A/N: Last night, I had this really, really weird idea. Well, here it is. Happy Reading!
Dedicated to dizzy – in – the – izzy as we were discussing fit guys earlier [nothing at all to do with this story, but whatever]. I voted Novak Djokovic, he is HAWT with no shirt on. Yum.
Secondly dedicated to Novak Djokovic, for winning against Julien Benneteau in Wimbledon today. Wahay! Go Djokovic!
"Nanny, will you tell us a story?" My youngest grandchild, Ariella, asked me one evening that they were staying at our house. I was tucking her and her older brother, Anton into bed, when she asked the question.
"Of course." I tousled her hair. "What story do you want to hear?"
"A true one!" Anton piped up. "The love story!"
I had known exactly what story they wanted to hear. That was the story they always asked me to tell them.
"Aren't you too old now?" I teased. Ariella looked sad.
"We're not!" She protested.
"I'm sure you've heard it too many times already." I carried on, and I could see Ariella looking ready to cry.
"Please, Nanny!" Anton begged, and I relented.
"Okay." I conceded, and sat on Ariella's bed. "A long, long time ago, there was a man and a woman. They worked together."
I could see Anton leaning forward slightly.
"Arresting all the bad people!" Ariella added to my sentence. Anton glared at his sister.
"Don't interrupt!" The seven year old admonished the five year old girl.
"Now, now." I said, before carrying on with my story. "They were working on a very special case, and they had to go undercover."
"They had to be dating." Ariella said knowingly.
"Ari!" Anton complained, and neither of them noticed the wave of sadness that crossed their grandmother's face.
"Now, the man had to pretend to propose to the woman-"
"What does propose mean?" Ariella asked me.
"Ask her to marry him, stupid." Anton glared at his younger sister, and I raised my eyebrows slightly.
"Anton, what have we said?" I looked at him pointedly.
"Not to call people stupid." He said, his eyes on the bedcovers that he was fiddling with, not bothering to get in a staring contest with me again. He'd tried once. And failed. Miserably.
"Now, when the man proposed to the woman, they didn't realize that later on when they were still undercover, they would have to actually get married." I smiled at the memories. "The man treated it all like a joke, but the woman didn't find it quite as funny, did she Ariella?"
"No, she didn't." Ariella shook her head firmly.
"Why was that, Anton?" I asked him, knowing he knew the answer well.
"Because she didn't want to get married, and her daddy would kill her if she married the man." Anton said.
"Her daddy wouldn't kill her, Anton." I laughed.
"I don't know the big long word you use!" He protested.
"Disinherit?" I hinted, and he nodded eagerly.
"Yeah, dishy heron." He said, nodding knowingly. I smiled down at him.
"But eventually, to keep up their appearance, the man and the woman had to get married. None of their real friends could come, because then it would blow their cover." I said, and Ariella was listening intently to the story, but I could see that she looked quite tired as well.
"And the lady got to wear a pretty white dress." Ariella smiled hugely, and I returned the favour.
"Yes, she did. Just like you will when you get married." I told her, and she shook her head.
"I don't want to get married." She said, staring me right in the eye.
"Why not?" I asked curiously. This was the first I'd heard of it.
"Because no man would want to marry her." Anton grinned, and Ariella shot him a death stare, which he cleverly didn't reciprocate. I remembered the time when I had been teaching the two how to fight, and Ariella had got her brother to the ground with a simple flick of her wrist. He'd been a bit more wary of her ever since.
"Now, now, Ans." I said in a warning tone, although the playful tone in their fighting reminded me of when I was a young woman, back in NCIS.
"Carry on! Carry on!" Ariella begged me, and shuffled out from under the bedclothes to sit in my lap. Not to be outdone, Anton jumped out of bed, and sat next to me, burrowing his head under my arm so I was hugging him around his shoulders. I pretended to groan.
"I'm too old for this." I complained, and Ariella looked at me strangely.
"You're not old, Nanny!" She protested.
"Either that or you're getting too big and heavy." I conceded, and she pouted. I chuckled lightly at her expression.
"I'm not!" She said, her eyebrows furrowed in her 'annoyed' expression.
"And? Carry on!" Anton begged me, so I happily obliged.
"Well, the lady had to live with the man for a long time, and she found herself getting used to it. She enjoyed living with him, and had begun to realize something." I said, memories flooding my brain, snapshots from a long while ago.
"What was it?" Ariella hinted me onward, even though she knew exactly how the story went.
"She began to realize that she was in love with him." I said, and turned slightly at a noise from the doorway.
"Nonno!" Anton exclaimed at the sight of their grandfather.
"And while the lady was realizing, the man began to realize something too." He said, walking into the room.
"He loved her!" Ariella exclaimed, and then clapped her small hand over her mouth as Anton glared at her.
"Exactly." Tony said, tousling the kids' hair. "Are you two going to bed soon?"
"Grazie Nonna. Grazie Nonno." Anton said, as Tony pulled the covers up to his eldest grandchild's chin.
"Buona notte, Anton." Tony kissed the child's forehead, and then did the same to Ariella. "Buona notte, Ariella."
"Laila tov." I kissed both their foreheads too, before leaving the room and turning out the light as I went. I pulled the door closed behind me.
"They love you telling them stories." Tony noted, and I kissed him.
"Mostly that one." I commented.
"I guess it's just our story that does that to people, Ziva."
A/N: So, what did you think? Complete rubbish or cute fluff?