Disclaimer: Same as Ch. 1
Author's note: UV Blue Vodka and Sprite is my drink of choice and practically the only alcoholic beverage I like. I don't drink it often but do enjoy it.
Also. I get the feeling we haven't seen the last of Eli David. I have been feeling like that since I saw this episode.
Finally, it was the end of a very long day for Team Gibbs. Jethro could hardly believe everything that had happened in such a short period of time. It had taken a lot of work to convince Leon to accept Ziva as an official NCIS agent now that she was free from Mossad. With the information about the Damocles that had recently come to light, it had looked like that might never happen, but then Ben Gidon had shown up and they were able to at least somewhat prove Ziva's innocence in regards to the death of Staff Sargent Daniel Cryer. Even after that, Jethro hadn't been certain that she would be able to stay with them. He would have done everything in his power to keep her safe from the likes of her father and Ben Gidon though.
Tim and Tony pack up their gear to head home. Ziva is uncertain. Then she looks to her now official boss and he nods to her to let her know that it's okay for her to get ready to head out. They were all headed out to celebrate Ziva's accomplishment. Jethro normally didn't participate I this sort of thing, but he knew that it would be important to Ziva so he decides to go along.
Leon watches as the team heads out. He can already see that this had been a good decision. After all, if her teammates could accept her back after everything that had happened, then Leon figures he can give her a chance to prove herself as an agent and not just a Liaison Officer like she had been.
Ducky, Abby and Palmer meet them at the entrance to the building. They are heading to Milano's, a local Italian restaurant. Ziva loves the food there and they thought that maybe it would be a good place for their celebration.
Abby, who had been ambivilent about Ziva at first to say the least, was happy for her friend. She had told McGee that Gibbs didn't appear to be on Team Ziva, but now she realizes that he had been fighting for her the whole case. If it hadn't been for him, Ziva might have been on her way back to Israel now instead of celebrating with her friends. The rest of Team Gibbs had definitely help bring this about, but Jethro had been the driving force.
Ziva knew that she would have a lot of work ahead of her to become an American citizen, but it would be worth it. She would have to study the Constitution and history and pass a test to even be considered. In about a year or so she would be eligible legally to become a citizen when she's been living here for five years. She has a bit a leeway as to when she has to have her citizenship by. Director Vance had told her that much.
Palmer didn't know Ziva as well as the rest of them, but he was happy for her. After everything that had happened, he knew she deserved to be happy.
"Table for seven," Gibbs said to the hostess.
"It'll be about half an hour," the girl said. Her name was Susan. She had been working at Milano's for three years while going to college. She wants to be an architect. She'd seen some members of this group here before, but never the grey haired one. She tried to get them a table as soon as possible, but it could take some time. At least, it wasn't Friday or Saturday night. That was the worst time to try to get in without reservations.
Jethro nods his head to her. It was to be expected at this time of the evening. As long as the wait wasn't ridiculous, he had no intentions of changing their plans for dinner.
The entire team went over to the bar. Vance had given them the next day off due to the stress of the case, so they could have some alcohol. They had to be careful though since they could be called in if something big came up. None of them had any intentions of getting drunk. Ziva chose a glass of white wine. It would be added to the bill instead them having to pay for the drinks right then. Abby chose a UV Blue Vodka and Sprite, Jethro got his usual bourbon, Palmer had a Bud Light, Tony chose a Miller Light, Tim got a glass of red wine, and Ducky got a Scotch on the rocks.
"Well my friends, we made it through yet another tough day on the job," Ducky said proud of Ziva, knowing that she had nearly been sent back to her father. He had supported her through this mess and that meant the world to her. Ducky hopes that her life would settle down now that she didn't have to answer to Mossad anymore.
The entire group agreed with Ducky. They were exhausted but elated at the same time. They had come through this relatively unscathed and for that they were grateful. Ziva would have to prove herself all over againg, but they all knew that she would be able to do that without too many problems. After all, she had done it before.
Tony told jokes and teased Ziva about being a Probie. She smiled at this even knowing what that would mean for her immediate future. She would be the gopher for a while, but it would all be worth it.
Their table was ready after about twenty minutes. Ziva was glad. She is absolutely starving at this point. It had been a long day and she hadn't really eaten much for lunch. She had been allowed a sandwich and chips, but that seemed like ages ago and she hadn't been able to eat much of it. She had been to worried about what would happen to her if she was rejected by NCIS to be able to eat much. She knew that her father would be unhappy about the way things had turned out, but he would also know that in the end the mission had been accomplished, so who knows. There was still the possibility that Eli would send an assassin after her, but Ziva hopes that he will just leave her be. She would never do anything to jeopardize the safety of her homeland. She would follow the Israeli law that would prevent her from divulging information on past Mossad operations. Ziva had made that part clear to the director.
It only took a few moments for the waittress to come around to get their drink orders. Most got water, but Tony wanted a Coke and Palmer wanted a Sprite. Soon the waittress, Emily was back to get their food order. Jethro got spaghetti, Ducky, Tony, and Tim go a supreme pizza, Ziva got lasagna, Abby got fettuccini alfredo and Palmer got vegetarian lasagna.
"I remember when you showed up at NCIS that first time. You were looking for Gibbs here. You quickly became annoyed with me," Tony says. He smiles thinking back to the memory of when they had first met. They had had their fights since then, but now they were back on track as friends. The whole Micheal Rivkin dibacle had caused a rift in their friendship, but it had seemed to mend at least somewhat since he had helped to rescue her in Somalia.
Ziva laughs at the memory. That had been a rough time for her. She had had orders to kill Ari if necessary. That had been difficult to deal with since he was her half brother terrorist or not. She had come so far in the four years since then. She had become friends with her teammates and had even turned her back on Mossad now. So much has happened since that day. She just hopes that she can prove that she is still worthy of being a part of the team. The situation was different even though she had been doing the job for all this time. "Tony, I still can't believe how much you flirted then," she told her partner.
"you're one to be talking. You did the same thing," Tony says in his own defense shaking his head.
The banter continued between everyone but Gibbs. Ducky contributed a lot of stories, but that's to be expected'
The evening ended all to soon for everyone. Jethro surprises everyone by paying the bill. He felt that it was the least he could do for them. He'd invited Ziva to stay with him until she found a permanent apartment. She hedn't been sure she wouldn't be going back to Israel, so she hadn't wanted to sign a lease. Ziva is just glad to be able to use Gibbs' guestroom until she could find a place. Otherwise, she would have to rent a hotel room which could get rather pricey. She intended to repay the favor somehow.
Ziva and Jethro head to his house. "I really appreciate this, Gibb," she told him. It was a relief to have his trust back. For a while there, she wasn't sure if she ever would. For a while there,
Ziva thought that she'd lost everything she'd worked hard to build at NCIS. At least things had worked out.