“Good morning Tony! Good morning McGee,” the newly christened NCIS Ziva David said cheerily as she entered the bullpen and immediately sat at her desk. She still felt giddy at the fact that she was no longer a probationary agent, even though it had been weeks since her boss, one Leroy Jethro Gibbs, had given her the good news about her upgraded status.
“Morning Ziva. Sleep well?” McGee asked equally as cheerily from across the bullpen.
“Like a branch,” Ziva smiled.
“I think you mean ‘like a log’ Ziva,” Tony chimed in. “And how come you slept so well, after that last case, I’ve barely got six hours in.”
Even though she was an American citizen now, there were still times that she struggled with western colloquialisms. Thankfully her mistakes were becoming less frequent. “Are you talking about the body of the NCO we found? Or the rats that had picked his corpse clean of flesh?”
“I hate rats! They freak me out, with their beady little eyes!” Tony shuddered. “Indiana Jones was scared of rats.”
“Indiana Jones was scared of snakes DiNozzo,” Gibbs muttered as he walked by his senior field agents desk with a cup of coffee in hand. “His father was afraid of the rats.”
“See, I’m so off my game,” the man replied as he shook his head before yawning loudly.
“David, McGee, grab your gear. Vance has an assignment for you two,” Gibbs said, tossing a file on each of their desks. “A missing NCIS agent has turned up on a yacht just off the coast of Hawaii. They’re prepping a jet to fly you out there now. You’ve got one hour to pack.”
“Hawaii? Boss, how come the probies get the good assignment?” Tony asked in protest.
“I don’t know DiNozzo. Why don’t you go up and ask Vance yourself? You still need to follow up with that bone woman at the Jeffersonian Institute,” Gibbs replied with a frown.
“Doctor Brennan,” McGee chimed in, trying to be helpful, only to receive a stare down from Gibbs.
“Why aren’t you two on the elevator?” he asked. “Move it.”
“On it boss,” McGee and Ziva said in unison before grabbing their belongings and heading out, but not before grinning at DiNozzo and his obvious jealousy and his discomfort about visiting the bone lady again.
Kono and Chin were busy watching the ping pong argument between Steve and Danny. “I don’t get the big deal. It’s one of their own. We’d want them to turn a case to use if it were one of ours, wouldn’t we?” she asked her cousin. “So why are they pissed that these Navy cops are coming in to take it off our hands?”
“Oh Cousin… you’re so green. Remember last month, when the FBI rolled in to take over that gang related murder case because it was tied to a federal witness and Steve almost punched out the agent in charge?” Chin asked as he tried to ignore the goings on.
“They cut us out entirely. Being the alpha dog that the boss is, he wasn’t gonna let that slide,” Chin explained.
“But this is different. It’s one of their own,” she reasoned.
“Yes, and they say they are willing to work with us, not only because we found the body, but because Steve has history with NCIS back when he was in the Navy. They trust him to get the job done and he’s grateful for the help. Danny thinks that NCIS are gonna roll in and push the boss’s buttons so that he’ll have to jump in and calm the situation down,” Chin smiled.
“Damn it Danny, I have assurance from the Governor that Director Vance has instructed his agents to helpus, not step on our toes. He wants some of his best people to help solve this case and I agree,” Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett said as he sat behind his desk. “Don’t worry. If they try pushing us out of the investigation this time, the Governor has our backs. If Director Vance or even SECNAV wants access to my crime scene than they have to play ball. I won’t let us be pushed out again!”
“When are these NCIS people supposed to show up?” she whispered to Chin as the other two continued on.
“Their plane is supposed to be touching down in an hour,” Chin replied, “The boss said that he will greet an Agent McGee and Agent David personally. Whether or not he’ll be able to stop Danny from complaining about jurisdiction in time is the real question you should be asking.”
Kono grinned. “That should be fun to watch,” she laughed before looking over at the other two. “If you’re planning on going to the airport you might want to leave. There is an accident on the main highway going that way,” she pointed out, the sounds of the HPD’s radio acting as background noise for the team.
“I’ll head over there now, because I’ve had enough of this conversation,” Steve growled as he stormed out of his office. “Have everything we know compiled and ready for a briefing as soon as we get back.”
“Can I come?” Kono called out after him, grinning hopefully.
“I’m driving,” he said as he headed for the exit.
She set her beer back down and ran after him, happy to go somewhere, do something. “Not a problem Boss,” she replied. They were outside and in his truck in no time before they were on the road. “Do you know anything about these agents?” she asked curiously.
