The Case of the Mysterious Poems
Written for the NFA Stalker Challenge
Disclaimer: All names and trademarks recognised as "NCIS" do not belong to me; I've just borrowed the characters for my own purpose. I do, however, take all credit for the unfortunate love poetry featured in this story.
Parings: Ziva/Everyone . . . and yes, I mean everyone, and a surprise paring
Characters: Ziva, Tony and McGee with guest appearances by Gibbs and a surprise guest
Genres: Humour, Romance, Het, Fluff
Warnings: Mentions of a female/female relationship
Word Count: 3,840 words
Summary: Ziva's got a secret admirer.
A/N It's not exactly crack!fic, but it's getting there. Thanks to my beta, Kandon Kuuson for a fabulous job.
Oh Ziva dear, you brighten up my day,
You make all my troubles just go away,
You're the shining star in my darkest night,
I wish to love you before my very sight.
Ziva looked up from the offending piece of paper with a scowl. "What is this?"
"What's what, Zee-vah?" Tony asked from his desk, where he should have been doing work, but wasn't.
"This." She jabbed the sheet of pink paper with her finger. She frowned.
"Lemme see," Tony said as he stood and walked out from behind his desk. He snatched the paper off Ziva and started to read.
His eyes widened as he exclaimed, "This . . . this is . . ."
"Offending? Degrading? Utter nonsense?" Ziva suggested through clenched teeth. She glared at the note.
"It's rubbish," Tony finally announced, barely able to keep himself from laughing.
Ziva gave a frustrated sigh. "I know that, DiNozzo."
"No, I mean it's total rubbish." Tony looked flabbergasted, but his eyes told a different story. The poetry was hilarious. "Seriously 'You're the shining star in my darkest night, I wish to love you before my very sight'? What kind of person writes that?"
"It's not that bad," McGee said from his desk, where he was actually doing work.
Tony rolled his eyes. "Are you a best-selling author or not? Even I know that's terrible."
McGee shrugged. "To whomever wrote it, it's not."
Tony frowned, but then asked with a smirk, "Did you write it, Probie?"
"What?" McGee shot up in his seat. "What? Of course not."
"A bit quick to deny it there, McLiar," Tony replied. He stopped in front of McGee's desk and waved the pink note in front of him.
"Probie loves Ziva. Probie loves Ziva," Tony sang loudly, attracting the attention of a few agents in the near vicinity.
"I did not write it," McGee hissed in a low voice. "And I do not love Ziva."
"Ooh, rejected, Zee-vah," Tony announced cheerfully. "And by McGeek too."
Ziva looked ready to kill someone, preferably Tony. You could almost see the smoke coming out of her ears. "I . . . I . . ." she trailed off and growled in annoyance.
"Tony, I did not reject Ziva," McGee said loudly, gaining the attention of other agents again. "I mean I did, but I didn't cos it's not like I, you know, I . . ."
"Do you not like Ziva, McGee?" Tony asked innocently.
"What? Of course I like Ziva," McGee muttered, rubbing his forehead. Tony was giving him a headache.
"Then why did you . . ." Tony started.
"Will you two just shut up?" Ziva hissed, looking scary and angry at the same time.
Tony raised his hands in a surrender position. "I was just saying . . ."
"Just saying what, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked as he strolled casually into the bullpen.
"McGee's writing love poetry to Ziva, boss," Tony replied immediately.
"I am not!" McGee cried as a hand connected with the back of Tony's head.
"McGee's not writing love poetry to Ziva," Tony amended as he rubbed the back of his head, shooting McGee a look of annoyance before returning to his desk.
Gibbs looked at McGee, then Ziva and finally at Tony, and shook his head, resigned. "Gear up. We have a dead body outside a nightclub."
I love to watch you when you walk,
I love to hear you when you talk,
You're the perfect chick in every way,
I wish I could have you right away.
"Who rhymes 'way' and 'away' with each other?" Tony asked as Ziva snatched the pink paper from his hands.
She growled, sounding frustrated. "I cannot believe this." She stomped back to her desk.
Tony gave a lopsided grin. "Someone has a secret lover," he sang, prompting Ziva to glare dangerously at him.
"Maybe you should tell Gibbs," McGee suggested. "That last line sounds kinda stalker-ish."
