A/N: So, I'm convinced that all the Tony/Ziva disagreements/fighting/what-have-you this season is all a ruse. Hence, this fic, just in time for Thanksgiving! (Happy Thanksgiving!) Post-Child's Play.
He cornered her in the elevator just as the doors were about to close. She looked over at him, a slight smirk playing on her lips. She was not the least bit surprised--she knew what he was here for.
"The neighbors?" he asked, an amused smile splayed across his face. "Since when am I 'the neighbors?'"
She let out a hearty laugh and shook her head, turning in his direction. "You did not want me to expose our personal life, did you, Tony? Plus, I think it is a plausible excuse, no?"
"Well it would be, sweetcheeks, if you even knew your neighbors. Hell, I've been living in the same apartment longer than you've even been in the country and I don't even know my neighbors. Apartment complexes are notthat friendly."
"Perhaps I am just a better person than you, Tony. Did you ever think of that?" she grinned at him slyly, knowing just how to goad him into an argument. She loved his passion and his fire, his indignant expression making her heart flutter and race.
"Now that, darling," he emphasized teasingly, "just cannot be true! Neighbors love me!"
"You have just said that you do not even know them even though you have been living in the same apartment for over four years--that is notwhat I would call being loved by your neighbors." She rolled her eyes and gave him a slight smile, looking at him out of the corner of her eye. "I, on the other hand--" she started, placing her hands on her hips in a defiant gesture.
"Still have no idea who your neighbors are, either." He looked at her pointedly at that moment and she knew that she had been caught. He still managed to know everything about her without a single word.
"Whether I know my neighbors or not is not the issue here. I needed to have an acceptable excuse for missing Ducky's Thanksgiving and so did you." She paused in thought, her head tilted upward with an amused expression on her face. "Although I am wondering why you chose a casino and showgirls as your excuse...I think that is a little more suspicious."
"I couldn't let my reputation go to waste..."
"As a pig?"
He clutched his heart, resting the other on her shoulder as the doors pinged open on the garage floor. "That hurt, Zee-Vah."
She rolled her eyes, letting out an amused chuckle, before looking out into the parking structure. Seeing no one, she gently pried his hand off her shoulder and pulled him out of the elevator. They made their way to their cars, fingers linked. Tony looked down at their hands and smiled genuinely.
"Zee?" he asked quietly, stopping her in her tracks. She looked back at him confused. "Is it okay that we are going to Ducky's for Turkey Day? You know...rather than just being together? I mean, you were so excited and I just want this to be...okay."
She smiled sweetly at him, stepping forward, their fingers still intertwined. "It is more than okay." She sighed, cupping the side of his face with her other hand. She knew that he hated to be so vulnerable and unsure. "I still get to be with you, Tony, and that is the only thing that I wanted to do on...Turkey Day."
He rested his hand on her hip, leaning over to kiss her forehead. "Okay."
"It is not like I am one to sit around all day cooking. Besides, our meal was going to come from the deli at the supermarket. This way, the food is better and--"
"And we have to pretend that we aren't together. We have to pretend that we don't get along and we have to suffer through those annoyed glances that tell us we're arguing like children. Zee, I just don't want our first Thanksgiving together to be a disappointment."
"But we will be together--I do not see how that could ever be a disappointment...plus, you could always be nicer to me, you know." She joked, poking him in the chest for emphasis.
He scoffed and pointed his finger at her. "Excuse me? I do believe this was your plan in the first place. 'Hey, Tony, now that we're madly in love, we have to pretend to hate each other to throw the others off so that we can still work together,'" he mimicked in a disgustingly high-pitched voice. She laughed at him, narrowing her eyes as she looked up into his eyes.
"I do not sound like that...and that is not what I said."
He smiled and shrugged his shoulders, "Close enough."
She rolled her eyes, attempting to keep the smile off her face. "Right...well, in any case, I think we can take a break from 'the plan' for the holidays. You know, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, New Year's..."
"You sure you'll still want to be with me on New Year's?" he said with a smirk.
"Tony...I will always still want to be with you. Accept it, you're stuck with me," she said matter-of-factly.
"Good. I wouldn't have it any other way." He looked around suspiciously before leaning down to capture her lips with his. "I'm not letting you go ever again."
When they pulled away, she gave his hand a reassuring tug. "I'll meet you at your place in a half hour?"
"Yeah," he nodded to her as she began to walk away. He stopped her just before she took a step, spinning her around to face him, a serious look clouding his features. "Hey Zi...this Thanksgiving? Well, since I can't really say it in front of everyone else, I just...I wanted you to know that I'm thankful--"
"I know," she interrupted, always a step ahead of him. Her eyes sparkled as she stared back at him, "Me, too."
I'm thankful for you.
Please review! Happy Thanksgiving!