So this is the final chapter for this story. I had a great deal of fun with this story and will be sorry to see it end. However I have so many others just waiting to be written I decided this was good place to stop with this one. Thanks for all the reviews ;)
Ziva watched Gibbs pacing and couldn't hide the smile hovering on her lips. At nearly two am he looked just as devastating as any other time of day. Of course the smile he was giving their daughter certainly didn't hurt. Two weeks old and Claire Ann Gibbs was already wrapping her daddy around her finger. It was an obvious fact that Gibbs was head over heels for his little girl. Thinking back Ziva remembered the night she'd told Gibbs about the very child he now held.
It could have gone very wrong. If he'd driven away instead of finding the courage to come back in they might not be sharing this exhausted but still perfect moment. But it hadn't gone wrong, in fact more had gone right than they'd expected. As people found out about them the reactions had surprised them. Overwhelmingly everyone had been supportive; the only surprise was that everyone had seemed to expect it to happen. They still laughed about that now and then. Ziva had never expected to enjoy being off work. But readying herself and their home for Claire had been more than satisfying. Abby became a regular fixture at the house, helping with anything that needed doing to prepare for Claire's arrival.
Again Ziva found herself watching Gibbs walk the floor with her. When they'd found out she was a girl Ziva had just for a moment felt a small tug of anxiety. But Gibbs had never wavered in his excitement for their child. She could see sometimes that when he looked at Claire he was remembering Kelly, but his smiles were always genuine.
"She's been changed, rocked and walked but I think she wants her mother." Gibbs transferred their tightly swaddled daughter into Ziva's arms. The rush of love at the site of the two of them never failed to shake him.
Ziva had somehow never looked back to the night she'd told him about the baby. Had never held it against him. He wasn't sure how he'd gotten so lucky but he thanked God every night that he had. He also felt a wealth of gratitude that Claire looked like her mother. The dusky skin and dark hair would play hell with the boys in years to come.
Ziva watched as Claire waived a fist in the air batting it about until Gibbs touched it with his finger. Claire's dark brown eyes opened still hazy and full of sleep, tightly she wrapped her tiny finger around Gibbs' larger one.
"I am always surprised by how strong she is." Ziva pressed a kiss to Claire's soft forehead.
Gibbs snuggled in next to them holding Ziva close. "Won't be the last time she surprises you Ziva." He heard her laugh watched Claire's eyes widen at the sound. "I'm not going back to work Ziva, I put in my retirement papers." He watched her smile in that knowing way of hers and chuckled.
"I thought that's what you might have been doing yesterday." Ziva found his free hand with hers. "Since it is already done I will tell you that it makes me very happy. It is good to know you will be with her when I am not. That we will have time for us and that I won't have to worry about you when you are at work." She bit her lip knowing if she went back to work he would be the one to worry at home.
"We have time Ziva; you weren't planning on going back to work this first year anyways. After that whatever you decide you want to do, I have faith you'll be okay."
That's what it boiled to Ziva decided having faith that things would work out the way they were meant to. She looked down at her daughter now sleeping peacefully and sighed in satisfaction. "We are so blessed Jethro."
Gibbs nodded against her "To say the least." He took Claire from her arms and placed her in the dark wood crib he'd made and now took up a fair amount of space in their room. Sliding under the covers Gibbs gathered Ziva in his arms. The same push of desire as always worked at him but he was able to ignore it knowing that soon enough he'd be able to be with her again. For now it was enough to hold her tightly.
Ziva tucked her head into Gibbs neck feeling both fatigue and desire tease her. "Not too much longer, Jethro."
Gibbs chuckled softly "I'm not worried Ziva we have a lifetime."
Ziva smiled at those simple but meaningful words. She never would have thought she would be here in Gibbs arms. A chance meeting had brought them both to where they were now. It was a gift and Ziva knew it. "Yes my love a lifetime."