Chapter 06

The ride back to the Navy Yard was quiet. Ziva could easily see Tony trying to say something but every time he opened his mouth he just closed it and turned back to his thoughts. Staring out of the window, she toyed with a delicate chain that held both the Star of David charm Tony had given her for Christmas and a charm that she had added to it with a small dolphin from Steve, symbolic of her first personal trip back to Hawaii. The only thing in the world she could ever wish for was for the two she felt the strongest about, though in different ways, could simply get along.

Ziva’s phone rang, breaking the uncomfortable silence between the two agents. Tony was surprised at just how relieved he was to hear her awful ring tone.

“Hello?” she answered briskly, rubbing her free hand over her forehead as if it would help the headache that was forming.

Are you insane!” Abby practically screamed down the phone. “McGee just told me that you broke up with Steve and that he almost left!

She pulled the phone away from her ear and winced. “Abby, please calm down. I did what I had to do. That is all. Please lets not discuss this now. I am not in the mood…”

My lab, as soon as you get here!” the Goth forensic specialist replied in a quieter but firmer tone, ending the call before her best friend could protest.

“I have work I need to – She hung up on me…” Ziva commented, staring at the phone. “Great. I did not need this now!” she complained, slamming her phone shut and shoving it into her purse.

Tony was about to respond but couldn’t find the words. In frustration, he sped up and pulled into a nearly empty parking lot before slamming on the brakes.

Thank god for seat belts as Ziva nearly was propelled into the dashboard. “Tony? What are you doing?”

“Shut up,” he snapped. “Listen and listen clearly, because I’m not going to say this again.”

Her mouth closed as she stared at him, confused and angry. She couldn’t help but to wonder what he was up to and why. She gave him all she could that day without being able to give herself and everyone was paying the price. “What?” she asked sharply.

“I’m sorry,” he said, his voice softer. “Making you choose between our friendship and him… it was wrong.”

The angry edge in Ziva’s eyes softened slightly. “Yes. It was wrong but as I said to you then, I had no intention of losing you as a friend, no matter who I was with or where I may have moved. You – you could not accept anything and I just cannot lose you like that. Tony – I love you yes, but not romantically. I said it before and I will say it again. You are my best friend here. I will not let that go for anything.”

“How… how can you still call me that after everything I’ve put you through? Especially in the last few days,” he asked, taken aback by her admission. “I made you break not one but two hearts. I made you piss off Gibbs and upset Abby, but most of all I wasn’t the friend you need me to be.”

“They are each angry with me yes, but they will get over it. Or I know Abby will eventually. Gibbs – I think he would fire me after this case if I do not do something about making it right with Steve which would only force me to accept the position he had offered on his team. I do not know if I want it at all though,” she replied, sinking back into her seat and looking out the window tiredly. “All I wanted was for the two of you to become friends. You share so many common interests…”

“That’s never going to happen Ziva, I’m sorry,” he replied. “He’s a nice guy and yes, under different circumstances maybe we would have been good friends. But the history between you and I… well… I don’t think I’ll ever get over seeing how happy you are with him.”

“I was, yes. But tell me how can I be happy knowing that I would lose you in the process? No. It is over. If you are not going to even try for me, then I will simply hand my resignation in when this is over before Gibbs could do anything.”

“I tried though,” he replied, “God help me I tried. But every time you got flowers from him, or talked on the phone, or exchanged emails and texts…”

She rolled her eyes at him. “I have not seen you try except for the dinner in Hawaii before you all left. No Tony. You are holding yourself back from everything. There is so much more you can do, that you can have around you. You just don’t want to see it because you are like a dog that lost its bone.”

“You’re asking me to accept the fact that whenever I see the two of you together, I’m just supposed to sit by while you make me ask myself what if…? All the time.”

“Find someone else to be happy with. I was not intending on saying anything until you would have gone back to Hawaii with me, but Kono had been asking when you would be coming out. She was looking forward to teaching you surfing and watching your football with someone that isn’t like a brother or related to her. You have been setting yourself up to be miserable simply because you refuseto let me go like that,” Ziva explained, growing frustrated again.

