. It was special made for people with disabilities. 'why do I have to be the different one' he thought.
He finally had to get it off his chest to Kate.
"It's not fair..." Tony said.
What's not fair? Kate asked in sign language.
"You can go back to work while all I can do is sit in the living room and watch James Bond all day. Hell I can't even hear it It’s more like reading than anything."
There's still a chance you can go back to work. We have to see what the director says.
"It's not only that Kate. How can you still want to be married to a guy as lame as me? Hmm? I can't walk without a walker, I can't hear, hell I can't even feed myself expect with special silverware and even that is a challenge."
None of that matters to me Tony. All that matters is that I love you and I am in love with you.
That brought a smile to Tony's face. But it still didn't help his depression.
2 months later the official word from the director came. Tony could not return to NCIS as a field agent due to his disability. The director offered him a desk job, but Tony declined. All he had ever known was being out in the field. Even when he was a cop and detective he was out there on the front lines. He couldn't just sit behind a desk and watch as Kate, McGee and Gibbs got to go out and work crime scenes. He had depression before but this made it even worse. He started to feel sorry for himself. Rather than getting help, he started self-medicating himself with more and more alcohol.
Kate had left in a hurry that morning. She was exhausted. Vivian had kept her up all night long. Little Vivvy was 7 months old and was cutting teeth. She had spent the night in the nursery rocking Vivvy hoping they could both get some sleep. That morning she hurried and got dressed, got Vivian around, helped Tony get dressed, made him breakfast and was out the door before 7:30. Again another day and another empty house. Tony knew he really wasn't supposed to be drinking but today was one of the days that he was at an all-time low. He had gotten the word the day before that he couldn't return as a field agent. Kate had tried to comfort him about it which helped a lot. But now that she was gone to work, the job that he loved so much, his depression really set in. He walked into the kitchen with his walker and placed a small glass cup, and two bottles of scotch in a pouch Abby had made for his walker so he could carry stuff around with him without the fear of trying to carry stuff with his arms and losing his balance. He sat the scotch on the coffee table and put his dvd of 'Goldfinger' in. From there he proceeded to drink. After the first glass was gone, he went for a second until a whole bottle was gone and he had started in on the second. He didn't want Kate to know he was trying to drink his problems away. He hid the empty bottle behind a couch pillow. While drinking on the second bottle it felt like the scotch was going straight through him. He hid the second bottle and went to the bathroom. The alcohol was starting to set in really good and he felt dizzy. Tony was a huge fall risk to begin with, but add being drunk and exhausted, it was not a good combination. As he was coming out of the bathroom heading back for the living room, Tony lost his balance. He tried to steady himself but the walker fell out from underneath him. He felt his side hit the wall before smacking his head on the wood floor of their hallway. As he laid their darkness fell over him. He couldn't tell if it was from being drunk or if he was dying, all he knew is he wanted to give in to the darkness. 'Maybe the darkness will treat me better than life has.' Tony thought.
It had been a slow day at work. Gibbs had told Kate she could go home earlier since he knew some of the things that had been going on at home. When Kate arrived home she had Vivian in her car seat. The poor little thing slept all the way home and she couldn't think of getting her out and waking her up so she left her in the car seat and carried her inside the house. Kate could feel something was wrong once she entered the house. Normally Tony would be in the living room around this time watching tv. As she walked into the living room she found that his DVD of 'Goldfinger' was back on the main menu screen. This really got Kate worried. Tony would never leave a DVD like that. As she worked her way through the house she didn't find him in the kitchen. Then she started down the long hallway to their bedroom. There she found Tony. He was lying face down on the hardwood floor, his walker was in front of him and it was apparent he had fell. How long had he been here? She rolled him over to make sure he was still breathing. His breathing was slow and his pulse raced against her fingers. She tried to wake him but he was unresponsive. Kate called an ambulance for fear of a concussion or bleeding on the brain. 'oh god, what if he had a stroke and I wasn't here to help him?"
After the dispatcher told her that help was on the way she called Gibbs.
"Yeah Gibbs" the older agent answered.
