Wicked Game

By Lizabeth S. Tucker

Tony DiNozzo walked into Abby Sciuto's kingdom, below the street level of NCIS. He was pushing Tali in her stroller. The child had been turned over to him by Mossad after Ziva David, her mother, was allegedly killed in an attack on the farmhouse where she and Tali were living. Apparently, Ziva had told Orli Elbaz, the current Director of Mossad, that he was the father.

Unfortunately, that was impossible. Not because they didn't have sex, because they finally did, at that same farmhouse. But Tony had been a player for much too long to have unprotected sex, especially with a woman that also had a track record in sexual congress. Of course, there is always a possibility that his condom mysteriously failed.

The first step was to have a DNA testing. And he needed Abby for that. He smiled at her, dancing at her monitor, totally unaware she had visitors due to the music blaring out from her speakers. Hopefully the short exposure wouldn't damage little Tali's ears.

Leaving the stroller by the door, Tony stepped across the room and turned the volume down on the CD player.

"Hey!" Abby spun around, a smile breaking out across her face. "Tony! Are you back? Did you change your mind about leaving us? Say you're coming back!"

Before he could respond, her sparkling green eyes fell on the stroller. "TALI!"

Abby darted to the stroller, reaching in to pick the young child up. She twirled around, causing Tali to break out in giggles. After a few moments, Abby came to a stop, tucking her closer to her side.

"From the look on your face, I'm thinking this isn't just a visit. So, spill."

"I need you to do a paternity test. DNA, Abs, not just blood."

"You don't think," she glanced down at the child in her arms, frowning.

"There's a chance, but a very, very small one."

"But she looks like you."

"Please, Abby. I trust you to do it right."

Biting her lip, Abby nodded. She handed Tali back to Tony, whipping around the room to pick up what she needed. "You know it will take at least 72 hours to get the results, even with a rush on it."

"Yeah, I know. I won't be leaving for about a week."

"Open wide." Abby ran a swab around Tony's mouth, focusing on his cheek area. After slipping it into a sealed tube, she took another and did the same for a puzzled Tali.

"Good girl, this won't hurt. Open up!" Abby opened her own mouth to show Tali what to do, finishing taking the sample before the child could react negatively.

"Call me at this number when you have the results." Tony began to settle Tali back in her stroller, pausing to look up at the black haired woman. "Abby, tell no one about this."

She nodded, miming zipping her mouth closed.


The cellphone rang just as Tony was finishing folding the laundry. "Sweetie, for such a small person, you can certainly make a lot of dirty clothes."

"DiNozzo," he said into the phone.

"Tony, I have the results back."

Abby's voice was strange, leading Tony to ask, "Have you looked at them yet?"

"I…yes, I did."

"I'm on my way."

This time he stopped in Autopsy before going to see Abby.

"Ducky, Jimmy. Can you watch Tali while I visit with Abby? We have some serious adult stuff to talk about and I don't want little ears confused by what we say."

"Of course, my dear boy. I would love to watch her." Ducky wheeled the stroller into his small office. There were some soft toys there for when his goddaughter visited.

Jimmy frowned. "You okay?"

"Working on it. I'll tell you everything later, Jim."

"Over dinner. Bree is cooking pot roast and always overdoes it. We could use one or two more mouths."

"Sounds good."

Although fairly certain of the results, Tony still had to take a deep breath before walking into the lab. "Abby?"

"You suspected, didn't you?" She held the results folder in her hand, waving it at him.

"I thought it might…tell me what it said." He nodded at the folder.

"Okay, okay." She pulled the papers out. "You are related to the test subject, but not directly. Based on the test results, you have a sibling relationship."

"In other words, Senior is the father."

Abby nodded. "Senior is the father. I know he flirted with us, but I didn't think he acted on it."

"Dad has always been attracted to beautiful women with power or money or both. Even though Eli was dead, Ziva's connections could ease Dad's money-making plans in that part of the world. Plus, Eli left Ziva a pile of money."

