Just a little something to tide over my muse until the season premier. Nothing earthshaking or even romantic, really. Just Tony seeing a side of Ziva he's not seen before.

I do not own NCIS or any part thereof.

One Night in the Gym

Tony rubbed his eyes. They burned. The day had started at 4 a.m. with a call from Gibbs and now it was almost midnight. The three of them, Ziva, McGee and himself, had traveled through parts of two states and from one side of D.C. to the other, interviewing at least 20 people between them and still with no lead on why a dead marine corporal lay in one of Ducky's cold drawers down in Autopsy; a very young marine with 2 bullet holes in his chest. Gibbs always got more intense when the victim was a marine. McGee had lucked out in the latter part of the day and been sent to help Abby so the brunt of their boss' bad temper fell on him and Ziva.

Speaking of his erstwhile partner, where was she? He hadn't noticed when she left her desk but now he thought about it, he was pretty sure she'd been gone a long time. Sounded like he needed to go and find her. She might need some help or something. And he definitely needed a break from his desk. He stood up and stretched. He didn't throw in the extra little moves he usually did when Ziva was around. He knew she watched him sometimes and he enjoyed her watching him. He watched her too, whenever he thought she was unaware. Maybe someday they'd do more than watch each other.

He decided to check the ladies room first. He knocked on the door, heard no answer and pushed it open, saying Ziva's name loudly. No one there. He knew Gibbs was in MTAC so he didn't want to check there. Staying out of Gibbs' way sounded like a really good idea. He decided to check with Abby and McGee.

He heard the deep bass of Abby's music even through the elevator doors. If Ziva was down here she'd be deaf in short order. He looked in the door. Abby was bouncing up and down on her toes in time to the music while checking out something on her computer screen. McGee had his head down on the desk top where he sat next to Abby. His arms hung limply down by his sides, his eyes were closed and his mouth was slightly open.

Tony quietly walked up behind McGee and clapped his hand over his nose and mouth while shouting "boo" in his ear. McGee tried to stand up and his chair slid out from under him. He grabbed at the desk to stop his fall and managed to get Abby's hand instead. They both wound up on the floor at Tony's feet. He laughed as they both shot poisonous glances his way and tried to untangle themselves.

"Uh, sorry," he said. "Don't suppose you've seen Ziva?"

McGee was getting to his feet and helping Abby up. Abby didn't look too happy so Tony decided it was time to look for Ziva someplace else.

"Guess not. Well, see ya later, guys."

He chuckled as he went out. That was fun.

Autopsy was next. He looked through the door and saw Palmer and Ducky still bent over the body. No Ziva. He was beginning to get a little worried. Where could she be? He knew she hadn't left. Her backpack was by her desk and her computer still up.

He checked the break room. He checked the vending machine areas. He checked the ladies rooms on the other floors, scaring one of the cleaning crew who was using the facilities. Where the hell was she?

He could only think of one more place she might be. He decided to check out the NCIS gym.

Powers-saving lighting was in effect in the hallway leading up the gym. Only every third overhead light was on. He walked through the darknes to the gym door and heard something, he wasn't sure what. He pushed slowly on the door. The lights were on at the far end of the gym and now he could make out the sound he'd heard; Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin. Muted but even so still a powerful piece of music.

He eased into the room feeling a little uneasy. What was going on? Suddenly he saw Ziva out of the corner of his eye. She was leaning against the wall of the gym drinking from a bottle of water. She had taken off her blouse and wore only her sleeveless undershirt. It was stained with sweat. As he watched she recapped the bottle and put it down on the floor. Then she came back out to where the mats were usually placed for martial arts practice but the floors were bare now. She stopped in the middle of the lit area and waited.

At what must have been the appropriate note she reached up with her arms and stood on her toes and then slowly extended her left leg behind her in a straight line then brought it back in a graceful move to the front. Her arms moved in a wide circular movement. She bent her knees and brought her arms overhead, ever movement controlled and graceful.

Tony's mouth hung open. Ziva was dancing. And not just dancing but balleting, or doing ballet or whatever you call it. In her T-shirt and cargo pants with bare feet she was dancing and she was beautiful. He knew from experience she had great control of her body, knew martial arts and multiple killing techniques, but he'd never known she could do this. Oh yeah, he knew she'd taken dance as a kid, too. She'd mentioned it a time or two but this…this was something else, something special.

He leaned against the wall, crossed his arms over his chest and watched her. He lost track of time. He didn't think every move she made was classic ballet. Seemed like there was some jazz, some rumba or tango , maybe even some dirty dancing but it all blended together seamlessly.

The music ended. Ziva bent over, holding her waist with her hands drawing in deep gulps of air. Then she stood up straight and brushed her hair back out of her face and went back to her water bottle. Tony took one last look and then slipped out the door, his mind whirling with images of Ziva in her dance.

He got back to his desk and sat down. Ziva was a constant surprise to him. Why hadn't she ever told him she could dance like that?

He heard her coming back to her desk and made like he was busy at his computer.

"Hey, where you been, Ziva?"

"Just taking a break. I needed to stretch my legs."

Tony smiled. She had stretched her legs and every other part of her.

"What are you smiling at, Tony?"

"Just thinking about something I saw earlier."

"Yes? It was nice?"

"Oh yes, very nice. Beautiful, in fact. "

She didn't say anything, waiting for him to tell her what he'd seen. He just smiled bigger and turned off his computer.

"I'm going home. You ready to walk out?" he asked.

She gathered her bag, turned off her computer and walked out beside him. Once they got in the elevator she spoke again.

"Are you going to tell me what you saw that was so beautiful?"

"Maybe someday, Ziva. Not tonight."

She punched him hard on his arm.

"OUCH! What was that for?"

"Not telling me."

He reached over and pulled the lever to stop the elevator.

"I'll tell you what I saw if you tell me where you were when you were gone from your desk."

She widened her eyes at him. He smirked at her. She pursed her lips, giving him a searching look. Finally, she reached over and pushed the lever up and they both jerked a little as the elevator started again.

"Maybe someday I will tell you," she said.

"And maybe someday I'll tell you too," he said.

He walked her to her car and saw her leave. She wished him good night and then stuck her tongue out at him as she drove away.

He stood and watched the red tail lights fade and said, "Goodnight, my little ballerina."