This is just one of those random things that I wrote a while ago, but I dug it up out of the recesses of my brother's hard drive in the process of transferring everything to my laptop...and decided to post it to give you something to read while I struggled through the intense writer's block that is preventing Soulmates from being updated in a timely manner.

It doesn't really have a specific timeline...though I think Jeanne is mentioned. So sometime after season 4.

And I apologize in advance for grammar issues...I tried to fix them all, but my brain thinks in first person and the story is in third. I don't know why I tried to write in third...I've never really been able to do it successfully. So if you see any errors (you'll catch them better than I can) please point them out so I can fix them.



It was one of those days.

The kind of day where everything just seemed to go terribly horribly wrong and there was not a single decision in the entire universe that could be made right. People were being kidnapped with no leads to follow, children were involved, and necessary, case-solving clues were coming up abysmally short.

Gibbs was stalking around, yelling at people more than usual, and drinking more coffee than the entire population of D.C. in the span of an hour. Ziva was abusing machinery left and right, and eventually Tony decided it was prudent to remove all the knives in the area and hide them before innocent bystanders had to be shipped off to Bethesda for emergency stitches. Abby was stressed and shutting everyone out of her lab again, typing furiously on her multitude of computers. Vance had been holed up in MTAC for almost four hours straight, yelling at some idiots from the FBI. Even McGee was getting a little waspish; he hadn't moved from his chair since he'd come in the office, staring blankly at the screen of his computer.

Tony had been on the phone for the better part of two hours straight, alternating between annoying secretaries and beyond boring hold music that someone must have dug up at a cult convention where the primary occupation must have been playing old jazz music and John Lennon's 'I Am The Walrus' backwards and at the same time.

Around 1900, however, most of the other people in the building had already left for the day, so dress code became a little more relaxed. Tony and McGee instantly pulled their ties off and threw them out of sight, never wishing to look upon the infernal things again, whereas Ziva had kicked her shoes under her desk and taken off the light jacket she had been wearing.

At precisely 2017, Tony had managed to unbutton his dark blue dress shirt all the way, letting it flow around him like a Hawaiian shirt and exposing the plain white t-shirt he was wearing underneath. McGee's hair had lost its ability to stay gelled together and therefore was now hanging in his face, the effect, combined with the several unbuttoned shirt buttons, succeeded in making him look much younger and a little less stiff. It almost gave him the same sort of air and personality that Tony usually had hanging around him. Carefree. Relaxed. Less rigid. The only thing that gave away his stress was the wide, red-rimmed eyes and the tense shoulder muscles.

Things were being slammed unnecessarily. Keyboards were being typed on with enough force to crack the plastic coverings. Groans and moans of frustration and disappointment were the only things that broke the silence between Tony's calls.

"No, you may not put me on hold!" Tony practically yelled into the phone, trying to reason with the falsely cheerful secretary, but was unsuccessful once again as the terrible and bizarre music filled his left ear once again. As his eyes flashed, he looked across the walkway to Ziva, knowing that this would distract himself from his current phone issues. Her hair was curly today…swept off to one side and hanging in her face a little. She kept sweeping it back with a random brush of her fingers through her dark tresses, or a quick toss of her head when a hand wasn't available. The green shirt she was wearing did wonders for her; she always had looked wonderful in green. Tony's eyes let themselves wander over the face he knew so well. The tanned skin, the high cheekbones, the delicate curve of her lips…all were features that he had committed to memory.

Why? Why the hell would he do such a thing?

He didn't even know.

At least, that's what he kept telling himself. Ziva was good looking, surely; anyone could be caught looking at her like this. McGee had probably had his fair share of experiences drooling over her from behind his computer.

So of course, it was absolutely natural for Tony to stare, to take interest. He wouldn't be a straight man if he didn't. It was natural. He stared at Kate, right? And Paula? Hell, he was even thought that germ-phobic Nikki was pretty.

It didn't mean anything.

The fact that the tension between them was bound to break sooner or later…that didn't matter. That was nothing. The fact that he thought about her more than he had ever thought about any other female agent he had worked with was inconsequential. It was just because she was different, right? Because she was from another culture, another place. She was exotic and foreign. Of course that bumped her up on the hotness scale automatically. Of course that made people take a little bit extra notice of her.

