Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS or any of the recognizable characters within this story, they are the property of the original authors/creators and they get all due credit. I make no profit from this story.

Important Information/Warnings: This is the latest in my Coming of Age series, which begins with Coming of Age and then goes on through the list on my profile page. Don't worry if you haven't read them though because they can stand alone. All you need to know is that Gibbs and Jenny are married and Gibbs children are Anthony Devon Damien DiNozzo, Timothy McGee-Gibbs and Abigail Stephanie Miranda Gibbs. Ziva is Jenny's daughter.

A/N: A one shot about Ziva and Tony in my AU family series. Gets a little fluffy in the middle.

Things You Shouldn't Say

I am not your sister, Tony. She died.

Ziva felt Tony close the door behind her as if he had slammed it, even though he was as gentle as possible considering the late hour. Being the weekend though, he shouldn't have bothered. Abby walked through the hall and passed them in the entryway, smiling and bopping her head to her extremely loud punk music as she waved and then passed Tim as she moved through the door to the lounge.

Tim smiled and mumbled a 'Hi', pausing only for a second from his conversation with his cousin Jimmy Palmer as they both took the hallway Abby had just vacated down to the kitchen. Palmer made a small wave to accompany his smile as well, turning immediately back to Tim.

She barely registered the movement Tony was making behind her, not realizing until it was too late that he'd reached out to catch her shoulder so they could talk for a minute, formulate a story so that Gibbs wouldn't get suspicious. But she was too lost in her own recollection of events to notice and he thought she was simply ignoring him, causing him to jog up the stairs and disappear.

I am not your sister, Tony. She died.

"Honey?" Ziva looked up and away from the stairs in time to see her mom's worried face move towards her as it followed the rest of her form, only remembering to stick a smile on her face when her mothers hand reached her hair and pulled her into a hug, "What's wrong?"

I am not your sister, Tony. She died.

"Nothing, Maman," she smiled as she pulled away and then looked over the red heads shoulder to see none other than the one and only Leroy Jethro Gibbs, her stepfather, "I am just tired. I think I will go to bed now. Night."

"Night honey," her mom still held that worried look as she jogged up the stairs and out of view, passing the turnoff to her and Abby's rooms and moving over to Tony's, rasing her hand to knock before she paused.

I am not your sister, Tony. She died.

"Ziva?" Tim asked as he came up the stairs with Palmer, looking at his cousin before turning back to his stepsister and raising his eyebrows questioningly, "are you okay?"

"Ah… yes, thank you, Tim," she smiled awkwardly and took a step back from the door, placing her hands behind her back and clasping them there before looking in the same awkward manner towards Palmer, "Jimmy. I am going to bed now is all, see you in the morning."

"Yeah, ok, goodnight," she walked around the railing that protruded in the middle of the large space, creating a barrier so you didn't fall into nothingness onto the staircase, and shuffled around the top to the side where her and Abby's rooms were, all too aware of the worried looks that Jimmy and Tim were shooting her from their respective doorway.

I am not your sister, Tony. She died.

She could feel the lump in her throat grow larger as she glanced at her clock before leaving the room; three am. She moved as quietly as possible past Abby's room and then passed the stairs, moving to Tony's room and raising her hand to knock.

"Don't!" Abby whispered hurriedly, making Ziva dodge back and to the side before spinning around in a defensive position, spotting the young goth girl in her pyjamas on the staircase beside the youngest of the Gibbs boys, "Great-Uncle Duck and Palmer stayed over. Palmers in Timmy's room and Ducky's in Tony's."

Ziva nodded slowly and relaxed her stance, moving to the staircase and holding onto the top banister while she looked down at her younger step-siblings, "what are you two doing out here?"

Abby looked at Tim and made a face that Ziva didn't understand; Tim's returning expression very clear as 'no'. With a sigh, Abby looked back up at Ziva, "we're waiting for you," Ziva nodded again and Abby sighed a second time, annoyed that she didn't understand what she was trying to say, "How could you say that to Tony? Kate was our sister too."

I am not your sister, Tony. She died.

The lump returned to her throat and she began to stutter, looking away from the two siblings on the staircase and trying to focus on constructing a sentence in her head, "…he told you…"

"Anyone could see he was upset Ziva," Abby stood to her full height on the stair, matching Ziva exactly from her spot a step below the older girl, "you have to talk to him," Abby held her hand out and Tim grabbed it, pulling himself up and then passing Ziva at the top of the stairs, both siblings going to sit by the wall, "and this doesn't mean we forgive you yet."

I am not your sister, Tony. She died.

