|Sing Me to Shipwreck
Author: brightblue PM
"Something about fall always makes him a bit reckless." A pumpkin-spiced vignette of sorts. Tiva.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Tony D. & Ziva D. - Words: 1,662 - Reviews: 25 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 4 - Published: 11-04-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7522026
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Not sure what this is all about, just that I forced myself to write something again. I challenged myself to write for my entire train commute home to a random song on my iPod ("There, There by Radiohead, lyrics included). This is what happened and so now I'm sharing it with you. Special thanks, as always, to my lovely friend, Ana!
Disclaimer: If any of these characters really belonged to me, the show would be a whole lot different.
In pitch dark, I go walking in your landscape
The air is chilled, a reminder that winter is just around the corner. Still, it is fall for now. He loves fall: a season for change and new beginnings, weeks of lazy Sundays reserved for sweatshirts, football and afternoon naps. He tips his head back and takes in the brilliant tapestry of reds and yellows hanging above them on their walk through the park. They cast a golden shade over the evening.
Ziva's cheeks are stung rosy by the air; the slight furrow of her brow indicates her displeasure with the temperature. Leaving work, Tony had guilted her into taking quick stroll with him. This season always passes so quickly, he'd said, better enjoy it before we're buried in snow. She grumbles and shivers as he leads them toward yet another section of the sidewalk guaranteed to produce maximum crunching. He's warm in his wool coat and has the fleeting thought of opening it to invite her in. Something about fall always makes him a bit reckless. Like he's constantly primed for a leap into a pile of freshly raked leaves.
He looks at her sideways, knowing just that will draw her attention. Sure enough, she narrows her gaze to meet his and his breath catches at how well the trees ablaze with autumn compliment her skin.
"What?" She murmurs, self-conscious.
He offers her half of a grin and gets an eye-roll in return.
It's been six years and he still has no idea what is going on in her head. Maybe in this moment, as a velvet hue sneaks into the evening sky, he should accept that he never will. Isn't autumn all about shedding dead weight?
It certainly makes him feel like a goddamn romantic.
He takes a risk. Takes a step closer to her. His body leans into hers and she does not retreat. A scarlet maple leaf tumbles into her hair. He moves to brush it away, but his hand betrays him. He cradles her chin instead and barely thinks before he makes the jump. She gasps as he presses his lips to hers. His thumb traces warmth into her skin; the unexpected softness of it makes him dizzy. She shudders, goes still, then ever so gently drifts into him. Slowly, she begins to kiss him back.
By the time they pull apart, her expression is unreadable in the twilight. Bumbled goodbyes send them their separate ways.
Later, he finds a stowaway maple leaf clinging to his coat. He props it up on his kitchen counter and spends the evening contemplating its painted surface.
There's always a siren singing you to shipwreck
It's been three days since it happened.
Ziva had always assumed a moment like that would change everything between them, for better or for worse. But instead nothing is better and things aren't exactly worse. She'd say it was like it never happened, but it's not. Not at all. Not to her at least. Because she can't look at him, carrying on like he does, without wanting to shake some answers out of his thick skull. She supposes she could be the one to break their stalemate…but…
His eyes don't glitter with a secret triumph like she predicated they would. He's indifferent, it seems, or at least unchanged, while she's left feeling like her whole world has shifted. She finds her breath comes in strange patterns around him now. In and out and out again because she chokes on all the things she wants to say but never could. She can't even let herself remember what happened, not really, because just the hint of the memory makes her light-headed. She feels almost…giddy.
She would say she knows him better than anyone else. She can predict his behavior as if it were a pure science. But then he goes and creates a moment so surreal, so romantic, she only knows it wasn't a dream because she doesn't have dreams like that.
She watches him from the corner of her eyes (and she is good at keeping her gaze discrete, unaffected). It satisfies her to find tension in his shoulders. When he thinks she isn't looking, he watches her uncertainly.
