It Only Takes A Moment
By Liss Webster
Years later, Tony DiNozzo could still remember the exact moment he realised that he was in love with Ziva David. It was the same moment that he realised that, as real as his love for Jeanne Benoit had been, whatever he had said to the contrary, it had not been lasting.
If it had been a moment in a book or a film, their eyes would have met across a crowded room. Or they would have reached for the same cup and their fingers would have touched. Or Ziva would have been dangling off a cliff, her only security Tony's hand. But it wasn't a book or a film, and it hadn't happened like that.
It had been an ordinary day at an ordinary crime scene and Gibbs had been his ordinary self, barking out a stream of orders that they had all scurried to obey, carrying on their ordinary squabbles. Tony and McGee had been fighting over a new camera throughout the entire journey to the crime scene, the pair of them bickering like children in the back seat of the NCIS van. At the crime scene – a leafy street given over to Navy housing – they had piled out and, irritated beyond all bearing by her colleagues behaviour, Ziva had stolen the camera from them, and declared her intention of using it herself.
Gibbs always complained, safe in his retirement, that they had all been like children – left unspoken was that they had all been like Ihis/I children – and that morning had been no different. Events after Ziva had plucked the camera from McGee's hand had always remained blurred, but Tony would always remember the warmth of the sun, and the scent of the almond blossom, and the way they had all laughed. But most of all, he remembered the way Ziva had felt in his arms, as he grabbed her from behind while she was distracted by McGee. She had felt warm and alive as she wriggled to get free, and he remembered the golden skin of her neck, bared by a ponytail, remembered the smell of shampoo and soap and deodorant, remembered the way short dark hair curled at the nape of her neck, remembered that for a second, a moment, a tiny sliver of time, she had relaxed against him, before her Mossad training held true, and she freed herself.
That had been it.
That, right there.
That moment, with the bright sun and the almond blossom and the smell of shampoo and soap and deodorant, and Ziva's weight warm in his arms.
That was the moment he knew.