AUTHOR: Sage Harper
PROMPT: 09. Comfort
WORD COUNT: 1,903
SUMMARY: The impending arrival of their newest member means the team has to rally together.
WARNINGS: References to labour/childbirth (guess that might be a squick); and ‘Hiatus’.
DISCLAIMER: All the good stuff belongs to Donald P. Bellisario et all, I'm just borrowing and will put them back when I've finished. Lyrics courtesy of Burt Bacharach & Hal David.
“You know like in those old cowboy movies, when the guy gets tied between two horses which then run really fast in opposite directions?”
Jimmy Palmer swallowed, and nodded.
“Well that’s what it feels like.” Abby concluded, bracing herself against a table. “I hope you’re grateful to be a guy.”
“Uh, yes, sure.”
Despite the fact Palmer’s knowledge of women in pain, let alone that kind of pain, could fit on the back of a stamp; he felt that he ought to offer some assistance.
“Uh, is there anything I can do?” He asked hopefully
“Never, ever let me go through with this again. I want you to promise me Jimmy, that if I even mention vaguely pondering having another kid for you to slap me upside the head so hard it knocks the sense back into me.”
“Good, now go get Gibbs, I need him ASAP.”
“You know anything about delivering babies, Duck?”
“Well yes,” Ducky said, as he had been reading up to provide support for Abby, and partly out of his own curiosity “but it’s all hypothetical I’m afraid.”
“Yeah well, now’s the time to put it into practise.”
Abby gritted her teeth, feeling another pang of agony. McGee rubbed her back, hoping it would be some comfort.
“This is all your fault!” she shouted at Tony.
“Actually Abigail, my dear,” Ducky said mildly “Anthony is only fifty percent accountable.”
Gibbs stepped forward and head slapped DiNozzo anyway.
“Thanks Boss, I’ve definitely learnt my lesson.”
Gibbs turned to address his team, who with the exception of McGee, were stood awkwardly around the lab doorway.
“Ziva, you stay here and coordinate efforts from this end… Palmer you stay with her, and uh do whatever you can to assist… DiNozzo get the truck, the rest of us are going to the hospital.”
“How long will you be?” Ziva demanded “and what am I to tell Director Shepherd?”
“I don’t know, we’ll call you,” Gibbs answered exasperated “and ah hell just use your initiative.”
“Boss is it really necessary to drive like this?” DiNozzo said, his knuckles turning white gripping the door handle “I know you want to get there soon, but killing us all in the process isn’t going to help.”
“Relax DiNozzo, I’ve been driving since before you could even say car and never killed anyone … at least not that way.”
“Well y’know what they say about first time for everything.”
“Uh, do you guys hear something?” McGee began
“What aside from Abby cussing out the entire male population, and Ducky trying to talk her out of murdering us?” DiNozzo answered
“Nah I think she just wants to kill you,” Gibbs noted “You were saying, Tim.”
“Yeah, it sounds like something’s up with the truck.”
“Abs, Duck, can you keep quiet for a bit …” they listened intently “Right, thanks”
Gibbs pulled over.
“What’s going on?”
“Just a bit of mechanical trouble,” Gibbs gave a reassuring smile “DiNozzo’s fixing in.”
“Oh boss you gotta be kidding, I mean this is an Armani shirt.”
“You think Bug’s gonna be so picky about what she sicks up over?”
“Guess not … I’ll get to it then. Probie you hold the torch.”
Gibbs stepped inside the truck; Abby was comfortably laid on a gurney securely strapped in place. Ducky however was simply sat beside her.
“I can’t believe you rode shot gun,” he gently scolded his lover.
“Yeah with Gibbs driving,” Abby said, smiling at Ducky “that’s like; I can’t even imagine how brave you have to be to do that.”
“One person’s brave is another’s foolish.” Ducky noted “well now that we’ve stopped now would be a good time to examine you, umm that is if you would be comfortable with that.”
“I let Tony get a peek, so yeah not like I’ve got much in the way of virtue or high standards left.”
“I heard that,” DiNozzo called
Abby merely giggled
“You don’t mind sharing your ‘personal physician’, do you Gibbs?”
“Nah, course not Abs.”
“Three centimetres so far,” Ducky said, pre-empting Gibbs question “so quite a while to go yet.”
“DiNozzo and McGee aren’t having much luck either, should get them both on a mechanics course. I gave them a few pointers, so hopefully they’ll pay attention and we won’t be here all night.”
“I’m gonna go walk around.” Abby said, as she clambered to her feet.
“An excellent idea, shall we dance?”
“Well that would stretch my legs,” Ducky said seemingly oblivious to the incredulous looks “and take your mind of things for a bit.”
“But we don’t have any music,” Abby pointed out.
Ducky gave a sigh, and shook his head in a ‘oh dear, young people today’ fashion.
“Then we shall simply make our own.”
Gibbs watched Ducky take Abby’s arm, then moved to stand beneath the shade of an oak tree set back from the road but close to the truck. Ducky cleared his throat and began to sing the first thing that came to mind;
Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.
