Sorry this took me so long; when I said Tuesday, I forgot to take into account that I had state championships coming up, and had promised my coaches tons of training to catch up with what I missed 'cause of Uni this semester. Then, writers block. But I have imagined up lots for upcoming chapters, so look forward to that! Thanks to everyone who reviewed, you didn't really help the writers block but you made me feel guilty when I was playing solataire instead of writing! And thanks to dunnozzo for the time and effort into his review. It helped and contributed quite a few ideas; I promise it won't all be fluff and drivel!
Plus I don't own any of the characters, yadda yadda ya... And in the immortal word of Billy Maddison, 'reading is good! can we start the story now?'
'Oh my god Tony!' Abby exclaimed as she walked into Tony's apartment.
Yeah, I know' he grinned at her. '60 inch plasma with blu ray and High Def TV, surround sound, dual DVD and VHS player, over 300 movies-' 'Not that Tony!' Abby cried out. Gibbs walked in behind her and looked around critically. 'How do you live in this pig sty, DiNozzo?' he asked. 'Gibbs!' Abby yelled. 'Ziva can't stay here!' 'It's not that bad' argued Tony. Abby turned on him, towering over him as only Abby could. 'You've never seen Ziva's house, have you Tony?' As he opened his mouth to answer no, she continued to rant. 'It's immaculate Tony, absolutely spotless!' she turned back to Gibbs. 'She can't stay here! She won't rest! She won't be able to! She'll just clean!!" A quick glance at the look on Gibb's face confirmed Abby's theory, and Tony suddenly started grabbing empty pizza boxes and drained beer bottles, shoving DVD's back onto shelves, and trying to fold a large blanket which resided on the couch for the nights he didn't make it from there to his bed after a late night watching movies. After a moment, Abby starting helping as Gibbs surveyed the guest room. 'Hey!' he shouted. Tony stopped, horror-struck. 'I thought the guest room was clean!' he groaned in dread. 'It is clean' Gibbs stated. 'I just couldn't believe it.'
McGee struggled to carry the massive suitcase from the back of his car to Tony's apartment as Jenny helped Ziva put of the car and towards the front doors. 'I'm fine Jen' Ziva insisted as she tripped on the uneven pavement and pitched forward. Holding her up until she had found her feet again, Jen just raised an eyebrow. 'Not a word' Ziva ordered. Jen laughed. 'Ziva, it will be a while before you're back on your feet. That's why the doctors don't want you home alone yet.' 'Yes, which is why I must stay with Tony in his… his…' she struggled to find the word she wanted. 'His…animal… mud…' 'Sty?' McGee supplied nervously. 'Yes, sty!' she cried, throwing her hand in his direction. McGee glanced at the director. Again, Jenny laughed. 'Don't look so worried Agent McGee; I'm sure Ziva has always had trouble with those sort of words.' 'What sort of words?' he asked. 'The kind they don't teach you at school' she laughed again. 'I'm pretty sure she knew that word' McGee argued. 'I mean, we work with Tony, how could she not know that-' he stopped abruptly as Jen glared at him. 'Nothing to do with the accident' Jen stated firmly. McGee gripped the suitcase harder and walked quickly ahead, worry still in his eyes.
Jen turned her head to Ziva. 'We discussed this, I thought you didn't mind staying with Tony?' she asked. 'It is not that' Ziva said a little too quickly. Jen grinned silently. 'I mean, it is bad enough that I am a saddle without complaining about who I stay with…' 'Burden, Ziva, not saddle' Jenny corrected gently. 'That is what I meant' she grumbled. She took another breath. 'But I just want everything to be left again.' She sighed as she realised her mistake. 'I want to be able to say what I mean the first time around. I want to be able to go for a run. I want to throw a knife, I want to want to read a book without having to translate through five different languages before I arrive at the one I want, Je veux rentrer à la maison, non, ah….Yo quiero ir a casa.. Heim… agh!' She was at full rant by this stage, and Jen squeezed her shoulder as they went in the front doors and waited for the lift. 'I understood the French, Ziva' she murmured. 'Don't stress so much.' There was a large pause. 'But I wanted to use the English!' Ziva said quietly, as the lift arrived at Tony's floor. 'I want to be able to speak what I want all the time, with out having to think about it first' she said slowly and deliberately. As she spoke, she tripped on a bubble in the carpet and nearly fell again. By the time the two women had arrived at Tony's apartment, Ziva was on the verge of a full blown temper. With a quick knock on the front door, Jen pushed it open to reveal two very guilty faces still trying in vain to clean up before Ziva arrived. Abby was still for only a moment before exclaiming 'Ziva!' and jumping up to lead her into the room, trying to discreetly drop an armful of washing while she was at it but failing. 'We tried to clean it up a bit before you saw it, but it was too messy…' Tony just stared like a rabbit caught in the headlights.
