If they belonged to me rather than DPB and Paramount, femslash would be superfluous. Unfortunately they don't.
Spoilers: None but follows on immediately from Seeing with New Eyes.
A/N: Thanks for the reviews of Seeing with New Eyes - totally agree with Amazon Penny, their relationship could go in any direction, so you'll have to wait and see :)
"Where is Gibbs?" Ziva asked on arrival the next morning.
"You're late" Tony said in reply, before relenting at the look she gave him, "he's gone for coffee... why are you late?" he asked suspiciously as she put her bag down and took off her coat.
"Petty Officer Lynn stated that Commander Sutcliffe's wife left his apartment in a cab on Saturday, I went to speak to the driver".
"And he positively identified Karen Sutcliffe, he dropped her just outside her house. He remembers her because she was humming a tune called...", she consulted her notebook, "I'm going to wash that man right out of my hair".
"Ooh, South Pacific, it's a classic!"
Ziva looked at him surprised, "a classic?"
"Yeah, Mitzi Gaynor, Rossano Brazzi... musical... navy nurses on a pacific island paradise, well except for the war..." he saw the blank look on her face and said, "come on you must have heard it".
"With a song title like that? In my experience the only time you need to wash a man out of your hair is when he has..."
"Go see if Abby has anything on the pistol yet" Gibbs said as he appeared around the corner of her desk and put a Caf-Pow! down in front of her.
She looked at his back, "but she was not in yesterday so..."
"Did I say this was a discussion?" he asked, reaching his desk as she sighed and picked up the drink. Tony snickered and his boss raised an eyebrow, "You know DiNozzo's theme tune is in that movie...".
Quickly Tony listed the songs in his head, before grinning at Gibbs, "Boss... you think I'm A Wonderful Guy?"
Gibbs snorted, said "No I don't Honey Bun" and could still hear Ziva laughing as she entered the elevator.
"Hey! Thank you, and not just for the caffeine, I don't know what I..."
Ziva reached out and put a finger across Abby's lips, said, "it was nothing" and gave her the soda.
Regarding her for a moment, Abby sucked on the straw, "did I snore?" she asked finally.
The Israeli frowned "No, why?"
"Oh... because Kate always said I snored when I slept dead to the world like that and you weren't there this morning, so I thought maybe I'd woken you?"
"No. I had to change clothes, then go and see a possible lead" Ziva replied, knowing she was avoiding the question Abby wanted answering. She had left before her companion woke, something she had done countless times before for better reasons. This morning she had avoided analyzing them too closely, "you did mumble a lot though and... snuggle?" She said, unsure if it was the correct word.
Abby nodded, "sorry, I know you don't..."
"Abby" Ziva cut in, "just because the rest of the world isn't as demonstrative as you, doesn't mean I don't like it..." she saw a smile light up the goth's face and added "occasionally" as she watched arms come up and feet launch themselves forward.
Abby stopped, "right" she said as her arms went down again, making Ziva feel as if she had just been caught kicking a cat.
The wail of music was all that could be heard as Abby moved round the lab, seemingly checking on her work, certainly ignoring her companion, "Did I snore?" Ziva asked, principally to test if she was still being spoken to.
A slightly deflated lab tech turned and looked at her, "I don't think so... and you don't move in your sleep either, that was kind of weird".
Ziva shrugged, "In Mossad you learn the value of sleeping anywhere, some places are small, some make moving dangerous..." not knowing why she had told Abby that, she continued lightly "but that was the first time I had slept in a coffin" hoping to lift the mood.
"Cool!" Abby said grinning, "well stick with me and there could be a lot more firsts in your future".
Ziva smiled back, "I think I would like that".
"So... what can I do for you today?" Abby asked turning businesslike and Ziva was relieved to see she appeared to be back to her normal self.
"Petty Officer Lynn's pistol..."
The goth held up a hand, "let me rephrase... barring altering the laws of physics and messing with the space/time continuum, what can I do for you today?"
"So I should tell Gibbs no?" she asked amused.
"Of course not! There are three words you should never mention in his presence, Ziva" she ticked them off on her fingers while pacing the room, "coincidence, no and sorry... of course there are many, many more that you shouldn't mention in conjunction with each other, spontaneous, human and combustion for instance, but I'm straying from my point..."
"I hadn't noticed" Ziva said, putting Abby off her stride.
