Life on the Mountain

Summary: While Tony and a very pregnant Ziva are hiding from danger in a safe house cabin in the middle of nowhere with minimal contact, Ziva goes into labor and Tony has to deliver their baby. Warning: Semi-graphic childbirth.

They had been in hiding. Hiding for a long time as their enemy searched for them. Only Tony, Ziva, and Team Gibbs new of the safe houses' location. In the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the woods on a mountainside. Gibbs was the only one they had been in contact with during this time, bringing in food, clothing, and other supplies that was needed for the past 3 months. Whoever was after them wanted Tony DiNozzo to suffer. Way back when Tony was a cop in Baltimore, Nathaniel Sanders claimed that after he was put away for attempted murder, assault on a federal officer, and for the using, producing, selling and distribution of meth, when he was released after his sentence, he lost everything. His wife took their kids and had left the state. He couldn't get a job anywhere. After joining a dangerous gang, he vowed revenge by threatening to make DiNozzo's life a living hell. Taking away everything Tony had and he would hurt and rip away everyone Tony loved and cherished. DiNozzo knew that his intentions were to kill and that Nathaniel was also smart, so rule 44 went into action. It was very dangerous, not to mention stressful which wasn't good for Ziva in any case...considering the fact that Tony and Ziva were married and Ziva was heavily pregnant with their first child. "You took away my family! So I'm going to take yours and make them scream."

Those words echoed in DiNozzo's mind after a phone call. Which meant that they were being watched. So in the cover of night, Tony and Ziva packed what few belongings they needed and Gibbs took them on a long drive to a remote safe house on a mountain in the woods. The case work at NCIS Headquarters was a bit more taxing without the DiNozzo's there to help. But with McGee and Bishop, and Dorni along with another Probie Agent, they took up the slack and the team pulled together. While Tony and Ziva were and hiding, and in an old cabin at that, Tony and Gibbs tried the best they could; making sure Ziva was healthy and comfortable, and calm, but they knew it wasn't exactly enough. Bishop would often send fruit and vegetables with Gibbs, as well as the occasional sweet or craving for Ziva, which she appreciated. Ziva knew they were doing what they could and she always kept assuring them that she and the baby were fine no matter how tired or uncomfortable she actually felt. Not to mention that she was worried, her mind flooding with the 'What if's' about her condition and the baby. It wouldn't have bothered her too much but she was far along in her pregnancy so it made it more high risk.

Ziva would occupy herself with exploring, her and Tony thinking of baby names. She must have studied all of her baby and pregnancy books, courtesy of Abby, at least 100 times already on what to expect during labor and delivery, absorbing as much knowledge as she could. She even asked Tony to drill her by asking her questions and he was impressed. "I think we're ready, Dr. Quinn." He had said to her one day. Of course Ziva became confused and Tony had to tell her it was a tv show about a woman Dr. It was meant as a compliment, which she smiled at. Ziva was in her last month with only a few days to go and she was getting nervous. Not to go unnoticed by her husband. Tony had been very supportive of her and he told her every time that she doubted or had a nightmare that he loved her and he wouldn't let anything happen to her or their unborn child. Ziva always seemed to take comfort in that as he held her close and gently rocked back and forth until she'd fall asleep and then he'd lay back down with his arm wrapped around his wife's large belly.

It had been a hot sunny day and Ziva was thankful for the cool breeze that came in the evenings as it started to get darker. She sighed and rubbed her sore back, a normal occurrence now, and she felt her soft stomach go rock hard as the muscles tightened. She breathed through the pain that followed, knowing of the Braxton Hicks that normally happened near the end of pregnancy. They were unusually painful this time around. Tony had said 4 days ago that he had noticed her stomach drop as well, which meant that the baby had changed positions and that meant that her body was getting ready; preparing itself to give birth. Ziva was sitting on a large boulder a little ways down the mountainside from the cabin safe house. It was a small glad she had found while doing a little exploring one day and it became a favorite place to just sit and look at the beauty of nature around her, a place that felt warm, peaceful and quiet. It is where her husband now found her. Coming up from behind, Tony put his hands on her shoulders and kissed the top of her head. "Back sore?" Ziva nodded. "Yes. I'm just achy all over as usual and I have no energy these days. You know I've been like this lately." She said, agitated. Tony chuckled as he started to massage her back, knowing just where it was bothering her as he rubbed out the knots. "I know. You've been in pain since around noon." Ziva briefly glanced at him. "So you noticed, huh? Well it hasn't gone away..It may have gotten worse actually." She said, hissing a little as he worked out the tight muscles in her lower back. Ziva sighed. "I also feel like a bloated balloon." Tony didn't bother to correct her, knowing from experience just how sensitive her hormones had made her. In one word-Scary. Well, and angry Ziva was scary enough, but a pregnant angry was becoming difficult to find places to hide.