Still leaning heavily on Jen, Ziva looked slowly around the room, taking in the black rubbish bag over flowing with beer bottles and pizza boxes, the DVDs sitting in stacks on the floor, Abby's feet buried under a pile of jumpers and jackets, and did the only thing she could do when faced with an indefinite amount of time living in DiNozzo's pig sty; laugh.
The living room was clean in an unexpected amount of time with everyone pitching in to help. Ziva insisted on helping until it was pointed out to her that the only task she could manage in her state was sorting laundry, stinky, sweaty, DiNozzo laundry. After that, she sat in the guest room with Jen, who unpacked her suitcase as Ziva directed where she wanted everything.
No one realised that McGee was missing until he arrived back an hour later with shopping bags dangling from every limb. 'McGee!' Abby exclaimed. 'Where have you been?' 'Shopping' he replied, putting the bags on the kitchen floor. 'I thought Ziva might want some real food while she's recovering.' Ziva smiled at him, but Tony frowned. 'Well done McBrown Nose' Tony said sarcastically. 'But I have real food.' 'Ah actually Tony no you don't' McGee replied back. 'I checked and you have bread and peanut butter and jelly. So I got fresh bread, some fruit and vegetables, muesli bars, some dips… snack foods for during the day… steak, chicken breast, stir fry ingredients…' he stopped at the look on Tony's face. 'I can cook McGeek!' he scowled. 'You didn't have anything to cook with Tony' Abby pointed out. 'Hey! Whose side are you on!' he yelled at her, coming towards her and McGee quite menacingly until he was halted by a slap to the back of the head.
Ziva burst out laughing and within moments was on the floor, clutching her ribs and trying in vain to stop the mixture of laughter and coughing that had resulted. Abby ducked around DiNozzo to get her a glass of water, and Jenny knelt next to her on the floor trying to calm her down. When she was able to breathe again, Jenny and Gibbs (after a glare at DiNozzo's step forward to help) helped her onto the couch. Abby tucked her in with a blanket and Bert, and Tony promised them all the best pasta ever made, as if to prove a point. The evening ended with the entire team, sitting in Tony's living room eating pasta and, in Tony and Abby's case, chasing one another around the apartment and spilling pasta on a certain very annoyed and menacing boss…
It would not be so bad, Ziva reflected as she lay in bed in Tony's guest room later that night, full of pasta, clean and in fresh pyjamas. Who knew, staying with Tony might even be interesting, she grinned.
Jenny and Gibbs walked down the street towards their cars. Both had been the last to leave Tony and now Ziva's apartment, for different but the same reason; Jen had stayed to help Ziva change for bed, and Gibbs had wanted to make sure Jenny didn't encourage anything while the three of them weren't under his nose. 'Was it the nightmare you were imagining Jethro?' Jenny asked, fishing in her handbag for her car keys. 'Not yet Jen' he answered, hands in his pockets. 'But that doesn't mean it won't end up that way. And don't roll your eyes at me Jen, we both know how bad breaking rule 12 is'. Jen stopped and looked back at him, her face the vision of innocence. 'But I wasn't facing you Jethro, what makes you think I would dare roll my eyes at you?' he gave her a smile, and her face collapsed into one as well. 'I know you too well Jen' he grinned and laughed. She suddenly sobered. 'Was I really that bad Jethro?' she asked regretfully. 'Nah Jen' he answered. He placed a hand on her shoulder as she turned to walk away, and she turned back to him. 'We both were'. With another sad look, Jenny triumphantly pulled out her keys and walked to her car.
For everyone who doesn't speak one of Ziva's languages, she wants to go home. And I'm thinking of changing the way I layout my stories, a new line for each set of dialogue or something, I'm not entirely happy with how it is now... the big chunks of text arn't so easy to read on the screen sometimes... let me know.