It wasn't entirely abnormal for Special Agent Tony DiNozzo to be late.
Just as he was today.
But today, he was really really late.
McGee strolled into the bullpen, a new cup of coffee in his hand, smiling at Ziva, who smiled back and slightly nodded her head, and then looked at Tony's desk. He stopped in the middle, turning to Ziva, "Where's Tony?"
She sighed and glanced down at her watch before looking back up at him, "He is late." She commented, "But for Tony, he is really late."
"Three hours, Ziva?"
She shrugged, raising and dropping her shoulders, "How should I know where he is?" She demanded, "It was not my turn to watch him."
"Wasn't mine either, I was just questioning where he was. If Gibbs finds out he's late..."
"Oh he knows." Ziva scoffed, rolling her eyes.
"Gibbs hasn't even walked into the bullpen today, how could he possibly know?"
"I would listen to Ziver, McGee." Gibbs commented as he strolled into the bullpen, sipping his coffee, "Now instead of asking questions, why don't you figure out where the hell DiNozzo is?"
"Right." McGee scurried to his desk, "I'll start running his cell now." He looked up to his boss before realizing that he was already gone from the bullpen. He sighed and looked over at Ziva, "Tony needs to hurry up and get to work." He noticed the slight nervousness that passed through her eyes as she tapped the desk with her pen, her eyes darting back and forth. Over the years, McGee had been able to pick up on the Israeli's tendencies. He knew the small things she did when she was nervous, but he knew two things:
He definitely didn't know as much as Tony knew about her, that was for sure.
And he also didn't know how to 'read' her when Tony was involved.
He watched her glance over her shoulder at the elevator doors and then back at Tony's desk before standing up abruptly, startling McGee. She snatched something off of her desk as she locked eyes with Tim, "I will be back." She nodded, pausing a moment before leaving him alone.
McGee didn't think that he'd ever seen Tony run so fast in his entire life.
The elevator doors opened and Special Agent DiNozzo came zooming out of the lift, his backpack bouncing on his back as he took long, fast strides to his desk.
He threw his backpack down behind his desk and then plopped down in his chair, lifting his hands up, "Touchdown!" He breathlessly said as he let his hands drop onto his desk.
McGee furrowed his eyebrows together, "Where have you been?"
"None of your business, McNosy."
He opened up a file folder on his desk and ran a hand through his hair, "Rough night?" McGee tried again as he watched Tony check his reflection in the computer monitor before booting up his computer.
He started fixing his hair and sighed, "McGoo." He firmly said, giving himself a wink of approval in the reflection before turning around to look at Tim who just raised an eyebrow, waiting for him to respond, "I was late. That's all." He scoffed, "Like this is a phenomenon?"
"Actually, yes." Ziva responded as she walked into the bullpen, snapping her cell shut and shoving it into her pocket, "Lately you have been showing up before Gibbs or myself arrive."
"This is true." McGee nodded as Tony watched his partner sit down.
"Gibbs did seem rather upset at you, Tony." Ziva commented, "I would...try...not to get on his bad side. Even though that might be slightly difficult for you." She smiled and Tony gave her a sarcastic laugh.
She attempted to look busy on her computer, typing random buttons, hoping that none of them would beep at her, "So why exactly are you almost four hours late?" She questioned.
He sighed and locked eyes with her, causing Ziva to raise an eyebrow. McGee watched them, and Tony stood up, running a hand through his hair as he started out of the bullpen. Ziva furrowed her eyebrows together as she watched him walk behind the staircase, their eyes catching one more time as Ziva recognized the emotions that were being cast in his eyes. She stood quickly, her eyes never leaving Tony's as she spoke to McGee, "I will be right back."
She followed Tony to his position behind the staircase, where he was leaning up against the wall, "What is wrong?" she softly questioned him, stopping in front of him.
"It's...embarrassing." He admitted and Ziva had to resist the urge to smile.
Her partner was embarrassed.
She couldn't even think about what had happened that could make him...embarrassed.
"What?" She questioned once again, trying to search his eyes.
"Okay, I woke up late last night. Had a couple of beers while watching a James Bond movie and then passed out on the couch halfway through."
She laughed, "You fell asleep during James Bond?" She questioned, "You?"
He narrowed his eyes at her, "With Sean Connery playing Bond, yeah."
She just covered her mouth as she laughed, but then stopped as she noticed his look, "Sorry." She cleared her throat as she stood up straight, composing herself, "You fell asleep after a couple of beers." She nodded, "Continue."
"Yeah." He sighed, "So I wasn't in my bedroom, so the alarm didn't go off. Well, actually, it did, but I didn't hear it since it was in my bedroom. Ended up waking up about oh..." He glanced down at his watch, "Two hours ago."
"If that was two hours ago..." She furrowed her eyebrows together, "Then why are you four late?"
"Well if you would let me finish, I'd tell you."