"Well, you would know, McCreepy," Tony replied, putting his feet on his desk and reclining casually. "After all, you did write it."
"I did not!" McGee cried, indignant. He rose from his seat. "How many times do I have to say it?"
McGee marched over to Ziva's desk, grabbed the paper off her table top and stormed over to Tony. "Do you really think I am capable of writing something like this?" He pointed to the poem.
"You could be, McPoet," Tony shrugged and grinned annoyingly.
Ziva looked thoughtful. "McGee is right," she said slowly. "He is too much of a gentleman to use the word 'chick', yes."
She turned to Tony. "You, on the other hand . . ."
Tony started the shock , and the surprise caused him to flail and nearly fall off his chair. "What?!!"
McGee smirked. "Yeah, Tony. It does sound like you."
"It's not me!" Tony said loudly. "I don't love Ziva." Like McGee the day before, Tony's shouts had attracted the attention of other agents.
"Now who's rejecting Ziva?" McGee replied smugly.
"I am not rejecting anyone!" Tony shouted, but quickly lowered his voice when he saw other agents looking at him weirdly.
"Oh, it's nothing," he told the agents. "Agent McGee is just having a bit of a mid-life crisis."
"Oi!" McGee whacked Tony on the arm. "He's making that up," he told the agents.
"He's just in denial," Tony countered in a conspiratorial whisper.
"And both of you are idiots." Ziva glared at the pair and apologised to the other agents for disturbing their important work.
"I didn't write it," Tony said again, a moment later. He sounded as though he was pouting.
"Then explain how it came to be on my desk, DiNozzo," Ziva challenged.
"It could have been anyone, Zee-vah," Tony replied, rolling his eyes. "Including McGeek. Anyone has access to the bullpen."
"Including you," McGee added.
"We've already established it wasn't me, McGee," Tony said, trying to keep the annoyance out of his voice.
"Nor me," McGee countered.
Ziva growled in annoyance. "Both of you are hopeless," she muttered and stormed over to McGee. She ripped the paper from his hand, crumpled it in a ball and slammed it into the wastebasket.
They didn't mention love letters the rest of the day.
Officer David, you're so fine,
You age so gracefully, like mature wine,
When you glance at me, my heart stops,
I wish to love you lots and lots.
"I think we should hide this," McGee told Tony upon finding the third love note.
"Hide it where, Probie?" Tony replied, looking bored.
McGee shrugged. "In a draw."
"In a draw? How helpful," Tony responded dryly. "And what happens when, and Ziva will find it, she finds it in one of our drawers? I'm not about to volunteer to find that out. You're on your own, Probie."
"Give me a better option then," McGee snapped.
"I will give you a better option, McGee," Ziva said lightly as she passed McGee's desk and plucked the note from his hand. "Give it to me."
"Uh, right, of course," McGee muttered, colouring slightly.
Ziva read the poem and sighed, looking annoyed. "When did this come?"
"It was here this morning," McGee replied. "Like the others."
Ziva sighed again, crumpled the paper and threw it into the wastebasket. "I am going to kill whoever is writing these."
"You have to find out first, Ziva," Tony noted, trying to stay out of it for the time being.
Ziva glared at him. "I know that, Tony, and I will find out. Sooner or later, he will slip up."
Tony sat up straighter at his desk with a cheeky grin on his face. "How do you know he's a he?"
"What?" Ziva shook her head. "A woman?"
Tony shrugged with a grin. "Why not."
"I'm with Ziva," McGee chimed in. "Stalkers are statistically more likely to be males than females."
"So, it doesn't rule them out," Tony replied. He paused for a moment. "It has to be female. After all, which man would be stupid enough to send love letters to Zee-vah when they know she would rip them apart if she found out?"
McGee cocked his head to the side. "He makes a good point."
"I will rip both of you apart if you do not shut up," Ziva hissed.
"Ooh, someone's tetchy today," Tony pointed out.
Ziva turned on Tony and shot him a glare. "Do not test my patience today."
"I still think it's a woman," Tony said, after a moment of silence. "Maybe . . . maybe Abby . . ."
McGee coughed as he choked on his coffee. "Abby? Seriously, Tony?"
Tony shrugged. "Why not? She seems like the type to be, uh, flexible."
"But she's also Abby," McGee replied, stressing the name 'Abby'. "She wouldn't bother with notes, she'd just come out with it."
