A/N- So let me explain this chapter. I hate the stories where every little detail down to some random cameo character's girlfriend trouble is wrapped up nicely and eatly and absolutely everyone has an absolutely happy ending. I mean they're sweet but sometimes...just a little too much if you get what I'm saying. As much as I love TIVA I can't see them walking off into the sunset to never have another problem so long as they both may live. So this chapter was written with the idea of them being happy together without so much of a conventional together. Let me know what you think

Sixteen months following Ziva David's return to America...

"Thank-you Marcia, and in breaking news from Tel Aviv, the Director of the Israeli Intelligence agency Mossad has been found dead in his home of a suspected heart attack-"

Abby dove for the remote and with an almost violent assault on the piece of technology, managed to turn off the television just as Ziva re-entered the bullpen.

"Hello Abby" she greeted warmly, sitting down at her desk. Her lingering smile suggesting that she had seen her friend's attempt to protect her emotions.

"Hey" Abby responded, tossing the remote onto Tony's desk and meandering over,

"How's things?" she asked politely, fidgeting with her numerous bracelets as she hovered around the former Israeli's desk.

Ziva started sorting through the ridiculous amounts of paper work on her desk. Since Tony was now team-leader she and McGee had found themselves in the role of Senior Field Agents, which unfortunately meant that they had the responsibilities that had been acquired during Tony's time in the role. It had only been a week before the rest of the team had realised just how much work Tony had done as Gibbs' second-in-command and developed a new respect for the man. Fortunately for Ziva and Tim though, Tony remembered the late hours spent checking over the reports of every team member to ensure there were no mistakes and filling out the requisition forms so they had all the gear they required, as such he would help them out when possible. Finding the correct form, Ziva looked up at her Goth friend,

"Things are good; I have finally convinced my landlord to let me have a dog, provided I reimburse him for any damaged items and do not let him bark at the blue moon"

"Howl Ziva" Tony corrected as he strode through the bullpen, two coffees in hand, ready for his morning pow-wow with Director Gibbs. "You howl at the full moon"

Ziva frowned playfully, pretending not to understand, "Well, I have heard them say that the full moon does bring the crazies out"

Tony winked in response before climbing the stairs to the MTAC gallery.

"So..." Abby drawled the word out, either uncomfortable with the situation or very confused,

"A dog huh?"

Ziva nodded, beginning a long explanation of her reasoning behind the first pet she will ever own. She rambles on about how neither she nor her siblings were allowed to have pets as children and as a well-travelled Mossad officer; it would have been unfair to both her and the pet, though she had always desperately adored animals. While part of her revealed this to Abby, another part of her considered the situation that everyone believed so very odd.

The very night Eli flew back to Israel, staying in Washington only long enough to call Ziva and let her know that she was officially disowned as a daughter; Ziva had done her best to prove her innocence to the team. Gibbs and Ducky had believed her outright, Palmer had only been confused by the entire situation and McGee had only needed a little convincing before surrendering to her argument with a heartfelt sigh.

Abby and Tony had been another matter.

Abby had screamed at Ziva, calling her a heartless murderer and wishing she was dead. She had stormed out of the building before Ziva could give chase and threatened to resign if Ziva was reinstated as an agent of NCIS.

When Ziva, in tears, had stumbled blindly into the bullpen looking for Tony, she had barely begun her explanation before he had pulled her into his arms, holding her tight, covering her with kisses and reassuring her of his love. That night they had moved in together, both convinced it was the start of a new life for them both.

It was three months before Ziva realised that Tony loving her didn't mean he believed in her innocence.

She discovered that he had been investigating her brother's orders behind her back, searching frantically for fast disappearing proof that she had been unaware of the mission.

Devastated she had walked out on him, spending the night wandering the streets rather than go home to the man who had lied to her. It had been late afternoon the next day before she had returned to the apartment only to find Tony's things gone. He had left a note promising that he loved her, even if it was the most difficult thing he had ever done.
She had gone to work that Monday to find Tony sitting silently at his desk and Gibbs standing in the bullpen with a murderous look upon his face. Ziva had met the now officially appointed Director's eyes and read the warning clearly,

'Keep it out of the office'

And they had done so, with only Tony's sticky note attached to her computer telling her he was staying at a friend's place while he hunted for a new apartment.

