Tony Dinozzo, Undercover Marine

Chapter Eleven

Set one month after “Agent Afloat” (two years and one month after they met).

The hardest part of Tony’s absence was the radio silence. JJ knew why he couldn’t contact her, they couldn’t risk the wrong people finding out about their relationship, but it didn’t make it any easier. The only sign of life that she had received was a postcard that had arrived three weeks after he had left and JJ had handled it so many times that it had become dog-eared.

JJ hadn’t allowed herself to cry since the day Tony had left to become agent afloat, not even the day that the postcard arrived. She refused to be one of those women who spent their evenings in tears just because their husbands were away. The day her older sister had committed suicide, JJ had sworn that she wouldn’t allow her emotions to rule her – a promise that she continued to try and keep. Sure she missed Tony, but there just wasn’t any point dwelling on it. Crying wouldn’t make her feel any better.

Instead, with the help of her team’s full case load, JJ kept herself busy. When she wasn’t travelling halfway across the country to investigate unsubs she was travelling to North Versailles to visit her parents on her days off or renovating her garden. It wasn’t the best time of year to be digging up plants and planting new ones, but it was a distraction.

Her self-distraction worked perfectly well for a month, until she woke up one Monday morning nauseous. She tried to ignore it, but when she vomited her breakfast into one of her rosebushes on her way to her car she gave in and called in sick. The nausea disappeared within a few hours and when JJ received a call to say that the team were flying out to Indiana to investigate a serial arsonist she met them at the airport. There was no point in laying around at home if she felt perfectly fine.

When she woke up the next morning and promptly emptied her stomach contents into the hotel toilet, JJ couldn’t help but cry. She hated being sick when they were on a case, being sick in a random hotel when her team was running around trying to catch a serial killer was not her idea of a good time. Not only did she feel gross and sick, but she was also tired, so very very tired, and she missed Tony!

She spent a couple of minutes sobbing on the bathroom floor and then pulled herself together and turned the shower on. Hopefully the nausea would disappear by mid-morning again and if not, at least she’d feel clean. When she got out of the shower she was already feeling a little better so she joined the team for breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

The sight of Morgan’s scrambled eggs was almost enough to make her vomit again, but she forced her nausea down and nibbled on some dry toast.

“Are you alright?” Emily looked concerned. “You look a little peaky.”

“Peaky?” JJ smiled in amusement. “What kind of word is that?”

“It originated in the nineteenth century.” Reid answered seriously. “It is a derivative of the word peak which can mean to decline in health and spirits or waste away.”

“Thanks, Reid.” Emily grinned. “Don’t you think that JJ looks as though she is declining in health?”

Reid tilted his head to the side as he stared at JJ before nodding. “You do look a bit pale.”

“I’m fine.” JJ assured them. “I’m just feeling a bit nauseous.” She watched suspiciously as Emily and Morgan exchanged a look. “What?”

“Nothing.” Emily widened her eyes innocently. “We hope you feel better soon.”

Morgan just smirked at her.

The nausea disappeared within an hour of breakfast and JJ was able to get on with her job, a fact that she was very thankful for. It was hard enough when unsubs were killing one person a time let alone when they were killing whole buildings of people.

When her nausea returned the next morning JJ wanted to scream and the amused looks that Emily and Morgan gave her over breakfast didn’t help. The nausea disappeared by midmorning again, but JJ couldn’t help but feel immense relief when they caught the unsub that night. She wasn’t sure what she was more relieved about: the fact that Tommy wouldn’t be setting any more fires or that she only had one more night before she would be sleeping in her own bed.

She wasn’t surprised when she woke up with nausea the next morning and as she knelt on the bathroom floor, vomiting into the toilet, she tried to figure out what could be causing it. It obviously wasn’t food poisoning or a stomach bug, which left more serious illness and…

Suddenly JJ realised what Morgan and Emily had been smirking about. How could she have missed it? She was feeling nauseous in the morning, she had morning sickness. Was she pregnant?

Once her stomach had finished rejecting everything she had eaten the night before, JJ brushed her teeth and then got in the shower. Their plane wasn’t leaving until ten and Hotch had told them that they could sleep in if they wanted – she had plenty of time to buy a pregnancy test.