The lump in Ziva's throat got bigger as she descended the stairs, Abby and Tim's eyes staring a hole through her back. She knew Tony hadn't told them on purpose, and that they probably weaselled it out of him, after all, that's what younger siblings did, but she couldn't help feeling even worse now.

"Tony?" her whisper seemed to carry through the entire living room and at first when nothing moved she thought he must have already been asleep on the pull out couch, "Tony?"

She almost jumped when he did sit up on the couch and turn to face her, expression carefully blank and eyes wide open as if he had been awake for hours, which she had to think that he was, "what do you need, Ziva."

His quiet tone didn't help anything, and for once he hadn't elongated her name in any way, "I, uh…" she felt the tears prick at the back of her eyelids as she blinked a few times and then launched herself at the couch, careening around the side and landing on the thin mattress within seconds and feeling her step brothers arms wrap around her as she started to cry, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it, I swear I didn't mean it."

I am not your sister, Tony. She died.

She gripped at his forearms as he rocked her slightly back and forth, cheek resting against the side of her hair as he gave a small chuckle and pulled back slightly to turn and look at her, "you used a contraction," when she gave him a puzzled expression he smiled a little, "you said didn't, instead of did not. That's a contraction."

He laughed as he saw her replaying her words over in her head a few times, pursing her lips as if she couldn't believe she said it and then nodding in recognition. At the sound of his amusement she smiled a little herself, "I am sorry, Tony."

"I know," he hugged her again and then let her get off the mattress, instructing her to get to bed and sleep before lying down again, "keep to your side, McBlabbermouth."

Tim cringed as he took the other side of the couch bed and poked his tongue out at his older brother, "you know, just because I knew she was coming down here, doesn't mean I said anything, Tony."

"But you didn't stop Abby now did you," Tony ruffled his younger brothers hair to show he wasn't mad and rolled over, so his back was to the youngest male Gibbs, "night, Probie."

I am not your sister, Tony. She died.

The phrase ran through her head rapidly as Anthony Devon Damien Gibbs grinned at her in that infuriating way he was so accustomed, after being called by the bartender to give her a ride home, something that although annoying was undoubtedly smart she thought as the thumping of an oncoming hangover rang through her head.

"I said, time to go, sis," Tony gave a sigh, paired with a smile that made no room for doubt that he was currently enjoying her clearly inebriated state, "come on Zee-vah."

He moved his hand to her arm and gently began to ease her up, dazzling a nearby waitress and nodding a thanks to the bartender as he collected her keys and the small card she had handed over that contained all of her families phone numbers, "I am not…" the phrase pushed at the front of her lips but she stubbornly shook it off, looking up at Tony with heavy eyelids as he eased her out of the bar and towards his car in the lot, "…that drunk. I am not, that drunk."

She nodded and smiled, pleased with herself as she pushed Tony's helping hands away and seated herself in the passenger seat of his car, watching him smile as he got into the drivers seat and started the engine.

"Tony, have I ever told you," she looked at him and smiled at his puzzled face, waiting until he asked her to go on before she continued, "oh, nothing, just that you are a really great brother."

"Yeah?" she watched him smile to the nothingness outside the windscreen and nodded her head.


"Well, thanks, I guess," he smiled at her and then went back to watching the road, turning onto their street and humming under his breath for a few seconds, "ok, so the story is that your car got a flat and you called me to pick you up. Don't get too close until you have a chance to wash your face, brush your teeth and change or they'll smell alcohol and smoke, and whatever you do, just try and act like you aren't too drunk," he looked over at her to make sure she understood and she nodded in response, face serious even though all she wanted to do was laugh, "you're in luck, Great uncle duck and cousin Jimmy are over so they won't spend too much time inspecting you…Zee?"

She burst out laughing as he looked at her and couldn't stop, unable to hold back the urge to double over and grip her stomach, resulting in banging her head on the dashboard, "whoa, Ziva are you okay?"

She sat up a little and held her head, breaking out into giggles again as Tony relaxed back into his chair and turned off the engine car sitting nicely on the curb, "this kind of reminds me of a movie you know."

"Yeah," she continued to laugh, relieved when Tony joined in, "I know."

He looked back over at her as the laughing waned and put on a small smile, "we are so going to get caught."

"Yeah," she gave a contented sigh and looked towards the house, imagining the goings on of everyone inside before turning back to Tony and letting out one last laugh, "I know."

A/N: If you didn't get it, the beginning was Ziva facing the consequences of saying a certain phrase to Tony, and the ending was her deciding not to say it, and saying something else instead. If you liked this then I would just like to say, that I hope you have a look at the others in my Coming of Age series and enjoy! Thanks for reading, Ange. =]