Disclaimer: NCIS is not mine.
A/N This is just a fun, short-ish fic. Hope you enjoy it :D Thanks to my beta, Kandon Kuuson, as always.
Also, like I said in Tower of Strength, updates may be slow as I'm concentrating on my school work. Please be patient, I'll try to write when I can.
Rating: T for some adult themes
Summary: Tony and Ziva are trapped in a freezer à la 'Boxed In'.
Chapter One: You've Gotta Be Kidding Me
"I don't see why Gibbs is making us question the . . . the . . ." Ziva gestured with her hand, as she couldn't quite find the right word.
"The spiny, weedy, pimply brat," Tony suggested, walking along side Ziva as they walked through the car park of 'Maria Santiago', a small restaurant.
"No . . ." Ziva muttered. ". . . Carboy – no – trainboy – no . . . it's some kind of transport, yes?"
"Busboy, Zee-vah, busboy," Tony corrected with a grin on his face.
"Yes!" Ziva exclaimed with a smile. "Busboy! Why is Gibbs making us question the busboy again?"
"Because he said so," Tony shrugged then smiled. "Anyways, Zee-vah, any reason to talk to the cute waitress again is good enough for me."
"I'm sure it is, Tony." Ziva rolled her eyes.
"You can talk," Tony retorted. "I saw you eyeballing the head chef."
"Eyeballing?" Ziva was confused. "Why would I be balling my eye?"
"Eyeing, checking out, you know the drill," Tony clarified.
"Ah, undressing with my eyes, yes," Ziva smiled suggestively.
"That too," Tony agreed as they rounded on the front entrance. "After you." Tony opened the door and waited for Ziva to go first.
"Why, thank you." Ziva rolled her eyes as she passed through the door.
"Hey, can't a guy be gentlemanly?" Tony pouted, stepping in behind her.
"It's you, DiNozzo," was Ziva's reply.
"Hey!" Tony repeated. "Here I am getting slapped down even for trying!" Ziva just smiled.
"A table for two, ma'am," the maître d' asked Ziva as she walked towards the smiling, black and white clad man. Tony saw Ziva get riled up at the mention of ma'am.
"Now, now, sweetcheeks, there is no need to get antsy with the lovely gentleman," Tony said sweetly, coming up behind Ziva and placing a hand on her shoulder.
"To-ny, my little hairy butt, I was just saying . . ." Ziva began through clenched teeth, shrugging his hand off her shoulder.
"You'll have to mind my partner," Tony said nicely to the maître d'. He flashed his badge. Agent DiNozzo, Officer David, NCIS."
"NCIS?" The maître d' looked at the pair as if he thought they were crazy. "What is an NCIS."
Ziva sighed frustratingly. "Naval Criminal Investigate Service . . . we investigate crimes pertaining members –"
"We're cops," Tony cut in hastily, "for the Navy. Is Brian Harlington around?"
"Ok-ay . . . over there," the maître d' pointed to a young male with curly brown hair. "Are . . . are you sure I don't need to call security." He didn't look sure whether he was calling it for Brian Harlington or for this pair of navy cops.
"No, we're good," Tony said brightly and grinned as he turned to Ziva. "C'mon, dar-ling, lets go nab us a busboy."
Ziva grimaced at the maître d'. "Thank you," she muttered before falling in step with Tony.
"He still doesn't know whether to call security or not," Tony commented as he looked back towards the maître d' who was watching them warily. Tony waved brightly and the maître d' quickly turned away. "Look, how rude."
"Leave the man alone, Tony," Ziva said as she tapped on Brian Harlington's shoulder. "Brian Harlington."
The young man, no older than twenty, spun around wildly as he felt Ziva's tap. His hands, unfortunately, followed suit and the plate of food that he was carrying flew into the air and landed smack bang in the middle of Ziva's top.
Tony snorted, but quickly covered his mouth. "I think someone ended up on the wrong side of the plate."
"Tony," Ziva said in a dangerously low voice before turning to Brian and opening her mouth.
"My god, I'm so sorry, ma'am," Brian apologised rapidly before Ziva had a chance to speak, reaching out with the cloth he had grabbed of the counter.
Tony stifled his laughter again as he saw the look on Ziva's face in response to her being called ma'am for the second time in less than ten minutes.
"Don't. Touch. Me," Ziva hissed, pushing Brian's hand away.
"I'm sorry, ma'am," Brian repeated. Ziva flexed her hand dangerously.
"It's okay," Tony said smoothly, making sure Ziva's hand didn't instinctively reach for her gun. "It's, you know, that time of the month."
"Tony," Ziva all but shrieked and lashed out with her right hand. Her hand made contact with a sensitive part of Tony's body and he groaned.
"Ahem," he muttered, trying to conceal his pain, but not doing it very well. "What was that for?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, mon chéri, but I was feeling quite hormonal," Ziva replied sarcastically. She directed her next statement at Brian. "Is there somewhere I can get cleaned up?"
"Ah, sure," Brian replied quickly. He gestured to a female busboy. "Jess, could you show . . . err . . .
"Officer David," Ziva supplied offhandedly, "we met last time, remember? NCIS, like the FBI?"
"Oh," Brian muttered, "the crazy chick."
"Wouldn't call her that if I was you," Tony said in a slight singsong voice. "She almost hates that as much as ma'am."
"Why don't you follow me," Jess, the other busboy, said gently. "I'll show you to the bathroom, and we'll leave your . . . partner to talk to Brian." Jess indicated for Ziva to follow her.
