AN: It is nowhere near possible that I could own anything to do with NCIS so I won't even try. Not mine, I just play with it. Enjoy.
Ziva sighed as she settled down on her couch. She picked up a remote and began to flip idly through the channels. She'd changed out of her work close and into a simple pair of blue jeans and a long sleeve white shirt. She stopped her channel surfing and stopped at the movie channel to find 'Air Force One' playing.
The movie was about half over but she left it there anyway. She really wasn't even paying much attention to the story line but rather thinking about this past case. She'd tried to put herself in Yoon's position as they had run through everything they knew. She had thought she'd done pretty well relating and putting herself into the mind set of Yoon but found that she was wrong to some degree. And it appeared to stem from one main difference. A difference, that Gibbs had been quick to spot. She didn't have a baby girl. Ziva had given his statement a lot of thought but still couldn't decide if that was a good thing. She didn't know if being able to separate oneself so completely from the idea of family and love that you forgot how it could affect other people's thoughts and decisions was bad or not. She supposed it may have something to do with her much less than perfect example of family growing up. But she had thought that she had been learning and changing. She had found people to love and who loved her in return. Why had it just slipped her mind so easily?
She wasn't sure how long she'd sat their thinking when a knock came at her door. Glancing at the clock and seeing the time she looked at the door strangely, not knowing any reason someone would be at her home at this hour of the night.
She approached the door ready for anything, not knowing what to expect on the other side. She reached out and grasped the handle soundlessly before opening the door about two feet and settling herself in the opening. The sight before her caught her by surprise. So much for 'ready for anything', she though mentally slapping herself a little. Jethro was standing in her doorway, his hands casually inside his pockets to shield from the slight cold or the night. He looked up at her with a small, friendly smile. "Hey, Ziver," he said. The unconscious nickname made her smile and she saw Jethro's eyes take on a happy sparkle. Maybe it wasn't so unconscious after all. Truth was, Jethro loved to do something that made her smile and he knew the nickname was a sure fire way to do it.
"Jethro," she acknowledged. Ziva had easily come to call Jethro by his first name outside of work. She'd really only meant it as a one time deal when they had parted ways after their first encounter of each other. They hadn't known they would ever see each other again. After being assigned to his team she'd taken to calling him 'Gibbs' in the office but 'Jethro' seemed to stick for all other occasions. He never made any sort of action that would imply that he didn't like it so she continued. It was nice to be able to think of him as a friend as well as respect him as a boss. "Come in." She moved aside and opened the door widely welcoming him into her house. He did his typical, quick survey of his surroundings before turning to Ziva.
"It's nice," he said in reference to the room.
"Thank you," Ziva said. "You can set your jacket down anywhere. Make yourself at home. Can I get you anything?" Jethro shook his head. Then he made a motion towards the couch silently asking to sit and she nodded. He draped his coat over the back on the chair as he rounded the side of the couch and sat down. Ziva looked around for a moment as though looking for something and he guessed that she wasn't quite sure where to sit or what to do with herself. He made another wave towards the couch, this time to the spot next to him as he leaned back tiredly. Ziva gave a small bite to her lip before taking a deep breath and sitting down beside him.
She sat down with her legs tucked up underneath her and faced him, one arm on the back of the couch and the other curled around her middle. They were silent a moment until Ziva finally spoke, "Why are you here, Jethro?" Her question wasn't unkind, merely curious. He gave her a side long glance before her turned his body to face hers also.
"What's wrong?" he asked, his tone was low and concerned. This surprised Ziva for a moment but she quickly covered it up.
"Why would anything be wrong?"
Jethro gave her a doubtful look. "I don't know," he replied honestly. "That's why I asked you. You're not ok but I just don't know why." Ziva lowered her eyes to her hands in her lap where she was fidgeting with her fingers. That was a very un-Ziva thing to do. She was normally so impenetrable during any sort of questioning, whether it be harmless or torturous. Jethro became more concerned by this behavior and he gently reached out a hand and raised her chin to look at her face. He saw so much emotion in her usually well guarded eyes. Now face to face with her, he moved his hand along her jaw to the side of her face and up into her hair and caressed the back of her head softly. "Tell me, Ziver."
Ziva felt her eyes begin to sting as she looked on into Jethro's. "Why am I so cold?" she choked out. Jethro eyed her quizzically about to speak up when she continued. "Why do I seem to have no feelings at all? I can't look at the situation like a normal human being would. What is wrong with me? Why am I so heartless?" She pulled her arm down from the top of the couch and moved it to wrapped snuggly around her torso. She sat there on the couch next to him crying and breaking down.
"Ziva," he said softly, "there is nothing wrong with you. Absolutely nothing." He moved his hand to cradle the side of her head. "You're full of so much life, Zi. You have intelligence, wit, courage, drive and strength. But you also have beauty, humor, and a secret romantic side. Ziva, you are so many things, but cold is definitely not one of them."
"How could you know?" she questioned childishly.
Jethro shifted closer to her and put an arm around her shoulders. He gently pulled her towards him and rested her head against his chest. Resting his cheek against the top of her head, he closed his eyes. "I know that because I know you," he said softly. He took a deep breathe, "Because I love you." He held his breathe as he let go of his secret.
Ziva froze. She slowly pulled back from the embrace slightly. She looked up into his face. "What?" she asked him confused.
Jethro sighed and closed his eyes for a moment. He opened them again and looked down at her. Her tears had ceased but her face was still stained and wet. He gently wiped at her cheeks with his thumbs. "I love you, Ziva," he repeated, his voice a cross between confidence and apprehension.
Ziva continued to watch him, unsure of what to do. She was at a loss of what to sat,
Jethro scrunched his brow and gave a sigh that held a little frustration. "Look, I know I'm not too great at all of these…feelings…things. I tend not be the most sensitive kind of guy but for the most part I know what's going on in here," he idly gestured towards his head and chest, indicating his mind and heart. "Just…think about it, Ziva. Please."
As if his admission wasn't enough to throw her Ziva was floored when the word 'please' came from his mouth. She knew how much that usually cost him. It wasn't like him. Ziva tried to control her breathing as she rested her chin to her pulled up knees. She chanced a quick covert glance up at Jethro before staring intently at her toes.
Jethro sat anxiously next to her. He was just about to speak up when Ziva did.
"No," she said firmly looking up at him again. Her tears were gone now, only their tracks remained. She seemed to have gained some of her usual confidence and spoke with definite assurance.
Jethro practically felt his heart break as she responded in such a way. He closed his eyes tightly for a few seconds and clenched his fists at his side. Sighing, he opened his eyes again. "Ok," he muttered. "I'll get out of your way. Forget it." He made to stand up and head for the door.
He was only a few feet from the door when Ziva's voice stopped him. "What I mean," she said, "is that I do not need to think about it."
Jethro turned back around quickly. Ziva had stood from the couch as well and was now leaning against the arm closest to him. He inclined his head towards her, finding himself eager to hear what she has to say. His hopes rose slightly.
They stood in silence for a long moment, just looking at each other, until Jethro suddenly took a few quick strides towards her. He stopped right in font of her and looked down into her eyes. One hand came up to stroke her hair hesitantly while the other took a hold of her waist in a soft grip. "Did you mean it?" he asked huskily, his voice raw.
Ziva looked his straight in the eye and gave a sure nod. Jethro grinned while sliding his hand from her head to the back of her neck, guiding her head gently towards his. He leaned down slowly, keeping eye contact with her until their lips finally met.
AN: Alright. There's chapter two. I hope you liked it. Tell me what you think. Reviews are loved.