Tony was intrigued by Kono’s interest in him. He thought she was gorgeous, and strong, and smart and funny. In a lot of ways she was like Ziva, but she was also a little young. She wasn’t as innocent as McGee was when they first met, but she still had a ways to go. “I… I’ve tried moving on. I’ll keep trying to move on. But it’s not going to happen overnight if at all…”

Ziva smiled slightly at him. “I do not expect it to, but a little each day can go a long way to being happy. Didn’t you say something like that to me before?” she asked. “If – If I do manage to fix – this with Steve as Gibbs ordered me, maybe you can come to Hawaii next time I go. The resort I had tried last time was gorgeous and inclusive,” she said, trying to entice him to the idea and give him the knowledge that she did not simply stay with Steve the entire time.

“Maybe,” he nodded with a genuine smile. “But uh… if he doesn’t take you back. It’ll only serve to give me another reason to hate the guy. I should talk to him too… as much as I don’t want to.”

“One thing at a time. Try to hate him less for now? Talking to him would be a nice start.”

“Alright…” he nodded as he turned the engine back on and set off for the Navy yard once more.

Ziva watched him for awhile more as they drove, hoping to see something in his face. There was a sense of determination that she hadn’t taken notice of before so she hoped – prayed that this was a turn in a positive direction for everyone.

By the time the two made it back to the office, they were able to share in a little light conversation about news that was expressed over the radio, Tony commenting on the Kardashian empire and Ziva not knowing who he was speaking about. Walking into the bullpen, she had an amused look of annoyance at him – much as she had shared with him long ago.

“Wheres Gibbs and McGarrett?” Tony asked McGee who was busy working at his computer.

“They’re with Ducky,” McGee replied. “Uh, Abby was looking for you Ziva.”

Ziva sighed as she unloaded herself of her layers of coats and extra sweater. “I know. She called my phone screaming. Seems that someone is unable to keep their mouth shut.”

“I’m sorry, Ziva. I really didn’t think she’d react like that,” McGee shot her an apologetic look.

“It’s Abby. Do you ever think she would ever not over react?” she asked back.

“I don’t know,” Jimmy said as he walked into the bull pen. “She’s surprised us on occasion.”

Ziva narrowed her eyes on him before looking over at Tony. “Do you want to go check in with Gibbs or shall I? Up to you.”

“Umm, that’s sorta why I’m here,” Jimmy replied. “Agent Gibbs asked me to tell you both to… to…”

“Spit it out Palmer,” Tony snapped.

“Don’t shoot the messenger okay, but he told me to tell you that if you two haven’t sorted yourselves out, you’re to go to the conference room and that you’re not allowed to leave until you have.”

“Gibbs is flooring us?” she asked, confused.

“Benching,” Tony interjected. “And it seems so…”

“I think she meant grounding this time,” McGee offered with a shrug. “If you ask me I think you two are doing okay now.”

“Whatever!” Ziva exclaimed as she sat at her desk and began to review her notes.

“Gibbs’ orders, sorry guys,” he told them before heading back to autopsy, secretly hoping that Gibbs had left for Abby’s lab by the time he got back.

“You’re really gonna ignore Gibbs?” McGee asked. “I don’t know if you’re brave or stupid.”

Ziva smiled at him and shrugged. “You said it yourself. We are doing okay. Isn’t that right Tony?” she asked, raising an eyebrow at the man with the clear indication in her tone that her question was on a variety of levels between them and more.

Just then, McGee’s phone rang. “McGee… uh yes boss, he just left. Yes sir, they’re right here. Okay. Putting you on speaker now boss.” Looking over at Tony and Ziva, a small smile curled his lips. “Uhh, you might need to listen to this. You’re on boss.”

If you two don’t get your butts into the conference room now, I’ll make the Elf Lord the senior field agent of this team,” he growled.

“It is not necessary Gibbs. We got the message from Palmer and understood it. Is there anything new on the case?” Ziva asked, not caring about the man’s threat and tried to get straight to business confident that Steve was well within hearing distance of Gibbs.

McGee, did I wake up this morning to find I’m not in charge?” he asked his technology specialist.

Ziva had about enough and her anger was bubbling to the surface again and it was evident on her friends there that she was ready to snap soon.

“Uhh, no boss, you’re still in charge,” Tim replied with a confused frown.

Good. DiNozzo. If you and your partner don’t get your butts into that conference room right the hell now, your next assignment will be one that floats and I’ll send her to the ass end of nowhere. Do I make myself clear?” Gibbs was furious at that moment. He gave them an order. It wasn’t a request. He didn’t ask nicely. He told them.

“Crystal,” Tony said evenly as he looked at Ziva, who clearly would rather be working than fucking around with her relationships in a triple murder case. “Let’s go. He will probably have a few words to say and it’ll be that.”

