|Real Life Action Hero!
Author: brightblue PM
Post-ep for Requiem. What we didn’t see after Tony saved the day. Ziva gives Tony a little ego boost. Tiva UST. Sort of?Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Tony D. & Ziva D. - Words: 5,742 - Reviews: 24 - Favs: 60 - Follows: 6 - Published: 08-03-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5272969
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
TITLE: Real-Life Action Hero!
RATING: T (Maybe? Not really anything worse than you'd see on the show.)
SPOILERS: Post-ep for Requiem. You really won't understand this if you haven't seen that. Also vague general spoilers, I would think.
DISCLAIMER: I live in a shoebox. I pay my student loans in blood. Don't sue me for having a little fun with these characters that do not in any way belong to me. You'll get nothing out of it, I promise.
SUMMARY: Post-ep for Requiem. What we didn't see on the dock. Ziva gives Tony a little ego boost. Tiva UST in my mind. You might think differently.
AN: So, I had been Netflixing some random NCIS DVDs and got a season 5 disc the other day. Color me surprised to realize I had NEVER SEEN this episode. OMG. It was a revelation! Tony was so amazing. I wish we got to see more of him saving the day. I got so excited a plot bunny was born. I wrote this up pretty quickly last night. I stuck with Ziva's POV on this, but maybe in the future will write some more full-fledged Tony angst on the subject. But Ziva's behavior in the episode after Requiem, Designated Target, always perplexed me so this is my first little attempt to kind of get into her head before all that goes down, maybe try to impose some form of logic onto the events. I don't know if it necessarily worked out like that, but oh well… Consider this a random S5 gift dedicated especially to all of you who are reading and reviewing Tangled Up. Because I heart you all! ENJOY!
Ziva doesn't have to look up to know that Abby has entered the squad room. Not only is the clink of her various chains and buckles audible from fifty meters away, but the din of the room gets quieter as the uninitiated stop mid-task to observe the odd sight of the scientist blazing a trail of rebellious energy across the otherwise banal space.
"Gibbs!" Abby squeals as she comes upon the bullpen. Ziva glances up from the field report she's finishing on the Maddie Tyler case. She sees Abby standing there, looking crestfallen at the sight of Gibbs' empty desk.
"He's with the Director," McGee explains, tearing his eyes from his monitor. Abby's shoulders sag. In each hand she has a paper coffee cup. One is decorated with a red bow and doodles of hearts, skulls, and life preservers. The other hasn't been so craftily altered.
"What do you have there, Abby?" Ziva can't help but ask.
Abby sighs. "Well, this one was for Gibbs." She holds the decorated cup aloft. "It's a little I love you and I'm so glad you didn't drown present. I debated whether or not to get him a whole vat of coffee because he totally deserves it after nearly dying again, but then I figured it would get cold pretty quickly and I can't imagine anything worse after surviving hypothermia than a cold cup o' joe, you know what I mean? So, instead, I just got him the normal, Gibbs-sized cup with a gift card good for refills all day. That way, I can keep the boss in coffee…good, strong, hot coffee not icky, gross lukewarm java." Abby finishes her monologue with a toss of her pigtails.
Ziva smiles politely. "That is very nice of you."
"Hey, what do I get?" Tony interjects, flipping his pen in the air and catching it. "I was the one who dove into the icy water to pull the bossman out of the car and gave him mouth-to-mouth. I restored breath to the almighty Gibbs. I mean, c'mon! What's a guy gotta do to get some love?"
"Oh brother," McGee mutters, turning back to his work. Ziva rolls her eyes at Tony's smug attitude, but doesn't both to hide her good humor at the remark. It's nice to see him back to his normal, arrogant self after the events of the previous night.
Abby beams. "You did save Gibbs' life, Tony." She deposits Gibbs' gift on his desk and shuffles over to give Tony a bear hug, which he happily accepts. "You are a true hero!"
