The buzzer rang, causing Tony DiNozzo to wake with a start.

What the hell…? He tripped out of bed and virtually sleepwalked over to the door, opening it with an irritated "What do you want?"

His question was met with a giggle. Tony's sleep-fogged eyes focused quickly on the wild dark hair, smudged eye makeup, disorderly attire, and undeniable intoxication of his partner, Ziva David. He became uncomfortably aware of the fact that he was only wearing boxers.

"Ziva, what the hell-"

He then noticed she was leaning on Abby, who was rolling her eyes.

"Explain, please, why Ziva is here and drunk off her ass at one in the morning," Tony demanded.

"Girls night out. I'm designated driver. I'm afraid she'll kill something if she stays by herself, so I thought I'd drive her here," Abby sighed. "I've already dropped Jenny off at Gibbs'; it's the same for her."

Tony raised his eyebrows as Ziva giggled again. "Gibbz'n'Jenny are in luuuuuuve," she slurred, grinning. "Don'tcha think that's funny, Tonyyyy?" It took all Tony's composure not to start laughing right there.

"Abby, how the hell did she get this drunk?"

"She doesn't hold her liquor well, apparently," Abby smirked.

"I see."

"Take care of her, okay?" Abby asked, her voice thick with implication.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Tony challenged.

"I know how you feel about her," Abby smiled. "That's why I brought her here. She's in good hands."

Tony just stared.

"Now, nightie-night." She transferred Ziva to Tony's arms and quickly left.

What do I do now? Tony thought frantically. His panic was interrupted by Ziva suddenly standing up straight and facing him square on.

"Tony DiNozzo, I want to sit down right now," she growled, so ferociously that she seemed sober for a few moments. Startled and honestly a little terrified, Tony led her to the kitchen and motioned to one of the hardwood chairs.

"Thanksshh…" she slurred again, her eyes gaining kind of a dreamy cast. Ziva smiled demurely and looked around. Her eyes focused on Tony, who was just watching her in disbelief. He'd never seen Ziva this drunk, ever. Her dark eyes started sparkling.

"Timmy!" She said excitedly. "Hi! I was talking to… to Tony earlier… 'n he said… he thought you'n'Abby should be… dating! Isn' that funny?"

Tony said nothing. Apparently now he was McGee. His was torn between being offended and being very, very amused. He was debating between making her go lie down and grabbing a video camera.

"'N then… I told Abby… what he said … 'n she started… laughin'! 'N she blushed, Timmy!" Ziva's eyes never left Tony's throughout this exchange. "'N she said somethin'… somethin' 'bout Tony being… observant… 'n she giggled… 'n it was… it was funny…" Ziva started giggling to herself. Her giggles turned into shrill, hysterical laughter.

I am definitely going to go get that video camera, Tony thought. He got up and was about to leave, when-

"Tony, no, don't go!" He turned around. Ziva had stopped laughing and was looking at him with wide eyes and a pout on her lips. "If you leave me… what will I do?"

"I expect you'll just have to wait until I come back," Tony replied, unable to bite back the amusement in his voice or the smirk on his face.

"You think it's… funny?" Ziva said in a small voice. She looked like a small child who had been left outside in the rain.

"No, no, Ziva, I didn't mean that," Tony hurried to apologize. God, why do I always say the wrong thing around her? "Here, I'll… I'll sit back down. I won't leave."

"Mmm… good," Ziva said, smiling. After a few moments of silence – well, Tony was silent, Ziva hummed to herself – Ziva said, "I'm bored."

"We could watch a movie," Tony suggested.

"Mmm….nah… I'd prolly juss fall 'sleep," Ziva said softly. "Hey…hey Tony… less' snuggle!"

"O…okay…" Tony stuttered. Man, this is so wrong on so many levels. I'm going to wake up and it will be 0600 and then Gibbs will call me into work and this will all be a dream and –

"Tony… aren't ya coming?" Ziva whined.

"Yeah, one second," he called. Damn, she was obnoxious when she was this drunk! Tony made himself a mental note to ask Abby exactly what she had so he could prevent her from ever having it again.

Tony found Ziva lying down on his bed, smiling shyly.

"Ziva, you may want to change," Tony advised. She was still wearing a ruffled cocktail dress and strappy heels that really didn't look very comfortable.

"Mmm…yer right…" Ziva yawned. Tony rummaged through his drawers and threw her an old basketball jersey and a pair of boxers. What the hell, she's drunk, she won't care, he thought. He wasn't prepared, however, when she stood up and changed right in front of him. Like a gentleman, he averted his eyes, but not before he'd watched the dress cascade to the ground in folds. Ziva, still drunk and preoccupied with changing, didn't notice.

Once she was decent again, Tony watched her collapse back onto his bed. Uneasily, he dimmed the lights and joined her under the covers in which he'd been sleeping peacefully not thirty minutes ago. Ziva sighed happily, nuzzled into Tony's chest, and closed her eyes for a few moments.

Tony's insides were on fire. He was dying to tip Ziva's chin upwards and kiss her until his lungs screamed for air, but he knew that was neither likely nor a good idea. So he contented himself just to revel in their closeness and enjoy it while it lasted.

Ziva was sleeping quietly, which surprised Tony, due to the fact that he knew she snored unbearably loudly. It wasn't until she started twitching in his arms that he realized something was up. But he wasn't ready for the satanic screech that escaped her lips.

"YAAAAAH!"

Tony jumped about a mile, and Ziva began thrashing around. Tony was almost afraid to hold her again for fear that she would beat him up in her sleep, but he decided it was worth the risk. He grabbed his struggling best friend around the waist and held her to him as she gradually calmed down. Ziva awoke, still breathing heavily.

"Tony." Tony observed that she was now completely lucid, and the alcohol seemed to be miraculously out of her system.

"Ziva?"

"I meant it, you know."

"You meant…?"

"If you left me… I do not know what I would do…"

Tony was startled. If this meant what he thought it meant…

"But I would never leave you… so it's okay," he said softly, squeezing her around the waist. She turned over to lie on her other side and propped herself up on one elbow.

"But Tony… you're a federal agent, and I'm an assassin. It's more likely than not that one of us will end up getting shot at one point or another –"

"Don't say that," Tony said fiercely, placing a finger to her lips.

"Tony… you're my best friend…" Ziva said softly. At that moment, Tony DiNozzo was completely torn. He loved her with his whole heart and soul, and he wanted more than anything that she feel the same way… but rather best friend than nothing at all…

"You're my best friend, and then some," he murmured into her hair.

"But I'm also completely and irreversibly in love with you," Ziva said. She then sat up quickly and clapped a surprised hand over her mouth. Tony sat up too.

"Ziva, look at me," he commanded softly. She did. He lightly took her wrist, removed her hand from in front of her mouth, and leaned over to kiss her lightly on the lips.

"I will never leave you." Tony lay back down, satisfied. It was so good to get that off his chest.