Once he found it however, Ziva decided to move into it and give him his old home back, except that Tony wanted a fresh break and put his apartment up for sale. They lived together during this time, spending most of their waking moments apart or silent towards each other but at night they would climb into bed and make love or hold each other with whispered words of affection and encouragement. Oddly enough, this method worked for them, they were both exceptionally strong willed people who enjoyed their personal space, they quickly realised that once the honeymoon phase wore off they were arguing every other second and invading each other's privacy. The next time Ziva found the new apartment, which Tony quickly deemed perfect and moved in to. It was only a twenty minute drive from her home but both of them found that as much as they couldn't stand to always be together, it was even worse to endure unnecessary time and distance apart. As matters currently stood, Tony was looking for a duplex for them both, a place where they could live together and yet still be very much independent.

Meanwhile Gibbs had coaxed Abby back to the office with growing evidence of Ziva's innocence, much to the relief of the FBI where Abby had been temping in their forensics lab. Tony had apologised in his own way by buying Ziva a diamond ring with words of regret carved on the inside.

It wasn't an engagement ring; she was not made for white weddings, but rather a promise of commitment for as long as they could handle one another.

They could love each other forever though.

Ziva smiled at Abby as she finished her description of the beagle breeder she had been in contact with and the Goth made the obligatory sounds of admiration even as her thoughts were clearly trying to discern the relationship between the recently appointed team leader and newly arranged American citizen and federal agent.

"And how are you and McGee?" Ziva asked kindly, her eyes flickering to the ring that lay on Abby's finger, a lovely antique diamond that had belonged to McGee's grandmother. He had officially proposed to her when she had been refusing all contact from Tony and Ziva and she had thrown a celebratory dinner that Palmer had reported to be 'superb'. The Scuito's and McGee's appeared to like the idea of becoming one family and Sarah was helping Abby plan the wedding.

Ziva had not yet been invited to become one of the bridal party; she knew her relationship with Abby was still too tender. Though the wedding was not for another year and a half, there were rumours that Abby had invited Caitlin Todd's parents, whom she had kept in touch with since their daughter's death. With matters as they were, Ziva wondered if she should even attend or just send Tony along with a present and a claim of 'sudden illness'.

"We're good" Abby nodded, just a touch unconvincingly, "We're perfect actually, we never argue, we never disagree, hell we never even have the basic problems all couples seem to have. We're like a couple out of a fifties sitcom, our parents are ecstatic"

Ziva frowned slightly and rose from her chair, coming to stand close so that McGee would not overhear if he returned to the bullpen, "This is good is it not?"

Abby took a jagged breath and her eyes darted around the squad room quickly before she reached out and grabbed Ziva's hand, "Couples are meant to fight, relationships aren't meant to be so...easy and perfect. I mean...look at you and Tony, you two are so head over heels in love and you can't even share a coffee without one of you moving houses!"

"Tony and I are hardly a good example of a healthy relationship Abby" Ziva pointed out incredulously, but Abby only shook her head stubbornly,

"I don't want good and I don't want healthy, I want passionate, I want romantic, I want to yell and scream and then make love on my evidence table...I don't want to wake up one morning and find that we've got ourselves stuck in a rut"

Ziva opened her mouth to suggest that Abby try and speak to McGee about these things when she heard the elevator ding and turned her head to see Tim step off, moving slowly due to conversation with another federal agent. Hastily she faced Abby and whispered frantically,

"It will be alright Abby, you and McGee will be happy together- however you end up. Tony and I...you may think we are crazy yes, but what we have works so well for us both- and if the last two years has taught me anything, it is that you can survive the worst and still find something worth living for at the end of it"

Stepping back, she smiled at her teary friend and returned to her desk, sitting down and looking to her computer to see an alert from her email account. Already she had over fifty new messages from Israeli friends and acquaintances offering their condolences for the death of her father.

She had already typed an appropriate response and saved a copy which she pasted onto every reply, to maintain that she was a shocked and grieving daughter moved by the sympathy and support that she was receiving at such a difficult and unexpected time.

In truth she had had nearly eight months to accustom herself to her father's death. Gibbs had met with her, late one night, on the rooftop from which her brother had murdered Caitlin Todd. He had told her what he had planned to do to avenge her death and she had been the one to suggest the name of a reliable poisoner who would be able to administer Director David with the correct dosage over a long enough period of time so that if by sheer chance an autopsy was performed, there would be almost no evidence of foul play.

They had kept this conversation secret from everyone. Their 'family' weren't like them; they weren't as strong or as heartless, a fact for which Gibbs and Ziva were both grateful. For they needed good people in their life to 'keep the monsters at bay' as Gibbs put it.

Her email account sent her another alert and Ziva opened her inbox to see that the breeder she had been corresponding with had replied with pictures of the male puppies from her newest litter.

Ziva grinned at the adorable pictures; she decided that she would name her first ever pet Ani Chai.

Hebrew for I live.

A/N- review and let me know what you think