“Not a thing, just that their names are McGee and David,” he replied, deep in reminiscent thought. “Apparently they’re two of Director Vance’s best investigators.”
“That means nothing to me,” she shrugged and looked out ahead of them on the road. “Hopefully they aren’t assholes.”
“Danny will have a field day with me if they are,” the former SEAL visibly winced. It would be another topic for the New Jersey born detective to complain about, like he didn’t have a long enough list already. “Has the Yacht been towed into dock?” he asked, suddenly becoming rather heavy-footed with the accelerator.
“Yeah. I had just gotten back from there when I walked in to find you two fighting. Seriously, you both sound like an old married couple,” she teased.
“He’s just worried in case I decide to punch out this David guy. McGee is supposedly their computer genius,” Steve explained. “I’ve worked with NCIS before. Hell, they almost recruited me. If one of us died and another agency was dealing with our case, you’d want in, right?”
She raised an eyebrow. “David the lead from their end?”
“Yeah,” he replied. “He better not be an asshole…”
The private jet had landed and the two NCIS Agents had disembarked before the 5-0 officers arrived at the airport. As they crossed the airfield, heading toward the passenger reception area, the two instantly felt the difference of climate compared to what they had just came from.
“Oh my god, it’s so hot… why did I keep the suit on?” McGee asked as he felt sweat pour down his neck and forehead.
“Have you never been to Hawaii McGee?” Ziva chuckled as she had already changed into something more comfortable for the humid climate before they left DC.
“Why would I? You know what I’m like in hot climates Ziva,” he sighed, wiping his brow.
“Yet, you still could have asked Vance to let Tony come instead if you didn’t want to put up this. You could have gone and dealt with that bone lady that he hated talking to last time,” she replied.
“I’ve talked to Doctor Brennan plenty,” McGee replied, “We have the same publisher and ended up doing the same book tours together. She’s nice and all, but a little too up herself for my tastes.”
Ziva shrugged as they made their way through the long corridor that led into the airport. She kept her eyes open for the local detective that was supposed to be meeting them. “Hopefully we’ll be able to get some down time. I really been wanting to visit some landmarks that I never had the opportunity for before,” she said conversationally as they cross the threshold.
“I don’t know what these guys are supposed to look like,” Kono said as they made their way through the crowds. “The board says that the plane landed…” she looked around for two agents, two maleswaiting together. “I don’t see anyone that could possibly be them.”
“Oh my god…” McGarrett whispered, visibly freezing on the spot. “This can’t be happening. She’s Mossad.”
“Who? What? Mossad? What’s that mean for us? You know her?” she asked assessing the woman that he was staring at. “She looks friendly enough, but we have our own agents to look for here man. Not some pretty girls. Danny isn’t here so I got to be the voice of reason.”
McGee and Ziva were working on collecting their bags from the turn-style so neither noticed the two watching them. As her friend complained, she smiled as she humored him. “How about I treat you to an iced coffee or something? Maybe a pina colada?” she offered. “Just – shut up. Please. We’re in paradise for crying out loud.”
“Your version of paradise, yes. But-” McGee was cut off by the sound of a man approaching them, calling out Ziva’s name.
“Agent David…” Steve said carefully, announcing his presence, stepping forward to meet the two NCIS agents. He couldn’t believe it was her. After all these years, he was finally going to work with Ziva David again. He understood the name screw up. To anyone reading her surname, they would think it was pronounced as it looked.
Ziva stood up straight instantly, a frown on her face as she tried to place the familiar voice before turning around. Her jaw fell open slightly. “Steve?” she asked in disbelief as her eyes flickered over him.
“Long time, no see Ziva,” he beamed, flashing her the same smile he had flashed her the day they had met.
Kono eyed her boss as she watched the two and was quickly able to put two and two together before laughing to herself. Shaking her head, she couldn’t waitto get back to the office to see Danny’s reaction to all this.
“Yes, you as well,” Ziva replied. “You – you look great…” she grinned as she went to hug him. “How long have you been in Hawaii?”
“I came home about six months ago, decided to stay and help the Governor bring some justice to the island,” he explained as he welcomed her hug eagerly. Placing his mouth close to her ear, he whispered, “You look as fantastic as ever.”
She only gave her customary chuckle as she looked back at him as she sensed McGee had come closer. “Steve, I’d like you to meet my teammate, Timothy McGee. McGee, this is Steve McGarrett.”
Tim held out his hand and smiled at him nervously. “Uh – nice to meet you.”