"Hmmm, yeah . . ." Tony replied, distracted.
Ziva narrowed her eyes. "It is not Abby, and DiNozzo, please get your mind out of dirty lesbian fantasies."
"What? Uh?" Tony sat up like he'd been shocked. "I wasn't . . ."
"Sure you weren't, Tony," McGee said casually, earning a glare from Tony.
"Hey, I wasn't the one who started it," he defended.
Ziva sighed for the third time. "Just forget about it," she said, resigned. "I am sure it will stop sooner or later when whoever gets that I am not interested."
Your hair is like a bed of roses,
Your skin is soft, like babies' noses,
I love your grin; I love your smile,
I've loved you so, for all this while.
"I bet it is Gibbs," Tony said bravely during the afternoon the next day. A new note had been found and as such, Ziva had been in a foul mood all day.
McGee snorted. "Gibbs? Really? That's more out there than your Abby idea."
"Gibbs, Tony?" Ziva asked. She was stabbing holes in a piece of paper with paperclips. "Even I am not dumb enough to believe that."
"I'm not dumb," Tony pouted. "I was just saying."
"You say a lot of things," Ziva sighed as she twisted another hole in the paper.
"Well, it could be," Tony muttered, sounding like a petulant child.
"Tony, if it was Gibbs, and I'm not saying that it is, do you really think he'd write love poetry?" McGee asked from his desk.
Tony cocked his head. "Good point. He's more likely to build Ziva a boat."
"Gibbs is not building me anything!" Ziva exclaimed, glowering at Tony. "Do you have to be so . . ."
"Annoying? Idiotic? Insubordinate?" Gibbs offered as he strolled past Ziva and Tony's desk. He stopped at his own desk, turned around and smirked.
"And DiNozzo, I wouldn't need love poems to charm a woman," he said casually. He sat down and pulled open a file. Tony sat open-mouthed.
Tony did not mention Gibbs the rest of the week.
Ziva, you're ever so sly and sneaky,
You're my ray of sun when the sky gets leaky,
I love you so much, my heart might burst,
Without you, I feel like I'm cursed.
"I have had it up to here with these notes!" Ziva screeched as yet another note was left on her desk over night. Even McGee and Tony were getting sick of the notes with rather questionable poetry.
"Just report them," McGee suggested. "Then it's over and done with."
"And look like a complete idiot," Tony added. "Seriously, do you want everyone to know that you attracted a nutter?"
Ziva harrumphed. "And you do not think that I feel like a complete idiot now?"
"Good point," Tony conceded. "But still, do you really want to be showcasing those?"
"It won't hurt. Tell Gibbs," McGee urged.
"I'm pretty sure Gibbs already knows, Probie." Tony rolled his eyes.
"Not officially," McGee replied.
Ziva looked thoughtful. She shook her head. "No, Tony is right. Perhaps we should just leave it until it drops over."
"Until it blows over, Zee-vah," Tony corrected.
"I still . . ." McGee tried.
"Yes, thank you, McGee. We already know your standing on his matter," Tony snapped, a little harsher than he intended to sound.
"It could get serious!" McGee exclaimed. "What of he – "
"Or she," Tony interjected.
McGee ignored Tony and finished, "decides to go after Ziva or something?"
"Then he or she has a death wish," Tony replied simply. "Ziva has crazy ninja skills."
"Ziva is sitting right here, thank you very much," Ziva muttered, looking put out.
"I'm just trying to protect you," McGee protested.
"I do not need protecting, especially from the perpetrator of these notes," Ziva snapped, folding her arms. "I can look after myself."
"I know that . . ." McGee started, but was interrupted by Tony.
Tony raised his hand and proclaimed, "I got it! It's Palmer."
Ziva and McGee looked confused. "What's Palmer?"
"The person writing these notes," Tony said triumphantly as though he was speaking to little children. "It makes sense."
"Why not?" Tony enthused. "He's socially awkward enough that he'd resort to love poems and naive enough to actually carry it out."
"He does make a good argument," McGee mused.
"But Palmer? Really, Tony?" Ziva looked sceptical.
"Sure, why not," Tony shrugged. "We already established it's not me or Abby or Gibbs . . ."
"Or me," McGee added firmly.
"So Palmer," Tony finished with a flourish. He grinned. "Ziva and Palmer sitting in a . . . ouch!"