Tony leans back in his chair with a smirk. "Some might say an action hero," he says, waggling his eyebrows in Ziva's direction. She snorts and looks away from the self-satisfied expression on the senior agent's face.
Abby giggles. "Right, Tony, an action hero. You're a regular Jason Bourne."
Tony pretends to consider this. "Perhaps. Though I was thinking more along the lines of Daniel Craig's Bond."
McGee explodes in laughter.
"Shut it, Ben Affleck in Daredevil," Tony retorts with a pointed look. McGee immediately frowns and goes back to work.
"Who am I? Who am I?" Abby asks, bouncing up and down on her impossibly tall boots.
Tony scans her, scratches his head, and takes a long beat to formulate an answer. Ziva's gaze switches back and forth between Tony and Abby as she waits for a verdict. A grin pulls at her mouth.
"Princess Leia, for sure," he says with a drum roll and a wink.
Abby does a happy shimmy. "Only if I get the kick-ass buns and gold bikini," she warns and Tony concedes her request. She does an imitation of Leia snapping her slave chain. From his desk, where he's pretending not to listen, McGee makes a strangled sound. Twirling to face Ziva, Abby quirks her eyebrow. "Who's Ziva, Tony?"
Ziva's eyes widen. Tony's gaze swoops over her; she can almost hear his dirty thoughts. On the one hand, she feels quite enough like an action hero in real life that she doesn't need to be compared to a fictional one who possesses nothing more than good looks and impossible skills. On the other hand, she is eager to hear Tony's undoubtedly juvenile assessment of her. Purely for entertainment value, of course.
Tony leans forward on his desk, an eager look on his face. Raising her chin slightly, Ziva doesn't back down from his unspoken challenge. Abby's face is lit with anticipation. Even McGee peeks over the top of his monitor to watch them.
"This one's tricky," he begins in a slow drawl, "Is she Kate Beckinsale from Underworld, the icy yet passionate vampire with the leather catsuit and double-holster Berettas? Angelina Jolie in pretty much any of her action flicks, all dark, sexy, smart, and dangerous? Or maybe Sigourney Weaver in Alien, the badass of all badasses, the mother of all gun-toting, monster-slaying chicks?"
Abby smirks. "Wow, Tony, you've really thought about this." She swivels her head in Ziva's direction and fixes her with a significant look. Ziva doesn't respond.
Tony just nods solemnly, lost in his own fantasy world.
"Hmph," Ziva turns away from Tony's gaze, having had enough of being looked at like his next meal. "But do any of them know how to disable a bomb? Speak nearly a dozen languages? Mastermind a covert operation? Fly a helicopter?"
"No, they do not," Tony says with no shortage of worship in his voice. "Wait. You know how to fly a helicopter?"
Staring unseeing at her monitor, Ziva bites back a smile as she returns to typing. She says nothing.
With a toothy grin, Abby plops the coffee that remains in her hand on Tony's desk. "For you, Tony, my real-life action hero—a white chocolate macadamia latte with extra whipped cream and chocolate shavings."
Tony inhales the aroma of his sugary treat. "Oh, Abs, I think I love you."
"Think?" Abby pretends to be affronted. Before she can say more, though, her eyes light on Gibbs descending from the stairs and she hurries over to him. Ziva just shakes her head and goes back to recounting the previous day's events for her report.
The Director orders them to meet Tony at the pier.
As McGee eases their car to a stop behind Tony's, Ziva finds that her instincts are screaming at her. Something is wrong.
She gives McGee a warning look and they both exit the car armed and ready. Scanning the scene, Ziva searches for any hint as to where Tony may have gone off to in search of Gibbs.
"There," McGee whispers, gesturing to the open doors of a warehouse. They move quickly, silently around the fence and into the vast space.