Gibbs had always thought it really naff when couples had ‘their song’, besides with his track record he’d have to write off half his record collection and that would be a shame; but there in that moment he began to almost see their point.
Why do stars fall down from the sky
Every time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.
From the twinkle in Ducky’s eye he had no doubts as to who the song was intended for. Gibbs was almost a bit embarrassed that Ducky would make such a romantic gesture, be so blatant about their relationship, especially in front of the children. It didn’t exactly do his image much good. Then the awkwardness passed. Ah to hell with ‘second b for bastard’; he was truly loved, and loved in return, that was more than a lot of people got in lifetime. He wasn’t going to be ashamed of that, Ducky deserved better.
On the day that you were born
The angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold
And starlight in your eyes of blue.
Abby caught on, smiling softly at Gibbs and singing along in her smoky voice.
That is why all the girls in town
Follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.
The truck roared back into life.
“See, knew we could fix it.” DiNozzo grinned. Looking toward Gibbs with an expression like a child or puppy desperate for approval.
“Atta boy,” Gibbs petted his hair, feeling that maybe he’d been a little bit harsh earlier. Not that he’d apologise, sign of weakness, besides DiNozzo should be able to read him and understand by now.
“This would only ever happen to me,” Abby stated, getting back into the truck.
“You did insist on coming into work today,” Gibbs pointed out.
“Only cause McGee said they can’t cope without me, well I guess they can, but not make as good a job.”
“Well they’re just gonna have to, you need to take care of yourself first off.”
“What if they do manage, better than manage, so much that you actually stop yelling at them and being mean; what will I do then?”
Gibbs kissed her cheek.
“No one can ever replace you Abs, you’ll always be my girl, I promise … you want me to ride in the back with you?”
“OK,” Gibbs settled himself beside her “Ducky’ll drive, which is probably the best thing. He’s the most sensible one here.”
“How’d you figure that?”
“He’s never had kids.”
“Did you, I mean when Kelly was born, were you there?” Abby asked
“What was it like; how did you feel?”
Gibbs chuckled a little.
“I was beyond terrified,” he admitted “knowing that your whole life is about to change, that in a matter of hours this brand new person will be entirely dependant on you. But it was also amazing, so exciting, full of hope.”
“Yeah, that’s pretty much how I’m feeling.”
“Good, shows you’re taking it seriously, it’s the ones who aren’t scared that you gotta worry about.”
“Do you think I’ll be a good mom?”
“You’ll be the best mom you can be.”
“But what if that’s not good enough?”
“Everyone second guesses, beats themselves up, wishes they could go back and get it right… all you can do is hope for the best and set aside money for therapy. Just make sure they don’t wind up like me.”
“Why? I think you’re pretty cool, and you’re dedicated to your job, make the world a better place, and ex-wives notwithstanding you’re not too bad at relationships.”
If Jethro Gibbs was the blushing type he would have blushed at that moment.
“Yeah, you’re not too bad yourself.”
“Here we are, all in one piece.”
“Yeah amazingly,” DiNozzo muttered. For someone who was so affable and wise there were times when Ducky could be every bit as scary and reckless as Gibbs. It was probably even worse, because well at least with Gibbs you could anticipate it.
Between them Ducky and Gibbs extracted the gurney, and wheeled Abby into the hospital. McGee walked beside them, holding her hand.
“Can I help you?” asked the smiling receptionist.
It was a cacophony. McGee tried to answer all the questions, but faltered with nerves and shock of the situation. So was frequently interrupted by Abby. Gibbs promptly collared a passing nurse and started demanding everything he thought Abby would need; including every form of pain relief he could recall the name off. Ducky came to stand beside him, attempting to calm his lover and correcting him that morphine really wouldn’t be necessary.
DiNozzo, having been delayed by having to lock up the truck, had followed along a moment later. He stood there, trying not to laugh, and thinking ‘poor bastards don’t know what’s hit ‘em’. He whistled for quiet, and amazingly they all responded.
“Excuse me,” the receptionist began, grateful to get a word in “but only one of you can stay with Ms. Sciuto. So umm which of you is the father?”
“He is,” DiNozzo answered, pointing to McGee, it was almost a reflex.
McGee looked to his colleague, hesitant and curious.
“You go with her Probie; you’ll be the best support.”
“The rest of us will wait here for you Abs,” DiNozzo reassured her “and everything will be fine, so don’t you worry.”
“Guess we’re gonna be here a while,” Gibbs said once Abby and McGee had left “so I’ll go get us …”
“No need Boss” DiNozzo produced a large thermos flask “I had Palmer brew up some decent coffee before we left. Didn’t figure the stuff they make here would hit the spot.”
Gibbs took the flask, and took a grateful sip.
“You’ve trained him well Duck.” He commented
“They’ve all been trained well,” Ducky smiled. “Shall I go and ring the others?”
“Yeah, they’ll probably be less pissed at you.”
After a few moments Ducky returned to the waiting room, and sat down. Gibbs was already pacing the floor, DiNozzo making eyes at a petite blonde consultant. And so the vigil began.