A/N: Okay, here's the sequel you guys wanted. I guess it qualifies as a tag to Boxed In. For those of you who haven't read 'He's serious?!?' might want to read it first. This fic can probably stand on it's own, but will definitely make more sense if you've read the other. So, first chapter, enjoy!
Disclaimer: Don't own and don't profit.
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"So, Tony, you talk to Ziva yet?" Abby chirped energetically.
He sighed tiredly. How could she be so damn chipper all the time? Tony loved Abby (like a sister) but right now he really, really hated those caf-pows! she guzzled.
Belatedly, he realized that she'd just asked him a question. He responded, again belatedly, by continuing to stare blankly. Does that qualify as a response? He asked himself. It does if I'm doing it consciously, He decided, and continued to blankly stare.
Abby harrumphed her displeasure.
"I'll take that as a 'no'. Tony, honestly, you were with her all day!"
"Trapped in a shipping container! I was kinda distracted with the whole trying to get us out alive thing!"
Abby just glared at him balefully, obviously not satisfied with his excuse.
"Besides – she's invited everyone but me over for dinner. I don't really think I'm the one that should connect with her. Why do I have to talk to her? Isn't it someone else's turn? I did it with McGee! Three times!"
"Okay, Tony. First off, that just sounds wrong" Abby made a face to emphasize her point "Secondly this Ziva wouldn't be so clueless if you weren't so good at acting the idiot. Thirdly Boss-man told you to."
"Abby, comic relief, not idiot. And Ziva would be clueless no matter what, she's Mossad… she doesn't believe in developing relationships with co-workers. "
"Wow, Tony. You must be really tired. You're being completely serious and making sense" Abby sounded concerned. She'd probably looked concerned, too, but he couldn't tell. The world had gone all fuzzy and blurred around the edges.
And, well, that was understandable – he'd gotten, what, less than four hours of sleep the night before; been locked in a dark, musty box all day (and didn't that bring up unpleasant memories) with a slightly cranky super-spy assassin chick that doesn't like him all that much; been shot at and shot; and he was doped up on some kind of painkiller that Ducky had forced down his throat.
And now Abby wanted him to take up Ziva's dinner offer and talk with her. No, not just talk. And not just Abby. Gibbs had practically ordered him to have The Talk with Ziva. You know, the whole 'we are a family and you need to stop acting like a killer and let us love you' talk. Meh.
He couldn't do it. This morning, he thought he could. He and Ziva were working together, following some leads, and getting along great. Then he realized, what with being the only person from work that she hadn't invited to her house, that she really didn't like him. She had invited Gibbs for pete's sake! And Ducky, and Palmer, and – and everybody else.
"Hey – Tony!" Abby's shout interrupted his internal sit rep. He looked up, fighting back a considerable wave of dizziness – DiNozzos don't pass out – and offered her a weak smile.
"I'm still here, Abbs. Sorry I zoned out."
"It's okay, Tony. Just don't do that to Ziva tonight! Aright, you gotta get going or she might leave without you. Hey – wait, hold still!" Abby grabbed his uninjured arm before he could leave and started fussing at him. She straightened his tie, smoothed his hair a bit, and tugged at his collar. Normally, he would have bombarded her with jokes and complaints. Tonight, he just didn't have the energy. He was tired, sore, and bummed. And he still had to get through Ziva's impromptu dinner party.
"Shoo!" Apparently Abby was done with him. She shoved him lightly toward the door.
Tony sighed inwardly and shuffled towards the elevator.
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Ziva sat at her desk, industriously typing away on her computer. She was nearly finished with her report. McGee had finished his a few minutes before, but that was not unusual. What was unusual was that Tony had finished his twenty minutes earlier and then headed down to Abby's lab.
Tony never finished a report before either Ziva or McGee – barring special circumstances, of course. However, he had finished early tonight, even typing with just one hand, and Gibbs had accepted his report without comment.
Well, he had been rather quiet. Usually he was noisy and distracted. That could explain how he finished early, but that created a new question. What had caused to act so un-Tony-ish?
Un-Tony-ish. That's how McGee claimed Tony had been acting since their last case. Before, she had thought McGee was imagining things – Tony seemed fine to her. But tonight she could agree with McGee. Tony was definitely un-Tony-ish.
Of course, he'd been normal –well as normal as Tony ever was – that afternoon when they had been screwed, er, bolted in the shipping container. Well, she would ask him tonight. She could not believe that she had invited him over to dinner after spending all day trapped with just him. More Tony. More stupid jokes and movie references. Super.
Wait, sarcasm? Being around Americans all the time was changing her. She wasn't really a sarcastic person. Tony was. No, wait, there was absolutely no connection there. Tony was not running –no, it was rubbing – Tony was not rubbing off on her.
She finished typing her report and hit print. She e-mailed a copy to Gibbs while she waited for the printer to finish. After collecting her things and donning the light jacket she had brought that day, she stapled the pages of her report together and handed it to Gibbs.
He looked up from his computer, but didn't take her report. She laid it on his desk.
"What?", she asked, as he continued to assess her with his stern gaze.
"You listen to Tony tonight."
"What?" That had made no sense. Listen to Tony? "Why? I do not understand, Gibbs."
"Just listen to him, Ziva. And don't let him drive." With that, he turned back to his computer, effectively dismissing her.
That was odd. Well, the sooner she listened to Tony, the sooner she could get rid of him. Frowning slightly, she went to pick up Tony.
It was going to be a long night.
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A/N: Okay, there you go, first chapter. Right, as always, thanks for reading and please, please review.