Ziva's breath catches in her throat when she sees the bloody bodies on the floor. Neither looks like Tony or Gibbs at first glance, which is a relief. She gestures to McGee to cover her as she moves further inside the room. The air is heavy and silent. Call it women's intuition, years of Mossad training, or something else, but she trusts her ability to read a scene and she feels no further danger here. Light steps carry her closer to the men on the floor. A quick glance is all she needs to confirm they are no longer a threat; the ashen veil of death has covered their faces. With one more visual sweep of the warehouse, she feels confident no danger lurks in the shadows. She signals "clear" to McGee.
Still, things do not feel right.
Her mind races as she catalogues the scene. Behind her, she hears McGee doing a more thorough assessment of the men, bending to check for pulses and to secure their weapons. Mental images coalesce until Ziva is sure she knows what happened here: faint tire tracks on the concrete, spilled car fluids, a scattering of shell casings, and broken glass all support that a car was shot at, perhaps with Gibbs and Maddie in it.
But where are they? Where is the car? And where is Tony?
Her eyes catch on the pier ahead. Her heart seizes, then jackhammers in her chest. Two bodies are spread on the ground with Tony bent over them. That he is soaking wet and breathing heavily is apparent from a distance. Holstering her weapon, she beckons for McGee.
"Call an ambulance," she snaps, and McGee hurries to comply when he follows her line of sight. Ziva sprints in the direction of the dock.
"Paramedics will be here in less than five," McGee huffs out when he makes it to the dock a few minutes later. "You okay, Boss?" Worry is obvious in his voice as he takes in the Marine.
Gibbs tries to sit up but Ziva fixes him with a glare that stops the effort. His eyes are alert, which is good, but he isn't shivering. Ziva has had enough first aid training to know that is not good. No shivering despite the chill in the air means his body temperature has dropped significantly. It is better he remain flat on the ground rather than risk circulating cold blood to his body's core too quickly by moving around.
"Fine, McGee," Gibbs coughs, and he squeezes Maddie's hand. Maddie, too, remains laying on the ground but her face is decidedly less calm. Ziva squats as the girl rolls half onto her side, toward Gibbs, and lets out a shuddering, watery sob.
"Shhh, it's okay," Ziva tries to comfort the girl, who is clearly scared as she begins to process the recent events. "You'll be okay."
McGee bends down to Maddie as well, covering her with one of the emergency blankets retrieved from their cars. Ziva begins to help Maddie remove some of her wet clothing under the blanket without jostling her around too much. McGee fixes an NCIS cap on her head. Moving to Gibbs, he does the same thing. Gibbs waves off any further assistance from his agent.
Having helped Maddie as well as she could, Ziva turns her attention to her partner.
"Tony?" She asks, finding him bent at the waist, still trying to catch his breath. Her concern for him increases at that; it's been long enough since his water rescue that he should no longer be panting from the exertion. She doubts that an extended plunge into cold water with plague-affected lungs is good for his health. His whole body is shaking. He needs to get out of his wet clothes and warm up.
"I'm okay," he manages out between hacking coughs. Ziva frowns and moves to his side. Urging him to stand up, she studies his face. He's a little pale, but looks better than Gibbs or Maddie. It's his eyes that get her though—they are dark and stormy, and she finds herself reeling at the scenarios that could've played out before she and McGee arrived. He looks away from her probing stare, "The two men?"
Ziva's frown deepens. "Dead."
Tony nods. He turns to scan the pier. "I tossed my weapon aside before diving in…"
"I'll go find it," McGee jumps up from Gibbs and Maddie, who have begun to stir a bit more and seem to be stable for the time being. Sirens wail in the distance, growing nearer each second. Tony nods at McGee and indicates the direction where his gun should be.
"Tony…" Ziva finds herself murmuring again, and wishes they had a third blanket for her shivering partner. She lifts a hand to inspect his features, maybe check the temperature of his forehead like a doting mother, but quickly drops it. She has no real reason to touch him. A look of grim determination has set across his face and she knows he will take Gibbs' order to take care of this case very seriously.
Needing to do something, she begins to yank Tony's waterlogged jacket off.