She looked suspiciously at the woman before walking over and standing immediately in front of her. Using her superior height to her advantage and pleased she'd chosen to wear platforms, she said "Sarcasm?" with a hint of challenge, "Just remember, I may not be able to speed up time, but I can slow it down".
Ziva was not intimidated, indeed it made a pleasant change, "please, feel free to..." a beep sounded from the computer next to her, and Abby, distracted, went to look at the monitor.
She frowned, "Now why would...", her fingers moved rapidly over the keyboard for a few seconds, eyes squinting in concentration " huh, well what d'ya know..." looking up her eyes met Ziva's, "you'd better tell..." the elevator dinged and she continued "You know, Gibbs can be really scary".
The Israeli sat at her desk early Friday afternoon, briefly wishing she was back at Mossad as neither assassinations nor interrogations were generally accompanied by a lot of paperwork, or at least any that she had to do. Wondering if she should go and see if Abby was doing anything at the weekend, she printed her name at the bottom of the document in front of her and then signed it with a flourish. Leaning back in her chair, she considered the fact that while she had had many firsts in her short lifetime, most of them were not very pleasant and Abby's offer had touched her.
"We've got a dead sailor in Rocky Mount", Gibbs said closing his cell, putting his pen down and unceremoniously butting in on her thoughts, "McGee, run this I.D. then call Ducky"
"Yes boss" Tim replied, taking the piece of paper that was being held out to him.
Tony groaned, Rocky Mount was practically in North Carolina, "Why does this have to happen today?" he complained, "I have plans!"
"I don't think charades counts Tony".
"Funny Ziva! Actually, I was going to spend the weekend in Manassas Park".
"You have suddenly got a taste for the Civil War?" she asked surprised.
"No... but I do have a taste for a leggy blond with a condo in the city of Manassas Park" he replied and she rolled her eyes, she would never get used to their place names.
"Then I suggest you grab the equipment and gas the truck now DiNozzo" Gibbs growled throwing him the keys then watching as he retrieved his gun, picked up his bag and jacket and hurried towards the elevator. "Officer David, have you finished your report on Sutcliffe yet?"
"Yes..." she said picking it up and passing it to him, "why is there so much paperwork to do when you arrest someone?" she grumbled.
"Think yourself lucky" Gibbs replied, " if you'd actually shot the Commander, I'd have buried you in it!" the phone on his desk rang, "Gibbs... we just caught a... no Director I don't have time to..." putting the receiver back down forcefully, he scowled. "Ziva, tell Tony to check in with the local LEO's, I'll be there as soon as I can", he said as he took the stairs to MTAC.
Reaching the crime scene, having experienced quite possibly the most irritating five hours of her life, Ziva got out and stretched, vowing to drive back with Ducky. Hearing Tony introduce himself to the Police Chief and blame traffic as the reason for their delay, she muttered "If you had let me drive we would have reached here a long ago", too low for anyone else to hear. McGee had driven down with Ducky since his assistant Jimmy Palmer was currently on vacation and spying them pull up, she walked over and opened the M.E.'s door, "Ducky can I... what is that noise?"
"That my dear is Android Lust" Ducky responded, "at a decibel level suitable to normal human hearing, I find it quite pleasant, it..."
His attention was caught by a woman who had detached herself from a group of fire fighters and come to stand by Ziva, "Dr. Mallard?"
"Rebecca Knight, Western District M.E.'s office" she held out a hand.
"Oh... how do you do?" he said, shaking it as Ziva stepped out of the way and allowed him to get out. "Please, call me Ducky. What can you tell me about the deceased?"
"Nothing I'm afraid" she replied, "the building has only just been officially released by the Fire Chief. It's so old there was a stability issue with some of the beams. I was called out before anyone found the dog tags and as there's nothing else pressing, I thought I'd stay and meet the man who writes so authoritatively in the JCFM".
"Oh, well thank you..." Ducky said taking a case out of the back of the truck. As they started walking towards the building entrance, he continued "I didn't think anyone read it, certainly not in this part of the world".
"Is Ducky saying this is back of nowhere?" Ziva whispered to McGee.
"Back of beyond..." McGee whispered back "and I think he means that the JCFM is more of an international publication, in the US they have the AJFMP".
"American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology".
"Is there anything you don't know McGee?"
She watched as his ears went red, "lots of things" he said modestly, "Ducky gives Abby his back copies, she has a whole pile of them in the bedroom behind her..." he trailed off, Ziva thought Abby strange anyway, she probably didn't need to know the goth slept in a coffin. He was relieved when she did not press the issue.
