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12 Years

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12 Years

It had been twelve years since that last fateful moment on the very same tarmac and twelve years since Tony had made that most difficult 180 of his life, but now all the resentment was passed that he had originally felt when he found out the truth about Tali, and after months of the two of them just chatting on the phone or sharing Emails despite him also spending time with his daughter. As he and his other daughter Elizabeth or Lizzie as she preferred to be called had made the journey to Israel, he also somehow realised that ultimately not only was the time right for he and Ziva after all these years, but he also felt that the time was right for him to move on and that his first wife Megan was giving him her blessing to do just that and be with the woman that he had originally fallen in love with all those years ago.

 

It had been about four months after Ziva had left when Tony had taken some leave and had had a bit of space to do some revaluation of his life, going to Paris to say goodbye to his former life with Ziva before he then gone and caught up with some of the British side of his family in the UK, it was while he was there that he was introduced to Megan and it had been love at first sight for the two of them. They had then very rapidly become a couple and even Tony found himself somewhat astonished when he came to propose to her, but he knew very much that it was so certainly right for him to do so. A short while after that marriage they found out that Megan was pregnant with Lizzie.

 

Of course in the end their expectations about the two of them spending the rest of their lives together soon came toppling down not long after Lizzie had started school, as they decided to increase their family, although Tony did keep joking with Megan that it was just down to her having empty nest syndrome with Lizzie now being at school. But then just a couple of months into them trying again for a baby Megan found a lump in her breast, and despite making a truly valiant fight against the disease she sadly lost her battle not long after Lizzie had celebrated her 6th birthday, leaving Tony alone to bring up their daughter.

 

During that time everybody in the team was of course behind him and supported him every step of the way, especially whenever he had to take leave and be there for Lizzie when Megan had been just too sick to be able to take care of her. Just as he was drawing near to the end of his leave following Megan's sad passing, he had been considering giving up the badge because of how the job could be and he didn't wish to leave Lizzie as an orphan, but Megan's twin sister Phillipa or Pippa to everyone else had just moved to DC with her husband Brian and she had told Tony that she would be happy to be there for Lizzie if he did want to remain in his job, so in the end he did decide that he would remain there as an agent, Plus everyone on the team also were behind him and when big complicated cases came up meaning that none of them were getting home, they did still somehow made sure that he got home to see Lizzie, even if it was just for a five minute call in.

 

All along Megan had known about Ziva and as she neared the end of he life she had told him that if there was any chance of the two of them meeting up and they were able to start a relationship again, then he would always have her blessing, but if the two of them didn't then he wasn't to live his life alone and he was to let himself fall in love again, because she didn't want him to live his life alone and she had a sense that Ziva would most probably be a wonderful parent to their daughter and she likewise knew that if he did meet another woman then she knew that he would always make sure that they were suitable enough for their daughter as well.

 

Over the years though he never did seem to find anyone, although in many respects it had seemed to be a mixture of being just as hurt if not more than he had been when he and Megan had found each other and that in a sense had stopped him, alongside being busy with Lizzie and likewise with work, principally in the last few years or so. The reason for it being was because Gibbs had also finally retired, although in many ways he had been forced into it because of the damage his knee had sustained over the years and of course it was also the one that he had been shot in all those years ago by Luke Harris and in the last year or so he had had to have another knee replacement done. With his retirement though Tony had taken over as team lead, not only that they were also now a five member team. Nick Torres had joined them not long after they had found out about Megan being ill, so that the team was covered when Tony had to have the time out.

Then they had been joined a couple of years ago by Callie Davis, originally she had joined them just to cover for while Bishop was away on maternity leave following her second successful marriage. Tony and Callie had had a bit of a past themselves having been at FLETC together, she had moved to San Diego after that before then mostly remaining as an agent afloat, until she had met her own husband and had a family, as her twin boys were just going to be starting at high school she and her husband both wished to be more settled, so she had put in the transfer to the Navy Yard and the initial proposal was going to be for her to head her own team when Bishop's maternity leave had concluded, but then the new director Paula Richards had decided not to go forwards with the team that she was expected to be heading up and in the end after Callie and Tony had had a bit of a heart to heart they had put the plan to the director about her remaining with the team and the director had gone with it.

In many ways the rapport that he and Callie had was more of friends who cared for each other and Tony always believed that the way they were together now had been an extension to the way they were in FLETC, because he invariably seemed to sense when she was unsettled about something and he would take her to one side to find out if she was ok or not, then she would be able to read him so easily that as soon as he began to shut down whenever anything was plaguing him meaning he would start to become snappy with everybody, she would move him aside to someplace more private and would not only call him on whatever it was, but she would then make him talk about whatever was going on.

His nickname for her was also 'pocket rocket' because of her being quite short in stature, but despite appearances and her looking like she wouldn't hurt a fly, if she needed to she could take down a man double her height and size, and the rocket came from the way that if a suspect ran she was just like a rocket as she raced after them with so much agility, she looked just like a rocket shooting off.

She was also really wonderful with Lizzie and there were occasions when he had wished that she had been around at the time when Lizzie had been baptised, because they had had Pippa as one of her godmothers, but the other godmother had never put in an appearance or did a check in to find out how her goddaughter was doing, whereas Callie was there for her and it made him truly happy that she was, especially if Lizzie wanted to talk about personal women matters, then she would either go to Callie or Pippa about it, but at times when she wanted to talk about her mom and felt that perhaps she couldn't talk to him or Pippa about it because she was afraid that it might upset them, then she would turn to Callie instead. Plus he and James Callie's husband were the best of friends as well, so the two families would end up spending time together, as well as he and James ending up going out together for boys nights out, which sometimes McGee would also accompany them as well, especially with them all being married family men.

 

Over the years Tony's relationship with Gibbs had evolved, there was a point after Ziva had left that things between them became a bit strained and at the time Tony had come remarkably close to giving up the badge then completely, which had also been why he had taken that leave when he had met Megan to make that determination about whether to remain or go.

It was just before they found out about Megan being ill when things seemed to turn around and they became closer again, and Gibbs in some ways ended up being his real rock during the time that she was so very ill. The only other time in which their relationship became strained again was just before Gibbs retired because of the way he was being with Abby as they had ended up having a serious argument about something, which no-one else had found out what it was about and to this day it had remained that way. In the end she had become close friends with Clayton Reeves who came from the UK and worked at MI6, he had helped them out with a case and had then ended up remaining with them as a liaison officer. Tony had never found out the truth about how Gibbs had really felt about the relationship between Clayton and Abby until the two of them had a heart to heart following Abby and Clayton being shot while on a night out, he had ended up shielding Abby so she ended up surviving her injuries while sadly Clayton was killed outright, she then ended up escorting Clayton's body back to the UK and decided to remain there. After that the two men had their heart to heart and once again made things up, and since then had remained close and had become even closer when Megan was diagnosed and through the whole time of her illness and especially after she sadly passed away. Since Abby had left they had initially been joined by Kasie who at the time had been working with Ducky on his memoirs, but as the time got closer to the publication of them they found that there wasn't so much time for her to be able to continue in the job, so they had now got Louisa Smith as their forensic scientist. Ducky had also retired at the same time as his memoirs came out for Jimmy to take over as the new ME and in the past few months he had got Melissa Jarrett as his assistant. So all in all life seemed to be going swimmingly along, but as it does and with Lizzie about to go to a new school everything was about to change for them both.