"Gee, Ziva, if you wanted to get me naked, all you had to do was ask," he smirks at her, but there is no mirth in his gaze. His eyes dart worriedly between the two near-drowning victims, watching for any signs of distress. He lets her remove his tie and jacket, his trembling body more obvious without them. Ziva starts for his shirt, but Tony smacks her hand away. Ziva gives him a warning look.
Ziva settles for shedding her own coat. She tries to make it fit over Tony's shoulders. His expression warms as their eyes meet, and Ziva finds herself looking away shyly. She's not used to seeing such an open look of gratitude on his face. Not for such a small gesture, anyway.
"McGee!" Tony barks, becoming more animated, as the agent can be heard approaching on the dock. "Call Ducky to pick up the bodies. We'll also need a team to help process the scene." Tony holds her jacket in place like a cape, the blue fabric flapping in the breeze behind him.
"On it!" McGee reacts, and Ziva smiles when she can tell he had to bite back a "boss." Tony winks at her.
"Ziva, lemme borrow your phone," Tony states, holding his palm open. She eyes him warily, but complies. Tony makes a face as he tries to figure out her address book before giving up and dialing NCIS directly. She hears him connect with the Director as he begins to walk off the dock to greet the ambulances that blaze up the pier.
By the time Ducky, Palmer, and a small team of junior agents show up, they've done their best documenting the scene with what little gear they had on hand. Gibbs and Maddie were both taken to the ER for care, but the paramedics assured them that their prognosis was good. It had taken a direct phone call from Jenny to get Gibbs in an ambulance, but whatever she had said had been enough to convince him to consent to medical attention.
Directing an agent in a red jumpsuit to bag the evidence that McGee had photographed and she had tagged, Ziva tosses her rubber gloves in the designated disposal bag and goes in search of Ducky. She finds him hunched over one of the fallen kidnappers.
"Ah, Ziva," he looks up at her with a smile. "Well done with Jethro and Maddie. It seems both you and McGee were paying attention in your first aid class."
Ziva accepts the compliment with a tight grin. "Have you had a chance to look over Tony?"
Her partner, of course, refused anything but the most cursory of medical attention. Ziva's eyes find him easily; he is in the process of berating a junior agent about his sketching technique. The poor young man looks like he might cry. From several feet away, Ziva can see Tony give a barely perceptible jolt every few seconds. Like he's trying to stop himself from shivering, but failing. Patches of his golden skin still peak through the wet spots on his white shirt. His face is pale and his lips have lost much of their color.
Ducky makes a distressed sound. "Anthony's body temperature was slightly lowered, though not lowered enough to be considered hypothermic." Ducky purses his lips and his tone takes on a distinctly angry tone, "However, if he does not get himself out of those wet clothes soon that condition will change. Honestly, it's a miracle he wasn't taken out of here on a stretcher."
Ziva scowls in Tony's direction. She turns to Ducky, "A change of clothes?"
Ducky gestures to a bag sitting untouched on the back of his truck. Ziva assumes this is the change of clothing in question. Without another word, she strides over to the bag with a clear mission in mind.
Shoving the bag of clothes into Tony's stomach, she uses that momentum and his surprise to plow him into a corner away from the other agents on the scene. She ignores his cries of protest and the strange looks thrown their way.
When she has him relatively hidden behind a stack of crates, she levels him with her darkest stare. "Change your clothes. Now." Crossing her arms, she dares him to defy her order.
He cocks an eyebrow at her, not looking at the bag clutched to his stomach. "Who died and made you Queen Bee?"
His remark incites a wave of annoyance that Ziva can't quite rationalize. "You! You will die soon if you do not get out of those wet clothes!"
Tony's face goes slack at the tone of her voice. But she doesn't regret her harsh words when she sees another tremor go through Tony's body.
They stare at one another for a moment, both breathing more heavily than is warranted. Finally, Tony gives in. He drops the bag to the floor. He starts to unbutton his shirt. Ziva's eyes betray her and flit down to take in the skin that he reveals.
