She lives her life like the way she drives—go, go, go. Don't stop even if someone is shot. If you are shot, hit the gas. Sleep when you can, eat what you get. Don't become attach. Shoot whom ever gets in the way. Just get the job done. But then a stop sign too big to ignore comes out in front of her and it is shaped like an Italian man and can't stop making movie references. She always knew that at some point in her life she would have to stop. She just thought it would be a round through the head instead of an arrow through her heart.

But then it's too late and someone else is doing the driving. She's back at Mossad before she knows what's happening. Everything happened so fast, just flashes in her mind. Tony, hot, and in a hot car, in a hot place; Jenny is dead; McGee is in a basement; Tony is on a ship and she is on a plane. She feels like just breaking down and crying as the world falls from beneath her, but that's not her training.

Her father is older but not wiser. He misses her fifteen-minute breaks that turn into two-day "assignments." Desk duty, he put her on desk duty. Doesn't trust her after being away for so long. She's not like Tony, McGee, or Abby. She doesn't hope for them to be reunited. In Mossad every mission is just a momentary position. When it is complete you move on. There are no attachments or permanent situations. That doesn't mean she doesn't miss them she just doesn't want to be disappointed.

She doesn't call him first; she just goes. The first time she almost gives him a heart attack. He's in Italy at an overheated restaurant. The lack-luster fans do nothing for the atmosphere or temperature. She looks around, checking for possible enemies, a reflex. She spots him flirting with the bartender.

"You know there are better ways to get a free drink." He flashes her one of his million-dollar smiles and it's just like a movie.

"You want to enlighten me on those ways Officer David." He tries to hide his surprise by acting casual and not turning around. She likes that he recognizes her voice even after two weeks of being apart. For her (and him too), it feels like two weeks of silence.

"Oh it would be my pleasure." She kisses him because here it's different. There is no case, no Gibbs, no strings attached. He kisses her back and invites her to join him at a table. He leads her with his hand on her waist. They don't discuss why or how she's here. He knows her too well. She could track down a fly if she needed to, and he's hardly a fly.

He grasps her wrists. "Before we start just one question."

She looks at him puzzled, "what?"

"How do you manage to hide all those weapons under such a tiny dress?" She laughs because it's like old times but unlike old times she doesn't stop him when his hand starts moving up her thigh.

A waiter comes over and Tony talks to him in Italian. She lets him order for her. She's never let a man do that.

"What are we having?"

"The house specialty." It's nice to be taken care of. Sure she has played the part of needy girlfriend before, but this isn't an act. And although she is hardly acting needy she isn't the dominant one.

"Are you tired?" Tony worries when he sees a submissive Ziva.

"No, just hungry." He knows she's lying. He's one of the few that can tell. He doesn't push and doesn't ask why. The moment is too perfect and he's afraid she will shut down if he does.


"Bad for you though"

"Now why is that?"

"You're paying," she taunts back. 'Yes' Tony thinks, 'his Ziva is still here.'

Tony had ordered a pasta dish with a garlicky tomato sauce.

"Kosher" he says offering her a fork. The wine is a basic red but it's alcohol and better than it looks.

"We can make this just like 'Lady and the Tramp.'" She worries about him. He seems drained and older in just two weeks. But the movie reference calms her fears a bit.

"Lady and the Tramp?"

"Yeah, except with us it'd be more like gentleman and the tramp."

"You are saying this when I have a knife in my hand already." He gulps audibly. She enjoys knowing she can still make him nervous.

"What happens in 'Lady and the Tramp?"

"Well there is this scene when Lady and Tramp are at an Italian restaurant eating spaghetti and they both start eating the same strand and they kiss." She stops his ramble with a kiss.

"If you wanted me to kiss you could have just asked."

"And yet that would be too easy."

They keep the conversation light, not mentioning Jenny or their separation. They both want a break for their real lives; the hard stuff will come later.

She's turning to leave but he catches her.

"Do you remember the first words you said to me?"

"Something about phone sex."

"I'm going to ignore the hurt I feel over you forgetting our first conversation to tell you that you can call."

"I'll call you first; it will be safer."

"You promise."

"Yes on the talking, no guarantee on the phone sex."

"I'll hold you to it."

With one last kiss she's gone, in a sea of red satin and orange perfume. She just slips through his fingers. That sensory explosion is what Tony holds on to on the lonely nights on a cold metal ship in the cold gray sea.

After she's left she can still smell tomato sauce, red wine, and something else she cannot place. Everything is cold. She is back in the desert but she shivers.