Rain can pour down as much as it wants, thinks Ziva, and the devil may care.
She certainly doesn't care, anyway; she's been standing outside for twenty minutes and has yet to open her umbrella.
Which is why, when Tony finds her soaked and shivering, he shares his with her.
"How long have you been standing out her?" he asks, barely able to be heard over the sound of the rain.
"I do not know," answers Ziva without meeting his eyes.
"You are freezing," he points out.
"The cold," sighs she, "does not bother me."
"But something does," he infers. He leans against her car, facing toward her while she stares obstinately ahead. "Ziva?"
finally turns her eyes toward him. "Is there something you needed,
He blinks once, then slowly looks away. "You said you were tired of pretending."
She bites the inside of her lip. "That is not a question."
"I'm asking why," he says.
"You said you were tired of pretending, too," she points out.
"You're avoiding the question," he says, voice a little tense.
"I did not like it," she admits openly, defiantly.
"That doesn't mean you don't have to answer it!" He is facing her now, although he doesn't remember moving.
"Why the hell does it matter to you?" she asks, her voice nearly a shout. When she realices her volume, she backs down, leaning against the car again.
He sighs quietly. "Do I need a reason?"
A few moments pass in which Ziva tries to articulate an answer and Tony tries to articulate an apology. When neither is successful, he sighs again.
"See you tomorrow, Ziv," he mutters. "You can keep the umbrella."
And then she realizes she's holding it, watching him walk away and get drenched.
"I am tired," she says hesitantly, "of pretending that I do not occasionally misspeak an English idiom just to hear you correct me."
It isn't much, but it's enough to make him turn around.
"I am tired of pretending," she says, her voice stronger now, "that knowing you had those pictures of me while you were away does not make me crazy wondering why you had them."
He moves a step closer. "Ziva, I—"
She shakes her head, beckoning for silence. "And I am tired of pretending I do not care for you." They are standing face to face now, noses just barely touching. "When it is painfully obvious that I do."
Slowly, his hand moves upward, coming to settle lightly on her jaw bone after a brief hesitation. She closes her eyes at the caress, chin tilting upward on instinct. When he speaks again, his voice is whispering softly into her ear instead of being warm and moist against her lips as she expected.
"I would be lying if I told you your idioms weren't better than mine half the time, anyway," he says, making her smile. "And I had those pictures because you were the only thing keeping me sane. You kept me afloat."
She opens her eyes again. "And the last?"
"You didn't have to pretend," says Tony. His slides his thumb slowly across her lips, making her shiver. "And I care for you, too."
Ziva swallows hard, trying to answer. "And here I was, thinking—"
Her clever response is cut off by the sensation of his lips against hers. Her hands find the back of his neck, anchoring him to her, and the umbrella falls from her grip and onto the ground, forgotten.