She threw her notepad on her desk and nearly stomped up the stairs to the meeting room, just wanting to get whatever Gibbs had up his sleeve overwith.

~o.O.o~

So when are you heading home?” Danny asked over the video call through McGee’s laptop.

“The sooner the better,” Steve sighed as he looked around the conference room briefly. “I want to get as far away from DC as possible, right now.”

Danny shook his head. “What the hell happened?

Ziva pushed the door open, in the middle of a rambling string of curses in every language she knew about Gibbs when she stopped short, causing Tony to walk into her. Her eyes were fixated on the person at the table, fear, pain, worry flooding her body as she waited for someone to break the trance.

“Uh, I’ll have to get back to you on that. Say hi to Grace for me and try not to piss Rachel off this time,” he said, his eyes focused firmly on Ziva and Tony.

Sure, we’ll see you when you get home buddy. And uh, I’m sorry, Danny sighed before ending the call.

Tony passed around a tense smile and rocked on his heels slightly as he gently pushed Ziva in further, causing her to nearly trip on her feet. “Well isn’t this awkward?” he joked lightly and winced when Ziva turned enough to give him her signature death glare.

“Gibbs said I could use the room for a little privacy. I’ll get out of your way,” Steve sighed, closing the laptop.

“He just ordered us here to – get squared away,” Tony replied, keeping an eye on Ziva as he moved around the table slowly to sit.

“Get squared away,” Steve shook his head. “You do realise that there wouldn’t be a need for this if you could just be happy for Ziva instead of acting like a jealous ex or an over protective brother.”

“I paraphrased. I think we’ve all been set up here,” the man admitted and had the decency to look ashamed at Steve’s comment.

Ziva flinched at the tone that Steve used and immediately took to a chair. “Please. Just – let’s speak calmly? Rationally?” she asked in a small voice.

“Alright, you want me to be calm,” Steve replied evenly, eyeing them both from the opposite end of the table before shifting his gaze on Tony.

“You. You know, I knew we wouldn’t get along from the moment Ziva told me about your history as partners and as much more. But I was civil, I was polite. I worked at stopping myself from knocking you on your ass, for her sake. And yet you fought me at every turn. Again, I can understand why. You care about each other a lot and I’m okay with that. She had relationships before I came along, and after we lost touch. But you could’ve tried instead of forcing her to choose.”

Ziva lowered her head and wrapped her hands around the back of her neck as she listened, fighting the tears that wanted to fall from her eyes. “Maybe it was too much of me to have hoped that the two of you would have been friends on any level…I was not, and still am not ready or willing to let either of you go, to lose either of you.”

“And you,” his attention turned to Ziva, who immediately looked up at him with sadness in her eyes. “After everything we’ve been through. Everything we’ve meant and still mean to each other. You pushed me away like I was garbage and expected me to stick around anyway… how could you do that. Especially after I had told you that I’d fallen in love with you again.”

“I was wrong. Yes. I admit it,” she said, feeling choked up. “I – was not thinking clearly and while it felt right in the moment I knew I made a grievous mistake and I am sorry. So very sorry and there is nothing in this world and the next that I could do to make that up to hurting you like that. I do wish to be with you but I also cannot let go of everyone here, especially Tony after losing so much through the years. This team, everyone here is my family and so much of that had been taken away that – it’s…” she trailed off trying to think of how she could word her thoughts. “That its like my mind sabotages everything. When Tony said that he was leaving everything here if I went with you – I just lost it.”

“I never once asked you to give up everything here. You’d still be a member of NCIS if you joined me in Hawaii and your friends could come and visit anytime they wanted. You know I have the rooms available at my place,” he sighed. “I… I can’t do anything more to try and convince you that I want this… that I want us to work.”

Ziva smiled at him softly. “I know that and I do not want anything else other than what you have already given me – except that the two of you to get along. That is all I’ve wanted from the beginning, even if you and I were not together romantically as we had become…”

“Guys, this is my fault alright. Steve’s right, he’s tried and I’ve been a complete jerk,” Tony sighed, a soft apologetic smile played across his lips as he took Ziva’s hands. “You should go to Hawaii. At least on a temporary basis, to see if this partnership between Five-0 and NCIS would work and be beneficial. As much as I’d hate to see you go, Gibbs, McGee, Abby… they’re right. You’d be nuts not to go.”