Ziva has risen from her desk, walked over to Tony's and twisted his arm around his back. "You say one more word and you will wish you were the author of the notes," she hissed in a dangerously low voice.
"Okay, okay," Tony nodded frantically. "Ouch, ouch, let go!"
Ziva lingered for a moment longer before releasing her grip on Tony. She sauntered away, wiping her fingers on the edge of her shirt.
"So we've established that it's not Palmer . . ."
I love you more than yellow lollipops,
No matter what anyone says, I think you're tops,
You're beautiful, you're brilliant, I love you so,
You are my shining wintery glow.
"You know what?" Ziva said darkly as she looked at the new note the next morning. "I am just going to shoot the thing." She pulled her gun from her holster.
"Whoa, slow down there tiger," Tony said quickly, hurrying over to Ziva's desk. "We don't want to get overzealous."
"I will show you overzealous," Ziva muttered as she aimed at the offending piece of paper.
"What on earth are you doing, Ziva?" McGee asked with wide eyes as he arrived for work and stepped into the bullpen.
"Getting rid of the problem," Ziva replied dryly, distracted.
"And shooting it's the best way to go around then," McGee countered.
"For once, Probie's right," Tony agreed. "Shooting the poem isn't going to solve anything. If anything, it will create a bullet sized hole in your desk, finance and maintenance will be mad, and Gibbs will be livid."
Ziva lowered her gun slightly, sighing as she did so. "Perhaps you have a point."
"Yes, that's it," Tony encouraged. "Put the gun on the desk."
Finally, Ziva put away her gun in her holster and sat down heavily. Again, she screwed up the paper and slammed it into the bin.
"It is kind of sweet," McGee offered hesitantly and at Ziva's look, held up his hands and defended, "I was just saying. Most women would be flattered to have such attention."
"Says he who thinks it's a stalker," Tony replied sarcastically.
At the same time, Ziva responded, "I am not like most women."
"Well, we already knew that," Tony muttered under his breath, and was shot down by a dark look from Ziva, yet he grinned at her.
"And I am far from flattered, McGee," Ziva said. "I am more, say, irritated."
"Furious, more like it," Tony amended in a stage whisper. He suddenly had another thought. "Maybe it's Ducky!"
"Yeah," Tony nodded. "I'm sure he's gentlemanly enough to leave self-authored love poetry for his sweetheart."
"But it's Ducky," McGee pointed out.
Tony shrugged. "So? Plenty of older men are going for the younger woman. Just look at Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes."
"That's not exactly the same, Tony," McGee replied.
"No, but good enough," Tony said as he stepped away from Ziva's desk and returned to his own.
"I think Ducky would have much more taste than this excuse for poetry," Ziva mused.
"Exactly!" McGee agreed. "While we agree that Ducky may send poems, his at least would be mature and sensitive. And he'd sign his name. Secrecy isn't usually his thing."
"It was just a suggestion," Tony muttered. "I don't see you two coming up with any better ideas."
"What makes you think I want to come up with better ideas?" Ziva replied.
"I'm just trying to help," Tony pouted.
"You're not helping," McGee replied for Ziva.
"Thank you, McGee," Ziva said immediately. "Exactly what I was thinking."
Tony harrumphed. "Fine. Next time I won't say anything. See how you like that." He leant back in his chair, closed his eyes and hoped Gibbs wouldn't turn up.
Ziva smiled. "I think I would like that very much."
You glitter and sparkle like the morning sun,
I can see that you're always up for a bit of fun,
I never knew I could love someone like I love you,
And I really hope that you feel it too.
"Vance," Tony said confidently, "it has to be Vance."
Ziva rolled her eyes. She was just as sick of Tony's incessant guessing as she was of the love poems. "And how did we come to that conclusion?"
"Simple," Tony replied and held up his hand to tick off names on his fingers. "We've established it's not me, Probie, Abby, Gibbs, Palmer or Ducky, so it leaves Vance."
"And the rest of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service body," McGee corrected.
Tony glared at McGee. "I didn't ask you, McGeek."
"And I thought we'd given up on the guessing game," McGee said, remembering their conversation from the day before.
Tony shrugged. "We have new evidence."
"New evidence?" Ziva growled. "What new evidence might that be?"
Tony gestured to the note. "The new love poem."
