Authors Note: My first Tiva fic! Set in Season 7.

Then I buried myself in romantic sentiment

and waited for you…

They are all sitting on the floor of the basement with their legs, cutely enough, folded like children, even the boys (with a little encouragement from the girls.) They've been hunched over for hours, going through the evidence that seems to be smothering the floor. Ordered not to move until every piece had been sorted and cleared. Needless to say by the fourth hour, the entertainment of the whole thing had swiftly worn off.

Tony picks up the 5th limited edition DVD collectors item of The Godfather in less than an hour, which under any normal circumstance would have impressed him but right now it's just getting ridiculous. Nobody needs to see Michael telling Fredo that he broke his heart more than once, in 5 different copies. Really.

"This is ridiculous, we're never going to find anything in this pile of…." Tony looks around and opens his mouth but is at loss. No word seems sufficient enough to cover the amount of…

"Crap?" Ziva offers with a hint of a grin and Tony lowers the hand that is holding the DVD to give her a look that wavers between aggravation and bemusement. She winks and throws another copy towards him, which he catches, letting his shoulders sag even lower.

"Who needs this much stuff? That's why it's called the limited edition, because it's freakin limited!"

"He was an obsessive collector, Tony. It's a legitimate medical condition." Although McGee's fed up too, it was ridiculous.

"Shut it McHoardy, this is probably your crap…" He pauses and turns his head towards Ziva, flashing his eyebrows, "We're going through."

McGee rolls his eyes then throws what appears to be another addition of the monopoly game into another evidence box.

"Are you kidding me? You guys, this is awesome! We get to check out all his cool stuff, hang out together while sitting on the floor and solve a murder case all at the same time." Out of the four of them, Abby's pile is the highest and the most excentric and she hasn't failed to let them all know it, a copious amount of times.

"I agree with Tony, you should only keep things that mean something of value to you, personally. It is all junk eitherwise."

"Otherwise," Tony quickly corrects, "But Ziva is right you should-"

"It should mean something, be special to you because of what it is and who gave it to you, it should mean so much to you that you wouldn't ever want to part with it, even in death."

McGee and Abby only glance at her, but Tony stills almost instantly, his curiosity getting the better of him and he is wondering what she has of value that she would never want to give up when he sees it.

Her gloved left hand leaves the box she has just dropped plastic bags into and brushes against her neck, like she's clutching for something that isn't there, air almost. She swallows against her hand then quickly leaves it, going back to the pile in front of her. It was short, a couple seconds maybe but he's seen it and its not until he's just about finished with the rubble beside him and the rest of them have already picked themselves up off the floor that he realizes that she wasn't grappling for air, but for a chain.



Ziva volunteers to stay behind with him (he's been throwing his last couple of things back and forth rather than throwing them out.) And together they move and stack the boxes against one of the walls of the evidence locker, clearing out the room. She notices that he's acting a little off, a little too quiet but leaves him alone, thinking that he's just tired and needs to be with his thoughts.

When they are completely finished and Ziva is already in the elevator, Tony stands a few feet away from the doors and she lets him look at the floor until he eventually brings his head up to look at her.

"What?" She asks with a small smile.

For the past 10 minutes he has been trying to think of ways to bring it up without it seeming like he's prying but he has come to the conclusion that no matter how he asks her, its going to seem exactly like prying. His track record lets him down there, if only slightly.

He slips on a grin as he shakes his head and walks slowly forwards to stand beside her, pushing his thumb against the two. He waits until the doors close and they start to rise.

"So hey…, um I ah, noticed before that you're not wearing that necklace you…wear anymore." He nods down to her chest then looks back up just as she turns her head. She's covered whatever instant reaction she might of had but he can still see it, the soft change of her face, the way her hands have stilled and that her chest stopped moving.

It further dispenses the worry he didn't even realize he had been feeling as they continue to stare at one another, though he's fully prepared to play along, knowing full well that getting the truth out of her wasn't going to be easy. It never was.

"I took it off this morning," She finally breaks away from him, letting their shoulders brush a little as she sticks her hands on her hips, "When I was taking a shower, guess I forgot to put it back on."

There's something about it, her eyes he thinks as he watches them even if she is no longer watching him, and the fact that Ziva never forgets but then as he's repeating it in his head, not at first quite catching what she had actually said, a word, the subject of the entire sentence grabs at his mind and he grins, despite himself.

"Shower?" He says slyly and looks forward, bouncing a little on the balls of his feet. Her arms fall off her hips and it's only a couple of seconds before she's right there with him.

"Long, hot shower." She slowly drawls and wriggles both eyebrows up at him just as the elevator dings and opens.

It's the first shy hint of any type of sexual flirtation or connation they've had since…months, a year even. And even though it's over something as shallow as her showering, its like they're back again and he's too caught up in that to remember what he had asked her to begin with. They both bounce out of the elevator, eyeing each other up in ways they shouldn't when they aren't anything. So he forgets all about that necklace.

For now.