A/N: Hello dearest readers. It's been a long time, a very very long time I should add. I'm sorry for that, but I got hit with writers block, I really didn't know what to do with this story - or any other story for that matter. Besides that I've been really busy with school, did an intern ship and now I'm almost done and very close to getting my diploma!
I hope you like this chapter, although it's not really long. I also hope you will have the patience to leave me a review :) To refresh your minds, I've posted the end of the last chapter before this one. Have fun!
One last question: I'm thinking of changing the title of this story, but am not sure if that effects the reviews it has gotten? Can someone enlighten me?
'Hey, wasn't that Werth guy here a few minutes ago?' he asked, while picking up a donut with sprinkles for himself.
'Damon? Yes, that was him,' Ziva answered.
'What did he want?' Tony asked, handing over the box with donuts to McGee, who had joined them at Ziva's desk.
'He wanted to catch up with me tonight over dinner,' Ziva shrugged.
'You said no, right?' Tony asked. 'Right?' He pressed.
'What does it matter to you?' Ziva asked suspiciously.
'Well, for starters, he punched Gibbs, gave McGee a dislocated shoulder and broke my nose. Besides that, he was on steroids. And I don't . . . I don't trust him!' Tony caught himself before he blurted something out that he shouldn't.
'He stopped the steroids, which caused him to act like he acted. I happen to like Damon, and you cannot tell me what I can or cannot do!' She grabbed her donut, and before McGee or Tony could do anything, she tossed it in his face, before she walked out on them.
'Well, that went well,' McGee remarked, taking a bite of his own donut.
'Oh put a sock in it, McGee,' Tony grumbled.
Gibbs was at his desk in the bullpen, working on reviews of his team. It was job he never liked to do: too much paperwork, the so called 'Annual Performance Reviews' took always too much time and were always inconvenient. If they were due, they were always in the middle of a case. This time, Vance had made sure they didn't have a case but Gibbs still thought the reviews were a nail on his coffin. Not in the least because he was worrying about his Senior Field Agent.
Gibbs looked up from his paperwork and stared at Tony's desk for a view moments. Even though it was dark, and the lights were off, he knew how Tony had left it. Papers were discarded on the desk, candy wraps lay in between them and a pizza box was left behind, forgotten on the cabinet behind his desk. After the years they worked together, Gibbs knew that when Tony left his desk behind this messy, it meant that something was bothering him. Something personal and probably something he didn't want to talk about. Gibbs chuckled softly: when did DiNozzo ever wanted to talk about something that was personal?
Not that he really needed a talk about what exactly was bothering DiNozzo, it was as clear as day. Gibbs' looked from Tony's desk to Ziva's desk. A beautiful bouquet of roses stood on the cabinet next to her desk, other than that her place was nice and tidy. The roses were part of the problem: they came from Damon Werth, and even though Ziva hadn't denied nor confirmed it, it wasn't a secret that they were dating. And even though Tony hadn't said a word about it, Gibbs knew it was bothering him. He was quieter, withdrawn, focused entirely on the cases they had – and didn't have. Every cold case he could lay his hands on landed on his desk. Gibbs had watched his Senior Agent closely, but hadn't called him on the behavior. He wasn't drinking excessively and he was doing his job as good as ever.
Ziva, on the other hand, wasn't as easy to read. On the surface she looked happy enough with Werth and although Gibbs didn't like the guy, he wasn't bad for Ziva. He had picked her up a few times after work and had tried to be nice to all of them. He had been respectful as always against himself, he had been interested in McGee and his computer mumbo jumbo and even tried to be nice towards Abby, although she didn't made it easy for him with her snarling comments. Tony was, unsurprisingly, the one who he had the most difficulty with. When they were together in the bullpen, the tension got higher every minute and they could glare at each other, as if they wanted to start a shootout. It never was pretty.
Had he been wrong about not giving Tony permission to ask Ziva on a date? Gibbs rubbed his face with his hands and got on his feet. He stepped behind Ziva's desk and turned on the light. His eyes traveled quickly over her desk, which was pretty much empty. He sat down on the chair and hovered with his hand above her drawer. Technically he should not be doing this. And he wasn't curious . . . well, not really, but he had a gut feeling and he wanted to check it out. Decisive he opened the first drawer. One quick look was all he needed to see that it wasn't there.
He moved on to the second drawer and found nothing. He closed it and opened the third one. On first glance he didn't saw what he was looking for, but then he spotted the corner of a piece of paper sticking out underneath a book. He picked up the book and chuckled softly when he saw it was titled '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die'. He placed it on Ziva's desk and picked up the rectangle piece of paper. Gibbs turned it around and discovered that his gut had been right. He looked at a photo, picturing Tony and Ziva, laughing at each other, clearly not noticing that they were being photographed. Gibbs eyesight wasn't what it used to be but he saw easily how they were looking at each other, the warmth in their eyes and the true smiles on their faces. The fact that Ziva had this picture in her desk – as where Tony probably still had Ziva's picture of her in a bikini in his wallet or somewhere in his desk – said a lot about how Ziva felt about Tony, even though she was dating Werth now. Especially since this was the only picture hidden in her desk, while she had a few others put up on the divider next to her desk. Gibbs put everything back where it belonged, closed the drawer, put out the light and walked back to his own desk to continue working on the review reports.
Maybe, just maybe, he had been wrong.