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All Tied Up

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August 2012

Wanting to get married, and actually planning a wedding, as both Tony and Ziva discovered, were two different scenarios entirely. They could both agree that they wanted something more personal than a perfunctory courthouse affair, but beyond that had no real picture of what that looked like. However, with two other weddings scheduled amongst Team Gibbs; Abby and Tim's New Year's Eve event at Mallard Manor, and the Florida destination wedding Jimmy and Breena were planning in October; they had no shortage of recommendations when it came to planning their own nuptials. Abby and Jimmy were particularly invested, printing out web pages from reception venues, or collecting brochures from nearby caterers. Ziva slowly built a pile on the dining table, both of them glancing through occasionally, dividing them into two categories, 'definitely not' and 'I don't hate it'. McGee provided a thumb drive full of suggested first dance music - Tony immediately relegated it to the first pile without a listen. Abby, not to be outdone, left a second drive, full of wedding dress ideas on Ziva's desk, which were given more consideration, and Jimmy printed a list of fun wedding reception game ideas, which promptly joined McGee's offering.

"So we know what we don't want." Tony pushed the latest additions to the 'I hate it pile' to the back of the table. "No nightclubs, no churches, no previous crime scenes and no... pinatas? Sometimes I think there is something seriously wrong with Palmer. I still can't believe you let him buy your car." The first denial was Ziva's, the second Tony's, the third mutual, while the fourth came from the flyer Tony quickly discarded.

"He looks after it better than I ever did." Ziva flicked through a florist's catalogue. Not that she had been a bad car owner save for the wild driving, but Jimmy treated the Mini with a care that was almost reverent. "I assume Abby circled the black roses for her, not for us." She pointed with a laugh.

"You never know with Abs." He chuckled. "She's probably got some gothic spectacular planned out and ready to go if we only ask. It could work, you always look stunning in black."

"Flirt." Ziva scoffed. "Do you have a preference for flowers?"

"Not pink roses." He shrugged, clearly trying not to get too in depth.

"Wendy?" He nodded reluctantly. "How big was that going to be?" Ziva asked gently. She knew enough to know that what had happened in Baltimore some years earlier had messed him up for a long time, and how that experience had made her own return so difficult for him to believe, the actual almost-wedding was more of a mystery.

"Oh, the whole nine yards, rental tux, church, crazy expensive reception venue, rehearsal dinner, about a million roses, something like a hundred guests." He shook his head. "Can we not do any of that again? I want this to be ours."

"So do I." Ziva agreed. "You may veto anything that is too similar."

"Do I need a code word for that?" Tony grinned. "Or at least to tell you the reason?"

"No questions asked, Tony." She answered as she skim-read a website printout and added it to the 'I don't hate it' pile. "Saying no will suffice."

"Where's your sense of fun?" Tony rolled his eyes playfully, and reached for another glossy book. "A pirate-themed wedding on the Potomac. You'd make a hot pirate wench, Zi."

"McGee would be seasick, and you are not as good looking as Johnny Depp." Ziva shot back with a playful smirk. "You are the one who wanted a reason."

"You deserve to be keelhauled for that Tia Dalma." Tony assumed a wounded expression and set the book aside, choosing a new one. "White-water rafting? Who wants to get married in a life vest?"

"No." Ziva took it from his hand, tossed it onto the discard pile. "Wasn't Tia Dalma more like a witch than a pirate?"

"Let me guess you were too busy ogling Johnny to pay attention to the plot? She was a soothsayer, and the spirit of Calypso in human form. Fickle and deadly, just like you." He leaned over and kissed her, making sure there was no real sting in his words, Ziva kissed him back too with a whisper that she liked him better anyway. "Okay, we don't need a code word, 'no' works just fine. Let's try and find something we both say yes to." He lifted another flyer. "Skydiving arrival at the altar?"

"No!" They declared simultaneously.

It seemed the more they knew what they didn't want, the more ideas their friends had to offer:

"Oh what if you find a castle? I mean you two are like the ultimate fairytale. The warrior princess and the..." Abby paused to snicker, "James Bond wannabe."

"Hey!" Tony complained. "Watch yourself Ms Sciuto."

"No castle." Ziva said firmly. "And we are not here to talk about weddings, we are meeting with our midwife and creating a birth plan, stay on topic."