“Tony. I had made it clear to Steve when he mentioned it to me, and to Governor Jameson when I met her and she brought it up. I was not ready to go there then, and I still am not now. Look at you! You were offered that team in Spain before Jenny died. You were more than capable of leading a team of your own and you turned it down. Why?” she asked, raising an eyebrow knowingly.

“Because… because I thought there was a future for us,” he replied. “Because I thought you guys needed me more. Because I wanted to take over from Gibbs someday. Lots of reasons.”

She shook her head but smiled. “We’ll always have each other’s backs. I told Steve that I was not yet ready and he had accepted it. I told Director Vance before he could ever approach me about it that I was not interested at this time, which is fine because he did say that he had someone else in mind until I change my decision. Just please. Will the two of you get along? For me? For everyone involved?” Ziva asked, looking between them desperately. “Maybe in time you could become at least social friends…”

Tony turned to Steve with a soft smile. “I’m uh, I’m sorry Steve.”

“Apology accepted,” Steve replied with a simple nod.

“I’ll uh, I’ll see you both in the Squad Room. I’ll get caught up on the case with McGee and fill you both in once you’d had time to talk,” Tony said. “And uh, I’ll get us all some coffee.”

“That’d be great,” Steve’s soft smile grew a little broader. “Thanks Tony.”

“Yeah…” he said as he left the two of them alone. Sitting across the conference table from one another. It may as well have been a thousand miles long because of the way they both felt at that moment.

Ziva looked at him, her hand moving out slightly, wanting to touch him but held back. “I really am sorry for all of this…”

“Saying sorry won’t make it right Ziva… not between us,” he explained with the same calm tone she had asked for. “I’ve never felt like this before, not with anyone. And as strong as I am, when someone I really care about hurts me, I can’t take it.”

She nodded slowly, knowing that it would take a lot to fix what she clearly broke. “I know. I just do not know what else to say other than how much I am sorry a million times.”

“Let’s just get this case over with so that I can go home. Maybe we can talk in a couple of days. Once we’ve both had time to think,” he replied before standing and tucking the laptop under his arm.

The fact that he was still strongly wanted to go home stung but it was expectant. Nodding, she stayed in her seat with her head down to hide the tears that filled her eyes. She feared that despite time and distance, it was over. Completely and thoroughly and she only had herself to blame. “Okay,” she replied. “Um – could you just let them know that I’ll be down shortly. I just need a moment…”

He stopped at the door as he heard the pain in her voice. It was like it whipped at his heart like a cat o’ nine tails. “Take your time…” he said genuinely, because he knew exactly how she felt at that moment. With that said, he stepped through the door and proceeded to the squad room to return McGee’s laptop, even though it became harder and harder to resist the urge to run back to her and comfort her with every single step.

~o.O.o~

When Ziva finally emerged from the conference room, the team including Abby were gathered around the plasma’s.

“Ziva, good you’re here. Abby caught a break in the case,” Gibbs said, sensing how upset she was. “Abby.”

“Well I examined the evidence from the crime scenes. What little evidence their was anyway. Whoever murdered the three petty officers did an amazing job at hiding their prints and DNA,” she explained. “Lucky for us, Petty Officer Travis, the last victim. Put up a hell of a struggle as he was being drowned in his bathtub. With water splashing everywhere, the killer had to clean up afterward to make it look like he committed suicide. But she made a fatal mistake while doing so…”

“She?” Steve asked, fighting to focus on Abby.

“Yeah, I found a fingerprint on Travis’ shaving mirror that didn’t match his or his fiance’s,” she replied. “So I ran it through the database.”

Ziva had reached over on her desk and looked through her notes. “One neighbor said that he remembered Travis being friendly with another one of the residents in the complex’s gym but didn’t have a name of who it could be and said he hadn’t seen her in some time.”

“That’s because up until a few days ago, she was serving aboard the USS Kingfisher on a 3-month training cruise,” Abby grinned.

“Well don’t keep us in suspense Abs…” Tony chimed in.

“I’d like you all to meet Inara Hiu,” Abby said as she tapped the key on her remote. “Leo Hiu’s younger sister.”

“Does she match the description that the neighbour gave you Ziva?” Gibbs asked as he stared at the girl’s file photo for a moment.

“Yes, except with more auburn hair,” she said after finding the page specifically about her description.

“Could be a wig, or she could’ve dyed her hair,” Tony replied. “I knew this one girl that dyed her hair every week and… so not important right now.”

