The flights between Washington DC and Hawaii had been relatively uneventful which brought a tremendous relief to Steve and Ziva as they disembarked the plane and made their way into the terminal where they were confident that Danny was waiting not so patiently. Steve didn’t tell him that Ziva would be returning with him as he thought it would be a pleasant surprise for their island friends.
“It’s about damn time you’re home!” Danny greeted before he noticed Ziva trailing a step behind. “And wow! You’re here? Are you visiting? Please tell me that you are doing more than just visiting this time because I cannot deal with that Jardine person anymore!”
“Relax Danno. Agent Jardine will be returning to DC soon. Ziva is here to stay. We thought it would have been a nice surprise rather than telling you over the phone,” Steve grinned.
“Thank God. Let’s get the hell out of here. Kono and Chin are waiting at the bar with the big guy. We wanted to surprise you with a welcome home dinner,” Danny said with a sigh of relief as he followed the two to baggage claim to pick up Ziva’s luggage. “So – do you two have anything to share?”
Ziva looked over at Steve who raised an eyebrow as if to silently communicate that it was up to her. “No. Not that I know of,” she replied with a shrug. “Other than my joining your team, I do not know what you wish to know.”
The man looked almost depressed as he glanced over at his friend. “You didn’t ask?” he whispered.
“I did, but you know Ziva. She’ll answer when she is ready. I’m not pressuring her into anything,” Steve said softly as he smiled at her as she pointedly turned away from their conversation to hide her own smile as she went to collect her belongings.
“That sucks. I hope it works out for whatever its worth,” Danny offered. “Alright, let’s get going. I want my steak already!”
Steve didn’t say anything as he went over to take the suitcase from Ziva, earning him an amused glare but no argument. He knew that they would make their announcements at dinner that night so he wasn’t concerned too much about lying to his partner.
Dinner was an event in itself with the 5-0 team. Having chosen to stick to water, Ziva managed to earn herself some questions to her choice. Initially she hesitated about telling them right there but Steve nodded as he cleared his throat to speak. They were first his friends and they agreed that he would break the news this time around as she had told hers.
“Well, we do have a few things we would like to share. Sorry Danny but yes I had asked Ziva to marry me. I didn’t lie when I said that I didn’t pressure her and gave her the time she needed to give an honest answer. This week Ziva said yes,” he shared, laughing at the dumbfounded expression on the man’s face at being duped.
Ziva chuckled as well. “There is more,” she added hesitantly as she looked back at Steve to continue who appeared just as hesitant now.
“We also found out this week that, uh, Ziva is expecting. Hence her choice of water tonight,” he grinned at her as he took her hand in his and squeezed gently.
“Wow…” Was all Danny could come out with at first before Chin and Kono passed their congratulations and stood from their seats to come around the table to give Ziva a hug and kiss each and to shake Steve’s hand.
“When you said you had news, I thought it was just you being officially a part of the team soon. I didn’t think it was anything like this,” Kono grinned. “I must admit I do like this just as much, maybe a little more.”
She didn’t know what else to say but give her thanks. Steve had eventually made his way over to pull Ziva into his arms, having felt like he was too far from her for too long. As he looked down at her, he could see her struggling to suppress her yawns. “Okay guys. I think its time to call it a night. We’ll catch up more later as we’re still running on east coast time,” he announced.
Everyone was quick to call it a night then leaving Danny with the couple as he had been their ride. On the ride back to Steve’s house, he had been relatively quiet. As he parked in the driveway, he sat for a moment before speaking.
“So let me get this straight. Ziva’s joining the team, you two are now engaged and knocked up?” Danny asked softly.
Next to him, Ziva frowned at the man’s overall reaction to their news. “Yes. Are you upset by this?” she questioned carefully.
He sucked in a deep breath before shaking his head and releasing a chuckle. “No. Just wasn’t at all I was expecting. I guess I’m just still in shock. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy for you guys. Having a kid is a wonderful experience and I’m sure you two will excel at it. Of course the rest of us and the island will have to invest in Kevlar and bomb shelters with the two of you being the parents,” he joked.