She nodded, putting a hand up, "Understood." She dropped it, "Continue."
He sighed and ran another hand through his hair. Ziva felt a pang of sadness in her heart for the man in front of her. He really was embarrassed, "So I was running late, I knew that Gibbs was gonna have my head on a silver platter with his morning coffee, or afternoon at this point, by the time I showed up at work, so I..." he smiled as he looked at her and she couldn't help but smile back at him, "...drove like you." he chuckled.
She rolled her eyes, "And?"
"Uh...fifteen over the speed limit?" Ziva let her mouth drop open, "Hey! You speed all the time!"
"But that is expected." She smiled, "And you criticized my driving."
"Anyways, got pulled over by a cop." He rolled his eyes, "Dumbest cop I've ever met in my life. But also the worst. He gave me a ticket."
She rolled her eyes, "Welcome to my world." She muttered under her breath.
"No, but even when I explained to him I'm a federal agent..."
"Say you are an trained assassin for the government next time. That works for me." She gave him a dashing smile and he just gulped.
"Yeah..." it was his turn to clear his throat, "So that took about thirty minutes...the guy couldn't figure out anything, I promise you."
She nodded, "I believe you."
"So I sped...again...to get to work...and...kinda got into an accident." A flash of concern flashed through Ziva's eyes as the smile faded from her face, completely dropping in seconds as she felt herself reach for his arm.
"Are you okay?" She questioned, no, more like demanded.
He looked down at her hand and she quickly dropped it, backing up a couple of steps, trying to keep the heat out of her cheeks as he rubbed his shoulder, "I rear-ended an old lady. She whacked me with her umbrella."
She had to resist the urge to laugh; she just went with a small, closed smile, "Here, let me see." She said, carefully lifting up and shrugging his jacket off of his shoulders, pulling at his tie until it was loose around his neck. He stared at her as she patted the tie down so that it was flat.
As she started on the top buttons, so that she could move the shirt out of the way to see his right shoulder, Tony smirked, "You like undressing me, Ziva?" He questioned.
She smiled as she looked up at him, "Not here." She seductively said as she started undoing more buttons.
He raised an eyebrow, "Oh really? So if we were...say...at my apartment...alone..."
She smiled, "Maybe."
"You two mind doing that somewhere else?" They both heard a voice say as Ziva quickly let go of her partner, backing up as she looked up at the stairs.
Gibbs walked down them, slowly, his eyes fixed on the two, or so Ziva thought. As she moved away, she realized that his gaze was on Tony, who was pulling his jacket back on, "You better have a damn good reason as to why you're late, DiNozzo."
"Uh..." He started.
"He does." Ziva nodded, "Gibbs. He does."
Gibbs stared at her and then looked back at Tony, beckoning him towards him with one finger. Tony walked towards him, stopping as he looked up at him, through the stairs. Gibbs bent down so that he was level with him before reaching through the bars and slapping him on the back of the head.
Tony winced as Ziva smirked, "Get back to work." He simply said before starting back down the steps and into the bullpen.
The work day was slow, filled with cold case reports that seemed to last forever.
Tony looked up from his desk at his partner, "Hey, Ziva?" he questioned and she snapped out of her trance, trying to concentrate on the file folder in front of her and not the extremely good looking man in front of her.
"You..uh...think you could give me a ride home today?"
She paused, as if she was thinking, even though she wasn't, and then nodded, "Yes."
"Great." He smiled, "Thanks. You see that, McGee?" he questioned, and Tim looked up from his computer, "That's what's called being a good partner and giving them rides home from work."
"You never asked me!" McGee defended and Tony grinned at Ziva.
"He's right." He said in a stage whisper, "I didn't."
She just rolled her eyes as she turned back to her file folder.
"Agent DiNozzo." Vance's voice called and Ziva registered the fear that flickered through his face as he looked up at her, "With me."
"What did I do?" He muttered.
"I can answer that question." McGee smiled and Tony narrowed his eyes at him, causing Tim to drop his smile completely, "Right. Sorry."
"You too, Agent McGee, Officer David. And make sure you get Agent Gibbs and Ms. Sciuto up here as well."
The three shared looks with each other as they started slowly out of the bullpen, all of them confused. Tony broke the silence as he shoved his hands into his pockets, grinning at Ziva, "So...who'd you kill this time?"
"Uh...are you gonna just stand there or talk?" Tony questioned, "Cause I mean, I wanna go." He shifted again in his seat.
Vance crossed his arms, "You got anything better to do, Agent DiNozzo?" He demanded.
"Just paperwork." He admitted, "Which I really don't wanna do. But it sure beats hanging out in here."
Ziva sighed and shared a look with Gibbs, for all of them sat around the table in the Director's office; it was McGee, then Abby, then Gibbs, then Tony, and then Ziva.
"It has come to my attention that you all have a...nearly impossible...amount of vacation time that's accumulated." Vance finally spoke after several more seconds of silence, "It seems that you never take time off. Do you want to come to work?" He questioned, pointing it at Tony.