"Gibbs, please come over to the house. It's Tony." Kate panicked.
"Kate, what’s going on?" Gibbs demanded.
"I don't know. I came home and found him unresponsive in the hallway coming out of the bathroom. Please hurry!"
Gibbs went rushing over to the DiNozzo house while McGee and Abby were not far behind. Abby would watch Vivian while the others went to the hospital with Tony. She hoped it wasn't anything serious. The paramedics were doing their assessment and loading Tony onto a stretcher when Gibbs arrived. He took Kate into his arms.
"I can't do this again Gibbs. I almost lost him once, I can't lose him now." Kate cried.
Gibbs ran his hand through her hair. "It's ok Kate, he's going to be fine." The words came out of Gibbs mouth like they were foreign even to him. He hoped Tony would be ok, but he wasn't sure himself. He looked at his former agent as they wheeled him out to the ambulance. He was pale and his breathing shallow. 'Why does DiNozzo always have to get himself into these types of situations.' Gibbs thought.
Chapter 15: Chapter 15
Gibbs offered to drive Kate to the hospital while McGee and Abby watched little Viv. Vivvy was screaming and crying when Abby got to her. After all, her mother did sit her down and go running when she found her father laying in the hallway. Abby picked up the poor little thing and went to sit down on the couch. As she leaned against the couch pillows she felt something hard against her back. She moved the pillows to discover the scotch bottles.
"Timmy come here!" Abby yelled.
McGee was in the nursery trying to find a toy and pacifier for Vivvy. Anything to make her quit crying.
"What is it Abs?" McGee ask as he came into the living room.
"I think I know what's wrong with Tony." Abby said holding up the scotch bottle.
McGee rubbed his face. He knew that certain times Tony would drink heavier than others, but he didn't think it would ever be this bad.
Kate and Gibbs sat out in the waiting room waiting for word on Tony.
"DiNozzo?" said a short female nurse with a buzz cut and glasses.
"Will you please go with me?" Kate asked Gibbs as she stood.
"Of course I will." Gibbs said putting an arm around Kate’s shoulders.
They followed the nurse back behind the E.R. doors. As they walked, Gibbs seen the trauma bay that had held Tony the day of the accident. It was empty at the moment but Gibbs could still feel the panic inside him as he had watched as a team of doctors and nurses worked tirelessly to revive his senior field agent. They came to the door that held Tony today. Before the nurse let them inside she spoke.
"The doctor will be in to speak with you shortly."
Kate looked at Gibbs. Was it worse than they thought? They walked in to find Tony asleep and hooked up to an IV. The sight was nothing like it was the last time he was in the hospital. He wasn't hooked up to all kinds of machines and tubes run down his throat. Instead it looked like he was taking a casual nap. A knock on the door startled both Kate and Gibbs.
"Hi I'm Doctor Jennifer Hogan the er doctor on duty." Dr. Hogan said shaking both Kate and Gibbs hands.
"How is he doc?" Gibbs asked.
"He's lucky. He has a mild concussion and bruising on his left side." Dr. Hogan explained.
"What caused him to fall?" Kate asked.
"He was a fall risk to begin with given his medical history. But he was also highly intoxicated. We are going to keep him overnight for observation due to his medical history. He is very dehydrated from the amount of alcohol he drank. We have him on iv fluids with added electrolytes to rehydrate him."
"So all of this, because he was drunk?" Kate asked.
"Yes Mrs. DiNozzo. We have him lightly sedated to ease the pain of the concussion. If all goes well, he should be able to go home tomorrow. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask. I will be right outside here at the nurse's station." Dr. Hogan said before turning and leaving the room.
"I can't believe this Gibbs!" Kate spat. She was obliviously furious with Tony. "How could he do this? He gets so drunk to the point of injuring himself?"
Kate was at her breaking point. The last 10 months had been hard enough. She had put up with him feeling sorry for himself all through the time he was in rehab and had been home. She didn't know however that it would push him to drinking. She was infuriated with him. If he could drink so much that he would hurt himself, she knew that she couldn't trust him around Viv. Viv didn't need a drunk for a father. It was bad enough that he was deaf and unable to hold her or even do different things with her that a normal dad would.
