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Returning to work was strictly forbidden by Gibbs, who threatened death to both Tony and Ziva if either showed up the next day.
"You each have two weeks of medical leave. Use it," he'd said, with that death glare that they'd come to know so well.
Ziva was, as usual, unaffected by it. She detested weakness, and couldn't bear to spend the next two weeks cooped up in her apartment by herself. She'd go insane- she was sure of it. "But Gibbs, I'm fine," she protested. "I'm sure there's something I could do around the office-"
For her troubles, she was cut off swiftly.
"No," was all Gibbs said.
Ziva opened her mouth again, but Gibbs intensified his glare and she changed her tone. "So what exactly should I do for the next two weeks then? Knit? Cook?" Sarcasm laced her words.
"You can cook for me," Tony said, finally having some input. "I like that pumpkin thing you make."
She sighed. "It was just pumpkin pie, Tony, you idiot." She swore then, rapid-fire in about six different languages. Tony understood two; Gibbs three.
"Ziva," Gibbs said placatingly, "go home. Rest. Eat. Sleep. Come back in two weeks without those" -he gestured to her crutches- "and I will gladly have you back in the squadroom."
She gave one last glare before turning to Tony. "Split a cab home?"
Tony nodded, and they each brushed past Gibbs to the exit of the hospital. It was clear Tony was meant to take Ziva's side in this argument. Even so, he turned back and threw an apologetic look to Gibbs over his shoulder, ever the suck-up.
They's been in the hospital for a week and a half, nursing injuries and feelings, and Tony was more than ready to get out, go home, and have a shower unassisted by the rather large balding man-nurse who insisted on helping him every morning. Ziva had just been plain agitated to leave the entire time, insisting that at Mossad she'd had far worse and never required so much attention. Tony always replied with a smile and "Well you're in America now, Ziva. You know, A-Me-Ri-Ca-" to which he was always cut off with a smash or crash as the closest object within Ziva's reach was flung at his head.
The cab ride home was only mildly tense. Neither ever being particularly 'feeeeeelings-y', they had chosen the 'ignore it and hope it goes away' route on the the whole almost-kiss issue. Thus far, they'd filled the time by tackling topics such as the Weather, What's on the Hospital Menu, Which Insane Movie Tony will force Ziva to watch next, and Whether or not Harry Potter is better than Star Wars. The mundane chit chat was awkward at first, but was beginning to fell more and more natural by the day, and for that, both were thankful.
So neither were really sure how the next arrangement happened, but in their medical leave induced boredom, they'd somehow taken up residence at each other's houses.
It had started out with dinner at Ziva's to celebrate their homecoming.
"Ziva," Tony said admonishingly, shutting the door to her apartment behind him. "Are you meant to be off those yet?" He looked pointedly at the abandoned crutches in the corner of the room and then back at her as she limped towards him.
Ziva had a slightly guilty look on her face as she answered with a steady, "Yes, of course."
He brushed past her and into the kitchen. "For an assassin, you are a horrible liar."
She opened her mouth to object, but decided against it. "Shut up; I'm making you dinner."
Tony just shrugged, knowing better than to argue with her, and reached up to one of the cupboards. He opened it, pulled out two glasses, and placed them on the table. For the first time, Ziva noticed the champagne bottle in his hand as he tipped it toward her slightly and raised his eyebrows.
She nodded. "Sure. Make it a full glass."
Tony obliged and passed it to her before pouring his own.
"So," he said, swirling the contents of his glass. "I'm thinking Friends marathon tomorrow. I can't wait to introduce you to the magic that is nineties sitcoms."
She snorted, but didn't object, and the next night she found herself on Tony's couch with a slice of pizza in one hand and a beer in the other. That night, they watched half of the first season, and Ziva had decided that it was a show worth sticking with.
By night five, Ziva had cooked Tony dishes from three separate countries and Ross had cheated on Rachel.
On night seven Ziva drank so much that Tony hid her keys in his freezer to prevent her from wrapping her car around a telephone pole, and her wallet under the sink to stop her from getting in a cab and then forgetting her address. She was too drunk to even follow the conversation and instead got up on Tony's counter and danced until they were both laughing so hard that they could barely stand. They slept in the same bed that night, in a purely platonic way, of course. Ziva woke up with a splitting headache, a renewed pain in her leg, and Tony's arm across her chest.
Night ten brought McGee and Abby to Ziva's apartment and all four of them ate yet another of her amazing dishes.
"I am constantly astounded by the quality of your cooking," Tony said, mouth half full. "Who knew an assassin-"
"Being an assassin has nothing to do with my cooking abilities, Tony," Ziva replied, cutting him off. "They are not mutually exclusive."