Noticing his companion stop as they reached the entrance, Ducky turned, "aren't you coming in?" he asked her.
"I'd love to" she smiled, "but it's your crime scene Ducky, I was waiting for an invitation".
"Quite apart from your medical opinion Doctor Knight... which of course I would value" Ducky said, peering into the gloom and noticing the fading light, "If you've really nothing more pressing, I'd certainly welcome a younger set of eyes".
"Call me Rebecca..." she smiled, "and anything I can do, just let me know".
"Ok" Tony said walking over and rubbing his hands together, "The building's stable, but there's a lot of debris, so everybody watch their step". He looked around for a moment then said, "McGee, sketch and meas... where's the cases Probie?"
"Well... er... I came with Doctor Mallard, so I guess they're still in the..." he looked at Tony's face and wondered how long it would be until Gibbs arrived, "I'll go and get them".
"Do that" DiNozzo agreed, "Ziva, photo's, then identify and record evidence. We'll bag and tag when I've spoken to the first officer and the Fire Marshal. Don't go near the body until Ducky's finished".
"I am well aware of correct procedure Tony" she replied, then realized he had already walked away.
Leaving the two M.E.'s to compare notes and discuss their findings, Ziva worked methodically taking photos around the crime scene before pulling out the evidence markers when McGee finally got back with the cases. He had loaded them with a body bag, on to a gurney for Ducky and making sure they were out of the way he began to sketch and measure, while Tony started photographing the numbered markers that Ziva had already put down. Noticing a while later, that the doctor and his companion were standing slightly away from the body, Tim finished what he was doing and pulled an object out of his pocket. "Erm... If you've finished Doctor Mallard, Abby wanted me to try out this portable fingerprint scanner".
"Certainly Timothy, his hands have hardly been touched by the fire. I was just saying to Rebecca that it seems to have burned upwards from his head and torso and caught this side of the building. The injuries to his abdomen appear to be purely as a result of that piece of wood falling where the cross support has burned away and skewered..." a cell phone interrupted him and after searching her pocket for a moment Doctor Knight answered it.
"Rebecca Knight, just a minute..." She covered it with her hand before turning to Ducky, "If you'll excuse me I've got to take this and the reception in here is terrible".
Ducky nodded, "of course my dear. If you have the time, I'd be more than happy to take you to dinner before we head our separate ways?"
She smiled as she walked towards the doorway, "Thank you Ducky, I'd like that".
"Smooth... see McGee" Tony said, when she was out of hearing range, "Even standing over Mr Crispy, Ducky can get a date".
"I can get a date Tony" McGee replied pressing the body's right forefinger to the pad.
"I meant in the real world Probie, not a virtual one" he laughed as his own cell phone rang, "DiNozzo" the grin died off his face and his back straightened, "Not yet Director... hang on..." he jogged to the entrance of the building before continuing his conversation, "no... of course I will... understood... yeah... I'll tell him... bye", he closed his cell and walked back before saying, "The SecNav want this kept very low key. A Seaman Apprentice dying less than 24 hours after graduation, apparently, does not reflect well on the Navy".
"Especially not in a midterm year with a war on terror raging" Ducky concluded. He looked down at the face burnt beyond recognition, "I wonder if you realize how inconsiderate you're being?" he said.
McGee sighed as he looked down at the scanner, "Signal's not strong enough, I'll try again from the motel" and then seeing that Ducky had finished his paperwork, helped him get the body into a body bag and then on to the gurney, "Thank you Timothy" the doctor said, picking up his pen again, "what's our boy's name anyway, I imagine it isn't Mr Crispy?"
McGee walked over to the kit and pulled out the file he had printed earlier, "Dog tags belong to John Ivan Witter. Graduated yesterday from TSC Hampton Roads as an Operations Specialist. His first fleet assignment was going to be on the USS Saipan... isn't that being deployed to the gulf?"
Tony nodded. "So what do you think? Suicidal at the thought of his first posting?"
"I can think of less painful ways to go than setting fire to your head, Tony" Ducky replied.
"There is partially melted glass here" Ziva said setting down the evidence kit and crouching down where the body had been. Tony walked over and took a picture as she set a marker next to it.
"I don't suppose anyone's going to let us put him on ice for the weekend?" Tony asked.
"With the SecNav's personal involvement Tony? I doubt it" the M.E. replied.
"I should get confirmation from Abby ASAP, Tony... I could go book everyone in to the motel?" McGee suggested.
