Epilogue

“What am I supposed to do now?” Tony asked as he sat in front of the camera with a glass of beer in his hand.

Abby sighed and looked at McGee. “We told you already. You are just going to give your best wishes on the tape. Come on! You helped plan this little project!” she replied.

“Ahh yes, just wanted to make sure. Is it recording?” he grinned.

“Yes, and you are the first person so make it good.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Tony waved her off and looked into the camera lens. “Sheppard, Zee-vah. What can I say? I didn’t think that we really would be sitting here, at your wedding. I honestly thought that by now she would have killed you dude. I suppose whatever it is between you two works, though with all the beatings you give each other, it’s a wonder how,” he said chuckling. “I admit too that I was surprised when you let Teyla and Abby plan the whole thing. Kinda scary in fact but it all came out great. Ziva you were beautiful – not that you aren’t any other day but – today you were. Regardless of the ass your father was, I really think he would have been proud of you today. Well, this video…It’s sort of a digital guestbook I guess. The team, we all planned it together. What can you expect to see after me? A lot of drunken guests wanting to say some things to you. What happens from this point forward – I am notresponsible for! Have fun on your honeymoon! Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!”

“Oh this reminds me of so many years ago when we were in a little bit of trouble with our not so friendly neighbors,” Carson looked at the camera. “Although back then, I was talking to my mother, god rest her soul, and saying goodbye to her and it wasn’t even needed!” Carson shook his head. “You and you military types are always the first one to panic,” he chuckled. “But let me just say that I am extremely happy for the both of you, you are a great match for each other and I honestly did not believe that you would come this far, Colonel… John. However, you did, and you have a gorgeous bride and a wonderful daughter, she was amazing as your ring bearer, she looked so proud!” he wiped the tears out of his eyes. “Good luck to the both of ye, and make sure to bring sunscreen on your honeymoon.”

Vance popped up next to sit in front of the camera. “I just wanted to wish you both good luck, life, and happiness in the future. Best piece of advice I can give you Sheppard is to just smile, nod, and take out the trash before she has to remind you,” he grinned, earning a slap from his wife who stood just off camera. “Beautiful wedding and your desks will still be at NCIS when you return from your honeymoon.”

Teal’c appeared in front of the camera and he greeted them with his usual bow. “Congratulations Colonel Sheppard and Agent David, I wish you happiness and health in your married life. It was an honor to be present at your wedding.” Teal’c then made a subtle head bow and disappeared from the camera.

“Hi! I’m back! Anyways, everything couldn’t have come out better if I say so myself,” Abby’s grin filling the screen space. “Sheppy! I didn’t know you worked with such interesting people! Well, before NCIS that is. It’s a shame that Dr. Jackson is taken – even if he knows it or not. I have to admit that I can totally get his theory about the pyramids in Egypt… but we’re not here for that. I wish you both lots of love and I know you will be happy together. And don’t worry Ziva, I haven’t said a word to anyone about that secret,” she winked.

“And that makes the second couple to get married!” Chuck said joyfully. “It took you long enough.”

Katie Brown sat on Chuck’s lap with her arms around his neck. “Chuck is just kidding, we’re happy that you finally decided to get married.”

“Yes, we are,” Chuck nodded.

“Ziva, you looked so beautiful in that dress! I mean, I had a beautiful dress when I married Chuck but wow. Wow.”

“Good luck to you two, you’ve had enough practice over the years.” Chuck grinned.

“We wish you all the happiness and health in the world, John and Ziva. And for many many more years together.” Katie smiled widely.

Sighing, Fornell fell into the chair being next on the line. “I must admit that I was surprised to receive an invitation but grateful in any case. Everything was very lovely and the beer – this is good stuff. Where’d you find this? I do have a small present for you two but I’ll give it to you at NCIS when you come back as it wasn’t ready for today. Don’t worry. It’s not another blender or toaster oven.”

“Good to see that you’re still kicking bud,” Cameron Mitchell smiled. “I’m happy that you managed to get over everything. It’s not easy, that’s for certain but I – well, we, knew you would. Cheers!” he said as he took a sip of the bottle of clearly chilled beer he had.

Carolyn rolled her eyes at Cam and smiled. “Any time you need help or someone to talk to, you know where to find us. I know I was hard on you in the beginning but I also didn’t know you as a person then. Just the stories that came back to the compound. I truly could not think of a better outcome for you. Good luck to you both!”

“Hey, it’s me. Being pushed in front of the camera by Abby.” McGee sighed. “I know I know, it was part of our plan, and things like that. It’s a good idea, maybe you can keep it on your mind for when ever I get married.”

“McGee!” Abby poked him. “That’s our secret! Shhh!”

Tim grinned into the camera. “Yep, I asked her, finally.”

“And I said yes, but that’s not the point!”

