Just a little something to celebrate Ziva/Cote's brithday that i posted on Tumblr ;)

It's not how Ziva pictured her thirtieth birthday.

But then again, she never pictured thirty much at all.

She wanders out of her bathroom, and she feels goosebumps rise on her skin as she leaves the steamy room, her wet curls dripping with icy water thanks to her shower. She lets her eyes adjust to the darkened room, and mutters an ill will toward daylight savings time under her breath. It doesn't take long for her eyes to adjust, however, as the low light on her night table permeates a small space of their bedroom. Her eyes fall upon the bed, and her lips form a warm smile at the sight of the two inhabitants.

"How long has she been asleep?" her voice carries softly across the room as she walks toward the bed.

The little girl stirs, but remains asleep. Her partner watches her from his spot next to the sleeping girl on the bed, and by now she's approached his side. He shrugs, yawning as he moves over to make room.

"She passed out pretty quick after her bath. Bath time wore her out I think; How she got cake and icing in the places she did will forever remain a mystery."

Ziva laughs softly at that. Her laughter turns mischievous as she lifts the sheets to crawl in beside him, and he hisses at the sudden rush of cold air. She tucks the sheets around them quickly though, and the warm hand she snakes across his chest restores the smile on his face.

They let silence settle, listening to the low breathing of their sleeping daughter. Ziva's hand continues to travel up and down her partner's chest, her gaze lost in her daughter's sleeping face. She feels Tony's own gaze heavy on her for several minutes before she breaks the silence.

"You are staring, Tony."

His chest rumbles under her as he chuckles.

"You aren't even looking at my face," he chides, as his hand slides through her drying curls.

"You are staring loudly." Tony rolls his eyes in response.

"And now I can practically hear you rolling your eyes."

He mumbles under his breath that sounds something suspiciously like ninja and addresses her first statement.

"I was watching you. Watching her."

She smiles into his shoulder, her hand pausing over his heart. She can't help but tease him a little, though.

"Yes, well, she is prettier to look at." her hand travels down his side, tickling him lightly to assure him she only jests.

Tony jerks under her hand. "I'm just amazed you're letting her get away with the finger-sucking. Getting soft, my ninja?"

Ziva laughs as she extracts her hand from the covers, reaching over to caress their daughter's face softly.

"It's not a habit that will hurt her," she pauses, and she moves her head from his shoulder to look at him. "These little things make her who she is. I do not wish to raise her like I was raised, Tony. I do not want to control every little part of her life." She smiles and his eyes convey his understanding. "It's my thirtieth birthday, today."

Tony laughs as he draws his hand up her side.

"Yes, I'm aware. Happy Birthday, by the way." he grins under the kiss she leans down to press against his mouth in thanks.

Ziva pulls back, resting her hand against his neck and looking down at him.

"What I mean is that I never thought I would be here. I never pictured a thirtieth birthday, Tony." Her throat tightens, and her voice must betray her because his face is reflecting how she feels. His hand finds hers against his neck, and he squeezes it tightly, urging her to continue.

"Being here with you, and with her, is so much more than a gift. I would not have been able to imagine this life." She laughs as her voice breaks, and Tony pulls her down for another, much longer kiss.

"I love you," he murmurs against her lips, before she pulls back, and she gives him a watery smile.

"I love you, too." Her gaze travels to their still-sleeping daughter, reaching her hand out again to trace the back of her little hand that's pressed against her mouth.

"And I love her. I want her to know that. Every day."

"She'll never doubt it," Tony reassures her softly, and she snuggles back into his embrace. He's confident, because he knows when Ziva David relinquishes her heart completely to someone, the intensity of her love could never be doubted.

He reaches over to extinguish the light, and buries his face into her drying curls.

"Happy birthday, Ziva."