"Mr. DiNozzo? Hello?"

There was a tiny voice very far away sounding that echoed in his ear. He wanted to tell it to shut up, that he was busy, but then he realized that there was actually a real person on the other side of the phone he had forgotten he was still holding.

"Oh, sorry. Yes, I'm here," Tony said quickly, jerking himself back up so that he was no longer leaning on his desk. "I'm here…"

At 2200, Gibbs made them all take a break.

"We're not getting anything productive done, and can't pick up Sanders and his wife until we get that warrant," he said. "Go out, stretch, get some coffee or something."

None of them moved at first, all determined to think that Gibbs was kidding. But he wasn't.

"Go!" he said firmly, making a shooing motion with his free hand (the other was holding his ever-present cup of coffee).

McGee was out of sight first, disappearing in the general direction of Abby's lab. Ziva sighed and retrieved her shoes from under her desk as Tony reached into his top drawer to get his wallet.

"Hey, Ziva," he said, calling to her. "I'm going to the coffee shop across the street to get something to eat, wanna come with?" The words were out of his mouth before he could stop, rephrase, or retract them.

She looked over at Tony for a moment, exhaustion plainly evident in her eyes. He could see a conflict there, brewing behind her eyes, but it was quickly resolved and she responded with a quick nod of her head.

Tony followed her to the elevator and filed in silently.

"Are you getting any headway on your end?" Tony asked her, looking for something to say that would fill the quietness.

"I do not want to talk about the case, Tony," she replied in a quiet voice.

Silence ensued again as the silver elevator doors opened again to reveal the lobby, the lone security guard sitting in the circular desk.

"You guys out for the night?" he asked them as they passed.

"Ah, no," Tony replied. "Just going out for a quick break. Be back in a second."

"Tell Gibbs he needs to stop working you so hard."

"I'll get right on that…just as soon as we get the psychopaths to stop killing Marines."

As they walked out of the doors and into the brisk yet slightly humid night air, Tony began to get the feeling that something was up with Ziva.

"Something the matter?" he asked her, concerned. "Something you want to talk about?"

"No, Tony," she replied sharply, marching off towards the street as thunder rumbled gently in the sky.


He reached out and grabbed her arm, pulling her around, but she pulled herself away sharply and continued on across the street without a word to him. Tony followed her into the shop, where she still didn't speak except to order. Thunder rolled louder and more frequently, and it wasn't long before the patter of rain began to sound on the windows.

"Come on, Ziva, it's obvious that something is wrong," Tony said as they started to head out of the café. "Won't you talk to me?"

"There is nothing to say, Tony," she responded stiffly, pushing open the door.

"Ziva, it's raining―" he started to protest, trying to get her to not run off while it was pouring outside.

"I know that!" she shouted at him as she resolutely marched off.

"Ziva!" Tony took a deep breath and running off into the rain after her. "Ziva, look at me!" He managed to catch up to her in the middle of the street, grabbing her arm and pulling her around to face him. "Something is bothering you."

"You noticed?" she said icily.

"Yeah, I noticed! You haven't been yourself for about a week now."

They had only been in the rain seconds, but were already soaked to the skin. There was no traffic around so their position near the yellow dividing line on the asphalt was undisturbed.

"Tell me what's wrong," he pleaded with her, wanting so badly to fix her broken emotions.

There was a long period of silence as they stared into each others' eyes, rain falling down on them, streetlights illuminating their faces. Tony's hair was plastered to his face, his blue dress shirt soaked through, as well as the t-shirt underneath. Ziva's hair was wet too, sticking to her face and neck. The outline of her bra was all too plainly visible through her sodden shirt, but for some reason Tony couldn't tear his eyes away from her face. She was beautiful, even when she was wet and angry, Tony thought.

Ziva opened her mouth a couple times, trying to get the words out, but nothing came. So he just waited for her to get her thoughts together, still holding tightly to her arm so she couldn't escape. He was determined to find the answer and solve her problem.

"Ziva…" he prompted, wondering if she had forgotten the question.

