A/N: God bless USA. I mean, really. We complain about how the network doesn't give us enough episodes every night, or how they give too many episodes with Kate, or not enough episodes with Tiva connotations.
But I think we should all be very grateful, because they showed episode 5.12 Stakeout last night, which is one of my favorite episodes. I had forgotten about how much I had wanted to write a Tiva fic about a stakeout last year but had never gotten the chance. So here one is. I'm planning on making this a longish multi-chaptered fic- and though the first chapter isn't exactly very Tiva-centric, I promise it'll get better. Rated T for now. Might change later. I mean, it is a stakeout, after all.
"Aw, come on, Ziva. We could make this fun," Tony said cheerfully to his partner as they slid out of the black company car.
"Tony, let me make one thing very, very clear to you: this will never be fun. Do not try to make it fun. Do not play any practical jokes on me. Do not screw up my food orders on purpose. Because those things do not make stakeouts fun; they make me angry."
Tony, feeling slightly threatened, looked over at Ziva to make sure she was kidding.
She appeared to be completely serious.
"Why are we even taking this case anyway? Since when does Gibbs want to follow up leads on a prostitute?" Ziva snapped to no one in particular.
"Uhhh…since this prostitute was believed to be a serial killer?"
Ziva opened her mouth but couldn't seem to find any argument to counter.
"Look, Ziva," Tony said soothingly. "We both know how much you- I mean we- hate stakeouts. So let's make this as quick as possible. All we have to do is watch through the binoculars and catch her in the act. No problem. We've definitely handled tougher cases before."
Ziva glared at Tony. "I just do not understand why we are the ones handling this! Isn't it a job for local the PD? Or a more inexperienced team? Why us? I mean, just because marines are the targets doesn't mean we have to handle it."
He rolled his eyes. "First of all: yes it does mean we have to handle it. And Ziva. We can't always be interrogating and shooting people. That's only part of the job. And you're good at that part," Tony said with a smirk. "But sometimes we have to do things…more quietly. You get what I'm saying, right? Like that time you went undercover to catch that serial killer….you know what? Never mind." Tony flinched at the stare of death Ziva was sending his way and opted not to finish his sentence. "Let's just get through the week."
"A week? Tony! I am going to kill you! You mean 2 days, do you not? Gibbs said it would be at most 2 or 3 days!"
"Oh-oh yeah, that's what I-" Tony was cut off by the powerful kick Ziva aimed at one of the rear car tire. The car bounced on impact.
Tony edged away from his steaming partner and popped open the car trunk. In it were two trash bags- one filled with headphones, laptops, binoculars, and other computer-ish things McGee had given them, and the other filled with a few pillows and blankets, and extra NCIS sweatshirts, sweatpants and t-shirts for each of them.
"Here." Tony chucked the bag with the pillows at Ziva, who caught it with yet another glare, to which Tony responded with yet another eye-roll.
This was going to be a long week.
By the time Tony and Ziva had walked the mile from their car to the town they would be staking out in, their moods had completely swapped. Tony, stuck with the heavier trash bag, was aching all over and had all but ruined his only set of real clothes after falling into a pit of mud Ziva had nudged him into after he had commented on one of her screwed-up idioms. This, on the other hand, had made Ziva feel a lot better.
When the pair arrived at the old, shabby hotel they would be staying in, Ziva pushed open the sagging door to reveal a grungy, dark lobby. Tony stomped angrily over the rotted doorstep and muttered to Ziva: "It smells like mold in here." Ziva fought back a smile and shut the door gently behind him, careful not to pull it off it's rusty hinges.
Tony stalked up to the reception desk, where a fat, wispy-haired, middle-aged woman sat, a cigarette dangling out of her gray mouth. "We need a room," Tony snarled at her.
The receptionist suspiciously eyed the bulging trash bag slung over Tony's shoulder. "Double or single?" she said in a crackling monotone.
"Single," Ziva replied, and at the same time, Tony said "Double."
The receptionist raised her eyebrow at the dusty pair.
