Epilogue: A Date?
I pad down the well-lit corridor of Bethesda Naval Hospital. I can't believe that it was only this afternoon that Ziva and I were hanging off that infernal cliff. It feels like a lifetime away, not just mere hours. Luckily, my injuries weren't too bad. Mild concussion, a few cuts, bruises and a particularly nasty gash on my thigh that I didn't even notice, but other than that, I am fine. The doctor has finally discharged me and despite Abby's offers to drive me home, there is somewhere else I must be.
I reach the room whose number I managed to con out of an over-tired nurse and knock quietly on the door.
"Come in," the soft, feminine voice says from the other side. I hesitate, but only for a fraction of a second. Does she really want to see me? But then it passes. I push open the door and stick my head in.
"Hey, Ziva," I say warily, taking in the sight before me. Ziva is propped up with pillows and is reading a magazine. Her leg is bandaged and in a traction, and her left arm is casually supported by a sling. I am so grateful that when the car went over the cliff, I was holding Ziva in my arms. A second longer, and Ziva wouldn't be here in front of me right now.
"You can come in, McGee. I do not bite," she says, but then flashes me one of her smiles, "hard . . . or much . . . " I feel my face heat up again – she's half incapacitated and still making me blush.
"Ah, you feeling better?" I ask weakly, cursing myself for the lame question.
"I feel good, thank you." Ziva smiles at me.
"Um, good?" I hover in the doorway, now feeling unsure of myself. And as if Ziva can read my mind, she gestures towards a chair sitting next to her bed.
"Sit down, McGee," she invites sweetly. "I am sure the chair is fine, even if Tony just spent an hour on it." She flashes me another smile.
"Err, thanks," I say awkwardly as I sit gently on the chair. One of the bruises I acquired makes it slightly painful to sit down.
"Your butt is achy, yes?" Ziva asks seriously.
What? What did she just say? "Wha-at," I splutter ungracefully.
"You just sat down and winced," she explains. "You have a bruised butt, yes?"
"Ah, yes," I mutter. I'm not sure if my face can get any redder. Suddenly, it occurs to me. "Ziva, are you on drugs?"
"Mmmm, yes." She gestures to the drip in her arm. "Morphine . . . Would you like some?"
"N-no?" I stammer. Who knew Ziva would be so . . . flighty while on drugs?
"Are you sure?" she pouts. "It makes every thing much bigger and brighter . . ."
"I'll bet it does," I mutter to myself. Why, oh why, did I have to pick the moment when Ziva is all drugged up?
"You sure?" She offers me a flirtatious smile that makes me flinch.
"I'm sure," I say firmly. "I just wanted to make sure you were okay."
"I am fine," she says brightly, but then turns slightly more sombre. "No thanks to you. You dislocated my shoulder!"
I flinch again. I was waiting for this to come up. Yes, I dislocated her shoulder because I pulled too hard on her arm as I was dragging her out the car.
"I'm really, really sorry," I apologise sincerely, hoping that she'll forgive me. "I . . . I didn't mean to pull you so hard. I'm so, so . . ." I want to continue, but Ziva puts up her good hand to silence me.
"You do not have to apologise," she says seriously. "You saved my life . . . if it were not for you; I would be in lots of itty, bitty pieces, yes?" She smiles lopsidedly at me.
"I guess," I mumble, staring down at my lap, "but it doesn't excuse . . ."
"You saved my life, Tim. I am eternally grateful," she cuts me off, placing her good hand on my arm. She looks at me for a moment, before cocking her head to the side. "Eternally . . . that's a strange word . . ."
For some unknown reason, I burst out into laughter. All of the panic and fear I felt earlier that day evaporate because of a simple comment from a drugged-up Ziva. She looks at me weirdly for a moment, before joining in. It feels good to laugh, like the horrors of our car accident were just a small moment in time.
"Seriously, McGee," Ziva says as her laugher subsides. Unfortunately, it's hard to take her seriously as her fingers wander up and down my arm. "You really must let me make it up to you." She smiles seductively and my eyes nearly pop out of me head.
"What!?!?" I exclaim. Did she just suggest what I think she just . . .
Ziva shakes her head and laughs again. "Get your mind out of the drain, Tim. Seriously, you are more like Tony every day." I fail to register the use of my first name and the misuse of the idiom; I'm still focusing on the previous suggestion.
"Let me cook you dinner?" she offers.
"Dinner?" I repeat dumbly.
"Yes, the meal at the end of the day," she confirms, looking at me oddly. "Ah, McGee, are you sure you do not want any of my morphine?"
"What?" I ask, distracted. I mustn't let comments like that get to me. "Oh, morphine . . . err, no."
"Oh, too bad," Ziva smirks. "I have plenty to go around. See?" She presses the button to what I assume controls morphine doses. Great, just great, I sigh.
"So dinner, yes?" Ziva repeats, looking content.
"Ah, yeah, I guess," I manage to get out. Why does Ziva always make me flustered? How does Ziva always make me flustered?
"Goodie," she says happily. "It is a date."
"Date?" Nobody said anything about a date.
"You bring the flowers and the wine . . . it is a date, yes?" Ziva asks me with a flirtatious smile.
"I guess," I mutter. "A date." Ziva looks positively thrilled and I am certain that it is the morphine talking. Nevertheless, what have I gotten myself into? A date? A date with the Mossad Officer? I don't know whether I should be happy or horrified . . . I guess only time will tell . . .