"You, Tony," she said finally. Tony took a mental step back, trying to make sense of what she said. It didn't add up. Ziva could see the confusion in his eyes and clarified her answer for him. "You are what's wrong with me, Tony."

"What? I'm the one who's making you so upset?" he asked incredulously. "Tell me what I did, so I can make it better."

"You confuse me."

"I do? And here I was, thinking it was quite the opposite," Tony said, a grin forming on his face.

"I'm being serious, Tony!" Ziva snapped, wrenching herself from his grasp again. "You have no idea how much this is hurting, how much of this you are not getting!"

"Then explain it to me, Ziva."

She took a deep breath. It was quite obvious that she was preparing to say something that had been on her mind for a while. "I have been there for you when you needed me to be, Tony. I have put up with all your crap for years. And yet you still are oblivious! You have learned nothing!" She paused, staring back at me, the falling rain shimmering like a haze in the five-foot distance between us. "It was not just you and Jeanne who had broken hearts after that whole fiasco," she whispered. "It hurt me too, because I knew that you did not return my―" she broke off, unable to say more.

The rain continued to fall.

"What are you saying, Ziva?" Tony asked, not moving, not taking a single step closer. Something in his voice was strange as the bricks fell into place and the lights came on in his mind.

"You know perfectly well what I am saying, Tony. If I have to spell it out for you then you clearly do not need to know anyway."

There was more silence as we just stared at each other in the rain. Tony was tense, unsure of quite what to do in this situation. Was Ziva saying what he thought she was…? But…he'd never gotten…he'd never even thought that she'd feel the same…

There was an internal battle going on in his head, debating heatedly on what he should do, what he should say. She was waiting for him to do something; her face was slightly anxious underneath her angry exterior. Tony inhaled deeply and ran his fingers through his wet hair out of nervous habit.

And then he couldn't hold himself back any longer. Here she was, a woman he had long admired, expressing her more-than-friendship feelings for him. It was what he had wanted to hear for so long, yet had not known that's what he wanted. Hearing it said sounded right somehow. Something deep in his chest was going crazy. A wide, silly grin crossed his features, and he took two quick steps to close the distance between them.

"That's what you think, then?" he asked her.

"Yes," she responded. "That's what been bothering me. Now, I believe Gibbs is expecting us back at work."

Ziva turned around and started towards NCIS again. Tony reached out and grabbed her hand for the third time, pulling her back to him. But, instead of demanding she speak to him again, he pressed his mouth against hers.

The rain continued to fall, the droplets of water hitting their faces as Ziva responded to the kiss. Tony let go of her arm and wrapped his arms around her shoulders, fingers entwining in her long, wet hair. She in turn moved her arms up to his shoulders, pulling herself up to his height. The kiss was slow, each one savoring the moment. When they had both exhausted their supply of air, however, they broke apart, each one look the other in the eyes to gauge their reaction, each one breathing heavily. After one tense, prolonged second, Ziva pulled Tony's head back down to her level and kissed him again, this time roughly and fueled by the tense anger that the argument had built up. What had started out simple was now progressing into something heated and passionate. Both were so completely engrossed in each other that they never noticed the slow decrease in the amount of rain, or the small car that had to drive in the wrong lane to avoid them in the street.

"You don't know how long I've wanted to do that," Tony whispered when they broke apart again.

"I'm sure I have a pretty good idea," Ziva murmured, her arms still around his neck. They were about to lean in and kiss again when a loud buzzing in Tony's pocket interrupted them. He pulled out the slightly damp piece of technology and flipped it open.

"What, McGee?" he demanded.

"Gibbs is wondering where you are," the younger agent spluttered, taken aback by the sharp greeting.

"Ziva and I just went out to get coffee."

"Did you go to South America to get it?" came Gibbs' demanding voice sharply, and Tony guessed he was on speakerphone.

"Uh, no boss…long line. We're on our way now."

Tony snapped the phone shut, and he and Ziva walked wordlessly back to their office, soaking wet and with ridiculous smiles on their faces.

And the rain continued to fall.

This all started when I had a random vision of Tony and Ziva kissing in the rain...I don't know why I thought of it but I did.

I'm going to go work on Soulmates now...

Or try, at least.

If you're bored and need something to read, feel free to read that.