"You gonna watch?" He chirps, the amusement on his face pure window-dressing for the challenge in his tone.
Ziva huffs and turns her back. She uses her position to stand guard against any prying eyes, giving Tony a little bit of modesty. Tapping her foot, she tries to get him to speed up the process. She imagines his skin damp and clammy. She worries about the negative effects of prolonged exposure to the cold. She mentally runs down the symptoms of hypothermia. She curses his stubbornness in the face of rational, logical first aid care. She doesn't understand him. Had it been her diving into those icy waters, she would've wasted no time in shedding her soggy clothes as soon as the opportunity arose.
"I will take your statement now, if you'd like," Ziva says to keep the images of worst-case scenarios in her mind at bay. She retrieves a notepad and pencil from her pocket. Though Tony will have to write up his own report of tonight's events, an officer on scene must also relate a statement.
She hears Tony's pants hit the floor with a dull thump; she winces at the sound, realizing how wet they probably still are. He doesn't respond to her, so she begins to turn around.
"Wait! Don't!" He yelps. "I wouldn't want to give you a false impression of the family jewels. Cold water exposure and all that."
A smirk eases across Ziva's lips; though tempted to turn around for pure entertainment value, she remains facing away from Tony. Well, if he can joke around in such a manner, then clearly things aren't that bad.
"Do not worry, Tony, I seem to remember getting a very good impression of the full DiNozzo package at one time." It's not a lie, far from it, but said more in an effort to cheer him up than to reveal her true feelings on their time spent as frisky married assassins.
"Heh," Tony chuckles, and she can hear the leer in his voice. "Of course you did."
Ziva rolls her eyes.
A few more seconds elapse before she suddenly feels his breath in her ear. "You can turn around now."
She ignores the shiver that goes down her spine and whirls around. She's happy to note that Tony looks much warmer now that he's changed into a pair of grey NCIS sweats; some color has even begun to return to his face. Tony bends to pick up his pile of wet clothing and shove it in the bag. She raises her eyebrows when she spots his boxers in the mess and wonders if Ducky bothered to include a new pair for Tony to wear. Her eyes drift down curiously.
Tony seems to read her mind and winks at her. "You'll just have to wonder."
Ziva makes a face at him. "Tell me what happened, Tony."
With a sigh, Tony leans back against the crates. He rubs his hands over his eyes. Ziva notes with concern the exhaustion there. "I arrived on scene. Before I could get a visual on Gibbs, I heard yelling, Gibbs' shout, and tires squealing. Then: gunshots. At least a dozen of them. A car reversed out of the warehouse; Gibbs was driving."
Quickly jotting down the events, Ziva gestures for Tony to go on.
In a detached voice, Tony continues his rundown of events, "The car went backwards off the pier. I ran for the warehouse. Saw the two suspects. They were armed; they turned on me." Tony closes his eyes now, reliving the experience. Ziva finds herself hanging on his every word, a picture rapidly forming in her mind. "I got five shots off on the guy to my right; two on the guy to my left. They went down. I tossed my gun to the side. I dove off the pier. The car was submerged, Gibbs and Maddie trapped inside." Tony pushes away from the crates and starts pacing their small space.
"I removed the front windshield and Gibbs pushed Maddie out to me; she was unconscious, but had a pulse. I got her up on the dock. I went back for Gibbs. He was trapped by the steering wheel, unconscious by the time I got back to him. I got him out. When I got him on the dock, he had no pulse. I started CPR to no avail. Then I switched to Maddie, whose heart had also stopped. I got her back…and then, by that time, Gibbs was conscious again."
Ziva lets out a long breath as Tony finishes his tale. He doesn't look at her, but shoves a hand through his hair. She regards him for a moment, amazed. Obviously, she knew that he had gone in the water to pull Gibbs and Maddie out of the car. The fact that they'd all made it out was miraculous enough. But she hadn't known that he'd managed to take out two perps in the process or that both Gibbs and Maddie had been unable to help themselves during the rescue. Her heart swells with pride at Tony's heroics.