"Don't do anything I wouldn't do," Tony said cheekily as Jess and Ziva disappeared around the corner.
"I heard that, Tony," Ziva's voiced echoed.
Tony looked at Brian and smiled lopsidedly. "Oops!"
"So, Brian," Tony began a few moments later. "I can call you, Brian, yes?"
"Um, sure, I guess," Brian answered. "Officer . . .?"
"Agent actually, Special Agent," Tony corrected promptly. "Special Agent DiNozzo, Tony DiNozzo."
"So like . . . Bond, James Bond, yeah?" Brian asked, studying Tony.
He looked thoughtful. "Now that you mention it . . ."
"Bond is much better looking, Tony," Ziva said, coming up behind Tony and making him jump, "and much more . . . sexy."
"That's funny, really funny," Tony replied, giving Ziva an irritated look. "I . . . I thought you went to the head, Zee-vah."
"Oh, I'm just very, very quick," Ziva said seductively, making Tony choke on his saliva.
"They were locked," Jess amended, rolling her eyes at Brian. "I'm just finding the key. Won't be a minute." She disappeared into a back room, leaving Brian, who was looking more than scared, with Ziva and Tony.
"So, Brian," Tony started again. "Can you take us through this morning?"
"I . . . err . . . arrived at work at about eight, I think," Brian recalled. "I, you know, put my stuff in the back and went out the back to empty the rubbish bag that the night shift had forgotten." He paused.
"Go on," Tony encouraged.
Brian looked at the pair. "Why am I telling you this again? I told you this all this morning."
"Our boss wanted us to double check," Tony answered and leaned in secretively, "and you don't want to mess with our boss. He could have you like that, you know." Tony made a slicing movement over his throat, earning himself an eye roll from Ziva.
"What happened as you took the rubbish out," Ziva continued, turning her back to Tony.
"I was, like, taking out the rubbish when I saw, you know . . . the body." Brian was referring to Corporal Vincent Turner, who he had found stabbed to death earlier that day.
"Describe it," Ziva asked bluntly.
"It was, like, lots of blood and stuff," Brian said nervously. "I could – could tell that he was dead."
"Was there anyone else in the vicinity?" Tony asked, taking over from Ziva.
"Not, not that I saw," he replied, though he didn't sound confident. "There was only . . . only the Corporal." The mention of Corporal caught Tony and Ziva's attention.
"We didn't say anything about a Corporal," Ziva whispered into Tony's ear, "and Turner wasn't wearing his uniform. We were called after Metro found his ID. So how . . .?"
"We didn't say anything about a Corporal, Brian," Tony said authoritatively.
"Y-yes you did," Brian stuttered helplessly.
"No, we didn't," Ziva clarified.
"He was wearing his uniform," Brian tried weakly.
"Guess again, buddy," Tony said.
Looking like a rabbit caught in a trap, Brian lashed out at Tony before sprinting down the corridor that Ziva had used to get to the locked bathroom.
"Oh, great," Tony muttered. "I hate it when they run." He looked at Ziva before dashing after the fleeing busboy.
"I guess Gibbs was right," Ziva said as she hurried after Tony.
"He usually is," Tony replied over his shoulder.
"Where the hell did he go?" Tony asked as he spun around in a circle. He and Ziva had made it into the kitchen, but Brian was nowhere in sight.
"He couldn't have just vanished into thin hair," Ziva added.
"Air, Zee-vah, not hair," Tony corrected absentmindedly. "You can't vanish into hair.
"Whatever," Ziva sighed in frustration, throwing her hands into the air. "He has gone."
"He definitely came in here, I'm sure of it." Tony looked around once more. "He's a fast little bugger, I'll give him that."
"He is a busboy, Tony, not a rocket . . . scientist, yes?" Ziva was sure rocket scientist was the correct phrase. When Tony didn't correct her, she smiled triumphantly.
"You're right, Zee-vah, he must be here somewhere," Tony agreed. "We just have to flush him out. Oh, Bri-an . . ." he started in a singsong voice.
Ziva had to hold back her laughter. "He is not a kitty, Tony. I doubt rattling the biscuit box will make him come out."
"It might," Tony defended himself defiantly.
Ziva sighed and said loudly, "Harlington, if you don't come out, I'll guarantee you'll be put away from murder, lying to a Federal Agent, resisting arrest and . . . and . . ."
"Being a spineless wimp," Tony added loudly. There was no movement.
"Any more great ideas, oh-wise-one," Tony asked sarcastically.
"Well, it was better than your kitty-kitty idea," Ziva snapped. "Maybe we should just tell Gibbs . . ."
"Tell Gibbs a nineteen year old kid got away from us," Tony said sarcastically, "oh, that'll go down well."
"What do you suggest then?" Ziva snapped irritably.
Tony opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off by a crashing sound coming from a small-ish room on the right. Tony put his finger in his lips and pointed in the direction of the square room. Drawing their guns, Tony and Ziva carefully inched their way over to the container-like room.
Holding up three fingers, Tony silently counted down and yanked open the door. Swinging inside, Tony and Ziva found themselves pointing their guns at shelves of frozen foods.
"Clear," Ziva muttered, looking at the fallen can of tinned peaches. "I guess . . ."
She never had a chance to finish what she was saying as the door swung shut behind them with a loud bang. Tony and Ziva jumped.
"Whaa . . ." Tony began, turning around to look at the door.
"No, no, no!" Ziva yelled, pushing at the door. She turned to Tony. "It's stuck."
"No way," he breathed. "You've gotta be kidding me! Not again!"