Paying Homage to the Porcelain God

"DiNozzo," Tony said, answering his phone and simultaneously hitting pause on his DVR remote. He had been deep into an episode of Magnum when his phone had rang.

"Tony, it's Max," the man on the other line said.

"What's up?" Tony asked a little confused. Max was a bartender at the bar that the team frequented often.

"I've got Ziva here, she's as drunk as a skunk and refusing to leave and I don't want to send her off in cab," Max said.

"I'll be there in ten minutes," Tony said sighing. He set his DVR to record the last fifteen minutes of Magnum, grabbed his keys and his jacket and walked out the door.

Ziva was sitting on a bar stool, nursing what she thought was vodka, but was actually water. The team had just closed a particularly hard case involving a child, which was always hard. Ziva had taken the case harder than the rest of the team, and she had felt her maternal instincts starting to kick in. After Gibbs had released them Ziva had retreated to Dubloon's Bar, the team hangout. After ten tequila shooters, four beers, and a vodka cranberry, Ziva was finally beginning to feel numb.

She was vaguely aware of the door of the bar opening, followed by a cold gust of air, and then she heard his voice.

"Hey, Max," Tony said.

"Hey," Max said, looking up from pouring a beer. Ziva turned around to look at Tony, her eyes glassy.

"Ton–ee," she slurred badly. Tony took a deep breath and picked Ziva up off of the bar stool.

"What you doing, Ton-ee?" Ziva asked, her voice sounding more slurred than it had when she had just said his name.

"Taking you home," Tony said.

They made it to Ziva's apartment without any incident. Ziva had been speaking in gibberish she he had placed her in the car. Tony carried Ziva up the stairs to her apartment and opened the door. He took her back to her bedroom and laid her on her bed gently. Rooting through her drawers, Tony found a pair of sweatpants and a tank top.

Tony changed Ziva into the sweatpants first and then the tank top, only taking her bra off after the tank top was on securely.

"Ton-ee," Ziva moaned from the bed.

"Yes Sweetcheeks?" Tony asked.

"I think I'm going to be sick," Ziva moaned. Tony hurriedly picked her up off the bed and carried her to the bathroom, where she promptly threw up in the toilet. Spotting a hairband on the counter, Tony firmly braided Ziva's hair and then tucked it underneath. Ziva, who had finished her first round of puking, leaned back into Tony's arms, her eyes half closed.

"Her face," Ziva said, her words still slurred. "I can't get her face out of my head."

"Whose face?" Tony asked.

"Sophie's," Ziva said and Tony remembered.


"Sophie?" Ziva called, looking through the rows of cars.

"Sophie?" Tony added, running the opposite direction.

"Tony," Ziva called, horror in her voice. Tony ran over to his partner, who was standing over the body of three year old Sophie. It was clear that she had been shot, and more than once. Tears began running down Ziva's face and Tony pulled her into his chest and let her cry.

~End Flashback~

"Oh Ziva," Tony said as he pulled her into him. He released her when he felt her stomach heave and she threw up again. He gently transferred her from his lap to the floor and touched her shoulder. "Sweetcheeks, I'll be right back," Tony said. He hurried to the kitchen, poured a glass of water from Ziva's Brita and returned to the bathroom, where Ziva was leaning against the toilet, her head on the seat. Tony pulled her back into his lap and then made her take a small sip of water.

"Tony," Ziva asked, her words sounding less slurred.

"Yes, Sweetcheeks?" Tony said.

"Why did you come to the bar?" Ziva asked.

"Because," Tony started, highly doubting that she would remember any of this in the morning. "Because my partner needed me," Tony replied softly, laying a soft kiss on the top of her head.

"I love you, Tony," Ziva muttered. Five minutes later she was snoring lightly. Tony carried her back to her bed and tucked her in tightly. He then cleaned up the bathroom; set two aspirin's and a glass of water on Ziva's bedside table and then collapsed on Ziva's couch, his eyes shut in less than a minute.

Ziva groaned as light filtered through her eyes. Her head was pounding and she had a horrible taste in her mouth. She cracked her eyes open a bit and saw the glass of water, pills, and a note on the table next to her bed.


Take the pills, they'll help. I'm asleep on the couch; call me if you need me.


Ziva clumsily pulled the glass of water and pills towards her, but jumped when the glass crashed to the ground, water splashing everywhere.

Tony awoke to the sound of a crash and the sound of Ziva swearing from her bedroom. He jumped up off of the couch and ran back to Ziva's bedroom. She was half sitting up in bed and the bottom of her sheets were wet and there were shards of glass littering the floor in a puddle of water.

"What happened?" Tony asked.

"I was trying to take the aspirin," Ziva said hoarsely, her mouth dry.

"Stay there," Tony said as he left the room. He came back with a fresh glass of water, paper towels, and a trash bag. He handed Ziva the water, and she sipped it slowly, taking the aspirin with it and watched as Tony cleaned up the mess on the floor.

"How did my hair get braided?" Ziva asked, feeling the back of her head.

"I did it, while you were paying homage to the porcelain God," Tony said, and ended up receiving a confused look from Ziva. "Puking," Tony explained.

"Where did you learn to braid hair?" Ziva asked.

"College, somehow I always ended up taking care of the freshman sorority girls when they had too much to drink. I learned that to was the best way to keep their hair out of puke," Tony said as he picked up the last piece of glass.

"Tony," Ziva said quietly. Tony looked up to where she was sitting cross legged on the bed.

"Yeah?" Tony asked.

"Thank you."

So, I thought of this on my home from class. Just random fluff… I am still working on Never Too Old, although my muse for that story seems to have temporarily left me, but I am trying. Please review!!