Gibbs had even found him under his desk at one point. Tony went as far as hiding in Autopsy. When Ziva came in looking for him, Bishop, Ducky and Jimmy Palmer said nothing. In unison they pointed to the next table with what looked like just a dead body that was covered with a white sheet so it couldn't be seen. Once Ziva passed them, Bishop and Jimmy looked at each other, smirking and trying not to laugh. But a quick clearing of the throat from Ducky brought them back and they put on strait faces again. The first time Tony corrected her they were at work and he almost received a pen in the eye. Luckily he had ducked just in time and turned to see the pen embedded in the back wall of his office area where his head had been just a few seconds before. The second time they were at home and Ziva pushed him off the bed, twisted his arm, made him say uncle, and he ended up sleeping on the couch. Many more similar things happened throughout the pregnancy. Afterwards though, Ziva had apologized every time and then they would go do something fun or romantic together. And it wasn't always Tony correcting her that made Ziva upset. O ther things as well, but they always 'kissed and made up'-(Not 'kiss and make out'...okay maybe a couple of times. ;)

Ziva moaned in response to his touch. "You're pregnant, Ziva. You're so beautiful." DiNozzo went and kneeled in front of her. "You're doing something I can't do." He said with a smile, putting his left hand on her cheek. Ziva smiled back and leaned her head into his touch. "You're giving life. Making another human being. I can't do that. The only thing I can do" Tony trailed off, trying to think of something awesome that men can do that was just as important aaaaaaaand...he couldn't think of anything that would hold a candle to what his wife was doing right now. What she has been doing these past almost 9 months. "Well I had a little help." Said Ziva, taking his hand and kissing it, then let it rest on her belly. "What is that phrase? It takes two to tango, yes?" Tony nodded. "Bravo for getting it right." He then frowned when he saw her grimace a little. "Hey." He put his hand on her knee. "You okay?" He asked, the concern evident in his voice. Ziva didn't answer right away as she focused on just breathing through the pain that went through her lower back and across her stomach, this time stronger. "It is just more of those..Braxton Hicks contractions, Tony." Ziva breathed, licking her lips as she put her hand over his. "At least I think it is...Okay, I am actually not so sure." She gave in at Tony's expression as she glanced down at her stomach as the pain eased away. "How long has this been going on?" Tony asked as he stood up and offered his hands. Whenever Ziva had Braxton Hicks contractions, Tony knew the best thing was for her to lie down and he'd help massage her stomach to relax the protesting muscles. "Since around noon, just like you said earlier. Though it wasn't this uncomfortable." Ziva grunted as she took his hands and he helped her stand up. Once she was steady, (because nearer the end of pregnancy the equilibrium tends to be off) still holding Tony's hand, they started to go back to the cabin, walking up the small trail. Ziva had only taken a few steps before she felt something inside that didn't feel right and she stopped, gripping her husband's hand. Her other hand went to her belly, her mouth forming an 'O' shape and here eyes wide. "Zi? What is it?" Tony asked worriedly. "I'm not sure." She replied. "I..I think-gasp!" Ziva and Tony both looked down to see a puddle forming on the ground and it started trickling down the mountainside.

"Oh my god! Tony, my water just broke." Ziva said as she became very uncomfortable. "Something tells me that those pains weren't Braxton Hicks." Tony sort of joked as they started up the hill, being careful and making sure Ziva didn't stumble over the many loose stones and tree roots. "Oh, ya think?" She exclaimed, stepping over a small fallen log. Now that she knew what was going on the adrenaline kicked in. "Oh!" Tony looked back at his wife to see her eyes screwed shut and he stands there awkwardly awhile she squeezes his hand and experiences what must be a contraction. After a few moments it passed and Ziva breathed out her relief. "These pains I've been having all day are definitely not fake contractions. I just didn't recognize the signs." Tony nodded. "Yeah I remember. The sweating and cooling off, your restlessness. Didn't you also say you were feeling a bit of a downwards pressure this morning? I should have caught it. But let's focus on getting back to the cabin alright? Can you do that?" Ziva nodded. "Yes. Let's just hurry because the pressure and I'm afraid the pain has definitely started to increase...And it's only going to get stronger from now on." She said, and husband and wife went steadily up the hill.

They had to stop at least 3 times when a contraction would course through Ziva's body and she would either lean against Tony or a tree and focus on breathing to get her mind off of the pain that definitely made itself known through the strain Tony saw on his wife's face. They finally reached the side of the cabin and were heading to the entrance before Ziva had another contraction, a stronger one, actually making her moan deep in her throat. The pain threatened to make her knees buckle so she squatted down, a hand on her belly as she did so and Tony went with her. "You're doing good, doing good." He said. Her grip got tighter. "It's building up." Ziva whimpered, grimacing with eyes closed tight. Then a few seconds later her body relaxed and she let out a sigh, breathing her relief through pursed lips. She opened her eyes. "You did it." Tony said with a grin as he moved a strand of her long dark curly hair from her face. Ziva smiled back wearily. "That was a big one..Thank you, Tony." "You okay?" Ziva nodded and he helped her stand back up and they went inside the cabin.

Well that is the end of Part I. Hop you, the reader, liked it so far. Please feel free to compliment or even if you just want to talk about Cote/Ziva/Tiva because you love and miss her, I'm here for that, too. R.I.P. Ralph Waite-who played The dad in 'The Waltons' and Jackson Gibbs on NCIS. He will be missed and I hope they give him a good finale like they said they would. TEAM GIBBS and TEAM TIVA! (Throws in Hunger games hand sign of respect & whistle.) Remember this is a very realistic childbirth takign place so if you feel queasy, don't read.