"Tony, what about writing a poem for Ziva?" McGee suggested over lunch in the breakroom. "Instead of vows?"

"I'll give you a poem, McBard. There once was a man from Nantucket... ugh!" Gibbs appeared precisely on time to apply a swift hand to the back of his skull.


"A horse drawn carriage?" Tony echoed, looking at the paper Abby slapped in front of him.

"Yup." Abby nodded enthusiastically. "Ziva loves horses."

"Yeah, but horses don't exactly like me." He shuddered, remembering.

"Gotta stop letting 'em know you're afraid DiNozzo. Grab your gear."


"All I'm saying is if you use the air-conditioning and add a humidifier in your study to mimic the climate of spring, you could grow your own California poppies for Ziva's bouquet in time for the wedding. They have one of the shortest germination periods." Tim explained. "I could set the whole thing up with a thermostat and a timer so you wouldn't have to do anything."

"And have the neighbours thinking I'm growing something else? Pass." Tony bent down to place a yellow numbered card beside another blood spatter. "Get that McSnapshot."


"If you get married outdoors, instead of confetti we could throw rice." Abby suggested, relieving Ziva of the tub of evidence she'd just delivered. "Way more environmentally friendly."

"Isn't throwing rice supposed to bring fertility?" Ziva questioned. "I do not think that is something we need much help with, do we ahava?" She glanced down with a smile.

"You do have that bit covered pretty well." Abby conceded with a grin.


"Hey Ziva, Breena found this amazing lady on Etsy who makes custom wedding lingerie and garter belts..."

"Absolutely not, and if you think about my underwear again, you will not live to see my wedding, much less your own." Catching the look in her eyes, Jimmy beat a hasty retreat, leaving Ducky and Ziva to discuss the latest victim.


"Omigosh Zivvie I just had the best idea..." Abby sped into the squadroom. "If you wait till October the leaves will change and..."

"Whatever it is, no." Tony met her halfway, seized her elbow and hurried them both in the opposite direction as Ziva cursed at her computer in Hebrew. "Mood swing" he mouthed.

"I heard that, Tony!"

"How, how did she hear that?" He winced. "We need chocolate and tech support, stat! Where's McGee?"

"I'll get the chocolate, McGee's in the men's room." Abby fled for her lab and stash of desk treats.


"What about a photo montage during the reception?" Abby thrust the knife into the dummy experimentally and cocked her head evaluating the shape of the wound. "Nope."

"We're thinking more about dinner and dancing than a big presentation." Ziva took her turn with a new weapon and studied it critically. "The puncture is still wrong - try the kitchen scissors."

"Okay, just your baby photos on display then?" Abby swung, driving the point of the scissors in deeply. "I could totally use a program to combine the two and work out what Baby Tiva might look like."

"That is much closer." Ziva replied thoughtfully.

"You like that idea?" Abby turned to look at her friend in surprise.

"No, the shape of the wound, those blades are designed to come apart, yes? Try just one and aim downwards." Ziva moved to stand behind Abby, popping the shears into their separate parts and adjusting her arm for a different strike angle. "The baby photos are not happening."


"You need to think outside the box when it comes to wedding cakes." Jimmy insisted eagerly. "Choose something unexpected like carrot cake and cream cheese frosting." Ziva turned visibly green at the thought, something about the texture of cream cheese, which she usually loved, was utterly nauseating. "That's a no then."

"Yeah I'd say that's a no Gremlin." Tony wandered over to Gibbs' area, searching for the box of crackers he expected to find. "Breathe, Ziva. I'm looking."

"Food aversion DiNozzo, apples work better." Gibbs ordered as he strode through, tossing said fruit at her in passing. "Get the hell outta my desk."

"How did you...?" He glanced over at Ziva, her face returning to its usual shade and shrugged gratefully. Trust Gibbs to have noticed what Ziva reached for based on what triggered her now far less frequent nausea, and to have predicted this totally unexpected bout, she had eaten cream cheese for breakfast literally that morning. "Thanks, Boss."


"Hey, Tony..."

"Keep your eyes peeled, McRomantic." They'd been staking out the small convenience store for hours, and Tim had been full of suggestions.