Tony grinned, "Not really, but-" He noticed Gibbs' stare, "I could not think of anything else I would rather do than come to work."
He forgot to mention that Ziva was part of that factor.
He could stare at her all day, well except for when she demanded what he was doing and what he had up his sleeve.
He'd catch her staring at him as well, but he let it slid...sometimes.
Oh, and another reason he showed up at work?
He didn't feel like getting his ass beaten.
Like he was going to today, he knew he was.
Four hours was late...even for him.
Even though he had a good reason as to why he was late.
"Your point being? Le-on?" Gibbs questioned, stretching his name out as he leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms at him, "My team wants to come to work. What's wrong with that?" He demanded.
He sighed, "You and your team need a vacation."
"Vacation?" Tony's face lit up.
"Yes, you need to use up some of your vacation time or else I'm going to have to suspend you all. SecNav's new rules."
Gibbs groaned and Tony just continued to grin like a boy in the candy store, "Vacation?"
"Yes! Tony!" Ziva nearly shouted, "A vacation!"
He paused and looked at Vance, "Where?"
"I don't give a damn. It could be to the Chuck-E-Cheese down the street, just get the hell out of this office for at least five days."
"I say we go to a beach." Tony grinned, "Sun...sand...babes..." He gave a side glance at his partner, "In bikinis..."
Vance ignored him, "You have until tomorrow morning to give me the location of your vacation destination."
Tony leaned over to Ziva and whispered in her ear, his lips brushing up against her face as he spoke, "That rhymed."
Vance, again, ignored him, "I don't care where it is...but you need to be out of this office..." Ziva opened her mouth to say something when Vance interrupted her, "And out of this office does not mean that you are allowed to do field work, Officer David."
She clamped her mouth shut and gave Gibbs a helpless look.
"Yay!" Abby suddenly shouted, clapping her hands together, "This is going to be so exciting, everyone!" She smiled and Vance couldn't help but smile back. Maybe Abby would keep them in their destination.
"You have until tomorrow morning to give me your vacation spot, or I will suspend you all for exactly the amount of vacation time you have saved up." He saw a look of complete dread flash across all of their faces before speaking again, "You are dismissed."
All of them stood slowly, filing out in a single line, Gibbs being the line leader and Ziva taking up the back.
As soon as they were out of the door, Ziva grabbed onto Tony's arm, "Yeah?" He questioned as he turned towards her.
She smiled, "I just realized...you can never make fun of my driving again." She grinned as he rolled his eyes before putting a fake smile on his face. She smacked him lightly on the cheek, "Remember who is driving you home tonight." She called over her shoulder as Tony stayed rooted in the same place.
He ran a hand through his hair and turned around, watching her descend the steps.
The day was way too slow for Ziva's liking. She sat at her desk, working on paperwork, wishing 1700h would roll around so she could get out of there.
That is, after she took Tony home.
She smiled at the thought, realizing again just how embarrassed he was to tell her about what happened. She sighed, looked down at the clock on her computer again, and rolled her eyes at the result.
The squad room was dead silent, the only sounds were the occasional printer printing pages. The three federal agents jumped when McGee spoke again, "So, boss," He started, "What uh...are you gonna do for your vacation time?"
Gibbs didn't even have to think about it, and didn't look up when he spoke, "Work on my boat." He replied.
McGee nodded slowly, as if he was expecting that answer, and then turned to the senior field agent who was sitting at his desk, one arm propping his head up, "What about you, Tony?"
Tony raised and dropped one shoulder, "Don't know." He sighed, "Probably have a James Bond movie marathon or something."
McGee raised an eyebrow, "You're gonna do that for five days?"
"Yeah, problem with that, Probie?"
"No, no. No problem." McGee replied, "Whatever floats your boat."
"Maple works great." Gibbs clued in as McGee continued.
"What about you, Ziva?" He asked, causing the Israeli to snap out of the trance she was in.
"I do not know." Ziva admitted.
"Yeah, me either." Tim replied, and Tony laughed loudly, standing and walking over to him.
"I know what you're gonna do, McGemcity. You're gonna sit in that chair, smoking that pipe, and working on your arthritis typing on the typewriter."
"I was actually thinking of going to the..."
"Comic book convention?" Tony interrupted.
Tony laughed again, but this time it was louder, "That's a good idea, Probie, you'll have the whole place to yourself. All that white will scare everyone away."
"DiNozzo." Gibbs said, and Tony turned to the boss, "Paperwork."
Tony sighed, "Right." As he returned to his desk, Tony glanced at his partner before sitting down at his desk, and Ziva smiled again. She smiled a lot these days, particularly when Tony even looked in her direction. And today was even worse, only because he wasn't wearing one of those suits that he usually wore, but jeans that fit him way too perfectly, and a dark brown shirt that looked amazing on him. It was then she realized that she was staring again, and she quickly started writing on the paper in front of her, pretending to work.