The convenience store was only a few minutes away and JJ tried to ignore the amused look that the teenaged clerk gave her as she rang up the two tests. She walked back briskly and managed to make it back to her room without being seen by any of her team.

The instructions said that it would take five minutes for the pregnancy tests to show a result, so, after having peed on the sticks, JJ began packing her bag. She felt so anxious, what if it was a yes? She and Tony had talked about children – of course they had – but they had both agreed that the best plan was to wait until Tony’s assignment at NCIS was finished. But at the same time, the idea of being pregnant thrilled her. What if it was a no? She hadn’t realised how much she longed to be a mother until the idea that she might be pregnant had crossed her mind.

She finished packing in record time and moaned in frustration when she realised that she still had another minute to wait. So she stripped the bedding of her bed to help the cleaning service.

Finally the five minutes was up and JJ picked up the tests and looked at them. At the sight of two lines she burst into tears. She wanted Tony! He should be here for this. He should be sitting on the bed beside her and holding her hand. Hugging her with excitement and exclaiming that he was going to be a father. Instead he was somewhere in the middle of the ocean on a boat and she had no way of contacting him and telling him the good news. She didn’t even know when he would be back. Sure she knew he would definitely be back after ten months, but that was a long time – particularly in terms of pregnancy. What if he was gone for so long that he missed the entire pregnancy?

She sobbed for a few minutes, missing Tony with all her heart, before eventually her tears dried out. It was strange to feel so sad and so happy at the same time. She was going to have a baby! A gorgeous little baby. She was going to be a mommy!

JJ wondered what the etiquette for telling people was in this situation. Normally she wouldn’t have even considered anyone before Tony, but Tony was away. She wouldn’t tell her team straight away, particularly not after Emily and Morgan’s amused smirks, but maybe she could ring her mom. Or better yet, drive up and visit her parents on her next days off. First though, she should probably she a doctor so that she could at least tell her mother when to expect her next grandchild.

11-11-11

JJ was relieved when she was able to get an appointment to see a doctor after work the next day. The appointment was shorter than she had expected, and after some questions and a few tests the doctor confirmed that she was pregnant and told her that her due date was in December.

After doing the maths, JJ winced. That meant that she had conceived around the same time as her and Tony’s wedding. Her brother would never let her live it down.

She drove straight from the doctors to her parents’ house and arrived at about nine thirty – exhausted and starving. She had never been so glad that her parents weren’t the kind of people who went to bed at eight thirty or nine.

“Jenny?” Dad asked in surprise when he opened the door.

“Surprise!” JJ grinned at him and stepped forward to kiss his cheek. “Sorry, I meant to text you guys, but I’ve had a lot on my mind.”

Dad embraced her tightly, before taking her bag and ushering her in. “Come in. Your mom is in the lounge.”

Mom was just as surprised to see her as Dad had been and dropped her book on the floor when she stood up to pull JJ into a hug.

“Why didn’t you tell us you were coming?” Mom admonished. “Are you hungry? Of course you are, you just drove four hours. What do you feel like? There’s some chicken left over from dinner if you’d like it?”

JJ hugged her mom tightly and forced back the tears that threatened to spill over. “Chicken sounds great, mom. I can heat it up though. You go back to your book.”

When she had heated up some leftovers, JJ carried them into the lounge and ate as she listened as her mom filled her in on the latest family gossip. Apparently her sixteen year old nephew, Matthew, had his first girlfriend.

After she had finished her dinner, JJ swallowed nervously and waited for her mom to finish her latest story.

“I, uh, have something to tell you guys.” She told them.

Dad put down the book he had been reading and gave her a worried look. “Nothing bad, I hope.”

“No,” JJ said quickly. “I’m pregnant.”

Mom beamed with excitement. “Oh how wonderful! Did you hear that, Paul? We’re going to have another grandchild.”

“Congratulations.” Dad said, coming over to hug her.

“When are you due?” Mom asked quickly.

“December.” JJ replied as she returned her Dad’s embrace.

Mom looked delightful. “A Christmas baby! We haven’t had one of those yet. So you’re in your second trimester then?”

“Yes.” JJ sat down again when her dad released her. “I only just realised this week. Don’t most women know after a month or something?”