"Yeah I am. But what if, when you get to the kiss at the end..."

"You leave kissing Ziva to me. Perp at your 4 o'clock, let's roll."


"I just find it hard to believe that you don't have any ideas, Ziva. I mean, don't most women..."

"Choose your next words very carefully, McGee." She warned.

"C'mon Ziva, you're literally pregnant." He pointed out. "Kind of hard to not think of you as female right now."

"That may be true, but I am still not 'most women.'" She added air quotes and heavy sarcasm.

"Right, sorry." He turned back towards the large glass wall that separated them from Interrogation. "You know I just want you guys to have an amazing wedding - right?"

"Yes, Tim. Thank you."

"You know something you do want!" Abby exclaimed. She'd cornered Ziva outside the lab for a wedding update. In the 10 minutes that Abby had been talking, Ziva had vetoed wearing a veil, Pachelbel's Canon in D, and both a dove and/or butterfly release.

"Not really, Abby." Ziva shook her head.

"But I've been designing and redesigning my wedding dress since I was like 16!" Abby persisted. "Surely you must have had some ideas?"

"At 16 I was learning how to dress to conceal the weapons I carried." Ziva explained. "A wedding was the furthest thing from my future at that point."

"Right, sorry." She apologised. "But you're going to have to make some choices soon. You've only chosen like the most popular time of year to have a wedding. So many venues are already going to be booked out! Did you know they can book two or even three years in advance? Then there's florists and caterers and a band, and dress making can take months."

"We will not be getting married in months, Abby. Just a few weeks." Ziva reminded her. "I still want to be able to see my feet."

"Exactly! This is why you have to get something done." She pushed a stack of brochures into Ziva's hands. "Tim and I were over in Sterling on the weekend, and I picked these up for you. Just try and find a venue. Once you know that, everything else will fall into place."

"I will look them over with Tony tonight." Ziva promised. "I need to go, I was supposed to be in autopsy, collecting something for Gibbs."

"Okay, call me the second you make any kind of decision!" Abby called after her.

In Autopsy, Jimmy had much the same idea, greeting her enthusiastically and offering her a book of fabric swatches for dresses.

"Thanks Jimmy." Ziva tucked the loose brochures from Abby inside to keep it all bundled together.

"There's cards for a couple of really great wedding planners in there too." He added "I know that you and Tony probably want to do a lot of it yourself, but having someone professional to organise it all really helps things fall into place."

"Ziva, here are the records Jethro asked for." Ducky joined them a moment later, handing over a manilla folder, catching sight of the bundle in her hands. "Ahh I see Mr Palmer has beaten me to the punch, I wanted to lend you a book, I know how much you value carefully chosen words. Perhaps some of the ones in this will provide inspiration for your ceremony." So saying, he placed an elegant leather bound book of poetry on top of the pile she already held.

"Thank you, Ducky." Ziva repeated. "Although, we have not even begun to plan anything."

"The best place to start is at the beginning." He offered sagely. "Once you have begun, the rest will follow naturally, or, as Mr Palmer suggested, fall into place."

"So far the only things we know are what we do not want." Ziva laughed.

"Sometimes the process of elimination is the first step." The ME replied with a gentle smile. "Go, before Jethro comes looking. I can tell Abby has already waylaid you."

Thankful she could use the elevator again regardless of who she shared it with, Ziva made her way back upstairs, delivering the folder to Gibbs' desk. Tony and McGee were out interviewing witnesses and it had been the two of them all morning, maintaining an easy silence, both with their own work to do.

"Took your time." He grumbled as she handed over the documents.

"Abby, Palmer and Ducky all felt I needed wedding planning advice." Ziva explained with a sigh. "I cannot go anywhere in this building without being given another pamphlet. Sometimes I wonder who is more invested in the wedding."

"Can't blame 'em, been a long time coming." Gibbs shrugged. "So's that report come to think of it."

"Yes, Gibbs." She took the hint and returned to her desk.

With the first round of offerings declined, Abby, McGee and Palmer felt it was time to up their game:

"Croquembouche!" Jimmy announced, dropping some kind of home and kitchen magazine on Tony's desk. "It's spectacular, it already comes in portions and no..." he dropped his voice, even though Ziva was elsewhere, "cream cheese."

