Chapter 16. Epilogue: Magic

Tony and Ziva entered the elevator. It was the first day that Gibbs would be back, albeit still on desk duty. It had been a long three months for Ziva and Tim. Gibbs sat in traction, hating everything in the hospital, even thinking of setting up a traction set in his house, just so he could leave. While he was there, he fielded phone calls from Tim and Ziva, complaining about Tony's behavior toward them. He'd also heard from Ducky that they were complaining to him as well.

Gibbs and Ducky both agreed that Tony was the right man for the job.

As the elevator rose, Tony fidgeted, just like he'd done in the car. Just like she'd done in the car, Ziva snickered. "God, this is scratchy. C'mon, Zi, I don't see how I was this bad while Gibbs was gone."

She turned on him. "Tony, you hung up on me, twice. You drank enough coffee that you did not sleep for four days. You were short, tense, and barely slept. I will not even get into how badly you treated Tim during the Cortez case."

Tony never took his eye off the numbers above the door. "I wasn't that bad, I know I wasn't." He looked at her. "Can we just go up, drop our gear, and then I can go change?"

Ziva glared at him, unable to keep a smile off her face. "Tony, if you ever, and I mean ever, want to see me in something like that again, you will not take it off until at least the end of the day, unless I say otherwise."

He wiggled again, trying to get things to feel right. "I hate Mondays," he sighed.

She grinned at him. "Well, you do share a lot of characteristics with Garfield. You both love lasagna, you both love to sleep, and," she patted his stomach, "you are starting to get a little rounder."

He looked down at her. "I love your lasagna, I love to sleep with you, and if you didn't keep me so tired, I'd have more time for exercise." He lightly kissed her lips. "Can I take this damn thing off now?"

Ziva leaned up and kissed him back, deeply. Her fingers ran through his hair, gripping the back of his head, pulling her to him. They broke apart after a minute. He was out of breath, eyes closed, and leaning slightly forward to try to recapture her lips.

He was brought up short when she just said, "No," and turned back as the door opened.

As they entered the bull pen, they saw Jasper Shepard's picture on the screen. McGee was speaking to Gibbs, while Abby, Ducky, and Palmer listened in. "The FBI, on Fornell's advice, has placed Shepard into the Witness Protection Program once his debriefings are done. They're going to use him as a consultant for gun runners."

Gibbs nodded as he looked up at the two new arrivals. Both dropped their bags and moved in front of Gibbs' desk. Both stood there, looking between Gibbs and each other. "What," Gibbs asked.

A quiet argument ensued, with both saying that the other had agreed to tell him. This went on for almost a minute, neither of them noticing the grins on the faces of everyone except Gibbs.

"Fine," Tony exploded. He turned to Gibbs. "Boss, I hereby turn operational control of this team back over to you. Ziva has something to tell you." He spun to Ziva. "Happy?" He stalked back to his desk, Ziva didn't move, staring at him in bemusement.

"Tony," Gibbs yelled, "Get back here."

Tony, halfway to his seat, shook his head and stood, coming back to stand next to Ziva. Only Tony heard the comment, "Coward," from Ziva, who chuckled silently.

Gibbs stood, staring back and forth between the two of them, before turning to McGee's desk. "Elf Lord, Abs, you get over here too."

A confused Tim and Abby joined the other two standing in front of Gibbs' desk. Gibbs placed his hands on his desk, leaning forward. One hand came up, pointing to all of them. "If this gets in the way of the job, if anything happens to keep the professionalism of your jobs, I'll get rid of both of you. DiNozzo, you'll be on a submarine so fast you won't have time to pack. David, you'll be headed back to Israel even faster. McGee, you'll be headed downstairs and I'll revoke your Special Agent privileges. Abby, you're headed to San Diego or Hawaii."

All mouths were open, Abby speaking first. " that sun?" Gibbs only nodded. Abby hung her head.

Tim was the next to snap out of his trance. "Boss, what are you talking about?"

Gibbs just looked at him. "August 18th, McGee."

"Oh." McGee hung his head, trying to hide a smile.

Tony looked at him and punched him lightly in the arm. "Way to go, McStud Muffin."

Ziva stood still, not letting Gibbs realize that he'd shocked her. Then she realized that she had to say something. She leaned across Tony and whispered loudly, "Congratulations, Abby." She stood up, registering Abby's smile out of the corner of her eye.

"And you two, November 5th." Both mouths hung open again for a moment, before Ziva turned to Tony, glaring at him. "Don't look at him, David. You gave it away." A yelp of surprise came from Ziva as Gibbs turned back to Tim and Abby. Making a 'shoo' motion with his hand, he sent them back to McGee's desk, the two now holding hands.

Gibbs turned back to his other Agents, looking between the two. "I have just one question for you." They were slightly surprised by the gentleness in his voice. But, nothing could have prepared them for the question he asked.

"Have you set a date yet?"

If you stood a mile away and waved a feather in their general direction, both would have quickly fallen over. All eyes, except Tim's turned to Tony and Ziva as the impact hit them.

Tim just chuckled. "Boss, I think you spent a little too much time in the hospital. Them dating, okay, I can see how you'd figure that out, but engaged...What, Abby," he asked turning to her, as she continued to jerk on his arm. He looked at her for a moment before turning to see where she was looking. When he saw their faces, his mouth fell open. "Wha..."

Gibbs, meanwhile, was snapping his fingers in their faces, trying to get their attention. He gave up and sighing, gathered his crutches. "I need coffee," he muttered as he passed the two, giving both a head slap as he did. Neither noticed.

The elevator doors closed before Tony and Ziva turned to each other. Abby was the first to break the silence. "When?"

Ziva never took her eyes off Tony, but breathed, "Saturday night. A day and a half ago." She pulled out her necklace, showing her Star of David and a subdued engagement ring.

Abby jumped up and held it. Suddenly, she began to jump in excitement. Ziva snapped from her almost comatose trance when she felt her neck being yanked on. "Abby," she yelled, carefully removing her ring from the goth's fingers.

Abby paid no attention to her. "I finally have proof. Concrete, undeniable, proof." Her voice turned into a whisper.

"He is Magic."



A/N: Thank you to all of you who came along for the ride. With the computer problems I had, it was actually fun to rewrite this every day.

Special thanks to Viktorija and M E Wofford, who reviewed damn near every chapter, and kept me in line with the plot.

Another special thank you to PaperHat, who let me borrow Baxter Murray for a few minutes.

I've gotten a couple questions about what Tony's wearing. I leave that to your imagination.

Thanks to everyone. See you next time.