“McGee, bank records, passport,” Gibbs replied. “DiNozzo, get a BOLO out on her car. McGarrett, call your people again, see if they can dig anything up from their end… aaand Ziva…”

She turned around from returning to her desk to look at him tiredly and unamused. “What Gibbs?”

“Let’s go get everyone those coffees that DiNozzo promised,” he said as he grabbed his gear. Pausing to kiss Abby on her cheek and congratulate her on another fine job.

Ziva and Tony both frowned, knowing they’d been eavesdropped on. “I’d rather just work right now if that is alright,” she said. “Please?”

“You can’t expect us to work without fresh coffee,” he smiled softly. “Come on, Tony’s buying you a bearclaw too.”

“There is the new coffee machine in the lunch room…”

“You know, I’m really getting sick of this ignoring the boss routine,” he whispered.

“Gibbs – I’m not trying to ignore you or be ignorant of you. I just do not want to discuss what I know you want to talk about without making it obvious. I just want to get my work done with so that I can go home and be miserable! Now please. Just leave me to my job…” Ziva snapped, yelling at him.

“Fine, you can help Abby in her lab, she needs help tieing up her loose ends. All this evidence to process… causes backlogs,” he said as he left the bull pen alone.

Glaring at the rest of the guys that stopped what they were doing and stared at her, she nodded to Gibbs and locked up her desk before leaving the area. Praying that Abby would not jump on her as well, she slowly took the stairs down rather than finding herself trapped in the elevator.

When she arrived in Abby’s lab, she found her friend waiting with a carton of her favourite ice cream in one hand and Bert in the other. “I’m sorry I shouted at you Ziva,” she said as she offered up the ice cream and her favourite stuffed animal.

Smiling in relief, Ziva went and sat at the counter after taking the offered presents. “It’s alright. Just please. Do not make me talk about it anymore. There is nothing else I can do now to fix it, no matter how much I wish I could.” Picking up the spoon on the table, she popped off the lid and let out a sigh as she debated whether she would even be able to hold the girlish vice down.

“Go on, you’re not leaving this lab until you eat at least one bite,” Abby replied with a resolved look. “And we don’t have to talk about anything. I’m just sorry I wasn’t a better friend to you when you needed one.”

“I brought it on myself too,” Ziva pointed out before scooping up a spoonful of the rocky road ice cream to eat, knowing she’d pay for it later with her cold. Shuddering from it, she looked up at her friend. “Is there anything I really can help you with on the case?” she asked between bites.

“No,” she smiled. “I’m all done. Gibbs just told you to come down here cos he knew you needed a friend. I know he’s been hard on you over this… but it’s only because he cares about you so much.”

Ziva was quiet as she picked at the ice cream. After several moments she spoke again. “I lost him. Completely. And I do not know how to handle it.”

“You didn’t lose him,” she smiled as Steve stepped into the doorway stealthily. “And if you want to make things right, if you want to get him back. You fight for him. I’ve watched you fight tooth and nail for people that you don’t even know. So why can’t you do the same for someone that loves you so damn much. Now uh do me a favor. Keep an eye on my lab while I get a fresh caf-pow.”

She nodded as Abby left, letting out a sigh and stabbed the frozen container of her snack with her spoon and pushed out away disgusted. “I am such a fool…” She muttered to herself.

“I don’t fall in love with fools, Ziva,” Steve announced softly as he stepped into the room. “You made a mistake. A big one yes, but you can still do something about it.”

She lifted her head quickly and turned to look at him, hopeful. “Please tell me how I can do that? Because I truly do not know how to fix this now.”

“We’ve still got the rest of our vacation. Lets just pack up and go somewhere. Talk things over,” he said. “It was stupid of me to want to wait. To go back home and be away from you before trying to fix things.”

“How about we head to LA?” he asked. “It’s been a while since I’ve been.”

Ziva blinked in surprise, his choice of location seeming odd. “Oh. Well – may I please run that past Gibbs then. I did not think you would suggest some place that far. After the way he has behaved towards me with these events, I do not believe that he will say no for a short trip away, but that isquite far during an active case.”

Steve nodded slowly as he looked at her. “Understandable. You should speak to him, of course. But I think he won’t argue and that the rest of your friends here are more than capable of finishing the case without us now.”

She nodded, not knowing what else to say in that moment. “Okay then. You left your rental here when you left. Wait for me there while I speak with Gibbs?”

“Sure,” he smiled. “But first I just have to do something.”