"Gotta be a corpse for you to talk to Palmer?" Gibbs hinted.

"Sorry Agent Gibbs. But Breena and I found this last night, and if we hadn't already paid the deposit for our wedding cake..."

"He means leave, Gremlin. And take the magazine. Custard's just as offensive as cream cheese right now." Tony thrust the shiny pages back into his hand.


"Ziva, I was reading about this amazing retreat in the Appalachians with accommodation and a day spa I was reading about online. It turns out they let you book the whole venue for a weekend and they have a function room and incredible on-site catering."

"Why are you reading about day spas online McMasseuse?" Tony interrupted, hanging up his desk phone.

"You know Tony, sometimes women want more than classic movie marathons for dates." Tim informed him with a smug grin. "You'd be surprised how much they enjoy actual romance." He shot a wink at Ziva who smirked in return.

"I'm plenty romantic, McGeek. Tell him Ziva." Tony protested.

"Tony, last night we tried to pick a paint colour for the nursery and then you compared me to a planet. A little romance would not go astray." Ziva reminded him, and McGee tried and failed to stifle a laugh. It had been intended to be a compliment, something about the beauty of creating life, but had gotten away from him and ended up sounding like he was just poking fun at her steadily increasing roundness. "It sounds lovely Tim, and maybe Abby and I will take a weekend sometime, but I cannot imagine Gibbs at a day spa!"

"They can be very relaxing with the right company, Ziva. The rest of you, gear up!"


"Oh good you're both here. I have another idea for you." Jimmy stood between Tony and Ziva's desks, beaming. "No more food suggestions I promise." He added, seeing their dubious faces.

"Yes?" Ziva leaned her chin on her fist. The distraction from a long list of leads was welcome, even if the suggestion itself was less so.

"I found this amazing restaurant in Baltimore. They do murder mystery events, and they'll work a wedding into the script, so you could get married as part of the evening."

"We've got our own murder mystery right here, Palmer." Tony gestured at the plasma.

"Oh right, maybe not such a good choice." He acknowledged sheepishly. "Well if you don't like that, they do bank robberies and there's this other place that does a train holdup..."

"Thank you, but no." Ziva cut in. "We spend enough time with crime without making it a central part of our wedding."

"Well, if you're sure..." Jimmy began doubtfully.

"We're sure!" They answered in unison.


"Okay, I know you nixed the rice idea, but what about bubbles?" Abby met Ziva in the lab doorway with a tiny bubble wand. "You give all of your guests bottles of bubble mix, you can even get them personalised, and everyone can blow bubbles when you and Tony walk back down the aisle."

"Are we planning a wedding or a child's birthday party?" Ziva questioned dubiously.

"Try it!" Abby held the wand in front of Ziva's mouth. With an eye roll, she obliged, blowing a series of tiny rainbow hued bubbles.

"It is cute." Ziva admitted. "But cute is not exactly the vibe I want at my wedding, Abby."

"So I guess balloons are out too?" Abby asked with a grin.


"A champagne tower could be fun, you know where they build a pyramid of glasses and pour it into the top one till it overflows?"

"Mr Palmer, you know that Ziva cannot imbibe at present." Ducky reminded his assistant impatiently. "And do try to stay on task, those drawers will not restock themselves."

"Thank you Ducky." Ziva sighed. "Now, let me see that tattoo - you thought it was in Arabic?"


"Now that you can't go anywhere, you have to hear me out on this." Abby declared as Ziva lay back on the hospital bed, while Eleanor prepared her belly for the major anatomy scan. "You're getting married in the fall - what about a barn wedding with hayrides?"

"Again with the horses, Abs?" Tony questioned from his position on the other side of Ziva. "You already know how I feel about that."

"It's like Gibbs said, you've just gotta stop letting them know you're scared of them." Abby reminded him.

"I am not..." Tony began hotly, ready to defend his reputation.

"Yes you are Tony, but quiet." Ziva interrupted, sharing an eye roll with the doctor. "Look at that." Eleanor turned the screen towards the trio and any further bickering fell silent.

"That is way cooler than a hayride." Abby murmured.


"Karaoke! You've got a great voice, Ziva!" Abby announced. "I know it's not exactly traditional, but it's fun!"

