Of course I don't own any of the original characters, stories, concepts etc. of NCIS or otherwise, they belong to their respective owners. However any characters and/or storylines that I created for this story are mine.

The story happens during and after episode 5x08, but refers to previous episodes all the way into season 3.

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Chapter 7: What a beautiful Morning

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Ziva's POV

I woke up startled, finding myself lying alone on a large sofa in an unfamiliar room. Strangely I still felt at home. Beside me laid a second blanket, now deserted, but obviously I wasn't the only one who had slept on that sofa last night. How could anybody have gotten up from beside me without me even waking up? Normally when I felt movement beside my sleeping body I would have jumped to full attack mode withing fractions of a second and the unlucky individual would have suffered the consequences. But not today.

Then I started to remember bits and pieces of the previous night. I had made up with Tony! Put an an end to the most confusing and frustration time of my life. And this was certainly saying something considering all the things that had happened in my past.

Did we have sex last night? I quickly glanced under the blanket. No, I was fully clothed. Actually I was dressed in the now sweaty and uncomfortable clothes I had gone to work in yesterday.

I needed a shower.

I needed fresh clothes.

I needed to find Tony.

Tony!

I heard the sound of plates clacking and silverware clinking from somewhere, probably the kitchen. I decided that I would start my search there.

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Tony's POV

I was setting the table for breakfast, while preparing some pancakes on the stove at the same time. I normally would not put that much effort into breakfast on a weekday, but I needed to busy myself, to engage in some physical activity whilst my thoughts were racing through my head at sonic speed.

Then I heard a noise from the kitchen entrance. Ziva had gotten up and now leaned on the frame of my kitchen door. Damn, even though she literally just had 'rolled out of bed' she looked absolutely amazing. Her hair looked a little disheveled, but that only gave her look a slightly temerarious touch I liked so much about her.

I walked over to her and kissed her on the top of her head, using the opportunity to take in that incredible scent that emanated from her hair.

"Good morning, Ziva.", I said smiling down at her.

And then she actually pulled me into a hug! Ziva David was hugging people! Well, at least she was hugging me! I knew she had learned to deal with other people hugging her, but her initiating something like this had to be a first!

My smile got even wider, remembering how much she had changed since her arrival. Once the 'hug-machine' Abby had told me about her hugging Ziva the first time, just a short while after she had been assigned to NCIS. Abby had actually compared hugging Ziva to hugging a telephone pole. With her being a forensic scientist I wondered if she had done a field test in order to ensure that this comparison was accurate? Actually, I was sure of it.

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Ziva's POV

When I came to the kitchen I paused in the door for a few seconds, watching Tony go about his breakfast preparations. He seemed distracted, lost in thought. Right now his head was probably flooded with just as many unorganized thoughts as mine was since I woke up. I didn't want to disturb him, instead I wanted to give him time.

Suddenly he looked up from what he was doing. He had spotted me, walked up to me and gave me a kiss on the hair.

He smiled at me and said, "Good morning, Ziva."

I put my arms around him, smiled back at him and said, "A really good morning, Tony, yes?", seeing his smile widening even more, "You mind if I take a shower?"

He nodded and showed me the way to his bathroom. Before I could close the door he told me that we had to be at the office in about 40 Minutes and suggested to just take a quick shower, so there would be enough time left to have a little breakfast and also to drop by my apartment so I could change before going into work.

After Tony had left I quickly shrugged out of my clothes and got into the shower. I couldn't wait to feel the cool water pour down on me, finally snatching my body from the still lingering sleep. So, thats how it felt not jumping to full alert mode when waking up.

I stood under the shower for maybe 1 minute when realization hit me. Could somebody really wake up one morning and realize they weren't the same person that had gone to sleep the evening before? Because it certainly felt like that today.

That instant I decided that I needed to tell Tony the truth about some things I had kept from him, from almost everyone at NCIS. But how? Just asking him, what he wanted to know, would go against my training as a Mossad officer. But it would also go against the whole 'male/female thing', wouldn't it? But then I shook my head, remembering how extremely well all these rules had served me in the past when I followed them in regard to Tony.

Maybe this was the right time to bend, or even break, a few rules?

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Tony's POV

I couldn't believe my own eyes when Ziva reemerged from the bathroom just ten minutes after she went in there. Apart from her still wearing the same clothes as the day before, she looked as beautiful as always.

I had already finished my breakfast and was nursing my second cup of coffee, as I had expected her to take some time in the bathroom. I gave her a few options for breakfast, but she declined all of them, saying she only wanted some coffee.

"Coming right up."

I poured her a cup of hot, steaming coffee.

She seemed to look for a way to tell me something important. Before I could say anything she basically just blurted it out.

"I don't really know how or where to start telling you some of the things I have been holding back. But I want to tell you. I really do. And also I don't know how to deal with my not being able to tell you some of the things I learned during my Mossad assignments."

I was flustered, had she really shifted from 'super secretive spy behavior' to total openness?

"I have been thinking the same thing. And as far as it goes for any Information related to Mossad, there is only one thing I would want to know."

Now she looked as flustered as I felt.

"But I also think that we should take things slowly, not just relationship wise, but especially in dealing with all that extra baggage we both carry around with us, don't you think?"

Had I really just said the 'R'-word? Without choking on it? We really were in uncharted waters her.

She grinned at me, she also had understood what I said.

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Ziva's POV

I couldn't help to grin, realizing what he had just said. I was a little relieved to know that both of us were exploring new territory here. Yes, I even enjoyed it.

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Tony's POV

I crossed the distance between us and leaned in to kiss her again. Only this time it wasn't just an affectionate kiss like earlier this morning. No, I could feel the same passion rushing back that we had when we started our affair about a year and a half ago.

After a few seconds, which seemed to stretch into an eternity, I pulled away, grinning, "We better get going, I'd really hate for us to make up and then Gibbs killing us for being late within the same 24 hours."

Ziva grinned, "Let's go!"