He wanted to make her a part of the team again; he wanted to build her confidence back up. She seemed uneasy, tentative, scared. You had to be careful around her, one sudden movement and she would flinch. It practically broke his heart to see her like that. Her confidence destroyed, her self esteem gone, her skills degraded.
The idea came to him from a memory. They had been watching for a diplomat to exit his embassy. He had been faking being asleep, and she had been talking teaching him to play the piano. He already knew how to play, what respectable DiNozzo wouldn't, but he felt that this could be a way to help restore her to what she had once been.
He took the initiative and bought a keyboard, as well as a few beginners books. She was at the copier when he asked her. She stared at him, her face unreadable, but she agreed. He smiled, and she smiled back, but it was a ghost of a smile. He knew this would take time.
Their first lesson was cringe-worthy. He purposely messed up, and she didn't want to correct him. They both left feeling frustrated, him more so than her.
Their second lesson was a bit better. He still messed up as much, but she corrected him, twice. She told him his finger placement was wrong, and that he was at the wrong keys. He felt that this was massive improvement.
Their lessons continued, he started messing up less and less, and she began to correct him more and more. Finally, he felt that she was back. She now corrected his every wrong movement, and had started poking fun at him, joking with him. When they were at work she no longer flinched when someone moved suddenly around her. Her confidence was back, as well as her abilities.
At their last lesson, she arrived to find him already at the piano. The sounds of The Fray's "How to Save a Life" was coming from his fingers. She dropped her bag on the floor, loudly. He stopped playing and turned to look at her.
"You knew, all along, how to play?" she asked in disbelief. He smiled sheepishly.
"Yes, it was one thing my mother insisted on," he replied. She continued to stare.
"Then why did you ask me to teach you?"
"Because I wanted you back."
"Tony, I am back, I have been back for months."
"No, Ziva, you haven't. Sure, you've been in the bullpen, working, but you weren't here. You were somewhere else, lost in your own head. I hated seeing you broken. So, I figured I would help you rebuild your confidence."
There was silence, and the two just stood there staring at each other, emotions playing across both of their faces. Finally, she spoke.
"Thank you, Tony."