A Beautiful Mess


Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS or the song.


Author's Note: I wrote this under extreme duress. My cat, P.J., died two weeks ago and I wrote this that evening to help get my mind off of her. Please, don't be too cruel. I wasn't really in a normal train of thought.


You've got the best of both worlds
You're the kind of girl who can take down a man,
And lift him back up again

Tony laid there on his back. Pain shot through him and he squeezed his eyes shut and grimaced. He could have gotten back up, but he knew that all that would happen is he'd get thrown back down. His opponent wasn't pulling any punches.

"Come on, get back up," they called.

He opened his eyes a little and looked up at the gym ceiling.

"I don't feel like it," he said casually.

"You are so lazy," his attacker sighed, coming to stand over him.

He smiled big and looked up at Ziva. She was standing over him glaring down at him.

He didn't really feel like getting up, he was quite content to lie here and look at her. She had her hair pulled back into a messy ponytail with some hair escaping the elastic band. She was in a white tank top that was just a little too short and a pair of slightly baggy warm-up pants. You'd think she was doing yoga if it weren't for the fact that her hands and feet were taped up with athletic tape.

She had slipped him over onto his back and he hadn't gotten back up. She glared down at his lazy appearance in an old t shirt and warm-up pants. As much as he looked like a slob, she couldn't help but see some sort of attractive quality in his sweat-glazed face.

She reached down with one of her taped up hands to help him up, "You're getting better. That time you almost got a hit in."

He rolled his eyes and grabbed her hand, but instead of letting her help him up, he pulled her down with him.

"Tony!" she groaned, landing on top of him.


You are strong but you're needy,
Humble but you're greedy

"Oh, come on. You know you like it," Tony grinned at her.

She raised her head up to look him in the eyes, "Maybe I do...Maybe I don't...There's no way that you'll ever know...You, however, are much easier to read."

"Is that so, Officer David?" he taunted.

"Oh, yes. I know for a fact that you are enjoying this very much," she grinned seductively.

"How, exactly, do you know that?" he asked, lowering the pitch of his voice.

"Oh, its not exactly hard to see," she smiled, lightly running her hand over his crotch.

He screwed his eyes shut and grimaced again. She gave him a little look that made him want to take her right there on the gym floor.

"Damn it, don't do that," he growled.

She laughed and he could feel the rumble course through her body and he drew in a deep breath. The look on his face made her laugh even more.

"God, don't laugh. You know you want it as much as I do," he said, his voice growing huskier.

"Mmmm?" she half-laughed, narrowing her eyes to look at him.

Tony took her off-guard and flipped her over onto her back, pinning her hands above her head. His knees on either side of her waist. His eyes boring into hers. He watched her eyes momentarily turn practically black before returning to their normal color.

"You do want this as bad as I do, don't you?" he said in a barely audible growl.

"Are you going to do anything about it?" she taunted back up at him.

He was taken off-guard by her response and she threw him off of her and stood up.

He sat back on his heels and watched her as she walked away to the showers. He had to restrain himself to keep from chasing after her.


And based on your body language,
And shotty cursive I've been reading
Your style is quite selective,

He skipped the showers and made it upstairs before Ziva. After a quick scan of the squadroom for their boss or the aforementioned Israeli assassin, he sat down behind her desk and began rummaging through her drawers.

Most of the items he found were routine office items: paper clips, pens, highlighters, sticky notes, rubber bands, and that sort of thing. Other items weren't what he was expecting, but nothing Ziva did surprised him anymore: no less than three small knives, two condoms, a Rubik's cube, and a little ceramic lion. In the back of her desk, he found something that he had never seen before. It was a thin, green notebook. A journal. He opened it and flipped through several blank pages before he realized that he was reading it from the wrong side. It was Hebrew, as were most of the entries. He thumbed through several entries, but there was nothing in English...until her got to one. It was almost all in Hebrew except for two words. Tony DiNozzo.

Through the next few pages, his name was repeated several times. He couldn't read anything else of the journal, but he got the feeling that there were no harsh feelings behind those symbols.

Though your mind is rather reckless
Well I guess it just suggests
That this is just what happiness is

"Why are you behind my desk, Tony," a beautiful whisper said in his ear.

He jumped into the air and her journal flew up and landed on her desk.

"Ziva! I swear! I didn't read it!"

"Of course you didn't," she laughed, "That's why I wrote it in Hebrew."