Ziva spent the next 30 minutes thinking about that brown shirt.
But instead of being on Tony, it was on the floor.
Next to the bed.
"Go home." Gibbs announced as he blew through the squad room. Ziva watched as he passed and then quickly stood, adding her weapon to her side and her backpack to her shoulder, leaving the bullpen at the same time as her partners. Gibbs pressed the button at the elevator as his three agents lined up behind him.
"Waittttt!" Abby yelled, her platforms thudding as she ran towards the MCRT.
"Yeah, Abs?" Gibbs asked as the elevator doors slid open.
"We haven't discussed where we're going!" She said loudly.
"Where we're going?" Tony repeated.
"Yes! On vacation!"
"We're?" Tim said.
"Yes!" Abby said again. "We need to meet somewhere."
"Abby I don't-"
"McGee, go and get us some beer. Tony, order pizza and we'll all meet at your apartment in an hour. Capiche?" Before they had a chance to argue, Abby got into the waiting elevator and the doors closed in front of her. McGee looked at Gibbs, Gibbs looked at Tony, and Tony looked at Ziva. Shaking his head, Gibbs pressed the button for the elevator again.
This vacation suddenly seemed longer.
The tires squealed as Ziva came to a stop in front of Tony's apartment. Tony was holding onto the seat, the door, the dashboard, anything as Ziva drove. He let out a huge sigh of relief when Ziva turned the car off, "You're insane." He said.
Ziva looked at him with her eyes and pulled out her knife as she sat back in her seat, cleaning her nails with it. "I may be insane, but you are the one who got in a wreck, yes?"
Tony scoffed, "Like you have never been in a wreck."
She raised and dropped one shoulder, "Once." Tony stared. "Or twice." He didn't move, "Ok three times."
"Three times." Tony laughed, "You've wrecked three times? Compared to my one?" Deciding that the car was in park, and because it was turned off, it was safe to take off his seatbelt. "I think I win that argument, Dah-Veed."
Ziva scoffed, "Whatever." She said and put her knife away, so that she wouldn't use it on her partner. Tony got out of the car and Ziva cranked it up again, but stopped when he leaned into the open window.
"Where do you think you're going?"
She stared at him as if it was a stupid question, "Home." She replied.
"Oh no." Tony said, and then reached into her car and shut it off again, "You heard Abby. Gotta decide where we're going."
"You are not serious."
Tony looked around, "Abby was very serious."
She crossed her arms under her chest and sat back in her seat, staring at her partner. "Do you actually think that Gibbs is going to come here just because Abby asked him to?"
"More like demanded, actually." Tony corrected, and reached further into the car, grabbing Ziva's shirt, pulling on it slightly, "Come on Zi."
As he walked away from her mini, Ziva cranked up her car again. But, as she watched Tony walk, something made her change her mind.
She didn't know if it was because he looked absolutely gorgeous in the outfit he'd chosen today, or if it was because she actually wanted to go into his apartment and spend time, alone, with him.
And she honestly didn't care.
She opened the door and jogged for a few steps to catch up with him. "Ah, nice of you to join me." He said, and Ziva rolled her eyes as she got onto the elevator with him.
"The only reason I am doing this is for the free pizza and beer." She returned.
Tony laughed as the elevator dinged, the doors opening as he started to walk to his apartment, when he suddenly was being rushed back into the elevator, because his neighbor's wife was having a baby. Tony knew the family of misfits, and he really didn't care for them much. Jamie Brooks, the father-to-be, was a carpenter that rarely worked, resulting in shouting matches with his wife, Katie, that Tony usually had to listen to. Then there was Jamie's nephew, Bryce, a ladies man who's headboard, unfortunately, shared a wall with Tony's room. Two other people joined Jamie and Bryce in the elevator, these people were older, Tony guessed that they were Jamie's parents.
During the rush into the elevator by the Brooks family, Tony was pushed onto Ziva, and had to hold her and himself up to prevent from falling. He peeled himself from Ziva, who was shoved up against the wall. After glaring at his neighbors, he turned his attention back to Ziva, and without letting her go, he spoke, "You okay?"
Ziva wanted him to keep holding her the way he was. His strong arms held up her body, his hands locked behind her back. She swallowed the lump that was in her throat and spoke just as softly as he did, "I am fine." She replied. His scent was intoxicating, and Ziva wanted so badly to close the gap that currently existed between their lips. But unfortunately for Ziva (and for Tony), he let her go and turned to Bryce, who was eyeing his partner up and down.
"Hey, sorry about that. My Uncle is a little excited." Bryce said, a smile plastered on his face.
"Noticed." Tony interrupted.
"I'm Bryce." He held his hand out to Ziva, who glanced at Tony before placing her hand in his.
"Ziva." She said softly as Bryce brought her hand up to his lips.