"Really? I didn't hear that."

"She told me when we stayed at the farmhouse. Eli David was quite wealthy. Although I doubt if much of it was obtained legally. That isn't my problem, thank heavens. That means she was the perfect mark for Dad."

"But what did Ziva see in Senior? I'm sorry, Tony, I like your Dad, but he's not you."

Tony shrugged. "If I'm right, they hooked up shortly before I followed her to Israel. I probably sound self-centered or the like, but I think she went after Dad because, prior to this, I consistently turned her down. Maybe it was revenge, maybe it was because we look so closely alike. Hell, maybe she was really attracted to him. He can be charming when he wants something."

"As we all learned. I never apologized for ignoring everything I knew about him when he first showed up here. Your stories, I just…"

"You couldn't believe anyone could be that cruel to a child. That's because you had a great family. Your parents may not have told you that you were adopted, but they loved you so very much. It's hard for children of loving parents to truly understand those that aren't." He sighed. "In Senior's defense, once he stopped drinking to excess, he got better. But he has always been self-involved. We've gotten to a better place, but I've never forgotten that."

"He's been good with Tali, hasn't he? I mean, you let him watch her when you came in to resign."

"Yeah, he's…better. But, I never told any of you that I had my neighbor keeping an eye out. I had nanny cams in my place and she was making certain he didn't wander off with or without her."

"Oh, Tony." Abby tossed the papers down, reaching out to pull him into one of her intense hugs.

He let himself relax into it, resting his check against her shoulder. He breathed in her unique scent of gunpowder and… "Cloves?"

"A new mixture I'm trying out. Like it?"

"Suits you."


They stood that way for a few more moments before breaking apart.

"Where is Tali now?"

"With Ducky and Jimmy."

"Do you think your Dad knows?" Abby asked. "Do you think Ziva knew?"

"I doubt Dad knows. And I'm not going to tell him. Neither will you. Those papers need to be shred."

Abby nodded, walking to the secure shred bucket and shoving the report inside. "Done."

"As to Ziva? Who knows what she was thinking. She had to know that I was using protection, it is kind of obvious. Maybe she actually told Orli the truth, but didn't tack on the senior to the name. Unless she actually survived that attack and fire, we may never know."

"Do you think she did survive? Isn't that why you are going to Paris?"

Tony didn't know what to say, thinking back to all he said shortly after hearing of Ziva's death.


"No, I believe she really is dead. Ziva wouldn't have just left her child alone. Based on what Orli shared, she really loved Tali. Hell, she named her after her beloved sister. I think I was too much in shock to take it in. Plus, all my own personal issues."

"So are you still going to Paris?"

"Paris and London and Australia and Jamaica. When Tali is old enough to appreciate what she's seeing. I've had some time to think, Abby, and I want to give my daughter an upbringing that shows her support and love and security."

"And a father who is there for her, never makes her doubt herself, always supports her."


"What will you do?"

"I'll still need a job ultimately. I've been good about saving my money, never had much time to spend it working here. I've been offered a teaching job at Ohio State, so I'll be moving to Columbus, Ohio. I need to find a house and a dog and a housekeeper."

"Tony, that's terrific! Not the so far away Ohio part, but the house and the job part."

"That is also just between us, Abs. Jimmy will know tonight, but I'm needing some time to reinvent myself before I start sharing with anyone else."

"Hey, no reinventions. I expect to see the real Tony DiNozzo when I come to visit. Understand? Because he's a great guy that got lost over the years."

"Yeah, he certainly did get lost. I promise. And I'll send you my address once I settle in. And, maybe, we can have a Thanksgiving and/or Christmas get-together."


"Pinky promise." He held his pinky out to seal it with the woman who had become his best friend, only to slide away after Kate had died and Gibbs had left for Mexico.

"Go get your beautiful daughter and start your search. If you need anything, Tony, you call me. Got it?"

"Got it!"

~ June 2016