“Every woman is different.” Mom reassured her. “Some woman don’t find out they’re pregnant until they’re in labour.”

“Really?” JJ raised her eyebrows sceptically.

“How have you been?” Dad asked.

“Good, until this week at least.” JJ answered him. “I’ve had morning sickness since Monday. It’s always gone by mid-morning though, so it’s not so bad.”

“I remember when your mom was pregnant with Andrea,” Dad smiled. “It felt as though she spent the entire nine months chucking. It was so bad that she swore never to do it again.”

JJ had heard the story before and grinned. “Good thing Rosaline was a surprise then, otherwise you might not have had me or Randy.”

“I just couldn’t believe the difference.” Mom said. “I didn’t know I was pregnant with Rosaline until I was sixteen weeks along, it was just that different.”

“Have you been able to get word to Tony?” Dad asked.

JJ shook her head. “No, and I won’t be able to. I just hope he comes home soon. I don’t want him to miss the entire thing.”

Mom came over and gave her a hug. “I hope he does too. But even if he doesn’t, he won’t be missing the whole thing. He’ll still be able to be there when your child is growing up.”

“I know.” JJ sighed into her mom’s shoulder. “I just miss him.”

“I know you do, sweetheart.” Mom told her. “I know you do.”

11-11-11

“Hotch?” JJ knocked on the door to his office.

“Come in.” Hotch’s voice called and JJ pushed the door open before stepping in.

“Do you have a minute?” JJ asked.

Hotch’s mouth curved into one of his almost smiles as he gestured towards one of the seats. “This seems familiar.”

JJ smiled in amusement and sit down, laying the folder she was holding on her lap. “Yes, I suppose it does.”

“How can I help you, JJ?” Hotch asked kindly.

“I’m pregnant.” She told him softly. “I thought you would want to know.”

Hotch didn’t look surprised as he smiled. “Congratulations.”

JJ narrowed her eyes. “You already knew didn’t you?”

“I suspected.” Hotch admitted. “Haley had morning sickness when she was pregnant with Jack.”

“Oh.” JJ nodded. “I’m about fourteen weeks along.”

“Thank you for telling me.” Hotch said. “Are you still having morning sickness?”

JJ sighed. “Yes, every morning, but it’s nothing I can’t work through.”

“I’m glad.” Hotch gave her an almost smile. “Do you plan to tell the team?”

“Yes,” JJ answered as she stood up and handed them the file. “I’ll tell them in the briefing.”

“We have a case?” Hotch asked quickly opening the file.

“Sorry for not telling you first.” JJ said.

“It’s fine.” Hotch reassured her, not looking up from the file.

Ten minutes later the most of the team was assembled around the table in the briefing room and JJ was standing in front of the screen.

“Where’s Emily?” Morgan asked looking around.

“Here.” Emily answered as she entered and sat down beside Reid. “Sorry I’m late.”

“It’s fine.” Hotch told her, before turning his attention to JJ. “JJ?”

“We have a new case.” JJ told them. “But first, there’s something I need to tell you.”

“You’re pregnant.” Emily said with an excited smile.

“Yes.” JJ rolled her eyes fondly at Emily’s triumphant grin

Reid looked stunned. “Wow, congratulations, JJ!”

Emily stood up and moved to hug her. “Yes, congratulations.”

11-11-11

‘“Oh, Charles!” Susanne cried. “How brave you are! Are you hurt?”

Charles stood proudly, surrounded by the bodies of his enemies. “Never, darling.”

BOOM!!!

An explosion rocked a building near them and Susanne let out a loud scream and threw herself at Charles, her curves pressed up against his body…’

Tony put down his book with a grimace. It was an awful trashy book that contained not much more than women, explosions and bad grammar. He’d read some pretty terrible books during the three months he’d been the agent afloat on the USS Reagan, but this one was just too bad for him to handle. Staring at the ceiling would be a more enjoyable use of his time. Thankfully he was going home!

A knock at the door of his office, jolted him out of his thoughts.

“Come in.”

A young sailor stood in the doorway. “Agent Dinozzo? Captain sent me. We’re docked.”

“Really?” Tony grinned at him and stood quickly, throwing his bag over his shoulder.