"No!" Four voices spoke at once, McGee and Gibbs chiming in as well

"Guess we'll save that for the hen's night." Abby shrugged.

"Still no!" Ziva called after her as she headed back downstairs.

"So, have you two actually done any wedding planning yet?" McGee asked across the bullpen. "Please tell me there's something. Abby's driving me crazy over it. you should have heard her in the car this morning. She's starting to think you don't actually want to get married, watch out for an Ab-tervention Ziva."

"Not a thing, McBest Man." Tony replied, smirking. "Haven't even set a date." The same evening he'd re-proposed to Ziva, as McGee had crouched, scene camera in hand he'd thrown out a casual "so you going to return the favour?" thus installing him as best man. Ziva had asked Abby equally simply, leaving a Caf-Pow! with a Post-It stating "Maid of Honour?" on it in the Lab while she and McGee had taken lunch together. Abby had made the stairs in record time that day, and had almost knocked Ziva clean off her feet with the running hug of acceptance.

"We are considering a few local venues, but haven't had a chance to visit them in person." Ziva put in. The 'I don't hate it' pile had been moderately useful. Even as she glanced across at Tim, her fingers kept moving on the keys, her muscle memory now taking over. "It will mostly depend on availability. Abby has warned me how popular September weddings are."

"But there are so many decisions to make! You need to have at least a date set to send out Save The Date cards." Tim pointed out; his and Abby's had gone out just a couple of days earlier. "There's this amazing website with heaps of suggestions, look." He beckoned them both over to his workspace.

"Floral arrangements?" Tony questioned as Tim scrolled.

"Table centrepieces?" Ziva read aloud.

"Artistic napkin folding?" They announced together, sharing an amused and slightly terrified glance.

"Yeah, the easiest way is to pick a theme for the wedding." McGee explained. "You know, Abby and I are using winter and Christmas to inspire us, and Jimmy and Breena have chosen this big kitschy effect."

"I thought the theme was getting married?" Ziva queried, as she laid a hand on her belly, responding to the tiny thumps from within. "You are awake now, hmm?" She added in a low whisper.

"Right?" Tony agreed, reaching toward her hopefully; although she was officially halfway along hitting 20 weeks that morning, their midwife had assured him it could be as long as another six weeks before he'd be able to notice anything himself.

"Once you have a theme, everything else falls into place. Choosing colours and flowers and everything becomes easier. Abby and I are having a table centrepiece made from pine cones, mistletoe, poinsettia and holly - all winter plants." McGee continued earnestly.

"Sounds prickly." Tony laughed. "Like a porcu-swine." He grinned sideways at Ziva.

"Don't tease him, Tony." Her face was straight, but the amusement was audible in her tone. "It sounds beautiful, Tim, and very romantic."

"Exactly, a wedding is a celebration. It needs to be..." He trailed off as his desk phone rang. "Hiya, Abs? On the way. She wants help with that laptop we took from the apartment. Keep looking though guys, see if you have any ideas." He hung up the phone and threaded his way between them enroute to the lab.

"This is... a lot." Ziva slid into McGee's recently vacated chair to scroll further. "Floral arches... cummerbunds... the shoe game? What is that?"

"Yikes." Tony pointed to an enormous bridal party wearing dresses that could only qualify as Pepto-Bismol pink. "I mean I want to marry you..."

"But not like this." Ziva finished firmly. "There's so much to weddings that is just... too much."

"Yup," Tony agreed. "Weird uncles who make inappropriate toasts."

"Rubber chicken, enhanced by cheap wine." Ziva sighed.

"Cheesy music, bad dancing, rental tuxedos." He continued in response.

"The bouquet, the garter, the cake, the..." She enlarged a photo of an elaborate multi-tiered wedding cake with a grimace. It looked more like a frilly doll dress than something edible.

"The fittings?" Tony mentioned with a groan. "McGee's got me booked for those already."

"The fittings!" Ziva agreed. "The fittings... I'm not even to the actual ceremony yet."

"Hmm..." Tony leaned over her shoulder to open a photo of a couple standing before a celebrant. "The vows..."

"The ring." She said thoughtfully, reaching for his left hand as he braced himself on the desk, his own ring finger as yet unadorned.