“Congratulations you two, I promise I’ll stop Tony from doing anything hazardous to your desks while you are on your honeymoon.” Tim promised. “I’ll do anything in my power, although that might not be good enough… you never know!”

“You got your girl Sheppard. Don’t do anything to screw that up or I’ll come looking for you,” Ronon said straight off after he sat down.

Teyla smiled as she always did and shook her head. “I had already shared my wishes for health and happiness with you but again, I will say all the best. You two are the best friends and family anyone can hope for. I will be sure that Mariely behaves while you are gone for your trip.”

“Let us drink to happiness,” Ducky said smiling and raised his glass. “Let us drink, to health! Congratulations my dear Ziva and dear John, you have conquered so many obstacles, and build so many mountains, you two truly deserve to be together for eternity. You looked beautiful, Ziva, and John, you looked as handsome as ever. Be careful on your honeymoon, waters can be treacherous. Oh, and bring some sunscreen along with you, you don’t want to get burned.”

Sitting down, confused and pouty, Jack O’Neill looked around before Hank Landry joined him. “Why am I doing this again? You said they had Simpsonson a TV here,” Jack said.

“Agent David’s friends organized a video present for Sheppard and his bride. You’re here to say a few words, as I am too. Just talk to the camera Jack!” he sighed and waved at him impatiently.

“Oh. Yeah. Well, I never been one with words so I’ll be succinct,” the older man said and looked into the camera. “Alright, I’m going back for more beer,” he said after a moment and walked off leaving Landry there shaking his head. “Oh give it a rest Hank. Sheppard will get it.”

“You’ll have to explain that one to me later,” Landry replied before turning back. “Well, good luck with everything. Gibbs has my office line should either of you ever go missing – again. Everything is just lovely and I hope you two have found what you’ve been looking for.”

“Yes, play dates, that’d be great!” Jimmy said as Breena pushed him in the chair in front of the camera. “Yes!” he looked at the camera, smiling. “Breena is pregnant, but oh, wait… congratulations you two!” Jimmy took a sip of his beer. “Your wedding was great, and the reception even better. Don’t worry, now that Dr. Mallard’s retired, you can always come down to the morgue if you need stitches for when Ziva hits you with a baseball bat or something. I’ll be there, for the most part,” he grinned, and flinched when Ducky walked by and gave Jimmy a headslap, on camera. “He never does that!” Jimmy said shocked. “I’m sorry, Dr. Mallard!” He said quickly walking after Ducky.

“Oh this is so very exciting!” Vala Mal Doran commented as she plopped down in front of the camera followed by a bit more reluctant Daniel Jackson.

“Keep it short Vala. There are other people that want to say something,” he reminded her as he smiled forward patiently.

She rolled her eyes and nodded. “Of course! I wouldn’t dream of taking up all the time here. Well, I’m supposed to say my wishes and all for the happy couple. May your marriage and life together be filled with lots of happiness, fun times and babies! Although the baby making part is more important and fun,” she grinned and winked at the camera.

“Good luck with everything John, Ziva. And I promise that next time we should visit, I’ll be sure to keep Vala away from champagne, fountains, and Ziva’s closet,” Daniel added. “Have fun and stay safe.”

Gibbs sat down in front of the camera and just looked into it for a long time before finally speaking up. “You two, I am so very proud of you, not as your boss, but as your friend. Hurry back from your honeymoon you two. There is going to be plenty of work waiting.” He held up his beer in mock toast and smiled. “Good luck.”

Finally, the very last person to sit in front of the camera was one Jeannie Miller. She smiled into it unsure of what to see but clearly very emotional. “I’d like to say that John and I had become friends after the times we had worked together and with my brother, Rodney. When I received the invitation to the wedding, I just couldn’t stop crying. Not because I was or wasn’t happy for you John, and Ziva, but because I know that Rodney would have loved to been here, standing where Ronon was because I am sure that you would have chosen him to be your best man. My brother, as much as a pain that he was, he would have taken the duty very seriously. Almost, if not more than he did with his work. I can imagine him sitting there, asking repeatedly if the chicken had lemon in it,” she laughed as she wiped her tears off her face.

“Rodney did for you exactly what you would have done for him John. Please don’t think of the past and what happened as something failed, but it succeeded. In so many ways. It’s hard I know and despite not having spoken in so many years, dwelling on it will not change a thing. I’m sorry to be saying this on the tape that is meant to be happy but we hadn’t spoken at the memorial services as you ran off before I could find you each time. You and Rodney were friends, brothers even. And that makes you my brother too. I hope that you and Ziva live a long and happy life that you were always meant to. To have a family and children, to watch them grow up and pray that they don’t make the same mistakes that you did. Never let them lose each other but don’t drive them apart. I love you, and Rodney and everyone else is smiling down on you,” she said, smiling and blowing a soft kiss before the tape went black.

~o.O.o~

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