So....here is another one-shot that I am putting up to help with the fact that Soulmates is not being updated yet. I'M SORRY! I have been really busy and there is like, this two-paragraph gap halfway through the chapter that I'm having trouble filling in. So yeah. Writer's block sucks.
This little scene popped into my head last night for some reason...I hope you like it...it's kind of different from what i usually do.
I tried to discreetly adjust my shirt in the car. It didn't fit me too well; but it was the only clean one that matched the tie I was wearing. Ziva had picked it out for me, and I wanted to wear it on a special occasion such as this. I was actually quite relieved that she had picked out one that was actually cool; it didn't have any weird colors or dorky patterns on it, and seemed to be made of some pretty nice fabric. To disguise it a little bit, I buttoned my jacket and kept my arms mostly at my sides as I drove.
"Where are we going?" Ziva asked me after a moment. "I don't recognize this neighborhood."
"Somewhere," I said facetiously, rounding a corner and putting our final destination in view. You could see the sparkly entrance to a very expensive, very popular restaurant. I heard her sharp intake of breath as she realized where we were going and turned to face me sharply. "How could you get into this place?" she asked me with a tone of shock layering her voice. "I heard it takes months to get in here."
"I called them seven months ago, actually," I said. "I hope it's worth the wait."
"I'm sure it will be."
I pulled up to the front and a valet opened the door for us, offering Ziva his outstretched arm as she climbed out to the car. As I got out the other side and handed the keys to the other young man, I caught a great view of her gorgeous silver dress. It slinked down to her knees and wrapped around her chest in a flattering halter top style. Her hair was down, but her wavy curls were more controlled, flowing gently over her shoulders. I tried my best not to stare too openly. I took her arm from the man who had helped her out of the car and we walked towards the entrance of the restaurant, not even sparing a glance for my car as some college kid drove it off to the parking lot hidden behind the building.
"Name, sir?" the host asked me when we got up to the podium. I replied, and the man quickly checked my name off a list of reservations and grabbed two menus from under the podium. "Right this way," he said politely, gesturing for us to follow him.
He lead up to a small, intimately decorated table near the center of the room, pulling the chair out first for Ziva and then for myself.
"Your sever, Danielle, should be with you shortly," the man said, setting the menus down in front of us before heading back to his podium at the front door.
"This is a beautiful place you picked, dear," Ziva said to me, reaching across the small table to enclose my hands in hers. "What's the occasion?"
"Oh, nothing special," I said nonchalantly. "Do I really need an occasion to take out the most beautiful woman in the city?" I tried to put in as much sincerity in my voice as possible, wanting to make things interesting. Ziva's eyes sparkled with mischief as she accepted the challenge.
"Mhmmm…with flattery like that you are definitely getting a gold star for tonight."
"And what does a gold star get me?"
"What would you like?" she asked, in a hoarse whisper, leaning forward slightly on the table, taunting me both with the proximity of her lips and the excellent view I had down her dress. The voice in my head was going crazy, shouting things at me that I decided to ignore.
"The treasure at the end of the rainbow, perhaps?" I suggested. "The fulfillment of my heart's desire?"
"Why don't we go back to my place after dinner and discuss the subject of this…treasure?"
"That sounds like a great idea."
We were silent for as second before our waitress appeared in front of us. "Welcome to Bella Laguna," she said cheerfully, pulling a notepad out of the black half-apron tied about her waist. "What can I get you two to drink?"
"Well take two glasses of Chardonnay, please," I said, looking to Ziva for approval. She nodded, and hurried off to the kitchen.
"Chardonnay?" she questioned lightly.
"Hey. I told you; I'm sparing no expense tonight."
The voices in my head grumbled at the cost, but I shut them out. This was not an everyday occurrence, and I wanted to make the most of it.
Ziva smiled, and opened her menu. "So, what would you suggest I eat with this Chardonnay you are springing for?"
"Um, roasted turkey or chicken, perhaps?"
"I am not going to sit in this fancy restaurant and eat chicken."
"Good point. Then may I suggest the smoked salmon? I hear it's particularly good here."
"Mmm…that does sound delicious."
About ten seconds later, Danielle appeared with a bottle of white wine and two glasses, setting them down in the middle of the table.
"Are you ready to order?" she asked us, popping the top off the bottle and pouring a little of the wine into each of our glasses.
"I think she's going to have the smoked salmon," I started before Ziva could change her mind. "And I believe I want the mushroom ravioli."