"Oh sure," Tony said, ignoring her interruption as McGee and Abby both watched on, "if you at any point had to go undercover as a chef or something it would make perfect sense, but-"
"I had time for more than just my assignments, Tony."
"And you spent it cooking? That is a sad comment on your life, Miss David."
Ziva rolled her eyes. "I was an assassin. Most of the time I was undercover or participating in covert missions or training. A little normalcy was nice."
"Snore," Tony replied, then changed his tone. "What about dating?"
Abby straightened up slightly and McGee just sighed.
"Believe me Tony, I was more than satisfied," she replied casually. "Those late night stake outs got so boring... we did anyone we could to pass the time."
Tony swallowed and looked at her intently. "Don't you mean anything?"
She smiled slightly and tipped her head. "No Tony, I don't."
There was silence. Then a collective shuffling at the table and McGee broke the silence with a change of topic.
Abby just watched the exchange with a smile on her face and mischief in her eyes.
On night twelve Tony stayed at Ziva's place even though he was completely sober.
"It's late," Ziva had said, "It's fine for you to say."
And after some half hearted objections, he had agreed.
"So I'll take the couch then?"
Ziva raised her eyebrows in amusement. "We've shared a bed before, Tony. It's fine."
He just nodded, but inside his stomach was tumbling over and over and over. "Right, of course."
She just looked more amused at his awkwardness.
In bed, she threatened him with extreme pain if he touched her in any way. Twelve seconds later, he had his hands on her ass, and quick as a flash his hand was twisted behind his back.
He just smiled through the pain. "Worth it."
And although Ziva was trying her hardest to pull off anger, he could have sworn that in the darkness, she smiled too.
Day thirteen Ziva announced that she was going for a run. Tony laughed out loud, and then realised she was serious.
"You just had surgery, Ziva. Are you insane?"
"I had surgery three weeks ago," she reminded him. "If I were still in Mossad, I'd be back at work by now."
Tony just shook his head. "No. I won't allow it." He stood in front of her door. "You'll have to go through me." And he looked so defiant that Ziva almost took pity on him. Almost.
Ten minutes later she was out on her favourite track with Tony struggling behind her, broken arm clearly hampering his running ability. She was much slower than usual, and it irked her. The pain was bad, but the lack of fitness was worse.
"Ziva!" Tony shouted. "Slow. Down."
"I am slow," she yelled back, irritated.
She ran another two miles before giving into the pain and walking home, Tony by her side panting.
And despite her frustration and pain, Ziva smiled.
"Back at work tomorrow," Tony pointed out on night fourteen.
Ziva just nodded, chewing her food slowly. Finally, she swallowed. "I thought these two weeks would be hell, but they actually weren't that bad."
"Yeah," Tony agreed. "You made for surprisingly good company, David."
She punched his uninjured arm. "Surprisingly?"
He just gave a kind of half smile and she fought a strange feeling that crossed her.
There had been shift, that was for sure. Everything had changed and been thrown up into the air and landed awkwardly and shaken again that neither were even sure where they stood. They'd carefully avoided the topic of any kind of feelings and while it was easier that way, it was also tiring.
Tony helped Ziva clear away the dishes and then turned to her, and for some reason couldn't concentrate on much else but the fact that they were so close and her hair smelt so good. She looked up at him through her eyelashes and put a hand on the kitchen bench next to her to steady herself. If they'd just leaned in slightly... it wouldn't have taken much. She could feel his breath on her face, and he could see a blush of light red creep across her cheeks.
It was Tony that broke the silence. "Well, I should go," he said, clearing his throat and stepping back.
His voice seemed to shake Ziva back into reality. "Right," she forced out. "Sure. I'll, uh, walk you to your car."
But Tony was already on his way to the door. He threw a hand up without looking back. "No need." His voice must have been almost an octave higher than normal. He noticed and adjusted it. "I mean, it's fine. You rest."
A shout from Ziva stopped him in his tracks. "Tony, wait!"
He froze, and then turned slowly. "Yes?"
"You forgot..." she said, picking up something from the table beside her and walking to him, "... your keys."
"Right." He took them from her. She could have sworn he sounded a little disappointed. He didn't move, and instead just kind of stared at her, a strange conflicted look on his face.
"Something else, Tony?" she asked, genuinely concerned.
He paused for a moment. "No..." He reached for the door. "I mean, yes." He turned back to her. "Wait, no... Yes... Maybe... Ugh!" And then, he ran a hand roughly over his head and pulled her to him. "I just don't like leaving things unfinished," was all he said before his lips were on hers and nothing else mattered.
A/N: As always, what were your favourite lines?
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