Something has to change. She feels it; she fears it. But he started all this…didn't he?
Maybe it was a dream after all.
There, there. Why so green? Why so lonely?
"I kissed you."
Ziva chokes on her chai tea. She scans their moving vehicle for an escape route.
"I kissed you," he repeats once she's stopped coughing. His fingers drum on the steering wheel.
"I heard you the first time," she snaps. Days of nothing and he chooses now to bring this up?
"And you kissed me back. A lot."
A blush creeps up her cheeks without her permission. She clutches at the cardboard sleeve on her tea like a lifeline. Her mind is suddenly blank. And Tony, damn him, looks at her with a smug, relaxed smile.
She blinks. Maintains her gaze straight ahead. "Yes."
"Okay." He gloats, but only momentarily; her terse response seems to succeed in deflating his ego. He navigates their car off the freeway. Every muscle in her body tenses up, anticipating another attack. He chances a look at her. He exhales defeat.
"Okay," she swallows. The GPS announces that they've reached their destination.
See, that wasn't hard.
Heaven sent you to me
Tony takes the lead as they question their suspect's brother. Ziva finds her mind wandering; Tony's smooth voice rolls around her head. She can't seem to concentrate on the interview at hand. Instead, she finds herself plagued by a single thought: Why not?
She caresses his face with her eyes, admires the way he uses his hands to weave a story for their witness. She can taste him on her lips suddenly. Her heart dips south.
She could lose him so easily. She realizes this now. He's never really been hers before. And he's not now. But for a brief, precious moment it felt like he was. One moment he was just her partner and the next he had her reeling. She blinks and the way he looked just before he kissed her glows in her mind. His eyes had twinkled devilishly as he had leaned into her, almost if he had been dared to do it. And then he was kissing her and it hardly mattered why because it was what she'd kept herself from wanting for so long. It was just as terribly wonderful as she'd feared.
Her hands start to shake.
"Excuse me," she mutters and makes a swift exit from the house. Verbally, Tony doesn't miss a beat but his eyes track her departure.
Broken branches trip me as I speak
She is waiting for him at the car. He takes her in, a full appraisal, only because he's worried and not because she still manages to stun him with her beauty.
He is halfway to the car, parked a distance down the long drive, when she looks up. Her eyes smolder into his; his pace increases in response. She stands up straighter as he approaches, lips pursed and resolve steeled. He has no idea what is about to happen.
"Hey, you okay?"
A tight nod is all he gets in response. Well, that and her screaming eyes. He wets his lips.
And then she's up on her tiptoes and reaching for his face. He gets the cue and meets her halfway. They collide and it's not the slow, romantic kiss of days before. It's hot and messy and he grips her ribcage tightly to keep her from disappearing on him again.
They pull back to suck in air. He still doesn't let her move far, but she seems okay with it; her hands remain clasped around his neck.
He watches her closely for any clue as to what she's feeling, how he should proceed. Her face seems open; her features are soft. Coming to a decision is easy enough:
"You kissed me."
She smiles just enough to crinkle her eyes. "You kissed me back."
"A lot," he smirks.
She snorts and lets her hands fall away from him. A breeze finds it way through the space between them; her body tremors slightly beneath his touch. She sighs. "Tony…"
"It was just a kiss," he tries to assure her, but his grip on her loosens. She steps back, dried leaves crackling beneath her feet.
"No. It wasn't." Her nose wrinkles up. Little puffs of breath cloud the air.
He brings her back to him with the trace of his knuckles against her skin. "No," he affirms. "It wasn't."
She crumples into him at that. He misses her expression because her face is buried in his chest, fingers curled into his coat. He wraps his arms around her, enclosing her to him.
"We'll figure this out," he murmurs into her hair. His fingers trace hidden strands of copper. "We have to, right?"
She shuffles even closer to him. He can't hear her response; it's muffled by the wool of his coat, the swish of the trees. But he doesn't doubt that the word she said was yes.