Friday, June 21, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 128

McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

Chapter 128: McSciuto

The OB’s appointment was the first Friday in December. Abby was irked at the getting it set up thing; the different people at the doctor’s office kept asking for the first day of Abby’s last period. But that was in August, and unlikely to be of any help.

Abby kept telling them she knew what day she ovulated on, and likely conceived, but they didn’t want that date.

Finally, she just made one up. Officially the first day of her last period was October 9, fourteen days before she ovulated, and about when it should have been.

Their doctor, Andrea Draz, wanted to see them at six weeks. Which was the end of November, and the middle of a hot case, and neither of them could make it.

Which meant December 6, 2014, they were both sitting in a pleasant office, filling out forms about their insurance and Abby’s health, waiting for the first baby checkup.

It blows Tim’s mind how different this is in real life.

He’s heard about it. Go down to Autopsy and not only is there a rather large collection of photos of Molly pinned up behind the computers but there’s six shots of the new baby (who Jimmy and Breena are calling Sammy, not because they intend to name him/her that, but because it’s pretty gender neutral and they know they aren’t going to call the baby any variation of Sam, so it’ll be easy to drop once they do have a name.) at six weeks along, and shortly after New Year’s there’ll be a new collection of shots of Sammy at 20 weeks.

And Jimmy is more than happy to talk anyone-who-might-ask’s ear off about the whole thing.

He wrote about it. McGregor and Amy had been friends with benefits until about halfway through The Traitor Within, when things got more serious, and Most Precious started with them seeing the ultrasound of their baby. (The need for said ultrasound being what kicked them from friends with benefits to real lovers. Little known fact, yes, Tim bases all of his characters on people he knows, but that doesn’t mean they lead the same lives. He likes to take the core people and then imagine what they’d do in different situations. Let all of them live somewhat different lives.)

But actually standing there, holding Abby’s hand, looking at the small, grainy, white on black read out, watching that tiny heart thrum, hearing the fast woosh, woosh, woosh, just… blows his mind.

The ultrasound tech is pointing out leg buds and the tiny little beginnings of hands, and how the baby has a tail right now, but that’ll go away soon, and all of the details she’s talking about are sort of washing over him, blurring into a drone of white noise centered on that image of their child.

Their baby, about half an inch long, the size and shape of a small shrimp really, but theirs, and alive, and real.

And there aren’t words for it. He thought there were. Thought he could find them, thought he had found them, but like how he feels about Abby, there’s just… an approximation. It’s the difference between reading about the sun setting over the ocean through storm clouds, gleams of red, amber, and fire orange through black and silver, and actually seeing it first hand, feeling the wind on your skin and the cool of the water between your toes as the sun vanishes.

In general, Tim and Abby are both fairly positive people. And part of that comes from the fact that both of them have a certain coping mechanism that allows them to sort of shut out/gloss over/ignore unpleasant facts.

So, while it’s true it wasn’t a shock that Abby automatically gets considered a high risk pregnancy just because of her age, it also wasn’t the sort of thing either of them had been dwelling on. (Beyond both of them being very aware of Abby taking very good care of herself.)

And, it’s also not a shock that the risks for just about every possible thing that could go wrong with a baby get higher when you start out older, but that’s also something they haven’t been thinking about.

But, armed with a huge stack of information, and their OB suggesting that it would be a very good idea to see about having every sort of genetic testing available done soon, it’s kind of hard to shut that away. So they made an appointment for Nuchal Fold testing (see if the baby had Down’s Symdrome or a host of other issues) promised to read up, and pretty much stuffed the pamphlets not directly related to the care and feeding of a pregnant woman/baby in to Abby’s purse, and tried to ignore them.

It was much easier to look at the ultrasound pictures again than it was to think about what might be wrong.

They went straight from the OB appointment to Shabbat at Tony and Ziva’s place.  Fridays when they aren’t on call that weekend and haven’t caught a case tend to end pretty early for Team Gibbs these days. (Though it’ll even out again in the summer when the sun stays high until after eight.)

Gibbs pulled into the parking space next to theirs just as they were shutting the doors to Abby’s car.

“Gibbs! Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs!” Abby bounded over to him, wrapping him in a huge hug, almost before he’s all the way out of the car. He’s looking at Tim over her shoulder with a it’s great that you’re glad to see me, but we just saw each other two hours ago sort of look, but Tim’s grinning and pretty bouncy right now, too.

