A/N: Another post episode one shot! This is technically a sequel to Dark Rooms, but it can be read on its own. Post-Code of Conduct. I hope you like it!
Ziva looked up at the sound of a knock on her door. She waited for the obligatory "trick or treat" but no other sound came. Standing up, she brushed cookie crumbs off the front of her tank top and headed for the door.
Opening it, she came face to face with the one person she hadn't expected to be at her door.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, but immediately regretted speaking when his expression turned to one of hurt. She tried to remedy the situation. "I didn't mean it like that, I was just wondering…"
Her words faded away as she realized that he was staring at her. She wondered if he had even heard what she had said.
"Would you like to come in?" she questioned him.
The sound brought him out of his reverie and back into the real world.
He smiled at her, and she felt her heart flutter. One upon a time, she would have made a joke about him turning up at her door, especially at Halloween. Now though, everything was different. She had changed. He had changed. The world was different. A leopard really can change its shorts. She smiled at the memory.
She glanced at him as the once-arrogant billionaire leaned down and hugged his son tightly. Now bankrupt, he suddenly seemed to be kind and generous – the kind of father both Ziva and Tony wished they had when they were children. A caring father who went to all the ballet performances, concerts and school plays. A loving father who was always there for you.
"A leopard really can change its shorts," Ziva commented sadly.
Tony laughed sourly.
"Spots, Ziva, spots," he corrected her, but it was a half-hearted comment and Ziva eyed him carefully. Somehow, she wasn't sure about how, six year old Alexander Howell had really gotten to Tony – or, at least, his relationship with his father had triggered some memories.
She was jolted from her reverie by the sound of his voice.
For some reason she apologized. She didn't know why, she never apologized – a sign of weakness – especially not for something like that.
"You know what Gibbs would say if he heard you now."
He chuckled and she smiled at him.
"You know what Gibbs would say if he saw us now,." Ziva retorted.
The comment made him chuckle.
"What Gibbs doesn't know can't hurt him," he grinned just as his phone rang. They exchanged horrified glances until he answered the phone. "Yeah?"
His stricken expression turned to one of relief.
"Okay, sure. Tomorrow, 11am. Got it."
He ended the call and answered Ziva's unspoken question. "Dentist."
"Not Gibbs, then," she grinned as they walked through into her lounge. She sat down on her couch and he sat down next to her.
When he had visited her house before – sat on her couch – they had sat at either ends. Normally, a void of awkwardness separated them, but not today. His arm was slung carelessly across the back of the couch, resting on her shoulders. Their legs were touching and there was no awkwardness to be found anywhere.
He looked at what was showing on television with interest.
"Oh, hardcore Zee." Ziva was surprised at the nickname. He continued, oblivious, "You know, most people tend to watch movies like this with other people. For a dare."
"It was on. So I watched it," Ziva answered, totally blasé.
"Saw. 2004. Directed by James Wan, starring Leigh Whannell and Cary Elwes."
He rattled off random facts like he normally did. Ziva chuckled.
"Of course," she laughed and the sound of their happiness filled her apartment. Her new apartment. Since the last one was quite destroyed. She still hadn't forgiven Tony, not totally. He had killed her boyfriend, and she would never be able to completely forgive him for that. She had loved Michael, even after what he had done. Another rogue Mossad agent in her life. Another rogue Mossad whom she had loved. Obviously she had loved Michael in a completely different way from Ari, but they would always be there in her memory. Haunt her dreams.
But for now, she would try and forget them for the time being. Concentrate on the present.
Once again he alerted her to the fact that she had drifted away from reality for a while. She shook her head to clear the cloudiness that had drawn in.
"I was… thinking," she said quietly.
"Rivkin?" His voice sounded slightly pained.
"Ari. Mossad. And Michael, yes."
She inwardly pinched herself for bringing anything up and completely ruining the moment.
"You loved him," he whispered sadly. She didn't reply.
Instead, she leaned sideways and rested her head gently on his shoulder. He stroked her hair softly, and his lips kissed her forehead. She smiled at the touching gesture. The moment was soon broken by a high-pitched scream from the television that startled both of them. Ziva burst out laughing and he soon joined in as his heart began beating again from the shock it had just received. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
"That was a surprise," he commented and she smiled up at him.
"Here's another one," she spoke quietly and he was about to question what she meant when her lips touched his.
A/N: Go Ziva! I hope you liked that: fluffy, just like normal. I may do an angsty one sometime; I don't usually do angsty Tiva. Although I am working on something else… but I guess you'll just have to wait for that one! Feedback would be much appreciated!