She wonders what has kept him so quiet about the string of events. Tony is not normally one to demure when he can boast.
"Wow, Tony," she doesn't try to hide the admiration in her tone. "It sounds like something out of one of your movies, yes?" She smiles softly, trying to give him a boost of confidence.
"I guess." Tony just shrugs, another shudder running through his body. This one seems to have less to do with the cold than the emotional aftermath of recounting the rescue.
She narrows her eyes at him. She knows nearly losing Gibbs and an innocent girl must've drained Tony, but she wants him to take this win for what it was. Without his efforts, they would've lost them both. Tony scuffs his foot on the ground. She only now realizes that he's been wandering around with nothing but crime scene booties on his feet; it makes her grin.
"Yes, Tony," she nods confidently, stepping closer to him. His eyes catch on hers and the corner of his mouth begins to tug up at the sway she puts into her hips. "Today you were like one of your action heroes, like Steve McQueen or Sean Connery…" She scrunches up her nose when her mental list runs out. Tony chuckles at her.
"Mel Gibson? Harrison Ford? Matt Damon? Bruce Willis?" He offers, eyes brightening. She nods, now in his personal space. His eyebrows raise and he leans into her ever so slightly. "I suppose I was pretty badass today. I doubt Chuck Norris could have executed as perfect of a dive into the water."
Ziva smiles, enjoying the return of Tony's bravado. Something she is sure to regret later. "That may be. But, I think, that there is one thing missing from your action movie day."
"Oh yeah?" Tony's eyes are sparkling as they scan her face. Ziva feels her whole body warm under his attention. She can only hope her friendly seduction is having the same effect on him.
"Yes," she affirms and reaches up to trace his cheek. His skin is chilled, but not alarmingly so, which pleases her. "By the end of the film, the hero always receives a kiss from the heroine."
Tony's expression is comically befuddled as she rises on her tiptoes to place a simple kiss on his cheek. At the last moment, though, she changes her trajectory and ends up kissing the corner of his mouth instead. For a long moment, her lips press to his cool skin. She's so close to his mouth that she can feel his warm breath as it tickles her chin.
She had intended this moment to be a sweet reward for him; one of their typical flirtations guaranteed to lift his sprits. After all, Tony is nothing if not predictably intrigued by her advances. But once she's put her lips to his skin, she finds herself unable to pull back right away. Instead, she relishes the brief contact as it hits her how easily she could've lost him today, too.
Ziva knows that she pulls back an instant too late. A rush of panic strikes her. Has she made an irreversible mistake? Revealed too much of her feelings for him? But he says nothing. Doesn't tease her or make a snide remark about the slip, as he often does. Instead, he gives her a heavy look that makes heat rise in her cheeks even if she can't quite discern the emotion behind his eyes.
She drags her gaze away from him and clears her throat.
"Good job today, Tony," she murmurs as she abruptly walks away. She can feel his intense stare on her as she leaves.
Looking straight ahead, she tries to ignore the lingering taste of his skin on her lips. She'd pushed him into that hidden corner aiming to get him back on track, shake him out of his somber mood. She was confident in her approach and successful in her execution. And yet somehow, now she's the one left unbalanced and out of sorts.
Funny how that works.
After a long, boring day of paperwork and report writing, Ziva is eager to take advantage of their early dismissal. Her body feels restless from sitting all day. She looks forward to a long training session at the gym. Some heavy-duty sparing seems in order or perhaps a good swim.
Wait, scratch that: water is the last thing she needs more of right now.
As she approaches her car in the parking garage, she is greeted by a most unwelcome sight. The vision of her car off-balance; a clear sign of a flat tire.
Ziva's face falls. She curses. Kicks the ground.
With a put upon sigh, she trudges over to her car. Sure enough, the right rear tire that was perfectly full of air this morning is completely flat. She does a cursory inspection of the rest of her vehicle, but finds no other damage. It's likely this is a case of nothing more sinister than a rusty nail.