“You too,” Steve nodded, shaking the technology wizard’s hand. “So do you prefer Tim, Timothy or McGee?”
“McGee is fine,” the man shrugged.
“Well McGee, welcome to Hawaii,” he smiled, knowing Ziva had already visited, just like she had always promised to when they worked together. “I’d like you both to meet Officer Kono Kalakaua. Kono! Come say hello to our guests for the foreseeable future.”
Kono walked up to her boss and the two agents, fighting desperately to hide her smirk.
“Kono, this is Agents Ziva Dav-eedand Timothy McGee of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.”
“Pleased to meet you both,” Kono said, exchanging handshakes with the pair. Looking to McGee, she sized him up pretty quickly. He was a science type, probably spending a lot of time around computers or laboratories. Ziva on the other hand, struck Kono as a bit of a mystery. Aside from the fact that she was exotically gorgeous and very confident, Kono couldn’t tell much else about her, other than the fact she knew her boss well enough to hug him.
“Okay, so now that some of the introductions are over, the Governor has kindly secured you a double suite at the Pacifica Resort,” McGarrett smiled. “I figured we can take you there, let you stow your gear, freshen up and join the rest of my team at our Headquarters. Sound good?”
McGee looked back at the guy. “What? Seriously?”
Ziva smirked and shrugged. “Vance reserved us rooms at a local hotel as well. I think he’d be okay with us staying at the resort if its not coming from ourbudget.”
“Inclusive?” he asked carefully.
She looked back at Steve curiously as well. That would mean they wouldn’t have to worry about food and drinksif they had the opportunity to kick back and enjoy themselves some.
“The Governor believes in cooperating fully with the Navy and all agencies associated with it. That includes NCIS. Plus she knows how tight Director Vance can be with the NCIS budget,” Steve replied, “Everything at the hotel is covered, so long as you don’t go toonuts with the mini-bar.”
“Well there goes all the fun in that,” Ziva pouted playfully. “Come on. We still need to settle and check in with home.”
“Your chariot awaits,” Steve smiled, taking some of Ziva’s bags from her. “And by the way Agent McGee, you’d do well to ditch the suit on the island. Just keep your clothes thin and light and you won’t sweat so much.”
McGee grumbled. “Yeah. Ziva already said as much. Can we stop at the hotel first so that I can change?”
“Sure,” McGarrett grinned, silently praying that Kono wouldn’t say what she was thinking based on the look that she flashed him.
“Come here Houli, let me help you with your bags,” the junior Five-O officer said as she helped McGee with his belongings.
He smiled at her. “Thank you. You can hold these lighter ones if you like. I got the rest,” he said, trying to be a gentleman at the same time and knowing that he couldn’t handle it all himself. He shot Ziva a look as she so comfortably let the local guy take her bags for her – nearly all of them, without blinking twice. “So – how do the two of you know each other?” he asked.
“My SEAL team was assigned to help Ziva and her Mossad cell track down some South Korean arms dealers years ago,” Steve explained without giving too much away.
“Ah, her assassin days,” he said thinking about when he first met his friend.
“McGee,” Ziva said evenly, looking at him. Her expression reminding him silently that she still refused to speak of her time with Mossad and before she returned to America after Somalia.
“I prefer to think of those days as her peacekeeping days,” Steve replied with a small smile. “It’s not every day you get a shot at a South Korean arms dealing ring and come out of it alive. We needed the best, and we got the best.”
“It was a long time ago Steve. Let’s not speak of it anymore, please,” she sighed as she looked up at him, her eyes pleading. She knew he didn’t know what happened to her after and the fall out she suffered from it but she was only just recently beginning to come to terms with it all.
Looking into her eyes, Steve knew that things had changed for Ziva, painfully so in fact. He wasn’t going to push the matter, but he wasn’t going to let it drop either, he owed her far more than a friendly ear or a shoulder to cry on afterall. “Alright,” he muttered before they arrived at his truck. “Lets get everything loaded up and get you to the hotel.”
Ziva sighed again as she knew he was going to bring it up again at some point. “Do you guys know anything that you can fill us in on the way?”
“My people are preparing a full briefing for you. For now, let’s get your rooms sorted and get McGee out of that suit before he passes out,” Steve replied. “But what we do know isn’t good. Kono?”
“Our coroner confirmed the agents identity as Richard Owens. He was found at 05:30 this morning aboard an unregistered Yacht. He received four GSW’s in total. Two to the head, two to the heart,” Kono explained, as if reading off the report she saw earlier.