"And what if I learned Hebrew?" he asked.

"That would require initiative, DiNozzo, which you do not have," Gibbs replied, striding into the bullpen and making Tony and Ziva jump away from one another.

He walked back to his desk, but threw a DiNozzo smile over his shoulder. She returned a grin to him.


And what a beautiful mess this is
It's like we're picking up trash in dresses

Tony got to his apartment that night and found a piece of paper stuck in the door jam. He pulled it out and continued inside. The day had been great. He pulled a beer out of the fridge and sat down on the couch and unfolded the piece of paper.

He read over the note once and spat out a mouthful of beer.

He read over it twice and froze.

Halfway through the third read, he was out the door.

Everything had been going great. Why today?


Well it kind of hurts when the kind of words you write
Kind of turn themselves into knives

If he knocked any harder, her door would have fallen in. She opened the door in tears.

"Ziva, what the hell is going on?" he demanded, but froze when he saw her crying. Ziva didn't cry.

"I...I've been called back to Israel...a mission..." she sobbed.

Without another word, he took her in his arms, "We'll figure this out."

She just cried more. She never cried. Why was she crying now?

"How could we make you stay?"

"I don't know."

"How did you find out?"

"I...I haven't..."

"Ziva...what do you mean?"

"I was told that my father was coming to see me at the Embassy, why else would he do that?" she explained, pushing him away.

"I'll come with you," he said, reaching out for her hand.

"You shouldn't," she pulled away again.

"Ziva, do you not realize how much that hurt me? When you said you were leaving, I thought I was going to die. Let me come, please," he begged.

She didn't say a word, she just put on a jacket and lead him to her car.


And don't mind my nerve you could call it fiction
But I like being submerged in your contradictions dear
'Cause here we are, here we are

They were both scared. They both knew that the deputy director of Mossad didn't make social calls halfway across the planet, even if it was his daughter.

When they got to the Israeli Embassy, he took her hand and they walked in together. The receptionist recognized Ziva and took them back to a conference room where Eli David was seated at a heavy table.

"Ziva," he called.

Tony squeezed her hand and she gave a short glance at him.

"Special Agent DiNozzo," Eli said, noticing Tony for the first time.

"Aba-" Ziva began.

"Can we not just talk, Zivit?" Eli asked, holding his hands up as if to say that he meant no harm.

"You never have before," she growled.

"Maybe things have changed," Eli spoke softly, walking over to Ziva, "I need to ask you something, but I feel I already have the answer," he glanced down at Ziva and Tony's intertwined hands.

Ziva looked up at him, he gently placed a hand on her shoulder.

"Ziva, are you happy here?" Eli asked softly.

"Yes," Ziva answered.

"This is an honest answer, yes?" Eli questioned.

"Absolutely. I am happier here than I ever have been."

"I am happy for you, Ziva. I will allow you to stay," he smiled at his daughter.

"That is what you wanted? You came all the way from Israel to ask me that?" Ziva asked in disbelief.

"I wanted to see you say it. I wanted you to look me in the eyes and tell me that you are happy. And you have. I want you to be happy. I am happy that you are happy, Zivit ," he smiled at his daughter and both she and Tony breathed sighs of relief.

He said goodbye to his daughter and they made to leave, but Eli reached out and grabbed Tony's shoulder and said, "I need to speak with you before you leave."

Ziva gave a worried look, but Eli assured her, "He will be fine, Ziva, I will not harm him."

She still looked suspicious, but she left her father and Tony.

"So you are dating my daughter?" Eli asked, setting down and motioning for Tony to do the same.

"Not really," Tony said, setting down.

Eli raised his eyebrows and said, "Is that so? That is not how it looks."

"Don't get me wrong," Tony said, holding his hands up, "I...I love your daughter...but we aren't dating."

"Oh, so you are..." Eli raised his eyebrows.

"What? No! No! No, I'm not gay. I really love your daughter," Tony said waving his hands in front of him, "But, I, uh...I don't know if she feels the same way and you know...she's a trained assassin and everything...I'd rather not be you know...killed."

Eli laughed at the younger man and reached out to put his hand on Tony's shoulder, "Allow me to give you some advice. Do not let that stop you from pursuing what you love...even if it is my daughter. She cares deeply for you or else she would not have brought you here."

Tony nodded and looked up, Eli was smiling as he stood up and motioned for Tony to follow him out the door.