She shoves her bag inside her car and moves to the trunk. Pushing up her sleeves, she removes her spare tire, tire iron, and jack and prepares to get to work.
Some days just plain suck.
Ziva is struggling with a particular stubborn lug nut when she hears someone approach from behind. Tensing, she prepares to strike with the tire iron first and ask questions later when a familiar voice speaks.
"Having some trouble there, Wonder Woman?"
Tony is suddenly squatting next to where she kneels. Giving him a dirty look, she rocks back on her heels and swats some errant hair out of her face. "No!" She protests, "This lug is just on very tight."
Tony smirks at her. "Want some help?"
Throwing the weight of her body against the tire iron, she attempts to loosen the lug nut. "No," she huffs. "I am perfectly capable of changing a tire, Tony."
Tony's eyes sweep over her form. "Oh, I'm sure you are, Zee-va."
Ziva's eyes snap to meet his, confused by his dark tone of his voice. His expression is inscrutable. She frowns. It is rare that she cannot read Tony's mind. At times like this, when what is on his mind definitely concerns her, it drives her mad.
"But maybe you could let me help just a little? I am, after all, a real-life action hero today." He gives her his most charming grin. "Able to change flat tires in a single bound! Also, I help old ladies cross the street and save the planet from nuclear disaster."
Just for that smart remark, she shoves the tire iron at him. He falls on his butt with an "oomph."
"It is all yours, Jean Claude," she mutters in his ear as she moves aside. She rolls the French name across her tongue with practiced ease and likes the resulting spark that flickers in Tony's eyes. There. Now she knows what he's thinking.
Ziva makes an annoyed face when Tony loosens the same lug she'd spent five minutes on with a quick snap of his wrist. "It's all in the shoulders," he gloats, making quick work of loosening the remaining lugs.
Ziva threatens to step on his fingers as she moves to put the jack in place. Together, they work silently and efficiently to change the flat. Spending her life trying to prove that she is just as quick, strong, and deadly as any man makes her loathe to admit any physical or mental weaknesses that she may have. But when it comes to brute force, there are some times when men just have the edge. She punishes Tony for his Y chromosome by making him put away the tools as she gives her spare one last inspection.
"Hmm," Tony says as he's securing the damaged tire in her trunk. "Looks like maybe a nail?" He scratches at the tread where a small piece of metal is visible.
Ziva sighs. Now she will have to spend her evening trying to find a repair shop open late enough to patch her tire. So much for her training session. She stretches her legs to make herself feel just a little better.
"Thank you for your assistance, Tony," Ziva concedes as she dusts her hands on her cargo pants. "I did not need it, but it was helpful."
Tony gives her a brilliant smile in return. "All in a day's work, milady." Ziva just lifts her eyebrows at him. "There's no rest for us action heroes."
With a groan, Ziva pushes past Tony and into her car. "Just remember that tomorrow when you are whining about rats and mice."
"Hey! I have no complaints about mice. And remember: every superhero has his kryptonite! Even spy goddesses like you." Tony does an impromptu action figure pose in her parking space. Ziva feigns amusement at his antics, more nettled by his kryptonite dig than she would care to show.
"I am not a superhero, Tony, and neither are you," she grumbles, edging around him and opening her car door.
Tony's face drops. "I was just kidding, Ziva."
With a sigh, Ziva drops into the driver's seat. "I will see you tomorrow."
"Yeah. Later." Tony seems confused by her mood shift. Ziva can't offer any explanation since she doesn't understand her behavior either, so she just shuts the door, buckles her seatbelt, and pulls out of her space with a wave.
She watches Tony become smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror.
Tony was right about one thing. There is no reprieve for real-life action heroes.
AN2: Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought. I'd love to hear it! Also, all the first aid stuff came from googling so forgive me any glaring errors. Same goes with the crime scene protocol. I was just guessing there. ;-)