It was now dark enough outside that the only thing visible in the large plate glass windows was a reflection of the squad room. Tony checked his watch. It was just after ten. Despite the objections of his lawyer, Thomas Perkins had given a full confession several hours before.

Standing with Tony and Ziva in Observation, McGee had been appalled. "He murdered his neighbor to prevent her from telling anyone he ditched school?"

Ziva shook her head. "It sounds as if that was just his breaking point, if you can reasonably call that a breaking point. Is that lawyer serious about the blackmail thing?"

"They could make a case of it. His father said that he was shipping the kid off to military school if he got into any more trouble in school. They could make the argument that he was so scared of that that he snapped and killed the petty officer."

"And they'll probably try to blame it on violent television shows and video games," McGee added.

"We can't all be elf lords, Probie."

"You can't convince me that would stand up in court."

"Good old American justice, Zee-vah. Of course, he did go back to rob the house after he murdered Healey, so a jury would probably be less sympathetic."

They'd spent most of the rest of the day discussing the boy's motives as they completed the necessary paperwork. Wanting a break from the endless papers, Tony began another search of his desk.

Gibbs suddenly stood. "I'm going for coffee. Those forms better be filed by the time I get back. Something wrong, DiNozzo?"

"No, boss." Tony rummaged through his bottom desk drawer again. "I just can't figure out what I did with my cuffs."

"They're right there."


"Hanging from your armrest."

"No, those are Ziva's." He stared at his partner, who appeared to be trying very hard not to laugh.

Gibbs continued toward the elevator. "Whatever helps you sleep at night."

"He didn't really mean…" Tony's confused expression was enough to send Ziva into hysterics. "What the hell is going on?"

Ziva responded between barks of laughter. "I took your cuffs four days ago. I've been waiting for you to notice. This morning I just…" she trailed off in another fit of giggles.

"But I had the keys to these in my desk the whole time…" Tony's jaw went slack as he realized what had happened. "I could have unlocked these at any time."

Still overcome by laughter, she could only nod.

Tony walked to her desk and squatted in front of her, balancing himself on the arms of her chair. "I am going to get back at you for this. I don't know how, I don't know when, but I am going to get you, Ziva David."

She patted his cheek twice, letting her hand linger after the second. She let out a low laugh from somewhere deep in her chest as she leaned toward him. "Oh, I look forward to it."

A/n: Aaaaand, cut. Scene. Print it. Thanks to all readers, and double thanks to those who also count themselves reviewers.