Abby finally pulls back and whips the copies of the ultrasound out of her purse. “Here, you have to see them! Look!”

Gibbs had his arm around Abby as she holds up the first of the shots, and Tim watched as a very deep, very satisfied smile spreads across Gibbs’ face.

He closed on both of them, pressing up against Abby’s other side, as she pointed out arm and leg buds and how the baby’s the size of her thumbnail.

Gibbs kissed Abby’s temple, not taking his eyes off the picture. “She’s beautiful Abbs.”

“We don’t know if she’s a she yet.”

Gibbs just smiled and squeezed Tim’s shoulder.

The rest of the crew cooed appreciatively over the scans once they got up to Tony and Ziva’s place.

“So, what are you going to call her, you know, until you know for sure she’s a she?” Breena asked.

The tradition of a temporary name took hold when Molly was still on the inside and it turned out that no one in their family liked calling a baby it. Tony had actually started it by calling her Golf Ball after Jimmy said that was about how big she was.

Which resulted in Jimmy declaring no kid of his was going by Golf Ball (so Tony kept calling her that for roughly the next four months, though Autopsy Baby, Baby Gremlin, Little Gremlin, and Palmlette, all got rotated through, as well). Breena came up with Gabe, which they both liked as a placeholder for until they knew more about their baby. (Like, for example, Gabe was a girl. In the two months between finding out Gabe was a girl and finally settling on Molly, Gabe became Gabrielle.)

Abby looked at Tim for a good tenth of a second, just long enough for him to nod. “McSciuto. After that, probably a family name. Got to make sure she’s really a girl first.”

“Family name, like, Gloria, right?” Breena asked.

“Glory McGee…” Tim cringed while Abby said it. “Wow… um… no. I mean, yes, that’s my mom’s name, but no… Don’t like that at all.”

“We’ll pick this up later. It’s time to light the candles,” Ziva broke in. They gathered around the dinner table. It’s traditional to have at least one candle per person at the gathering. The two main ones were on the table, the others scattered around the dining room. And while Ziva lit the two main candles, Tony turned off the lights, and lit the others.

Ziva said the first of the blessings, and then turned it over to Jimmy and Breena.

The Shabbat celebration starts with a general prayer of thanksgiving. Thanks for this day of rest. It’s followed by a blessing for each child present, given by their parents.

Jimmy held Molly as Breena laid her hands on Molly’s head, saying:

“Y'simcha elohim ksarah rivkah rahel v'lei'ah
Y'varech'cha adonai v'yishm'recha
Ya'eir adonai panav eilecha vihuneka
Yisa adonai panav eilecha v'yaseim l'cha shalom.”*

Tim watched, standing just behind Abby, his chin on her shoulder, hands on her hips, fingers lightly rubbing over her belly. This time next year, they’ll be doing this, too. And he knows he’s smiling, knows it probably looks stupid, but he doesn’t care. He kissed Abby’s neck, holding her close to him, thinking the blessing along with Breena, and it doesn’t matter that he’s not sure about the whole God thing, let alone Jewish, he deeply appreciates the value of this, and the vast respect visible in the idea of taking time out each and every week to tell your children you want the best for them and appreciate them.

He wonders idly if things could have been different with his dad if he had grown up in a culture that made time every week to bless your children, if his dad had grown up with that idea and been expected to pass it on. Hell, if he had grown up in a culture that expected you to put the working world aside one day a week and spend it resting with the people you loved. He catches Tony’s eye and has the feeling that Tony’s thought the same thing, maybe not right this second, but he’s wondered it.

Probably wouldn’t have mattered. Theoretically Catholics take Sundays off. His dad didn’t. Tony’s didn’t either. Eli David did grow up in this culture; it didn’t seem to do much for him. Not that John McGee or Tony DiNozzo Sr. were any prizes when it came to the dad lottery, but Eli David wasn’t so much a different level of bad dad, as an entirely different category. Though, in trying to be fair, Tim doesn’t know what Eli was like before Tali died, his family shattered, or Ari turned on him. Ziva doesn’t talk about that much.

But as he pets Abby’s stomach, he knows he will be a man who makes the time to be with his kids. And that the tiny person growing inside Abby is going to know that every single day of her life, she’s been loved.

*May God make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah/May God bless you and keep you/May God’s presence radiate upon you and grant you graciousness/May God’s presence be with you and grant you peace.


No comments:

Post a Comment