"The kiss." Taking advantage of the empty bullpen he pressed his lips to the top of his head.

"The ketubah." Ziva added, feeling the way Tony tensed for the expected Gibbs slap. "He is still in Vance's office, I think."

"I don't even know what one of those is." Tony shrugged. "But I also don't even know what I'd do if I had to deal with most of that."

"Elope?" Ziva suggested with a laugh, leaning her head back into his chest.

"The hell you will, Ziva, and quit playing grab-ass." Gibbs dropped a stack of papers on her desk. "French translation, the woman who usually does it is out sick. Vance sent it down, wants it ASAP."

"Oui bien sur, tout de suite." She smirked, crossing back to her chair. Yes of course, right away.

"DiNozzo! Get back to work." Gibbs called a moment later. Tony had kept scrolling the website, now studying a bewildering array of place card designs.

"Sorry boss, just some of these ideas for weddings are... never mind, getting back to work." Tony shook himself out of his daze, returning to his own seat. "Maybe we should just do the courthouse thing after all, Zi."

"Maybe." Ziva replied, eyes already on the papers.

"No one's saying you have to do any of it." Gibbs murmured almost to himself after a few minutes of silent work.

"Que veux-tu dire?" Ziva asked, still focused on the French pages in front of her. "Sorry Gibbs, what do you mean?" She translated.

"Think about what really counts to you two. All that stuff..." He jerked his head towards McGee's computer, "It's just trimming."

"That might be some of the most useful advice anyone's had to offer, thanks Boss." Tony said. "You know, traditionally, the bride's father is supposed to be the one who foots the bill..."

"Pushing your luck DiNozzo." His boss growled. "Shut up and work."

"What's a ketubah?" Tony asked later in the evening. Ziva was curled into 'her' corner of the couch, a cup of tea in one hand, and a book about pregnancy and birth balanced on her lap, and generally oblivious to the world. They'd started out watching a movie together, but she'd quickly lost interest, returning to her reading.

"Hmm?" She questioned vaguely, turning the page.

"Sometimes I miss the crazy chick who used to read GSM at her desk." Tony laughed. "Earth to Ziva... what's got you so fascinated that you decided to ignore Bogie and Bergman?"

"First, we read GSM together in bed. Second, I wanted to finish the paragraph on breastfeeding." Ziva replied with a sip of tea. "Finally, I have seen Casablanca more times than I have been alive in years by now."

"Oh yeah, I hadn't thought about that." He admitted. "Guess she'll need to eat."

"Well, I did not end up with these purely for your amusement." She tugged the strap of her pyjama top with a suggestive smirk, turning her eyes back to the last few sentences.

"Shame," He eyed her appreciatively. "I rather like them."

"I noticed." She remarked dryly, tucking a bookmark into the pages and setting the book aside. "What did you want?"

"You said something about a ketubah, what's that?" Tony repeated. "Not really up with Jewish wedding traditions."

"A ketubah is a marriage contract of sorts." Ziva explained. "Traditionally it outlined the expectations of the marriage, particularly the husband's role in providing for his wife. There could also be financial aspects, if anything had been paid to the bride's family, or how much is owed if he files for divorce."

"Not paying Gibbs a cent for you, he already owns my soul." Tony laughed. "But the rest of it sounds kind of like a prenup... this a roundabout way of asking for one?"

"No, no there is no need for that." She shook her head, and wrinkled her nose with distaste at the idea. "The concept has been adapted to suit modern couples. It has become more like a promise to each other, a reminder of the foundation they built their marriage upon."

"That doesn't sound so bad." He said thoughtfully. "Could we write it ourselves?"

"Yes. We could have it say exactly what we want." She nodded. "I would like to have one with you."

"How kosher are we talking, Zi? Like, little hats and a rabbi?" Tony questioned motioning to the top of his head. "You're the one with the traditions and faith, DiNozzo weddings are all about the party afterwards, rubber chicken and all."

"No kippah, no rabbi." She replied. "Whatever we choose to do, it should be something we both understand and both want to be doing."

"So no save the date cards and fancy napkins?" Ziva shook her head emphatically in response. "Hey, is that the pomegranate one?" He motioned to her cup with a sheepish grin.