Ziva was waiting for them in the lobby. Eli hugged his daughter goodbye and walked them to the door. Tony took Ziva's hand again and walked out to her car. They drove back to Ziva's apartment.


Although you were biased I love your advice
Your comebacks they're quick
And probably have to do with your insecurities

"So, you're staying," he smiled, standing in her doorway.

"You can't get rid of me that easily, DiNozzo," she laughed.

"That's not what you were thinking earlier," he replied. Immediately, he knew he had crossed the line. The smile fell from her face and she lost some of the radiant glow of happiness that had surrounded her after their talk with her father. He rushed over and took her in his arms, "I'm sorry, Ziva. I shouldn't have said that."

She pushed him away and he was happy to see her smile back, "Geez, you're so feely, Tony."

"That's 'touchy', Ziva," he corrected automatically.

She waved off his statement and he shook his head at her. He knew that she teased because it kept her from having to reveal real emotions, he used that tactic, too.


There's no shame in being crazy
Depending on how you take these
Words I'm paraphrasing this relationship we're staging

"Do you want to stay and eat?" she asked.

"Depends on what you're having."

"I was thinking of ordering a piz-"

"I'll stay."

She smiled and picked up the phone to order a pizza for them and then walked over to where he was sitting on her couch, "Glad to see you've made yourself comfortable," she laughed.

"Not quite," he smiled, stretching out on the couch and pulling her down on top of him and they both laughed.

"I love you, Ziva," he said before he could think.

She froze and looked up at him, "Wh-what did you just say?"


And what a beautiful mess this is
It's like picking up trash in dresses

Tony froze. What had he done? This would ruin everything. He couldn't risk it. Why didn't he think? Why would he say that? Why now?


Well it kind of hurts when the kind of words you say
Kind of turn themselves into blades

"I didn't say anything," Tony lied.

"Don't lie."

"What?"

"I heard you."

"Then don't make me repeat it."

"Don't say it if you don't mean it!" she shouted, tears in the corners of her eyes. She jumped up off of him.

"I wasn't thinking, Ziva," he argued back.

"Leave!" she shouted again, pointing at her door.

"Ziva, don't-"

"I don't want to hear it!"

"Ziva, please-"

"Leave!"

"But I meant it!"

"What?"


And kind and courteous is a life I've heard
But it's nice to say that we played in the dirt oh dear
Cause here we are, Here we are

"I meant it, Ziva. I really did. I was afraid that you would be angry, so I...did what I did. I love you, Ziva. Honestly. Please, don't make me leave," Tony said, looking scared.

Tears came back to her eyes, but they were different tears.

She threw herself into his arms and he could hear her mumbling against his neck, "I love you. I love you. Don't leave. I'm sorry. I love you."

He smiled and wrapped his arms tightly around her and said, "I'm not going anywhere. I love you. Its okay."

She raised up and pressed her lips to his.


Here we are

Here we are

Here we are

Here we are

Here we are

Here we are

Here we are
We're still here
What a beautiful mess this is

Their kiss grew deeper and more passionate. They only stopped when they heard the doorbell ring.

"That's...the...pizza," Ziva panted.

"I'll get...it," Tony said, placing more small kisses on Ziva's shoulders and she smiled.


It's like taking a guess when the only answer is yes
And through timeless words, and priceless pictures
We'll fly like birds not of this earth

The next morning they both awoke tangled in sheets and each other.

He looked over at her and smiled as she woke up and smiled at him.

"I never want to wake up without you again," he said, running the back of his hand along her cheek.

"I never want you to have to," she gave a little un-Ziva-like giggle

"This is so cliché and lame," he laughed, looking at themselves.

"You don't like this," she frowned a little.

"No, I love this, but think about it. This is a crucial part of so many rom-coms...This is so...pathetic. Its great."

"Rom-com?" was all she said.

"Romantic comedy," he explained with a chuckle.

"The story of your life," she laughed back.


And times they turn, and hearts disfigure
But that's no concern when we're wounded together

"I love you, Ziva," he leaned over to kiss her.

"I love you, Tony," she smiled, breaking the kiss to speak before relaunching her assault on Tony's lips.


And we tore our dresses, and stained our shirts
But it's nice today, oh the wait was so worth it.

They knew that they would be late for work that day, but they had been waiting three years for this. It would be worth it.


A.N.: Okay, so it did jump around more than a spider monkey on espresso, but was it good?

The song is A Beautiful Mess by Jason Mraz.