Steve frowned before raising an eyebrow as Ziva started laughing with Danny. “Our kid will be great!”
“Yes, it will but you got to admit it is an amusing scenario,” she pointed out. “Given your affinity for explosives and mine for knives…”
“Okay. I’ll give you that much. Seriously though Bro, I was beginning to think that you weren’t happy about everything. You were really starting to get me worried…”
Danny sighed and glanced back at him with a look of shame. “Yeah. Sorry. It’s just a lot of changes in such a short time. A man can only handle so much. Hey, what’s the plan for this week? I gotta get home to try to get some sleep in because Rachel is having me pick up Gracie for school in the morning.”
“Shit. Yeah. I have to run over to the Governor’s office to handle the paperwork for Ziva’s position. I assume you’re going to need to go to the NCIS office at Pearl to deal with your transfer orders, right?” Steve asked her, receiving a nod.
“And some shopping. I have enough for a few days but I do not know how long it will be before my things arrive. If the team gets a case before Tony has a chance to take the boxes to the post office, I need something to hold me over.”
Danny looked at them thoughtfully. “Well who knows how long Steve will be with the Governor. She likes to talk. I can take you wherever you need to go after I drop Gracie off at school. Maybe you should look into getting a car soon too. Maybe a station wagon or minivan?”
Ziva’s smile dropped as she punched the man in his shoulder, earning a grunt of pain from him. “You are an idiot. We will see you tomorrow,” she chided as she grabbed her things from the front with her and exited the car before heading up to wait for Steve by the door.
“You had to have expected a response like that for that comment,” the man said sympathetically. “Call before you show up tomorrow. Who knows what you might walk into…”
The detective turned to face him and looked at him questioningly. Sudden realization dawned on his features before they turned into slight disgust. “Man! I didn’t need to know any of that! God! What is wrong with you man?!”
Steve chuckled as he grabbed his duffel bag and closed the door. As he made his way into his house, he couldn’t help but to smile at himself. At least he was able to just guarantee Ziva and himself some time to sleep in the next morning.
Changing for bed was relatively quiet as the couple was exhausted. After Steve had checked the property that he was sure his friends kept safe for him, he went to check on the tool box to make sure that the evidence his father left him was still safe. Only when he saw it with his own eyes did he relax enough to head up to bed.
When Steve walked into the bedroom, he couldn’t stop the smile from his face as he watched Ziva changing into a pair of his boxers with only one of her wife beaters on. “You are just too beautiful for your own good. You know that?”
She spun around and grinned, chuckling lightly. “If that is your line to get you laid tonight, I am sorry. I really am too tired.”
“No. I know. Honestly, I am too but I still think you’re beautiful,” he replied as he walked up to her and pulled her into his arms. “I love you.”
“And I love you too but may we go to bed now?” Ziva asked, sliding her arms around his body.
Steve released a sigh and nodded. “Yeah, sure. I’m just going to finish getting ready and will join you shortly.” She smiled up at him and pushed herself up on her toes to give him a chaste kiss before leaving to crawl into bed for the night. He went about changing and going through his nightly routines before joining her.
Laying in bed, Steve found it difficult to fall asleep as he thought about everything, both past and present now that he was home. Of course he was ecstatic that he had Ziva with him, but now he could once again try to start working on his father’s murder. He knew who did it. Everyone knew who did it, but it was a question of who was behind it because deep down, he realized that no matter how resourceful that Victor Hesse was, to stay off the grid and one step ahead, the man had to have had help. He knew right then that Hesse was no longer the primary and that he would have to look above him.
When Ziva let out a sigh in her sleep, he looked down and held her just a little bit closer. Of course he knew how much she would be able to help if he let her, but the fear of her getting hurt or worse, their child she now carried, had him on edge. They experienced enough turbulence in their relationship that if he kept anything else from her, it could very well be the breaking point. Maybe when he met up with Chin the next day he would ask him how about he could bring Ziva in for full disclosure and get her to promise to keep herself out of the fire. He couldn’t help but to snort in amusement. Gibbs would probably have the best recommendation for that – after a promise of a slap to his head.