“Yeah.” The sailor rolled his eyes and Tony had to prevent himself from snarling at the disrespectful boy.

It wasn’t the kids fault, he was just following the lead of everyone else on the damn ship and Tony knew that his ‘Very Special Agent Dinozzo’ persona hadn’t exactly helped him earn their respect.

Tony picked up the book and handed it to the sailor. “Give this to Petty Officer Richards.”

“Yes, sir.” The sailor frowned at the book.

Tony ushered the boy out of his office and then shut the door behind him. “See ya, sailor.”

None of his NCIS team were waiting for him on the docks, which was a relief to Tony. He didn’t want to have to pretend to have missed them today – he wanted to see JJ! Unfortunately for him his handler, Colonel Lucten, had different ideas.

Tony was only metres away from the taxi stand when a man bowled him over.

“Colonel Lucten sent me.” The man whispered as they struggled to get up. “He said to tell you that aubergine is a kind of nightshade.”

Tony clenched a hand into a fist at the code phrase. He hadn’t seen his wife in three months and they wanted to talk to him now?

“And that you should take taxi number seventy four.” The man continued before picking himself up and walking away.

Tony glared at the man’s back as he stood up. He looked at all the taxis and eventually found one with seventy four written on its side.

“Can I help you with your bag, sir?” The driver asked politely.

“It’s fine.” Tony told him as he got into the back of the cab and placed his bag beside him.

The drive was only about ten minutes, but it was long enough for Tony to get his frustration under control. He should have expected this and it wasn’t an unreasonably request. Of course they would want to check on him after three months without contact. Besides, JJ would probably be at work by now anyway – no point rushing home if nobody was there.

11-11-11

Tony’s meeting with Lucten was an hour long and mostly involved the Colonel updating him on everything that happened at NCIS in the last few months. Some of it Tony already knew from few his conversations with Gibbs, but it was always good to hear information from multiple sources.

After the meeting Tony caught a cab to a florists and then wandered around for a few minutes looking for a phone booth. He found one a few blocks away from the florists and dialled his second handler’s number. It was the problem with having two handlers, twice as many conversations. Thankfully this conversation was shorter, and Tony didn’t have to repeat much – mostly he just told Pike what he needed done. Tony had had three months of time to figure out exactly how he was going to get incriminating information on Sec Nav Davenport.

Twenty minutes later, Tony hung up the phone and made his way back to the florists to buy JJ some flowers. He couldn’t wait to see her!

The house was dark when the cab dropped Tony off and his heart fell. He hadn’t considered that JJ might be away on a case.

He knocked on the door just in case she was home and then let himself in. It was a bittersweet feeling: there was something amazing about being home, but JJ’s absence was almost devastating.

Tony dropped his bag in their bedroom and then made his way to the lounge to get the phone. Then he dialled JJ’s number.

JJ answered after the third ring. “Tony?”

“JJ!” Tony couldn’t help but beam at the sound of her voice.

“Tony!” JJ’s breath hitched and then Tony could hear her crying. “You’re home!”

“What’s the matter?” Tony asked worriedly. “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine.” JJ sobbed. “I’m just so glad that you’re home.”

“Is your team away on a case?” Tony asked softly.

“No,” JJ replied. “I’m at mom and dad’s.”

Tony looked at the clock. “If I leave now, I could be there by ten.”

“No, I’ll come home.” JJ told him quickly. “I want you all to myself.”

“Okay.” Tony agreed. “I can’t wait to see you!”

“I love you, Tony!”

“I love you too!”

11-11-11

It was strange how much loving someone changed your life. Tony had once spent ten hours hiding from drug dealers in a bush and the four hours it took JJ to drive back from North Versailles were the absolute longest hours of Tony’s life.

It did give him time to clean up though. He unpacked his bag, put on a wash, showered, shaved, put on clean clothes, put the flowers in a vase, hung out the wash, began making JJ’s favourite dessert, rhubarb shortcake, finished the dessert, lit some candles, and JJ still wasn’t home.

When he finally heard her car pull up, he barely constrained himself from dancing in excitement. He ran for the front door, pulled it open and froze.

JJ was pregnant?

“Hey.” JJ beamed at him and all but threw herself into his arms.