“What is that?” Ziva asked as she had started making her way to the door after closing the lid on the ice cream that Abby had gotten her.

He placed his arm across the doorway, blocking her path before lifting her chin slightly so that his lips could meet hers for a brief yet tender kiss. “That,” he smiled softly. They had a long ways to go before things between them would be okay again, but it was a start.

Her eyes closed and she smiled as he pulled away, a sense of relief coming over her.

“See you at the car,” he said as he dropped his arm so that she could get by. As much as he hated it when she left him for any amount of time, he sure did like watching her leave.”

“Okay. I will try to be quick. You left your coat up there, yes?” she asked as she headed into the elevator but held the door for a moment before it could close to catch his response.

“Yeah,” he said simply as he closed Abby’s lab for her and proceeded to take the stairs, just because he felt like dancing up them.

Making her way back to Gibbs, she hesitated as she stepped off the lift and return to their work area. “Gibbs? May I speak with you for a minute?” she asked, glancing at Tony with a hopeful smile to convey her gratitude for his attempt to fulfill her request earlier in the conference room.

“Sure,” he said as he handed her the cup of coffee he had promised her. They headed behind the stairs leading to MTAC and the Director’s office and as she lent against them and took a sip of her favourite blend, he asked, “I take it you’ve squared things away with McGarrett?”

Ziva shrugged a shoulder, still unsure. “I would like to think so but he and I still have a lot of mending over this. We were talking down in Abby’s lab and I know that this is very bad timing to ask you of this but if you weren’t so insisted on Steve and I…”

“Vacation form’s on your desk, all you have to do is sign it,” Gibbs smiled. “The local LEO’s are bringing Hiu’s sister in for questioning but it’s open and shut from here.”

She narrowed her eyes in suspicion. “Did he speak with you about this before he came down to see me? He did, didn’t he? That is why he was so willing to let me come speak with you – he knew you would already say yes -”

“No, I haven’t seen McGarrett since I left him in the conference room talking to Danny on McGee’s computer,” Gibbs explained. “I figured one way or another, you’d want some time off after talking things through with him.”

Something about his preparedness about anything related to them unnerved her but she said nothing to it. Not yet at least. She certainly planned on it when she returned. “I will only be a few days I believe. Most likely to the end of the weekend. If you or anyone needs to speak to me, I will have my phone but I will not be in the area at all for anything,” she shared, without giving away the fact that she would not even be in the same time zone by the next morning.

“Go,” he smiled. “Have a nice trip. And don’t bring Tony another gift back… he still plays with that damn puzzle game that McGee got him for Christmas. I’m surprised he gets any work done with that thing.”

“This trip isn’t about presents. You do not need to worry about that,” she chuckled. “I’m just going to let Tony and McGee know and then I am off. Thank you Gibbs.”

Gibbs just nodded and made his way up the stairs, heading for Vance’s office.

As Ziva made her way around the stairs again, she could see clearly how Tony and McGee cut whatever they were saying short and looked at her. “I am going away for a few days with Steve. To talk and see where he and I stand after everything,” she told them bluntly, her gaze passing over Tony more. “I will have my phone on should you need to talk, anytime.”

“Don’t worry about us,” Tony smiled softly. “I hope you and Steve sort things out quickly and have some fun.”

“Yeah,” McGee added, “And don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

“Come on probie, we want her to have fun with McGarrett, not bore herself to tears,” Tony grinned, only to receive a scowl from the tech wizard.

Ziva found herself smiling more brightly as she collected her coat and Steve’s. “I will make us dinner one night when I get back. I promise. How does that sound?” she asked, again making it clear her desire for his friendship.

“I’ll hold you to that,” Tony smiled softly, grateful for the gesture. “Now go will you. We’ll tell Abby the good news.”

“I would not have it any other way,” she replied as she began to head for the elevator. “Have a good night!”

“Night Ziva,” her fellow Agents said in unison. After she boarded the elevator, McGee looked to Tony, his smile softening. “You okay?”

“Huh?” Tony asked, “Oh, yeah, eventually. So long as Ziva’s happy.”

McGee nodded, “Well if you need to talk…”

“He hasn’t got time to talk McGee and neither do you,” Gibbs said as he strolled into the bullpen. “Baltimore PD are bringing Hiu’s sister in now. Lets put this case to bed and go home.”

“On it boss,” both Tony and McGee said as they rushed to get to their feet in order to follow Gibbs to interrogation.