WOW. THAT PREMIERE WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!! Kick-ass, man!! I cannot WAIT to see the Tivaness this season is sure to bring!! (I mean, the producers DID pretty much tell us it's going to happen...)
Anyway, I figured it was about time to wrap this one up, now that we all have season seven, and we don't need post-Aliyah fanfictions to fill the void that season six left us with. :)
Thank you to all who reviewed!! Your kind words and reviews and suggestions kept this story alive! (That, and my own personal need for something to occupy the lonely summer months with no NCIS!) Thanks so much!
I would also like to dedicate this fanfiction to my three best friends in the whole world that helped me come up with ideas when I got stuck: Lacey (for being my beta for a short time, and filling me in on factoids I didn't know), Nisan (for helping me come up with a plot line and excellent villian!) and Sophie (for helping me write the damn thing!). I could not have done it without you guys!
Here's to season seven!!!
Disclaimer: NCIS not mine.
Star of David
Three weeks later…
Time never was something Tony had stopped to contemplate. For him, time had never seemed in his favor. It had always seemed that it was on the dark side, taunting him with cookies. It always seemed to slip away from him, right through his fingers like sand.
But now, time was everything.
He and the team had been back in the States for two weeks now, immediately following his release from the Ichilov Hospital. He had taken a week to get back into the swing of things, and to build up his strength, before finally returning to his desk at NCIS, and all the paperwork stacked on top.
Upon their return, the entire squad room stood to their feet, clapping. Vance had nominated him for the Medal of Honor, and the ceremony was to be held sometime within the next couple weeks.
Ziva had moved into his apartment with him, and he had found himself growing used to the idea of her staying there forever. Every time the prospect came up, however, he quickly pushed the idea from his mind. Marriage was definitely not something either of them wanted to even consider for the time being. For now, they were content with just seeing each other every day, and being able to curl up on the couch together at night, warm and safe in each other's arms.
Tony grimaced as he rotated his shoulder in his sling. His wounds had healed nicely, thought the deeper cuts from Amir's knife and the gunshot would and had left scars. His fractured arm still hurt like hell, and he still had trouble sleeping (suffering from the occasional nightmare), but he was learning to live with it, the pain meds his doctor had prescribed weren't so bad, either.
The cab pulled up to the curb, and Tony paid the man before stepping out into the DC air and steady rain. He closed the door, and the cab pulled off.
Usually, Ziva would have driven him to wherever it was he needed to go, but this was one occasion where Ziva could not accompany him. Not only did he still fear her driving style – some things about his ninja would never change – but this particular trip across town had something to do with her, and she wasn't supposed to know about it. So he had slipped out of work early, saying he needed a little time to himself, telling her he'd meet up with her back at home.
He turned to the door in front of him, and pushed it open, stepping into the small shop, shaking some of the water from his clothes. Water droplets splattered across the doormat, and Tony smiled as the man behind the counter greeted him.
"Well, well, I was wondering if you would ever come and pick up this order!" Said the man.
"Hey, Frank." Tony said as he stepped closer. "Had a little trouble getting out of work. Sorry I'm late."
Frank shook his head. "Nothing to be sorry for!" He said. He reached under the counter and brought out a small black box. "It's all finished, and ready to go."
Tony picked up the box, peeking at the shining object inside. He grinned, closing the box again.
"Thanks for doing this for me, Frank." He said. "It means a lot."
"I know it does." Frank assured him.
Tony paid him, and left with the small box tucked protectively in his coat pocket. He flagged down another cab, and climbed inside, telling him his address.
Abby had planned another one of her "Family Fun Nights" over at her place that night, and had invited everyone to join her for dinner and movies, even Vance. Everyone agreed to come, and glancing at his watch, Tony saw that he only had an hour to get ready for it once he got home. It wasn't like he had to dress up or anything – after all, it was Abby – but he had still had a long day at NCIS, and he wanted to change into something more comfortable than the clothes he wore now.
The cab pulled up to his apartment a few minutes later, and Tony hopped out, rushing into the building as fast as he could as it began to pour rain by the bucketful.