"Zivaaaa." Bryce repeated. And, at that moment, is when Tony had enough. He quickly wrapped his arm around Ziva's waist, a gesture that sent chills up and down the Israeli's body.
"You remember me, don't you, Brycey boy?"
The elevator doors slid open and Jamie and the two older people left, leaving Bryce in the elevator with Tony and Ziva. "Yeah. Aren't you the guy that's banging on the wall while I'm..."
"Yeah, that's me." Tony replied, "And Ziva is my girlfriend. All mine." Ziva glanced up at her partner, and had to bite her bottom lip so that she wouldn't smile, "So don't get any funny ideas." As the words left Tony's mouth, Ziva couldn't believe her ears.
Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo had just called her, Ziva David, his girlfriend.
Even if he did it only because he wanted to make another guy jealous.
But why would he want to make Bryce jealous?
She was snapped back into reality when she felt Tony's hand on her skin, under her shirt, just above her jeans. His thumb was subconsciously rubbing back and fourth, and she literally thought she was going to lose it.
Bryce grinned, "Already have." He replied, taking the time to look at Ziva's body again before exiting the elevator.
"Move the bed away from the wall!" Tony yelled as the doors closed again.
"Why did you do that, Tony?" Tony only realized that his arm was still around Ziva's waist when she spoke. He quickly removed it, and it was displeasing for him, as well for Ziva.
"The guy is a bastard, Zi. Need to make sure that he stays away from you."
Ziva stared at him as they arrived on Tony's floor, both of them walking quickly towards the door to his apartment, "I can take care of myself, DiNozzo." She said softly.
He smiled as he unlocked the door, holding it open for her as she walked past, "I know." He walked in behind her and threw his keys on the table, followed by his weapon and badge, his NCIS backpack was now thrown carelessly on the floor. He took his cell phone off of his belt and used one of his speed dials to call his frequent pizza place, who then told him it would be there in 20 minutes. "Beer?" He asked and Ziva nodded as he grabbed two out of the fridge and walked over to her, opening hers before handing it to her.
"Thank you." She said softly.
There was an awkward silence for a while until Tony spoke, "So what do you wanna do while we wait on the rest?"
As he walked to the couch, her eyes followed him, and she bit her bottom lip at the current thought that ran through her head, and she almost blushed, "If they come." She sat on the couch beside him, taking another sip of her beer.
Her mind consumed her from that point, thinking nothing but of thoughts of her and Tony, and, she was having her way with him in each of them. She made herself come back to reality when there was a knock at the door. Tony walked to the door and in walked Abby, McGee with Beer, and Gibbs who already looked bored.
Ziva couldn't help but look surprised as her team joined her in Tony's living room as Tony paid the pizza guy. "Pizza!" He said happily and sat it down, immediately opening the square box and helping himself.
After small conversations and and several slices of pizza each, Abby stood and spoke loudly, as if she was in a crowded room and needed to get everyone's attention. "Ok! So we're officially on vacation." The other four stared at her, waiting on her to continue, "...and that means we should go somewhere! Fun!"
"I'd rather stay here and build my boat." Gibbs said, the only words that came out of his mouth since he'd walked into Tony's apartment.
"Abs, this was nice and all but I really don't have the...money." Tim said softly.
"Aw guys, now come on. It's been a long time since I've had a vacation, and I want to take my vacation with my family and you all are my family!"
Gibbs sighed, "Fine. Where we going?" He said, causing Abby to run over to him, throwing her arms around him.
"We could...go to the beach?" Tony suggested, and then had to erase the mental image of Ziva in that bikini again.
"Tony, it's October. The water would be freezing." Ziva said.
Tony laughed, "Wouldn't be the only thing that would be freezing." Gibbs, who was to his left, raised his right hand and slapped the federal agent on the back of his head.
"Get your mind out of the gutter, DiNozzo." Gibbs said softly.
Tony took a breath, "So the beach is out."
An awkward silence fell over the room again until Abby jumped up with excitement, "I got it!"
Jethro stared at the forensic scientist, "Yeah?"
It took much convincing for Abby to get them to all agree on camping, Tony especially, because he didn't 'do' nature. Gibbs, McGee, and Abby left Tony's apartment, and Ziva stayed behind to help him clean up from the little gathering they'd just had. He walked back into the living room, where she was picking up beer cans and bottles, spread around the coffee table. "You don't have to do that, Zi."
Ziva glanced at him, oh how she loved it when he called her 'Zi', "I am here to help."
"Good. Then you can help me think of a way to get out of this...'fun in the woods'."
Ziva chuckled, "It could be fun, Tony." She returned. Walking into the kitchen, she threw the bottles in the trash as he walked in with the pizza boxes, placing them on top. "I better get home and pack." She said, walking towards the door.
"Pack what? It's the woods." Tony said.
"Well we cannot go around nude all day, Tony."
Tony laughed, "I'm gonna keep my comment to myself."