"I will not tell McGee how much you like it." Ziva rolled her eyes and handed over the remaining drink with a laugh. "There are a handful of elements I would like to use from my heritage, the ketubah being one of them. But not a full Jewish ceremony, and definitely no fancy napkins. What's important to you?"

"You." He said simply. "We could get married in our pyjamas in the basement, Zi. As long as I end up getting to call you my wife, I don't mind."

"I have never wanted a big wedding either." Ziva admitted. "Just for it to mean something to us... but maybe I would wear something a little nicer than my pyjamas!"

"Guess that's what the Bossman was on about, find what counts." He mused softly, leaning forward to deposit the now empty teacup on the table, before tucking an arm around her. "Kinda wish they'd all back off though. It's getting to be a lot. Did you know McGee actually suggested I write you a poem instead of vows?"

"I will spare you some of Abby's more fanciful ideas." Ziva laughed. "It is because they are our family, they're excited for us, and we are not exactly being very productive about getting married."

"It's only been two weeks, Zi." Tony said placatingly. "We have loads of time."

"Only about eight weeks until my feet disappear." She reminded him, "If you want to dance with me, I feel as though still seeing my feet is a requirement. We do need to decide something eventually."

"We already did, we're having a ketubah." He pointed out with a grin. "I'm totally on board with that."

"Then that is the first thing." Ziva responded with a smile, cuddling in a little closer. "Perhaps now, as everyone keeps insisting things will fall into place."

"The only place I want to fall into right now is bed." Tony yawned. "What the heck is in that tea?"

"It is good to help you relax, but it is not that powerful Tony. You being tired has more to do with the way you decided I should skip my run this morning... Not that I am complaining." She added with a satisfied sigh. "But if you feel like that, we had better go upstairs so you can braid my hair before you pass out on me."

"You know, I'm sorry I didn't do your hair the first night you got back." He dragged himself upright, and offered his hand as Ziva unfurled her legs. "I missed it as much as anything else." Two years and some since the first time he'd done her hair for sleeping (and coincidentally the same amount of time since they'd had their first major fight) hadn't lessened the importance of their pre-bed ritual to either of them.

"But you did the second night. That's when I knew you truly believed I was home." Ziva gathered her phone and book, leading the way up the stairs as Tony shut down the TV and lights.

"Yeah, you're home. Still not enough words for how good that feels." He followed her up, and they went through their bathroom routine in contented silence.

"Ahuvi..." Ziva said thoughtfully, sitting between his splayed legs as he worked on her hair a few minutes later. "I think that what counts, most of all, is that we are in our home, together. Why else have we both refused anything outside of DC?" There'd always been a reason, however flimsy; too gaudy, too small, too big, not big enough, too tacky, reminded Tony of a horror movie, even something as small as noticing a typo, but somehow every venue that was not within DC itself had made its way to the 'I hate it' pile.

"You're channelling Dorothy Gale now, Zi?" Tony questioned, tying off the braid, and drawing her back against his chest so he could wrap his arms around her. "There's no place like home, there's no place like home..."

"The baby is kicking exactly where your left hand is." She whispered, cutting him off. "But yes; DC is our home, the team is our family - everything they have suggested is bigger than the little world we have created. I think the whole reason we have not made any decisions is because we are thinking too far from the places and the people we love the most."

"Zi, everything we do is big. Big surprises, big cases, big announcements, there's always some kind of drama when we move to the next stage of our relationship." He said with a laugh, rubbing his thumb over the spot she mentioned. "Even our fights are big. Are you saying we go small this time?"

"That is exactly what I am saying Tony." She tipped her head back to make what counted for eye contact in the awkward position. "Small and intimate. Somewhere nearby with just the people who were there when you proposed, and your father of course. Keep it about the people who are most important to us."

"Home and family... that sounds an awful lot like a theme to me. You're a wise woman, Ziva David." He kissed her head. "Or should I say Ziva Maybe-DiNozzo. Have you made up your mind for sure?"

"Not yet." He felt the way she shrugged against his chest. "I like the idea that all three of us will share a name, but I do not feel right letting go of David entirely."

"Hmmm..." Tony hummed thoughtfully against her hair. "David DiNozzo, DiNozzo David... What if both of us have both names?"

"I thought you wanted to stay DiNozzo?" She questioned. "And I do not want a hyphen."