Tony couldn’t help but be amused as he remembered the trashy book he had been reading, because he could definitely feel JJ’s curves pressed against his body – or rather one specific curve on her stomach. It wasn’t large, but it was definitely noticeable with the tight t-shirt that she was wearing.

“You’re p-pregnant?” He stuttered in shock.

JJ laughed lightly. “Yeah. Five months last week.”

“You’re pregnant.” Tony repeated.

“Come on, sailor.” JJ laughed again as she stepped out of his arms. “Let’s go inside and I can tell you all about it.”

She grabbed one of his hands and led him back into the house. “Mmm, something smells nice.”

“I made rhubarb shortcake.” Tony told her absently.

“Really?” JJ sounded delighted. “I missed you so much, Tony!”

“I missed you too!” Tony pulled her back into his arms. “So much!”

“I need to use the bathroom.” JJ told him after they had hugged for a few minutes. “Why don’t you get that shortcake and we can eat it while we talk.”

“Okay.” Tony watched her go and then ducked into the kitchen and served two plates of the dessert. He put the kettle on and then carried the plates to the lounge and set them on the coffee table. Before settling on the couch.

JJ came back a minute later and sat sideways on his lap, her legs stretched out on the couch.

“You got heavy.” Tony joked.

JJ rolled her eyes. “Let me give you some advice, Tony. Weight jokes don’t tend to go down well with pregnant women.”

“Right, sorry.” Tony apologised before kissing her gently. “You’re so beautiful.”

JJ laughed. “Suck up.”

“What?” Tony shook his head. “No, I mean it. You’re stunning.”

JJ kissed him and then reached forward and grabbed the two dessert plates. “This smells amazing. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” Tony took one of the bowls from her and watched her eat her first spoonful, enjoying the look of enjoyment on her face.

“So,” JJ said. “I’m pregnant – surprise!”

Tony couldn’t help but beam. “I’m going to be a dad.”

JJ’s eyes filled with tears and she let out a sob.

“What’s the matter?” Tony asked in concern. “What did I say?”

“You can’t imagine how much I’ve been looking forward to hearing you say that.” JJ told him through her tears. “When I found out I was pregnant I cried for at least five minutes because I wanted you to be there. I’d always imagined that you’d be there when I took the test and that we’d celebrate together and that you’d say, ‘I’m going to be a dad’, and now you’re here, and you’re saying all the right things.”

Tony placed his plate of desert on the couch beside them, before hugging JJ close. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there.”

“It’s not your fault.” JJ mumbled into his shoulder. “Besides, you’re here now.”

“And I’m not going anywhere.” Tony promised.

“I’m so glad you’re home.” JJ told him lifting her head from his shoulder to look at him. “How was it?”

“Horrible.” Tony admitted. “It was boring, and lonely, and I really missed you.”

“Do you have to go to work tomorrow?” JJ asked.

Tony groaned. “Yeah, sorry.”

JJ pouted. “You’d think they’d give you a day to settle back in.”

“You’d think.” Tony agreed. “But enough about that. Do you know the gender?”

“No,” JJ told him. “I didn’t know whether you wanted to know or not, so I asked the doctor not to tell me. He said that he can let me know by phone if we change out mind.”

“Oh,” Tony thought about that. “Do you want to know?”

“Sort of.” JJ shrugged. “I do want to know, but at the same time I think it would be nice if it was surprise. What about you?”

“I like surprises.” Tony answered.

“Then we’ll wait.” JJ decided.

“Okay.” Tony lifted a hand so it was hovering over her stomach. “Can I…?”

“Of course!” JJ said quickly, shifting so that her stomach was more easily accessible.

Tony stared at her stomach for a few more seconds, and then cautiously lowered it to touch her stomach. He spread his fingers out over her stomach and imagined the baby that was growing beneath them. It was amazing – he was going to be a father! He and JJ were going to have a baby!

“It’s softer than I thought it would be.” He whispered, his eyes trained on his hand.

“Yeah.” JJ answered. “The doctor says that it’s nothing to worry about.”

“We’re going to have a baby.” Tony whispered again, tears coming to his eyes.

JJ reached out a hand a placed it on top of his hand. “Yeah. Amazing, right?”