“Which suggests it was a professional hit,” Steve said solemnly as he loaded the last of the bags into the truck. “We can tell you more during the briefing. But right now it’s my job to get you checked in and get you to headquarters.”
Ziva helped by handing him off the bags. “What are the odds of us having dinner one day together? To catch up some?” she asked innocently.
“I’d say the odds are pretty high,” Steve smirked, as they got into the truck. “Just tell me where you’d like to eat and we’ll make it happen.”
Kono had given up the front seat to Ziva and settled in the back with the guy, her cell phone in hand as she began to send texts to Chin. Leaning over she whispered, “Do you get feeling there has been something more between them?”
“It’s more than a feeling,” McGee replied as quietly as he could. “I’ve seen Ziva around guys she’s attracted to and this is Def-Con One for her.”
“McGee – if you wish to live I suggest you find a topic of conversation other than Steve and I to discuss,” the woman commented from the front seat as she played with the radio to get a sense of the local programming.
“Uh… yes boss!” he said before visibly wincing.
Ziva slowly turned in her seat and looked at him. Shaking her head, she grinned as she settled back down. “You and I will be talking later McGee.”
“Looking forward to it…” McGee replied as the truck made its way toward the Pacifica Resort.
While they waited for the NCIS agents to settle into their rooms and freshen up, McGarrett and Kono waited in the hotel’s lobby.
“Would you stop looking at me like that,” Steve sighed.
“Ex-girlfriend?” Kono teased quietly.
“A close friend. She saved my life, I saved hers. That makes us close,” he explained cryptically.
“Boss? Seriously? While I believe that, your face when you saw her said even more. Like your mind went somewhere else entirely. I get it, I do,” she shrugged as she looked up at the elevator where a group of people came out but their NCIS agents were not among them.
“It was a long time ago and so very far away Kono. She’s changed, I’ve changed,” he replied, “For all I know she could be with someone.”
She snorted. “Right. Keep telling yourself that after the way I saw her eye you up like steak. Just make sure you lock your house up if you take her home with you otherwise Danny will end up walking in on you two. I don’t need to be hearing those details from him.”
Shaking his head, McGarrett suddenly regretted letting the rookie get some fresh air, “Let’s just do our jobs. The sooner we solve this case-”
“The sooner you can get your private time with you friend. Yeah yeah,” Kono waved him off. “Your girlfriend is coming now.”
“Oh would you not call her that!” he snapped, a small smile curving his lips.
“Commander McGarrett, I’d… we’d just like to thank you and the Governor for the suite,” McGee beamed as he and Ziva stepped from the elevator. He was now dressed in a polo shirt and khaki pants, looking much more comfortable than he did stepping off the plane.
“It’s no problem McGee,” Steve smiled before directing his attention to his former lover, “I take it your accommodations are acceptable?” He smiled broadly as he remembered a similar conversation they had when he arrived at the hotel that they were due to meet at for the first time, all those years ago.
Ziva’s lips curled up at the corner slightly. “Very much so. You should see the size of the television,” she remarked, echoing her memories.
“Unfortunately you can’t get ESPN,” he grinned before directing them toward the exit. They had work to do.
“How do you know that? I’m more than capable of paying for extras,” she blinked innocently.
“Like I couldn’t have?” he asked, “You’re the one who chose a hotel without satellite coverage. I had fifty bucks riding on that game!”
“You had completely forgotten about the game after we wrapped up the interrogation that day,” she replied.
“That’s only because you-” he stopped himself short of completing the sentence, shooting Kono and McGee a look before moving in closer to Ziva and whispering something into her ear.
She smiled widely as she let out a devilish chuckle that McGee recognized whenever she was on the in of a joke with Tony that he had no clue – nor did he want to know – about. “Yep, this is going to be a long trip,” he sighed.
“I will pay you back for that Commander,” Ziva said as she met his gaze.
“Promises promises,” McGarrett replied with one of his sexy smirks.
The group had started making their way to the door and she walked up against Steve. “Tonight,” she nearly purred in his ear before skipping ahead to flash a glare at McGee.
The blood raced from Steve’s brain and he was left stunned momentarily. Long enough for Kono to step up beside him at least. “I guess she doesn’t have a guy back home after all,” Kono teased as she walked past to have the valet get the truck for them.
“Uh…I-I-I’ll need you to drive Kono…” Steve muttered as thoughts of what Ziva had in mind flooded his brain based on his previous experiences with her.