I just decided I needed something a little lighter in tone after all the angst this summer, to which I have contributed.

This story is set a few months after Ziva has returned to NCIS and is back at work. But all is not as it was.

I do not own NCIS or any part thereof.


Gibbs walked past Vance with a nod. Just as he was about to enter the elevator he heard the director say his name. He turned back.

"Just wanted to say good to see things getting back to normal."

Vance gave a slight incline of his head and headed on into his office.

What the hell? He took a sip of coffee and shrugged, took the elevator down to Autopsy.

He met Ducky coming through the sliding doors. He had a big smile on his face.

"I just heard, Jethro. How wonderful. Things are looking up aren't they?"


"Sorry, late meeting a JAG prosecutor to go over some autopsy results from the Carson case. I'll talk to you when I get back. Good job, Jethro."

The older man grabbed his upper arm and squeezed for a moment as he walked past. If anything his smile got bigger.

Gibbs frowned. He was beginning to get a little pissed. What was going on? He decided to check with Abby who knew everything and never hesitated to share her knowledge.

When he got to the lab it was empty and silent, Abby's ever present music missing as was the woman herself. She was always in the lab this time of day. He pulled out his phone and dialed her number. After 3 rings he heard her pick up.

"GIBBS! Where are you? Isn't it great? All these months and it's finally happened. I AM SO HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!"

He held the phone away from his ear. Abby excited could be a painful experience.

"Me and Timmy are out celebrating."

McGee's voice came over the phone as if from a distance.

"Just lunch, Boss. We're just going to lunch. But it's great news isn't it?"

"SHUT UP, Tim. I'm talking. Oh wait, okay. We're here, Gibbs. Gotta go! I'm so excited! We'll see you in an hour or two.

She clicked off from her end. Closing his eyes he enjoyed the silence for a moment then reached up and pinched the bridge of his nose trying to control his impatience. He hated not knowing what was going on. It had been a long time since anyone on his team had been as happy as Abby, Tim and Ducky appeared to be. And Vance? The guy was never happy.

Oh, they'd gotten Ziva back and she was safe but not the same. His team wasn't the same. People weren't happy anymore and he hated it. Tony didn't joke. Tim didn't smile. Abby played loud, sad music. Ziva sat at her desk or worked a scene; silent and often lost in memories where no one could follow. Now suddenly people were happy? He got back in the elevator pushing the button for the bullpen.

Stalking into the team's area the first thing he noticed was Tony. The younger man sat behind his desk staring across at Ziva while grinning like a jack-o-lantern. His partner seemed engrossed in her computer. What a shock; one member of his team actually working.

"DiNozzo, my office now."

The smile never waivered as Tony stood up and followed his boss back into the elevator. As soon as the door closed, Gibbs reached over and shut off the power.

"First, wipe that stupid grin off your face, DiNozzo. Second, tell me what the hell's going on."

Tony's smile faltered a little.


Gibbs gritted his teeth.

"Why is everyone so damned happy?"

The grin came back.

"WHAT?" Gibbs demanded.

Tony's green eyes glinted with laughter. The corners of his eyes crinkled as his grin grew larger. Gibbs hadn't seen him like this in a long time.

"She threatened to kill me, Boss."

For a second Gibbs didn't understand what was being said to him. Who threatened to kill Tony and why was he so happy about it? Then he got it. He really got it.

"She threatened to kill you, DiNozzo?" he asked. Wanting to be sure.

Tony nodded vigorously.

"Yeah, Boss. She said it out loud. She threatened to kill me."

Gibbs felt a smile start to form. He tried to control it. Tried to glare at Tony. Couldn't. He let the smile go. Then he clapped Tony on the shoulder.

"Good job, Tony. Damned good job."

Freeing the elevator they rode it back to their floor. When the doors opened Tony was out and back to his desk, resuming his seat and his grin. Gibbs watched him, his own smile still in place.

Ziva had threatened to kill Tony. Finally, all was right with his world, with his team again. It was going to be okay now.


The two agents looked at him.

"Where are Abby and McGee eating?"

"I believe McGee said they were going to Hollister's," Ziva said.

"Yeah, boss. I think that's where they are," DiNozzo added.

"Gear up," Gibbs told them.


Tony wasn't smiling now and Ziva looked confused.

"Yeah, we're gonna join 'em. I'm buying."

DiNozzo's grin came back and Ziva continued to look confused. As the three of them walked toward the elevator Tony leaned over to Ziva and whispered something in her ear. She gave him a glare and punched him in the upper arm, walking away from him haughtily. He looked back at Gibbs and grinned.

Gibbs grinned back. Yep, all was finally on its way back to normal now.