The Washington Monument could be seen from the squadroom window, being coated in a thick layer of pure white snow. It was Christmas Eve, and the team had just finished working on an exhausting case. The annual Christmas party at a lavish hotel on the other side of the city had ended two hours earlier. Only Abby, Tony, Ziva, McGee, Gibbs, Jenny, and Ducky remained at headquarters.
Abby tapped her black fingernails against McGee's desk as she kneeled on the ground beside. "When can we go home?" She asked no one in particular. Her voice was full of complaint, frustration, and boredom.
"I don't know, Abby," Tony said from across the room. He stared across at Ziva. Her brown curls were falling over her right shoulder as she gazed out the window. She was in her own world. Israel, perhaps? She's better not be thinking of that Michael Rivkin… Tony thought jealously. He knew he had no claim over Ziva nor her affections. What right did he have to determine where her mind was? "Missing a date, Zee-vah?" He asked curiously. Her attention quickly snapped back to the present.
"Oh, no, no date…" She said softly. Her eyes drifted to the window, to the middle of the bullpen floor, and back to Tony again.
"It's Christmas Eve, Ziva. Don't you have any plans?" Abby asked, walking over to Ziva's desk.
"Even if she did, she'd have a hard time getting out of the building. It looks like we're snowed in," McGee announced as he looked out the window. The snowfall was growing furious, and the view began to disappear from plain sight.
"We can't be snowed in. That only happens with houses and stuff, right?" Tony asked from his desk. He swiveled from side to side, hand propping up one side of his face as he watched Ziva. She made a face.
"You really want to be driving in that? It's turning into a blizzard by the second,"
"Great," Abby said, sighing.
"I could do that easily," Ziva said.
"Yeah right," Tony said skeptically. He scrunched up a ball of paper and threw it at her playfully. She glared at him and went back to staring out the window.
The room was silent for ten minutes.
"Where's Gibbs?" Abby finally asked.
"MTAC with Vance," McGee replied. He left the window and sat on the edge of his desk.
"Well," She said, getting up. "I'm not going to waste my Christmas Eve. I'll be back!" She called as she ran towards the elevator.
"What in the…" McGee wondered, a bewildered look on his face.
"Just leave it, Probie," Tony said, tossing a paper snowball at him, a small smile on his face. McGee sighed and took his seat at his desk.
"I'm not quite sure what all the hullababoon is about when it comes to Christmas," Ziva said.
"Balloo. Hullaballoo. Not baboon. A baboon is some sort of b=monkey or whatever," Tony corrected.
"I mean, I know Christmas in America is all about family," Ziva continued. "So why all the decorations and the ornaments and the songs and the movies and the sweaters,"
"Hey! All that stuff is what makes Christmas special from any other time of year," Abby defended the holiday as she entered the squadroom again.
"Except the sweaters," Tony said.
"Yeah, I never did get that..." Abby said as she handed a CD to McGee. "Put this on,"
McGee looked at her, unsure.
"Just do it, please?" Abby said imploringly. She walked over to the Christmas tree. The lights had been long turned off. In moments, however, the room had been filled with Christmas spirit. The tree was lit up and songs by the old greats were playing. "These are all my favorite Christmas songs from the 30's to the 50's. Let's dance," Abby instructed as an upbeat song began to play. For a moment, no one moved an inch. "You guys," Abby reprimanded, her hands on her hips.
McGee stood and walked over to Ziva. "May I?" Ziva smiled at her friend. He took her hands and they began to swing dance. Tony stood and leaned against the wall of the bullpen. He watched Ziva laugh and smile. Abby looked on approvingly until the song was over. The next song that began to play was much softer.
"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know…"
Abby walked over to the pair. "May I cut in?"
"Of course," Ziva replied. She walked over to wear Tony stood and leaned up against the other side of the short wall.
"This is no song to stand around during," Tony whispered to her. He could see a small smile form on her face. Tony didn't know it, but her heart began to race faster. And little to Ziva's knowledge, Tony's was too. He walked around to the other side, bowed formally, and held out his hand. "May I have this dance?"
Ziva's eyes went from his eyes to his own eyes. She felt her knees weaken. "Alright," She said tentatively, never letting on. Tony was happy to take her in his arms. At first, they were formal and stiff. But by the end of the first chorus, Ziva's arms had found their way to his neck and his to the small of her waist.
He looked into her eyes. She stared at him, searchingly.
"You seem very out of it tonight," He commented.
"I'm a bit homesick, I suppose,"
"I thought you loved it here,"
"I do, it is just that my father…"
"You don't need to say anything else," Tony replied. "I know all about tough families,"
"He wants me to go back," Ziva said. She couldn't bear to look at him, afraid of what she might see there.
"Oh," was all Tony could say. What do I say? She can't go back. Not now. I… I think I might just love her. She can't go.
"Do you think I should?"
"Is that a trick question?" Ziva laughed softly.
"Perhaps," She said, a sweet smile playing on her lips. Tony grinned, but his eyes were filled with torment. Should I tell her?
"When would you leave?" He asked hesitantly. Ziva's heart dropped to her stomach and her smile left her face. She looked down at the ground. Never leave yourself so vulnerable, Ziva.
"You think I should go," She said.
"Is that a statement or a question?" He took a deep breath. He lifted her chin lightly so she was looking at him. "Don't," He could barely speak a decibel louder than a whisper.
"You don't want me to go?" Ziva said, this time as a question.
"Don't," was all Tony could say to answer her. His hand was still resting under her chin. He slowly moved it to the back of her neck. Ziva's breathing became quick. Her eyes were filled with hope and Tony could see it. His famous, heart melting smile appeared. Ziva's own smile grew. It was then that he pulled her to him and kissed her. It lasted several seconds, though it was soft and sweet. When they parted, Ziva leaned her head against his strong shoulder. His hand was still on the back of her neck, holding her close to him as the song ended.
"You see, this isn't so bad," He said softly, stroking her hair.