"Single," Ziva confirmed, shooting a look at Tony. He clenched his jaw but remained silent.
"Have a preference for a floor?"
"First," Tony replied.
"He means the top floor," Ziva countered.
"No, I definitely mean the first floor."
"We want to stay in a room on the top floor, facing the street." Ziva smiled at the receptionist. "We're thinking of moving here and want to look at the houses." The receptionist glared back at her.
"No, sweetcheeks, we want to stay on the first floor. That way, we won't have to walk up and down 500 flights of stairs every time we leave."
"We have an elevator," the receptionist growled. Tony and Ziva turned around and eyed the run-down elevator wearily.
"There is no way in hell I'm getting in that thing," Tony said under his breath to Ziva.
She ignored him. "See, darling? They have an elevator. We'll take the top floor."
"it's $150 per night, extra for room service." Tony threw the money at her, and the receptionist, in turn, threw a key at Tony. "Room 526."
"Thank you," Ziva said. The receptionist was busy opening a pack of cigarettes and appeared not to hear her.
Tony had been right- the walk up to the 12th floor was not only exhausting, but also extremely frightening. The stairs, although safer than the elevator, were steep, rickety and made of wood, and did not look like they would support much weight at all. Every step triggered an ominous creak, and it seemed they would collapse at any moment.
"Why…would…you…ever…put…us…in…a…single…room…on…the…top…floor?!" Tony gasped to Ziva.
'Because the top floor has the best view of the street the prostitute lives on. And we didn't need a double bed."
He was too out of breath to respond.
"Does this place ever get visited by health inspectors?" Tony panted angrily when they had finally reached the 12th floor. "You know what? They're probably too scared to come."
Ziva unlocked their door and stepped into their room, followed by Tony. Both dropped their bags on the floor and stared.
"Are you fu- are you kidding me?" Tony cried. "A friggin' 150 per night for this?"
"I know. It's not really.....very clean, is it?"
"It's freaking disgusting! I told you we should have gone for a double!"
The room was cramped and dark. The windows were coated in some sort of brown mold. The queen bed they had been expecting was just a queen size mattress shoved up against the wall. The carpet was moist and smelled like sweat. The adjoining bathroom smelled equally bad. When Ziva bravely entered, to wash her hands, she found that the running water was briney and brown.
"Oh my God. This is awful. Remind me why Gibbs assigned us this case again?"
"That is exactly what I wanted to know an hour ago. Stop whining, Tony, and help me set up our equipment.
Tony whimpered but laid out their pillows and blankets on the mattress as Ziva hooked up various laptops to the outlets that were-thankfully-located in various spots on the waterlogged walls and situated the cameras so that they were facing the grimy window.
"We are going to need to clean this window," Ziva said, slightly more snappish than she had been a few moments ago. The boredom of the stakeout was starting to sink into both of them.
"Okay...well, you can do that, can't you?" Tony retorted, equally snappish.
"Actually, I think it would be good for you to do it, seeing as I was the one who set up all of our equipment."
"True, but I was the one who had to carry the heavy bag all the way here."
"The bag is really not that heavy, Tony."
"Okay, Supergirl, I'd like to hear you say that after you've dragged it down a dirt road for 45 minutes."
"Look, it is not my fault-"
"Both of you clean the window!"
Tony and Ziva jumped and looked at one of the monitors to find Gibbs staring angrily at the both of them through Abby's lab cam.
"You do not have time to argue over stupid things! Men could be getting killed right now!"
Tony glanced at Ziva nervously. "I really doubt that Boss. It's daytime and most prostitutes work at ni-"
"Shut up, DiNozzo. Just clean the window."
As Tony hurried into the bathroom to get some paper towels, Ziva heard Gibbs sigh and mutter something along the lines of needing either a lot more coffee or a bottle of bourbon.
This was going to be a very long week, indeed.
A/N: Like it? Hate it? Either way, review it!
Update should be here by tomorrow night, and thanks for reading!