DiNozzo nodded, "I'll help Ziva bag and tag".
McGee turned to the M.E., "Would you mind dropping me off? Then they can keep the truck".
Ducky nodded affably, turned to Tony and said, "tell Jethro I'm taking our sailor home as soon as I've had dinner" and between them they wheeled the gurney towards the doors.
"Get Ziva a room at the other end of the motel McGee", Tony yelled after them, "that way we might not be able to hear her snoring!"
"I do not snore Tony" Ziva said, looking up from her crouched position.
"Yes you do Ziva" he sniped back, raising the camera and taking a shot of her.
"Not according to Abby, who's word I would trust over yours". Getting up she placed an evidence jar safely in the kit before moving on, "Are we waiting here for Gibbs?" she asked picking yet another condom off the floor with a pair of tweezers, putting it in a bag and getting out her marker pen, "Tony?", she finished writing on the bag and turned to see him standing completely still. Sighing she put the bag in the kit and walking over, stood in front of him and waved a hand in front of his face, "Tony!"
"Gibbs? Are we going to wait here or see him at the motel?"
"Give me a second", he replied, "and back up to how Abs would know if you snore".
Ziva shrugged, "because we have slept together obviously".
"Obviously?" he said and she noted that his voice was more highly pitched than usual, "there's no obviously about that!"
"Abby was very upset" she frowned, "if you had been there you would have done the same thing".
Tony looked horrified, "I would not".
"You would not have stayed with her when she did not want to be alone?" Ziva asked puzzled.
"Well of course I would have done that, but I wouldn't have..." light dawned, "oh... you mean you slept together".
"Was that not what I said?" she inquired.
"No, you said... well, yeah you did say that, but I thought..."
Ziva's eyes narrowed as she caught up with the conversation, "you thought what Tony? This is one of your American idioms is it not?"
"Er.. Ziva, I think you should..." he raised his hand but dropped it when he saw the look in her eye.
"You thought Abby and I were getting hot..." she took a step towards him, "and sweaty,..." another step brought them toe to toe, she continued talking and invading his body space until her mouth finished by his ear, "...our bodies writhing nakedly in a horizontal Cha-Cha".
Tony swallowed hard as he looked straight ahead, "that's..." he tried again to interrupt her, but she held up her hand as she took a step backwards and he fell silent.
"I am not coy like you Tony, if I had meant to say I had sex with Abby, I would have said I had sex with Abby!"
"Glad we cleared that up" a voice said dryly.
"Gibbs!" she span on her heel.
"I did try to warn you" Tony said behind her and the look she threw him told him he might live to regret not trying harder. Looking back at Gibbs, she saw that he while he had come to join them his expression had not changed. She hated it when he stared at her like that, especially as she knew exactly what he was doing.
"The fire was localized around the head and torso of the body and this corner of the building" she said deliberately meeting and holding his eyes.
"Unofficially, the Fire Marshal said it went up too quickly for there not to have been an accelerant boss" Tony chipped in, moving to stand next to her and drawing Gibbs gaze, "McGee's gone to check everyone in to the motel and Ducky's gone to... dinner actually".
Gibbs nodded before turning and walking away, "I saw them outside. Ducky's swinging by the motel before he leaves, might as well get this lot back to Abby ASAP. Call the CO at Dam Neck, I want Witter's file and...
"Lists of his classmates and instructors..." Tony finished, "I'm on it... Oh and boss".
He stopped and turned, "What is it DiNozzo?"
"Er... the Director told me to tell you that if you won't pick up your cell phone to tell her where you are, in future she'll have you electronically tagged", Tony flinched as he finished. Logically he knew that Gibbs was too far away to smack him round the head, but he still felt like it was coming.
"Yeah? Well tell the Director that if she wants a lapdog she should go to the pound. Ziva..." Gibbs continued walking towards the entrance "find out where Witter was staying and what he was doing here..." Reaching the doorway he paused for a moment, "and check the difference between a Cha-Cha and a Mambo before you... take anyone dancing" he said as he left.
Turning Ziva slapped Tony on the shoulder, "what?" he said, trying not to laugh and she glared at him. He waited until they had finished and packed everything away before bringing the subject up again, "So, were you as freaked as McGee was when he found out he'd slept in a coffin?"
Disquieted yet again at the thought of McGee and Abby, Ziva's lip curled, "I have slept in worse places Tony..." she replied getting in to the passenger side of the truck, "the same bed as you for instance!"