He emerged into his apartment drenched. His hair clung to his forehead, and he slipped his jacket from his shoulders, making sure the box in the pocket was still well hidden.
Ziva emerged a few seconds later.
"Abby called." She said. "She said that if you are late again she will shave your head in your sleep."
Tony's hand went to his hair. "I like my hair." He protested.
Ziva smiled. "Do not worry." She said. "I will not let her."
Tony grinned as he crossed the room to plant a kiss on her lips. "Good to know my ninja's got my back!"
Ziva poked him in the ribs. "Still, I do not want to keep Abby and the others waiting. Go get ready."
Tony kissed her one last time before doing as she said, and went to his room to change. He pulled on a pair of jeans, and slipped on a light cotton button up (as frivolous things like t-shirts were pretty much off limits until his arm and chest were completely healed). In ten minutes time, he walked back into the kitchen, barefoot, but dressed.
"You do know that you have the feet of Largefoot?" Ziva said upon noticing his wiggling toes.
"Bigfoot, Zee-vah." Tony corrected. "And yes, I am very well aware of that. I was in a size eleven before eighth grade."
Ziva laughed as she finished packing the last of the food she and Tony were taking as a contribution to the party. "Are you ready?" She asked.
Tony chewed the inside of his lip. "Not quite." He said after a moment. He left Ziva and walked back into the hall where his jacket hung. He pulled out the little black box, fumbling with it for a few moments before he walked back into the kitchen.
"I have something for you."
Ziva's eyebrows creased. "What are you talking about?" She asked. "It is not a holiday, is it?"
Tony shook his head. "No, it's not a holiday." He said. "But there's something I've been meaning to give you since we got home."
He handed her the little box, and watched as she looked at it, confused.
"Tony, what is this?" She asked.
"Open it and see." He whispered, stepping closer to her.
Ziva stared at him for a moment before she opened the lid of the box. Her breath caught in her throat at the small object in front of her, tears welling in her brown eyes.
It was her Star of David. The chain she had previously worn it on was whole and complete once again, and the charm had been polished to the point where it looked almost new, despite the years she had worn it. It looked as though Amir's grubby fingers had never touched it, never stolen it from her and used it as a tool to lead Tony into what had almost been his death.
"I had Gibbs take it from the hospital for me." Tony explained when Ziva did not speak. "The doctors wouldn't let me wear it, they said, because of my chest, but I had plans to give it back to you as soon as we got home anyway. I took it up to my friend Frank uptown and had him fix the chain and polish it up a bit."
"Tony…" Ziva said, suddenly turning around to hug him fiercely. "Thank you."
Tony's good arm wound around her, and the two held each other tightly for a moment.
"That necklace means something to both of us." He whispered into her hair. "It gave me strength when I went to find you."
"It was Tali's." Ziva explained. "My mother gave it to her when she turned eight, and after she died, my father…" Tony heard the bitter edge of her voice at the mention of Eli, whom they had not seen or spoken to since Ziva's confrontation with him back in Tel Aviv. "My father gave it to me. He knew how much Tali meant to me…" She looked up at him, her brown eyes meeting his green. "I thought I would never see it again when Amir took it from me, but then you showed up with it around your neck…" She smiled. "Thank you."
Tony smiled back at her. "You're welcome." He glanced up at the clock on the wall. "Are you going to put it on?" He asked.
Ziva took a step back, and gingerly picked up the necklace from inside the box. Sweeping her hair back, she fastened the chain around her neck, and the charm fell to its stationary spot on her chest.
Finally, finally, she felt whole again.
Tony smiled as he took her hand in his. "Now that's my ninja!" He said, jokingly.
Ziva's eyes sparkled as she placed a quick kiss on his lips.
"And you, my little hairy butt, will be bald before the end of the night if we do not hurry soon." She said. "I think it is best if we hurry and get to Abby's party."
Tony nodded. "That we do."
Grabbing their coats, the two headed out, hand in hand, into the pouring rain towards the parking lot.
"Ani ochevet otcha." Tony whispered in Ziva's ear as they climbed into Ziva's Cooper.
"I love you, too, Tony." Ziva whispered back. "I love you, too."