"Yeah, we did say that when we were talking about surnames. But I think I have a better plan." He nudged her off his chest gently. "So you know how Grandpa DiNozzo Trumanned my Dad?"

"Trumanned?" Ziva echoed, moving to her own pillow and settling on her side to face him. Her growing belly meant extra pressure on her hips when she lay on her side, but having her top leg bent and raised slightly at the knee relieved it; it was an accommodation Tony was happy to make, and he rolled too, automatically canting his own leg forward to provide the necessary support.

"You know, Harry S Truman, our 33rd President? He didn't have a middle name, just the letter S. Surely you know this Little Miss Citizenship Test. It's the same with Dad, Anthony D DiNozzo." Tony waited till her face showed understanding. "Then it repeated again when Dad decided he should make me Junior. And you don't even have a letter, you're just Ziva David."

"I know what my birth certificate says Tony." Her voice grew a little impatient.

"Okay, so we have a middle name that isn't really a middle name, and no middle name at all." He gestured between them respectively. "Then there's the bit where you call me neshama, and it kind of means a part of each other is that right?"

"In the most simple explanation, yes. You are part of me, and I am part of you." She tucked her arm up under her head. "What are you getting at? I thought you were tired?"

"That was before you inspired me, I do my best work at night, you know." Tony reminded her with a smirk. "So, why don't you take DiNozzo, and then we both add David as our middle name? No hyphens."

"You would do that?" Ziva asked slowly, sounding like she didn't quite believe him. "Even with all that David represents?"

"It represents you, Zi. Yeah, I would. And then I'll spend the rest of my life saying "It's LeviOsa, not LevioSA", because no one says David right the first time." He assumed his best British accent and grinned, pleased with the attempt, before growing serious. "You'd have my name, and I have yours, and then we really will have part of each other all the time."

"Neshama is more metaphorical than physical, you know Tony." She reminded him. "An emotional or spiritual connection? It means soul after all."

"Yeah, but I like the idea anyway." He gave a little shrug. "If you're okay with it, I'd like for us to do that."

"As you like to say about everything, that is huge." She said softly. "Are you sure?"

"You're changing your entire name, I'm just adding some extra letters." He shrugged lightly. "Look, I love that you're thinking about becoming Mrs DiNozzo, but I don't want either of us to forget where you came from. It works all the way around; middle names don't show up anywhere but passports and licences, so David isn't going to be the first thing anyone associates with you anymore, but it's still there to remind us, and the only people who do get it know you are so much more than a name. You get to keep your link to Tali and Rivka this way too, because I know that's what you've been stuck on about making your mind up for real."

"And you say I am the mind reader." She told him with an amused glance. "You are right, as much as I do not want to carry Eli's name anymore, it is also Tali's, and my mother's, and to change my name completely felt like I was letting go of them too."

"This way you don't have to, but you get to add the distance you want. Not to mention, the extra letters I'd be adding are A-V-I-D. Avid. It means a strong interest or enthusiasm about something. That something would be you. It's the perfect answer, Zi." He finished, proud of not only the solution he'd provided, but his wordplay.

"Okay. I like it." She agreed simply. "When we are married, we will both have David as a middle name. That is the third thing we've agreed on now."

"And all in one night too! We're on a roll." Tony said proudly. "Abby's going to explode when we tell her."

"Or cry with relief." Ziva added with a small laugh. "Can we sleep now?"

"Yeah, go build your pillow fort." Tony smirked. It was hardly a fort, just a pillow under her belly and one between her knees, but he found it amusing anyway, and she tolerated his humour about this far more kindly than any nausea-related topics. "Hey, Ziva?" He murmured into the dark a few minutes later.

"Yes Tony?" Now suitably nestled on her other side and comfortable, Ziva's voice was thick with fast approaching sleep.

He curled himself warmly around her back, threw an arm over her waist and found her hand to twine their fingers. "I can't wait to finish planning this wedding with you."

"Mmm-hmm." Ziva agreed sleepily. "It is much easier now that we have started saying yes."

"Let's keep saying yes then." He murmured against her neck.

"Yes." She agreed again, drifting into sleep.

It turned out saying yes was a lot easier after that. They set a date and chose a venue the very next morning.