Ziva shook her head, "I will see you tomorrow." She said, and with that, she closed the apartment door behind her.
Tony stared at his door for a few seconds.
He didn't understand why he wanted her to stay, or why his arm fit perfectly around her waist, or why during Abby's little gathering, the only thing he thought about was getting to spend time with Ziva.
"Stop it, Anthony." He said aloud, shaking his head in disbelief as he walked into his bedroom.
Ziva walked into her apartment and straight into her bedroom, pulling her straightened hair into a bun and out of her way. She changed, quickly, into a tank top and a pair of sweatpants, and pulled out her suitcase to begin the packing process. She'd gone camping before, but it was always on Mossad missions, never for 'fun', as Abby called it. She let out a sigh and began to place clothes in the simple black suitcase, her thoughts once again solely on Tony.
The cell phone buzzing on her dresser, next to her SIG and badge, scared her back into reality. She walked over to it and flipped it open, "David."
"Ziva! Good! Get back over here. I need your help." Tony said desperately into the phone.
Ziva sighed and crossed her arms under her chest, "Help you with what, DiNozzo?"
"Packing! I have no idea what you take to the woods. Pleasepleaseplease, Ziva, I need you!" Ziva was about to open her mouth to reply when there was a knock on her door.
"Tony whatever you pack will be fine. I have to go, I have company."
Back at his apartment, Tony stared at his phone for a few seconds before closing it. He looked down at his watch, 2134h.
What kind of company would she have at this hour?
Ziva walked to her door, Tony's words from the phone call echoing in her head, 'Ziva, I need you!' Slowly, she turned the handle and opened her door, revealing a person she'd never thought she'd see again.
He was the 6'2, black hair, blue eye'd man that Ziva had gone on several dates with about three years ago. He was a nice guy, and Ziva actually enjoyed spending time with him, but he went back to his girlfriend after she moved back to DC. Ziva wasn't terribly heartbroken, but it did result in a few snappy days at the office, and it didn't go unnoticed by her team.
"Hey Ziva." He said softly, a smile on his face.
"Hello Grady." She returned.
"Uh, can I come in?" He asked. Ziva only nodded as she moved out of the way and let him walk in, closing the door and following him to the couch. "You look great." He said, "You are the sexiest when you're in sweatpants."
"You look good as well." She swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat, "How is...Jennifer, was it?"
Grady shook his head, "It didn't work out, Ziva." He said.
Ziva looked down at her hands that were wringing together, "I am sorry."
He sighed, "I'm just gonna come out and say it."
"Say what?" Ziva replied.
He looked right into her eyes, "I've missed you. I really enjoyed our dates and evenings."
"I enjoyed them too." Ziva replied, "But that is in the past." He was moving closer to her by the second, his face inches from hers. He reached and grabbed on of her hands, holding it tightly.
"Does it have to be?" He questioned.
Ziva shook her head, "No." She whispered. He put his hand on her neck and slowly closed the gap that existed between their lips. The kiss heated up quickly, and Ziva leaned back so that she was now horizontal on the couch. His lips never left hers as he pulled the hair bow out of her hair, allowing her long brown locks to fall onto her shoulders. He tangled his hands in her hair, and Ziva let out a small moan.
She liked him, she really did, but she couldn't get her mind off of Tony. She closed his eyes as Grady traveled kisses down her neck, remembering Tony's lips on hers that time when they were undercover several years ago. The way his large hands moved down her body, causing chill bumps to form on her skin. She used both of her hands to push Grady off of her, moving from under him quickly. She sighed and pulled her tank-top and bra straps back to her shoulders.
He sat up and intertwined his fingers, leaning on his knees with his elbows, "There's someone else, isn't there?"
They both looked at Ziva's phone as it began to buzz on the coffee table. Ziva sighed, "Yes, there is." She admitted quietly. Grady smiled, stood, and walked over to her, placing a gentle kiss on her cheek.
"Take care, Ziva."
She watched him leave and smiled to herself, hurrying over to her phone before it went to voicemail. "David."
Not being able to help it, she smiled when she heard his voice again, "Ziva, I-"
She groaned into the phone, "I will be over soon, Tony." She hung up again and walked into her bedroom, zipping up her suitcase. Along with her keys and phone, she walked out of her apartment and down to her mini.
As she drove, her mind raced.
What was wrong with her?
Chuckling, she shook her head.
She honestly didn't know.
Once she got to Tony's apartment, she double parked outside of the complex and then jogged up the stairs, deciding not to take the elevator this time. She paused in front of his door, she didn't honestly know why, and rapped lightly with her knuckles.
She wasn't even done knocking before the door opened quickly, revealing Tony to her eyes. He had changed into a pair of black sweatpants and a simple red t-shirt with a gray hoodie over it. She smiled at him, "Shalom."
"Good, come in." He graciously stepped aside for her, and she walked in, "You want another beer?" He offered and she put a hand up, shaking her head.
