Friday, October 4, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 217

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

Chapter 217: First Time Father

May 22, 2015.

Another doctor’s appointment.

Another ultrasound.

And yeah, the 4d picture show complete with thumb sucking and kicking was awfully cute. There was indeed cooing from both parental units at that. Close ups of little feet and hands resulted in even more cooing.

But the transvaginal wand came out again, and the placenta is still “low,” hasn’t moved at all.

But Abby’s still at no effacement and no dilation, so for the time being everything is still, okay.

They make another appointment for June 5th, with the understanding that if contractions start, any of them, at all, they’ll make one sooner.

There is a point in every first-time pregnant father’s life that can best be described as, “Oh Shit! That kid’s gotta come out, and it’s going to happen soon! I don't know what to do. Shit!”

This moment comes in many styles and flavors.

Gibbs remembers it very clearly. He’d gotten home, and found Shannon in Kelly’s room, surrounded by doll clothing. And he just stood there, staring at her sitting on the floor, surrounded by this huge pile of doll clothing, that she had very carefully laundered and was folding up, thinking how absurd it was that a twenty-three-year-old woman, who was about to be a mother of all things, would start playing with dolls all of a sudden.

And he stood there, watching her fold them up, not getting it for a good, solid two minutes, and it slowly dawned on him there was no doll in the room, and that all of that tiny clothing was going to go on a real person, a real person who would be making her way out of his wife’s body, and his knees went weak and he had to sit down or he was going to pass out.

He still feels a little stupid when he remembers it.

But, anyway, he was expecting that sooner or later (and as the weeks went by later got bumped off the menu and all there was was sooner) that Tim would show up with that scared and determined look he got when he ran into something that was uncomfortable but he was going to master it on his face.

And Gibbs was ready for it. He’d been prepping for it since they told him Abby was pregnant. He was bound and determined to be useful and calming for this.

So, of course, that’s not how it worked. Abby showed up in a blind baby’s-coming-soon-what-the-hell-am-I-gonna-do panic.

This of course shot his plan to hell and gone. Among other things step one was offer scotch, and that certainly wasn’t going to work.

She’s pacing (well, waddling) around his living room, rambling on about how this kid is going to come out and she doesn’t know what to do or how to be a Mom and this little girl is going to be entirely dependent on her for everything and nothing’s ever been entirely dependent on her and what if she screwed it up because sometimes she does that and it’s not okay to screw things up, she can’t screw it up, Kelly’s gonna depend on her, and Tim does too and she can’t—

Gibbs finally figured out what to do. He gently took both of her shoulders in his hands, and held onto her for a long minute, his lips pressed against her head, and he just held her still, stopping the spinning of her mind and body.

When he felt her start to relax he pulled back a little, smiled, and kissed her forehead.

“You’re gonna screw up. Tim is too. I’m gonna do it. Penny is. So’s Ducky. We’re all going to screw things up with Kelly. But she’ll be fine. And so will you. And so will Tim. I screwed up with my Kelly and so did Shannon. My parents screwed up with me. Yours did with you and Luca. It happens to everyone.”

And Abby burst into tears.

So he cuddled her against his shoulder and rubbed her back.

It turned out that was probably the right answer.

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