Chapter 31 –Dubi (דובי )(teddy bear) - June 2017
Tony pulled the cart of groceries along the sidewalk as he walked back to the flat. Tali would be three in two days; Anthony was exactly two weeks old today. And Ziva, well, she was nothing short of amazing at the way she kept up with the baby's feedings. He was totally fascinated with watching his son nurse and listening to Ziva's stories about how different their son was from his older sister.
When he left to do the grocery shopping for the week, all three were asleep; Tali and Anthony in their beds and Ziva on the sofa. They'd planned for him to go out as soon as the kids were down for naps; he'd not counted on his wife zonking out before he made it out the door though. He'd scrawled a quick note to let her know where he'd gone and hoped that all three would still be asleep when he got home.
What was not in the plans was the detour he had to take to get back to their flat; emergency crews had an entire block of the route between store and home blocked off. He turned the corner of the longer route home and stopped when something bright red caught his eye in the window of the upscale toy store. He knew the store was there, but it was not a way they normally took to avoid having to deal with distracted Tali. He'd made that mistake once before Ziva came to Paris and it cost him the price of an entire castle-shaped dollhouse with its requisite royal family, dragon, and horses.
The bear that captured his attention was a deep, royal red color with the Ferrari logo embroidered on its chest. He had to get it for Anthony; he tugged the cart of groceries inside the door.
"Bon jour," the owner of the store greeted him as he entered. He glanced around noting that he was the only customer. "Comment puis-je vous aider aujourd'hui?"
‟Bon jour; j'aimerais acheter cet … dubi… um, parlez vous anglais?" he stumbled over the French word for bear. When the woman smiled and nodded at him, he continued, "The Ferrari bear; sorry, dubi is Hebrew for teddy bear…"
"Yes, sir, a good choice. Very well made and sturdy for a child or for a collectionneur," she replied in heavily accented English. "Is it for your petite fille?" The woman remembered Tali from their trips to the store to add to her castle and dollhouse family.
"Not this time; it's for her baby brother," he explained. "Anthony is two weeks old today."
"Ah, I have not seen you since one month, your wife has the baby then?" Tony pulled up a picture of Ziva, Tali, and Anthony on his phone to show her. "Beautiful family; so happy." She patted his arm and grabbed the bear from the window display. Tony completed the purchase, adding a plush set of horses for Tali's castle to the bag as another birthday present for his little girl.
"Merci, Madame LeCroix. Bonne journée," he waved as he headed back out to the street.
Back home, he quietly opened the flat door, hoping that all were still resting inside. He tried to enter as silently as possible, but caught the wheel of the cart on the door frame. He bit his tongue trying not to swear out loud. As he was tugging at the cart, Ziva came up behind him.
"Damn… darn… la'azazel…" he startled and grinned at her sheepishly. "I should be used to the Ninja stuff by now…"
"I am sorry; I did not mean to startle you. But I did not want to call out since the children are still asleep," she kissed him gently on the lips and grinned at him after he shut the door. "It is nice to have a few minutes to ourselves, yes?"
"Mmm-hmm," he murmured into the kiss. "Let's get the groceries put away and see if we can steal a few more minutes." He pulled the shopping bag from the toy store off the top of the cart and set it on a shelf near entry to the living room. At Ziva's questioning look, he responded, "Something for Anthony and something to add to Tali's birthday gifts."
They were just about done with getting the groceries put away when Anthony started making sounds over the baby monitor.
"Abba," a sleepy voice from the hallway called out. "Ima, Anthony woke me up." Tali rubbed her eyes as she came into the kitchen; Kelev was in the hand that wasn't on her face. "I'm hungry."
Ziva went to check on the baby as Tony poured some juice into a cup and put animal crackers in a bowl for his little girl. While Tali munched her snack, Tony grabbed the shopping bag off the shelf.
"Want to help me give your brother a present?" he asked.
"Okay; is there a present for me too?" Tali tried to look in the bag.
"Yep," he placed the brightly wrapped package in front of her as he also showed her the bear for her brother. "Like it?"
"It's red, Abba," she replied, "You know I like purple."
Tony grinned, "Well then it's a good thing the bear is for Anthony." He watched her tear open the paper wrapper from the two horses.
"Toda, Abba!" she squealed at the horses she'd been wanting from the toy store. "One white horse and one black horse; just what I wanted!" She hugged her Abba and carried the plush horses to her play area in the living room.
Ziva came in the room and noticed Tali, "You made her happy, yes?"
"The horses for her castle that she wanted," he explained. "Because I found this for Anthony." He held up the red Ferrari bear. "I know he's a bit young, but he has to have a teddy bear, Zi. Every kid needs a buddy, like Tali has Kelev."
~4 July 2019~
Anthony rubbed his eyes, "Fwahwee." He mumbled sleepily as his father balanced the two year old on his hip. "Want Fwahwee."
"Shh; we're headed home to bed, and you can sleep with your bear," Tony tried to soothe the grumpy boy. He'd managed to fall asleep during the fireworks show at the park by the NCIS building.
"Want Fwahwee," the little boy's lip started to quiver. "Me need Fwahwee."
Ziva searched the tote bag, "Not here, I thought we brought his bear?"
"We DID," Tony replied. "Oh, geez, please don't tell me he's lost…" He looked around as best he could in the darkness to see if the bear was nearby on the ground.
Tali tugged on her Abba's shirt, "He's in the van, Abba. Remember you said we had to leave Kelev and Ferrari to guard our van when we got here?"
Ziva hugged her daughter, "Thank you, yaldati; I am glad you remembered. Are you ready to go home?"
Tali nodded and took her Ima's hand to walk to the parking area. Tony carried Anthony, softly reassuring his toddler that they would be at the vehicle soon and Ferrari bear was waiting for them. As they approached the minivan, he clicked the key fob to unlock the doors. He slid Anthony into his car seat and buckled him in.
"I'm looking, bud," Tony reached between the seats and grabbed the red bear. He held it to his son and watched as the boy clutched it to him with a huge grin. Tali was in her booster seat, holding Kelev with a sleepy grin.
Ziva looked over at her husband as he climbed into the driver's seat, "You are happy."
"Yeah, we got some happy kids, we had some great food, and I have you. What else could I want?"