"I have already drank two tonight, Tony. I still need to drive home."
He shrugged his shoulders, "Suit yourself. And speaking of suits..." he drawled out, "Uh..." He rocked backwards and forwards on his feet, "You mind helping me?"
She nodded, "Let me get some water first."
"You know where it is." he gestured to the kitchen and he moved out of the way, to let her pass, "I'll be in the bedroom." He called over his shoulder and she just nodded. He stood there for several extra seconds, watching her backside through her form-fitting black sweatpants that matched the ones he was wearing now. He looked down at his attire before moving towards the bedroom, snapping himself out of his trance.
Tony stared at the suitcase that sat on his bed, every single one of his drawers pulled out, the clothes spilling out over the tops. He sighed as he felt her presence behind him, sipping out of a plastic Ohio State cup. She chuckled lightly at the sight of the clothes everywhere, "I have not seen a room this messy since..." She paused and thought, "...oh yes..." she remembered, "Tali and I...we got into a...war. But a 'nice' one." She smiled and Tony noticed the flicker of hurt that ran across her chocolate brown eyes.
"I'll clean it up later. Once we're done." Tony quickly said, hoping to 'calm' her. He started towards the bed, grabbing random articles of clothing and shoving them in.
Ziva rolled her eyes and set down the cup onto his dresser before moving over to help him. She pulled out whatever it was he had shoved into the suitcase, "First of all...you must fold them, Tony." She smoothed out the wrinkles in the shirt and folding it neatly, "Besides, you would not bring a dress shirt to the woods." She rolled her eyes once again.
"Well sorry..." He sarcastically said, "I didn't know that."
She just stared at him, "It is cold." She commented, "You will need sweatshirts and jeans, probably. And a couple of t-shirts." She moved past him, her shoulder brushing up against his chest. His breath hitched in his throat at the simple graze, watching her as she picked out a couple of shirts from one of the open drawers. She started back towards him a couple of minutes later, about five shirts thrown over her arm, "I am going to assume that you are going to wear these." She folded them and put them in his suitcase. She chuckled slightly, "I do not understand why you are so worried what bears think of your wardrobe."
She felt his eyes grow wide and bulge from their sockets as he grabbed her arm, turning her towards him, "There are bears?" He said, slowly, trying desperately to keep the fear out of his voice.
She smirked, "Just me." She watched as he rolled his eyes.
"In bed, right?"
"Actually..." She placed another piece of clothing into his suitcase before turning towards him, invading his personal space as she looked up and down his body, staring him in the eyes, "I am more of a..." She placed a hand on the bed and leaned closer to him; he didn't move, "...panther." She whispered, smiling as she did so.
Tony gave her a small, growing grin as he felt his pants tighten at the thought, "Right..." He was thankful he was wearing sweats, "So...what else do I need?" Besides you.
She didn't move from her position as she looked at the suitcase, "Well you need some boxers, that is for sure. You need some jeans, something to wear to bed-"
"I wear nothing." He interrupted and she sighed as she continued.
"You will need a sweatshirt or something to keep warm...there will probably be..." She went on as Tony got lost in her, taking her in. He inhaled deeply, wanting to reminisce in her scent before he stopped. He furrowed his eyebrows together and sniffed again as she continued to talk.
She didn't smell like she normally did, which was one of the following, depending on the season, month, or how she was feeling: rose, lavender, honeysuckle, or a fresh citrus. Normally for the summer, she wore a fresh citrus. In the spring, she wore a rose scent. In the fall it was honeysuckle, and in the winter it was lavender.
Not that he memorized that or anything.
Not that he paid attention...
But he was definitely paying attention now; she smelled like a cologne.
And he knew, for a fact, that it wasn't a cologne he was familiar with. It wasn't the cheap stuff McGee used, it wasn't the odd combination of scotch and tea from Ducky, it wasn't even the loaded on of Palmer. It wasn't the Old Spice, Bourbon, and wood shavings from Gibbs, but most importantly, it wasn't his.
And then, he couldn't help himself, "You smell different." He commented, softly and she stopped talking all together, clamping her mouth shut as she slowly turned to look at him.
It was a while until she finally found her words, "What?"
Tony continued anyways, "Were you with someone tonight?" He asked, his voice still soft. He tried to keep the jealousy out of his tone.
She looked down at his suitcase before looking back up at him, "No." She quickly said, "And what if I was?"
Tony laughed and put his hands up, shrugging, "I don't know. Some guy's getting lucky? I don't know." He repeated, "Uh..." He scratched the back of his head, "Can we...finish this?" he finally asked, wanting to get out of the awkward conversation.
"Yes." She nodded, glad that Tony found an out to that. She didn't really want to explain Grady to him.
The two slowly finished packing, Tony picking out the most ridiculous outfits imaginable.
At around 103h, Ziva had finally snapped at Tony to 'just go away and watch the television.'