"I can't do this Gibbs. I can't live with a drunk. If I didn't have Vivian, I would tolerate it. But with a baby in the house, she doesn't need to live with a drunk for a father and us live in fear of him doing something to one or both of us." Kate cried.
"Let's try and get him some help. You can stay with me if you need or want to. You know my home is always open to you and Viv." Gibbs said taking a crying Kate into his arms.
Kate tried to keep her temper under control the next day when Tony was released from the hospital. Once he got settled in she finally let loose on him.
What the hell made you think you can just drink yourself into oblivion when you have a wife and daughter? Kate signed to him.
"It's not like you would understand anyway!" Tony yelled.
Oh I wouldn't understand? I don't understand how you almost died almost a year ago and left me to raise our daughter by myself which I practically have done for the last 7 months anyway.
"Like I said you don't understand?" Tony said rolling his eyes.
Then get yourself some help. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Get up, stop trying to drink your troubles away and do something. Hell Vance offered you a job and you wouldn’t even take that! You didn't have to leave NCIS. You are the one that turned your back on your work family, on me and our daughter.
"I am dealing just fine. I was a field agent, ok! How could I go back to work and see you and the team leave while I have to stay at my desk doing paperwork all day. Hell I am the one that trained you. You wouldn't be anything without me." Tony spat.
A since of rage went all over Kate.
I knew more before you ever came into my life. You either grow up and be a man and get some help or…
"Or what Katie? I am not getting help. I don't need help. And I certainly don’t need help from you!" Tony rolled his eyes again at her.
It was clear he was not going to help himself and it made Kate mad as hell.
"That's it I've had it." Kate mumbled to herself.
I will not put up with this shit! With someone that won't help themselves. I can't have you sitting around drinking your life away and you hurting our daughter. Be looking for the divorce papers because this marriage is over.
With that Kate stormed out of the room, grabbed Vivvy and went down to Gibbs house. Tony couldn't believe what he was just told. Why couldn't she just understand his point of view. He was dealing with his own demons and felt like she just walked out on him at a very low time in his life.
Abby was over at Gibbs house when she got there. Kate really didn't want to deal with Abby's always happy attitude while she was so pissed.
"Kate what's wrong?" Abby asked.
"It's Tony. What makes him think that he can just shut me out and drink his problems away. I have been right there by his side through all of this and this is the way he treats me and his daughter. I will not put up with it. Can you please watch Viv for about an hour Abbs?" Kate asked.
"Yeah but Kate, what are you about to do?" Abby asked.
"I'm going to talk to a lawyer." Kate said.
The always happy Abby was now angry.
"Kate seriously. You're going to abandon Tony when he needs you the most?" Abby spat. Kate gave Abby a look.
"I was not the one that turn my back on our family." Kate growled. She handed Vivvy over to Abby before turning to walk out the door.
"Kate your problems will not be solved by you running away from them." Abby yelled as the door was slammed shut cutting off her words.
After Gibbs came home Abby begged him to let her go talk to Tony that she feels like she could get through to him. Gibbs agreed and watched the baby who had fell asleep in her play pin at her Grandpa Gibbs house. Abby went a few doors down to the DiNozzo's house. Tony was still laying in the bed. When he seen Abby at the door he perked up a bit.
"I thought you were Kate at first coming back to finish me off." Tony joked. Abby gave a halfway smile. She was angry with Tony.
How could you turn to drink rather than turning to us, your family for help when your depression got out of control. Abby signed.
Tony shook his head and shrugged.
Tony, ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.
'Great now she's going to be on me too.' Tony thought. As Abby continued her rant. The one thing good about being deaf is when Tony wanted to end a conversation, he could just shut his eyes and the conversation was over. That's just what he done. He shut his eyes on Abby as she ranted in sign language. Abby felt defeated. Tony would always listen to her and listen to her reason. But now not even that was working. His only hope for someone getting through to him was Gibbs.