Disclaimer: A fic without a denial of ownership is like a penguin without a gut full of sushi.
Spoilers: This story is a continuation of my Tiva series, details and order of which can be found in my profile, beginning with Locked. This follows immediately after Sleepwalker. The details of every preceding fic must be remembered, else nothing that follows will seem wondrous. Er…well, it won't make sense anyway.
Summary: Tony and Ziva get into trouble stateside – trouble related to things that have happened prior to the events in this fic. Bad guys and kidnapping and monkeys. No, there aren't any monkeys. Sorry if you got excited. There is established Tiva, so hopefully that makes up for the lack of monkeys.
Special Secret A/n: Please be patient regarding updates to this story, as I have a lot going on in real life right now, but if I don't have it posted, I'll never feel compelled to work on it. This secret note will self-destruct in five seconds.
Tony closed his eyes, as it was fairly disconcerting to watch Ziva in the mirror as she came up behind him with her knife, even if she was wearing nothing but a short towel wrapped around her midsection. She paused a moment as she settled the edge of the knife against his skin. "Relax. You let me do this nearly every other day when your arm was broken."
He clenched his still-bandaged hands, not yet completely healed from his encounter with a plate glass door during the team's last case, as he felt the blade scrape around the curve of his jaw. Waiting until he was sure she had removed the knife to rinse off the hair and shaving cream, he opened his eyes and said, "Only because the electric doesn't get me as smooth as you like."
He squeezed his eyes shut as she came in for another pass. He had to admit that she was pretty good at this whole shaving him with her knife thing. He even enjoyed it on some level beyond the obvious pleasures associated with pampering – manly pampering. Not even pampering, but…personal grooming services. There was nothing wrong with enjoying being shaved. Men used to go to the barber to get shaved all the time! And…and it was just hair, really. He didn't cut his own hair. Really, he could make the argument that this was a good idea to continue even after the cuts on his hands healed. Ziva seemed to like it too, though he didn't plan to ask her why.
He obediently tipped his head back when she pulled it against her stomach and went to work on his neck. She smelled like clean laundry; or was that just her towel? He risked opening his eyes to watch her as she worked. Her concentration was evident in her pursed lips and knitted brows. Tony fought the urge to smile. Her face relaxed as she did his upper lip with him still staring up at her. "What?"
He allowed her to finish before grabbing his towel off the counter and wiping his face. "Nothing. Just, uh, thanks."
"I should really do this at night, since that is when you are more likely to be dragging your face all over me."
His mind cleared in a flash as he grinned. "So I take it we have plans for tonight?"
"Tony…" She didn't continue, but walked out of the bathroom, not pausing even when he snatched her towel.
As much fun as it was to watch her walk away, he had to hurry through the rest of his routine if he wanted a little more mutual naked-time before they had to get to work. He kicked the stool he had been sitting on under the counter, awkwardly slapped on some stinging aftershave with his uninjured fingers and brushed his teeth before the noise of the hairdryer stopped carrying in from the bedroom. He tossed both the towel that he'd taken from her and the one wrapped around his own waist into the hamper and clicked the light off as he exited the bathroom. "Wait!"
She didn't even pause in hooking her bra behind her. "I need a break, Tony. We've been going at it nonstop for the past two days."
"So?" He nuzzled her neck as he came up behind her, preventing her from putting on any more clothing.
"So, I do not want to be on antibiotics for a week. And we need to get to work. Gibbs was not happy when we were late yesterday."
"Which was dumb, because you and Jenny were still supposed to be playing spy girls in Morocco." She ignored his roaming hands, although she didn't shove them away as he followed her to the closet. He decided on one last attempt before shifting to work-mode. "We could call in sick and spend the day…"
"No," she cut him off.
"Tony!" She spun into him when she turned to face him, but didn't shove his hands away; the look she was giving him, however, was enough to ensure that they remained hovering over her ass rather than grabbing it. "I am not going anywhere, so you need to stop acting like every time we make love could be the last time!"
"I…" He dropped his head and arms as she stepped away from him. He hadn't really been thinking about it that way, not consciously. It would be hard to deny that the sex since she'd gotten home from Morocco had been unusually intense, but that was just because he'd missed her, not because… He finally found a response that was almost certain to start an argument but was unable to stop himself from saying, "With everything that's happened to you since we got together, can you blame me if sometimes I feel like you might not be here the next time I…?"