11-11-11

Leaving for work the next morning was horrible. He didn’t want to go: he didn’t care about Vance’s possible corruption, about SecNav using marine assassins to order unsanctioned hits, he just wanted to stay at home with JJ and their growing baby, which apparently JJ had been calling Twinkle Toes for some reason.

But he was a good marine and so at eight hundred hours exactly, Tony walked out of the elevator and into the NCIS bullpen which was, sadly, still a disgusting orange colour. Apparently it was supposed to be cheery or something similarly ridiculous.

“Tony!!” Abby squealed happily from where she had been leaning against his desk. “You’re back! Gibbs said you were coming back, but I didn’t let myself believe it, not until I could see you in front of me, and here you are!”

“Here I am.” Tony agreed catching Abby when she threw herself at him. “Probie, good to see you.”

McGee grimaced at the nicknamed, but came forward and offered Tony his hand. “Welcome back, Tony.”

Tony shook his hand and then turned to Ziva who was sitting behind her desk. “Glad to see you made it out of Israel alive, Ziva.”

Ziva smiled at him and nodded. “I am also glad to see that you have returned safely.”

Tony spotted Gibbs standing nearby, almost out of sight, and sat down at his desk before asking the expected question.

“Where’s Gibbs?”

“Right here, Dinozzo.” Gibbs growled at him as he came out from his hiding place and slapped the back of his head.

“Ow!” Tony rubbed the back of his head with a pout.

“Getting soft, Dinozzo?” Gibbs growled at him as he sat behind his desk.

Tony ignored the question. “Aren’t you glad to see me, boss?”

Gibbs just grimaced.

Tony’s grin widened. “I knew you missed me!”

The team didn’t have an active case, which meant cold cases and paperwork and boredom! On the bright side it did give him the opportunity to annoy the snot out of his colleagues – at times he felt guilty for the amount of enjoyment he got from irritating McGee and Ziva, the rest of the time he viewed it as punishment for their lack of respect.

Tony was still laughing at McGee’s expression when he drank a cup of coffee that Tony had added salt to (Tony was surprised McGee still accepted drinks from him, particularly on a day when Tony had already played multiple pranks), when his cellphone rang.

Tony leaned back in his chair, making sure he could still see McGee’s disgusted expression, before answering the phone.

“Very Special Agent Dinozzo!”

“Hey, Tony.” JJ’s voice greeted him. “Have I mentioned how much I love the fact that you’re back?”

“Once or twice.” Tony answered with a smirk. “How can I help you, lovely lady?”

McGee’s face acquired a new look of disgust.

“How can he already have a new girlfriend?” McGee whispered across their workspace to Ziva. “He’s been back twenty four hours.”

“Well,” JJ’s smile was audible. “I am wondering how you would feel about taking me out for a celebration dinner? Rossi’s insisting and now that you’re back I don’t really have an excuse.”

Tony’s eyebrows rose. When he had JJ had returned from their honeymoon, Rossi had insisted on giving them an evening out at a five star restaurant. It had been amazing! If Rossi wanted to give it to them again who was he to refuse?

“Sounds absolutely scrumptious.” Tony told her with his most salacious smirk.

“Excellent.” JJ replied. “Rossi will be thrilled. I’ll leave my car here over night and meet you in our normal spot.”

“Looking forward to it.” Tony told her, before ending the call.

“I agree with McGee.” Ziva commented. “How can you already have a girl if you are only just returned?”

“If you have only just returned.” Tony corrected. “And as to how, well I met her at the docks yesterday. I think she was welcoming home her brother.”

“You don’t know?” Tim asked in disgust.

“We only talked for a few minutes, McGee.” Tony rolled his eyes. “We talked for a few minutes, exchanged phone numbers, and then went our separate ways.”

“Do you at least know her name?” Ziva asked with a sneer.

“Regina.” Tony told them proudly.

“Regina?” McGee echoed. “Really?”

“What is wrong with the name Regina?” Ziva asked curiously.

“Nothing,” McGee said quickly. “It’s just a bit old isn’t it?”

Tony smirked. “Trust me, probie, old is not a word that anyone would use to describe Regina.”

McGee and Ziva both looked appropriately disgusted.


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