Tony had sulked off and Ziva finally...finally...had some piece.
Who knew that it could take so long to pack a man some clothes for a five day trip?
Apparently Tony was impossible to pack for.
Or so, he made it seem that way.
Ziva, sighing, feeling like she accomplished running a marathon, zipped up Tony's suitcase and pulled her hair tie out of her hair, letting her straight locks tumble down. She ran a hand through it and tousled it slightly as she stifled a yawn.
Tony was dozing on the couch, the television set turned down nearly all the way, so low it might as well have been muted.
She reached over and grabbed the pillow out from under his head, smacking him with it. He groaned and grunted as he woke up, sitting up, "I am going home." She announced as she shuffled towards the door.
"You're..." He yawned as he lay back down, "Exhausted..." He yawned once more.
"So? I want to go home. You are all packed."
"Just stay here." He mumbled, putting the pillow back behind his head, closing his eyes once again.
"Then move." She demanded and he shook his head.
"Take my bed...I'm not moving. I'm comfortable." He shifted onto his side, so that his back was turned to her after he flicked off the television and the light.
Sighing, Ziva realized she had no choice, so she set her car keys down onto the coffee table in front of Tony before starting towards the bedroom, closing the door behind her. She straightened up a little, shoving the clothes back into the drawers before closing them. She removed the suitcase from the bed and then crawled under the covers, onto Tony's side of the bed. It was obvious which one that was, considering that it wasn't made up on one side and it was perfectly neat on the other.
Smiling, she crawled into bed and pulled the covers to her neck, the cool feeling soothing against her body as she reached over and turned off the light, the scent of Tony lulling her to sleep instantly as she imagined his strong arms around her.
Tony groaned and turned away, trying to get the sound to go away.
"Damn it!" Tony shouted, reaching blindly for his phone. He groaned and flipped it open, not even bothering to read whoever was calling him, "DiNozzo."
"DiNozzo..." Gibbs' voice came through, "Where the hell are you?"
"Uh...at home?" He groggily asked, "We're on vacation, remember?" he yawned.
"Yeah, I know. That's where there's some damn escort at my house demanding the whereabouts of you and David. Where are you two?" He questioned...no...demanded.
"Oh, uh...Zi was helping me pack...she's right here, you wanna talk to her?" Tony didn't even realize the severity of his words until they came out of his mouth, "Oh...uh..."
"Just get the hell down here. Both of you."
"Right." Tony smiled, before hanging up the phone and all but throwing it back down onto the table, "Ziva!" He shouted as he laid his head back down onto the pillow, closing his eyes, "Gibbs is yellin' at us to get to his house. Apparently there's an escort?"
He heard a groan from the bedroom, "I am not dressed....I am not in proper social attire."
He groaned even louder, "Who cares? You still look sexy as hell, get up!" He shouted.
From the bed, Ziva smiled.
She got up.
Tony had to wait as Ziva picked up her stuff from her apartment (and wait for her to change her shirt) before they started back to Gibbs' house.
It was only then that he grinned as he parked in back of a limo, "Hey! Boss!" Tony shouted, getting out of the car as fast as he could, not only because he couldn't stand her driving anymore, leaving Ziva to carry the bags, as he snatched the keys out of the ignition, "We get a limo?" He questioned, running towards it like a little kid.
Ziva just rolled her eyes, "Tony!" She shouted from where she stood behind the car.
"Boss, it's gorgeous..." He walked around it, taking it in as he lightly ran his fingertips over it, "Last time I went for a ride in one of these was...college. Sometime. I don't really remember. I think I was drunk. Like I said, I don't remember..."
"Tony!" Ziva shouted again, but he didn't hear her.
"...but that might have been some other time, I don't know but-"
"TONY!" Ziva shouted and he stopped, looking at her.
"Do you mind unlocking the trunk?"
"Oh." He started towards her, sticking the key in and unlocking it, the trunk swinging upwards, "Sure thing." He grinned and she just rolled her eyes as she reached for the suitcases. Tony put his hands on top of hers and she felt a shiver run up and down her spine, "I got it." He smiled as he all but pushed her away, grabbing one suitcase in each hand.
He moved and placed them into the limo, where Gibbs was getting in, "Come on, we're already late. Vance wanted this limo back about two hours ago." Tony stepped out of the way so that Ziva could crawl in next to Abby, who was grinning and clapping her hands.
"Can't wait to get rid of us, huh?" Tony questioned.
"I know why they'd want to get rid of you, Tony, but not me." Tim smiled and Tony just rolled his eyes.
"Shut your mouth, McFlapper."
Tim just turned and looked out the window as Tony sat down next to Ziva, their thighs touching. They glanced at each other before looking forwards at Gibbs who just stared.
"This is so, exciting." Abby grinned, "We're getting a limo!"
Tony scoffed and rolled his eyes, "To the woods. That's like taking a space shuttle to the dump."