"The next time you feel horny?" she finished for him, not making eye contact as she buttoned her shirt.
"No!" He found he couldn't complete the thought. Yeah, the next time he wanted to have sex was the obvious conclusion, but what about the next time he wanted to watch a movie on the couch and cuddle? The next time he wanted to have a romantic dinner, either at home or at a restaurant? The next time he wanted to talk with her about nothing in particular or get her to smile or…walk past him, naked from the waist down as she was doing now. "Why do you do that? Act like the only thing I ever think about is sex?"
"Because I am sore." She winced as she pulled up what looked to be a loose pair of panties. "And you are following me around, naked."
"So if I were wearing clothes you wouldn't be claiming I'm just about sex all the time?"
"That is not what I said."
"But you think it's what's most important to me."
She picked up her pants off the bed. "That is not true."
He took a deep breath and said the only thing he could to save himself, "Is this something we should continue after I get dressed?"
Tony could smell something good and hear sizzling as he came downstairs a few minutes later, almost fully dressed. His instinct about deferring further conversation had clearly been the right one. Ziva raised an eyebrow at him across the counter. "Close enough."
He finished buttoning his shirt before tucking it in. "I know you aren't that mad if you're making sausage."
"It is turkey sausage, so it is not just for you."
He held back a frown as she slipped two eggs over easy onto a plate she passed to him. "Hm."
"Don't make a face at them. We're out of milk and you cannot make scrambled eggs without milk."
"Oh. Since when?"
"They don't come out fluffy enough and then you would complain about that. So just dip your toast in the yolk and eat your breakfast."
"I don't have any…" He jumped as the toaster gave a loud ding. "Oh." He accepted two suspiciously multi-grainish pieces of toast, slapping enough butter on them to prompt a grimace from Ziva. He grinned and asked, "Jelly?"
"I didn't mean to yell at you or imply that you only want sex from me, but, as I said, I'm a little sore."
"I…just asked for some jelly."
"Don't change the subject."
"We were talking about breakfast!" he protested, not sure he wanted to get back into what they had been talking about earlier just when things had calmed down.
"I'm sorry. I just…you just went from having fun in the shower to mad at me and I don't know what I did, besides being so crazy about you that I can't keep my eyes or hands off you." He took a bite of sausage and spoke around it, "I can be happy without sex for awhile, if that's what you want."
"It isn't like that. I like sex. And I know it means something more with you, but…lately…" She sighed. "I would not call it desperation, but I thought you had accepted that it is possible that bad things could happen to either of us at any time."
"I still don't have to like it," he muttered, shoveling food into his mouth. He realized that it was probably a mistake to give her a chance to make more disquieting predictions about the potential for future disasters, so he again spoke with his mouth full, "Maybe we're thinking about this the wrong way."
She impressively was able to translate and asked, "And what is the right way?"
"Well…" He swallowed with a mighty effort as an idea came to him. "We could stop being terrified of the future and, uh, plan for it instead. Maybe we could…set a date? Y'know, for the wedding?"
Her fork paused halfway to her mouth. "Are you just saying that to prove something?"
"Hey, when I asked you to marry me it was always my intention to actually get married at some point, so…yeah. Let's figure out when we wanna do it so we can give your dad and Adi and Eyal and whoever else we wanna invite time to get here."
He was saved from the spot he'd put himself on when his phone rang in his pocket. He held up a finger to indicate he needed a moment, checking the caller ID and immediately answering, "Gibbs, we're not even late yet!"
"Did I accuse you of being late?"
"Then just find a pen and write down the address I'm gonna give you, DiNozzo. We've got a dead Naval officer."
"We always do, boss. I mean, uh, Ziva will headslap me as soon as I've written down the address?"
"That's better." He gave Tony time to write down the address he relayed before saying, "Twenty minutes."
"No problem," Tony replied to the dialtone. He turned back to Ziva. "Dead guy in Arlington. And don't make a joke about the cemetery, because that really pisses Gibbs off."
"I can imagine." She rolled her eyes and collected his plate just as he managed to scoop the last sausage into his mouth. "Shall we take my car or yours?"
"Yours…if I can drive."
"Didn't Gibbs say twenty minutes? In this traffic?"
"Fine, you drive."
Their conversation was light and easy as they made their way downstairs and out to Ziva's car. As he fell to the ground a moment later, stunned by something impacting the back of his head, Tony tried to remember a quip for later about how this would never have happened if she had allowed him to drive.