"And how on earth does that point to Vance?" Ziva asked, sounding very annoyed.
Tony shrugged again. "It just does."
"Great investigating there, Tony," McGee smirked from the safety of his desk.
"At least I'm trying," Tony retorted loudly, again attracting the attention of nearby agents. He smiled charmingly at them and waved.
"No one asked you to try, Tony," Ziva stated. "In fact, we asked you to give it up."
"I was just suggesting a suggestion," Tony defended himself.
"Well, why would Vance be sending me love notes?" Ziva asked, looking confused. "He is married, is he not?"
"That hasn't stopped people in the past," Tony answered casually.
"But it's Vance," McGee stressed. "I don't see it."
"Neither do I," Ziva said quickly, agreeing with McGee.
Tony shrugged for the third time. "Just someone to consider."
"Unconsider him, then," Ziva ordered with a glare. "It would not be Vance."
"It could be," Tony muttered, but that was the last time Tony brought up Vance and love poems in the same conversation.
Ziva, you're the one for me,
You'll always be the one; no one else will be,
When we first met, you were the one,
That made sanitation oh-so-fun.
"Right, that is it." Ziva slammed the eighth note down on her desk.
Ziva stomped out of the bullpen and into her favourite orange bathroom. She knocked a fellow colleague as she entered, but didn't bother to mutter an apology.
"This has gone on long enough!" she yelled.
An agent looked up, startled, but Ziva glared at him and growled, "Get out!"
The agent quickly hurried out and Ziva turned to the two remaining agents. She glowed at them, and her hand hovered dangerously above her gun holster.
"Ziva," McGee hissed as he turned away from the basin, "this is the men's bathroom."
Ziva rolled her eyes. "I had not noticed, McGee," she replied sarcastically.
"But . . ." McGee protested.
"No buts, McGee," Ziva muttered as she slapped the love note against his chest. "Explain."
"Ooh, someone got another love letter," Tony grinned, but faltered when he saw Ziva's dark look. "I was just saying."
"How many times do I have to say that I didn't write it," McGee yelped as Ziva gripped his wrist. "I bet it was Tony! I told you that."
"Now hang on, Probie." Tony looked scandalised. "I've already said that it's not me. It's not me."
Ziva closed her eyes and breathed deeply, trying to calm herself. "If . . . if it is not one of you, then who is it?"
"My money's on Palmer," Tony said instantly. "I've always thought there was something fishy about him."
McGee rolled his eyes. "I doubt its Palmer, Tony," he said at as the time as Ziva muttered, "Tony, I thought we discussed that!"
"Why? Cos it's you, McLover?" Tony countered. "And, Zee-vah, I seem to remember you threatening me to drop the Palmer thing. I never said I didn't believe it after that."
"It is not me," McGee muttered darkly as Ziva let out a frustrated sigh. "Why does everyone think it's me?"
"Maybe because you're our favourite writer, Probie," Tony suggested lightly.
"Even I would not lower myself and write on that level," McGee replied, screwing up his nose at the questionable literature.
"Oh, because Agent Tibbs is so much better," Tony shot back.
"Stop it, both of you," Ziva growled, looking darkly at her two colleagues. "If neither of you wrote this infernal thing, and if neither did Palmer or Gibbs or Ducky or Vance or Abby, then you are going to find out."
"Find out how?"
"I do not care," Ziva said, offhanded. "You will find out or I will go to Gibbs and say that both of you have been harassing me," she finished, threatening the agents.
She smiled sweetly. "Got it?"
Tony grumbled something under his breath and McGee merely nodded, looking tired.
"Excellent," Ziva grinned widely, knowing that half of her job would be done for her.
"You're an evil, evil person, David," Tony muttered as Ziva shooed him and McGee out the door.
"Get over it, DiNozzo," Ziva replied as Tony and McGee tumbled out of the men's room.
Just as Ziva was about to exit the bathroom herself, a toilet flushed and someone glaringly familiar stepped out from one of the stalls.
Ziva groaned internally. Not him again. "Hello again . . . again," she managed to say. She offered him a fake smile and turned to exit the bathroom.
"Did you like them?" A voice cut off her attempt to escape. He had bypassed the sinks was standing next to Ziva, grinning.
Ziva turned around slowly, mentally banging her head against a very hard wall. No, no, no, no . . .
"I wrote them myself."