Danielle wrote our orders down on her notepad, picked up our menus, and told us that she would be back soon with our dinner.
"Thank you, dear," Ziva said after reaching for her glass taking a sip of the beige colored liquid.
"It's no trouble," I replied. "We were due for a nice, romantic dinner anyway."
"I was surprised we didn't have to work tonight though," she said thoughtfully. "Usually the boss finds something for us to do when we have plans."
"I know. Lucky break."
Ziva and I sat and chatted about small things over our salads as we waited for dinner: work, family, and the assholes that always talked really loud on their Bluetooth cell phones in restaurants while sitting by themselves.
The voices in my head began to talk to me quickly, telling me what I had to do. I knew what I had come to the restaurant for, and I was delaying. My throat was suddenly dry now that the moment had come. I was floundering on the dry land here, trying to come up with a plan.
"What is the matter?" Ziva asked me, noticing my slight shift.
"I'm about to do something crazy," I whispered to her.
"You're not going to stab yourself, are you?" she asked, eyeing me with concern.
"Nope," I responded.
I stood up on my chair, trying to draw as much attention to myself as possible. "Ladies and gentlemen, could I have your attention, please?" I asked. People in the restaurant turned to look at me. I got down from the chair, and turned to face Ziva again, resolve at what I was about to do clearly evident on my face.
"What are you doing?" she asked me.
I didn't answer. I was saving my ability to speak. In my last second before the plunge, I tried to pull the words out of my head that had been swimming around moments before. Taking a deep breath, I got down on one knee and took Ziva's hand in mine.
"We've been together many years, have we not?" I asked her simply.
She nodded, very obviously at a loss for words.
"We've been through lots of things....fights, frustration, and the various other stressful things that come with our job. But even after all that, we've managed to keep it together." I could feel the stares of the others in the restaurant on the back of my neck. "And of all those things, I think this is the most nerve-wracking thing I have ever done." Ziva let out a nervous smile and a couple people watching nearby laughed. "All I know is that I am madly, hopelessly, completely in love with you, and would like nothing more than to have you with me every day for the rest of my life." I took a deep breath. "And so, my dear...I have just one question: Will you marry me?" I pulled a simple silver ring from out of my pocket and held it up to her.
There were a few heart-stopping seconds where I was afraid she would shut me down in front of all our onlookers. But then I saw her barely perceptible nod and heard her whispered, "Yes. Yes I will."
A huge smile broke out on my face and I stood up quickly, gathering her into my arms. Her lips were on mine in an instant, and we kissed there in the middle of the restaurant to cheering and applause. It was hard to restrain myself; considering our audience it wouldn't really be prudent to release the furious passion that was threatening to break loose.
"Alright, DiNozzo, David, cut it out," Gibbs' voice came crackling through my earpiece. "We caught the guy."
Reluctantly, Ziva and I pulled away from each other. I looked over her shoulder as we sat down again and the restaurant quieted down; in the shadows I could see McGee leading a very beat-up looking waiter out the side door.
"Alright you two, you can leave now," Gibbs said, annoyance in his voice.
"But we just got engaged, boss," I protested quietly into the microphone I was wearing on my sleeve. "Can't we at least celebrate it?"
There was a long period of silence as Ziva smiled with silent laughter. "Fine. But you are back in the office in one hour, do you understand me?"
"Yes Gibbs," we both responded.
"Here is your dinner, Mr. Steele," Danielle said, coming up and setting down the mushroom ravioli in front of me.
"And your salmon, Future Mrs. Steele," she said to Ziva with a smile on her face. "Congratulations, on your engagement!"
"Thank you, Danielle," Ziva said, and picked up her fork, catching my eye and winking. "That was a pretty clever diversion you came up with," she said quietly to me after our waitress had left. "It was not what I was expecting when Gibbs asked us for a distraction."
"I'm full of surprises," I responded, flashing her with a smile. "I think it was a pretty good speech for a spur-of-the-moment thing."
"I would agree. You looked nervous, though."
"I've never proposed to anyone before. I was floating in uncharted waters."
Ziva laughed, a genuine, full-of-happiness type of laugh. I smiled along with her and leaned back into my chair, enjoying the moment.
"To undercover missions," she said, holding up her glass.
"To Gibbs. And everyone watching us in MTAC right now. And to…Vance paying for dinner."
We clinked our glasses together.
Ahahahaha....I hope you didn't see that plot twist coming. I tried really hard not to make it too obvious.
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