It's come to my attention that some certain aspects have become completely overused in Tiva fics, and I, for one, am tired of them. So, a humorous/commentary piece on the overused clichés of NCIS, with the most horrendously overused storylines I can think of, in the point of view of none other than our Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo. Who else could narrate a spoof?
This isn't meant to be serious, in fact, it's supposed to be a humor fic. So while it may seem to start seriously, trust me, it's satire. Pure satire.
Oh, this is also Tiva, for sure, but god help us if this ever happens on the show. I'll kill the writers myself.
Not mine. Neither are the overused storylines. In fact, I can't really lay claim to anything at all in this story. The characters aren't mine and neither are the scenarios, because they've all been done to death.
An study of clichés.
A commentary piece.
Hospitals lead to realizations.
It shouldn't have taken her lying in a hospital bed unconscious for me to realize that I was in love with her. Should have realized months - perhaps years - ago that I had fallen for Ziva, but it took me standing in her hospital room, watching over her eerily sleeping form to realize that if I'd lost her, I'd lose my mind.
And from that moment on, I realized as I peered down at her, I knew that I had to tell her. Time is always running from us, and I was running from the truth.
So she woke up, and without thinking first, and without even saying anything, I kissed her.
Which leads to embarrassing admissions.
"I love you, Ziva," I said, promptly inserting my foot in my mouth as soon as I pulled my mouth off of her lips. Her shocked expression said it all, really.
"Do you confess such strong emotions to every woman you kiss, Tony, or just the ones who are lying in a hospital bed?"
This woman is too damn sharp for her own good, but I suppose that's why she's gotten so deeply under my skin in the first place.
"I just realized that if you, um, you know...died," I paused, "and I didn't get to tell you, I'd regret it. Forever."
"You are an idiot." This was not going well.
"I'm your idiot," I pointed out. Is that a smile? She's smiling. Smirking. Well, that's a start, right?
"Tony, I only had a slight concussion, and was admitted purely for the sake of observation."
I grinned sheepishly, and I figured to hell with it, and I kissed her again. And she didn't pull away, so that was a start, right?
Which, of course, leads to getting caught.
"DiNozzo, I didn't think I'd have to remind you of rule number twelve," Gibbs barked, killing the moment.
"Save it. You have work to do. Yours and McGee's, because you felt it was necessary to disobey one of my rules."
Ziva started to laugh, until Gibbs shot a pointed look at her, too, and said, "David, you are not exempt. When you are back on duty, there will be extra work waiting for you, as well."
"Ha!" I shouted, not caring that this was a hospital and I should probably keep my voice down.
Gibbs slapped me. I really should have seen it coming.
Which leads to death threats.
When Gibbs left the room, naturally, I thought I should just pick right back up where I left off. Ziva didn't agree. She smacked me. Harder than Gibbs had, even!
"What was that for?"
"For getting me into trouble."
"I didn't see you fighting me off, David," I reminded her. She reached her hand up to smack me again, but I caught it in mid-air.
"Release my hand, Tony. I'm sure there are paper clips in this hospital." I grimaced.
"Your threat of death by paperclip is terrifying, truly," I began, "but don't you think it's gotten a bit worn out at this point?"
"You mention 'point.' Would you wish for me to kill you with something more pointy?"
"I would not like for you to kill me at all. But why the obsession with paper clips?"
"They are easily accessible, versatile, and I can carry them with me on airplanes without being stopped at the security gates." Ziva has this way of saying things in such a matter-of-fact way that it is actually kind of scary.
"Has anyone ever told you that you're a crazy ninja chick?"
"Only about seven thousand times a day, Tony."
I smiled. To my surprise, she smiled back.
Which leads to overuse and abuse of pet names.
The nurse walked in then, and handed Ziva some papers to sign so she could leave the hospital. Another interruption, though this one I didn't really mind because it did not come with a threat of additional work and painful slaps to the head.
"Are you Mr. David?" The nurse asked, directing her question at me.
"Anthony DiNozzo," I responded. "Ziva's partner."
"My apologies, sir. Will you be escorting your girlfriend as she leaves the hospital?" I didn't bother to correct her, and shockingly, neither did Ziva.
"She may leave now, if you'd like to help her to the car," the nurse directed. I glanced at Ziva, who was already getting out of the bed and reaching for her bag of clothes so that she could change.
"Need help getting dressed, sweet cheeks?" I asked. I know how she hates that pet name.
"No, hairy butt, I think I can manage," she responded through gritted teeth. She hates 'sweet cheeks,' but I actually kinda like 'hairy butt.' She doesn't know that, though. It's an endearing endearment, actually, one that's completely unique to Ziva, and that's what makes it so great. No one else will ever call me hairy butt.
"Well, I'll be right here, my sweetest of cheekies." I had to try my damnedest to stifle a laugh as I caught the look she threw in my direction as she headed into the bathroom to change.
The nurse just stood there, confused.
I love doing that to people.
Which leads to another set of death threats.
We got back to her apartment without issue, and I know Ziva wanted me to just drop her off, but gentleman that I am, I knew I couldn't leave her alone so soon after she'd just left the hospital. Minor concussion or not.
She will never admit that she was grateful.
We ordered a pizza, and as we waited for it to arrive, I decided to push my luck a little further, and sat down right next to her on the sofa. Almost on her lap. And put my arm around her. And kissed her cheek.
She didn't pull away.
But the damn doorbell rang, and I should have known it was coming. Pizza guys have the worst possible timing.
I answered the door, wallet in hand, only to find Gibbs, and not my delicious pizza.
Okay, scratch that, Gibbs has worse timing than pizza guys.
"Boss?" I asked, wondering what he wanted.
"Out here a second, DiNozzo," he said, motioning for me to step outside the apartment. I did as I was told.
"Don't what, boss?"
"Don't hurt her, don't leave her, don't do anything stupid. If you think I won't kill you, you might want to rethink that." I gulped.
"Uh, okay boss, but really, we're not-"
"Save it, DiNozzo, I know what I saw." Apparently not. Better just agree, though. It'll be less painful.
"Uh, okay boss. I'll be good." I barely got done speaking when he reached up and slapped me again. I looked at him quizzically.
"For breaking my rules."
"You already hit me for that one," I whined.
"And I'm gonna keep hitting you for it."
"Looks like your food is here. Stay out of trouble, DiNozzo."
I paid the pizza man, bidding a goodbye to my superior. "On it, boss."
Which leads to awkward conversations.
I set the pizza down on the coffee table, and went back to the kitchen to retrieve some plates. When I finished that, I sat down next to Ziva again, though further away this time, to allow us both the space we needed to eat.
"Why was Gibbs here?"
Crap. Do I go with honesty, or do I go with bullshit?
"Uh, to make sure you're gonna be all right," I lied. Yeah, coward, whatever.
"I don't think so, Tony," she said, and I could tell that she knew that I was lying. Should have known. I can't hide anything from this woman.
"Heh," I started. "He came by to yell at me for breaking his rules again. And to, uh ... tell me not to hurt you. And threaten me."
"But we're not-"
"I know, that's what I tried to tell him."
"Maybe we should, then," she said. I nearly dropped my pizza on the floor. She noticed I was stunned, and continued. "You meant what you said. Today. In the hospital." It was a statement, but I knew it was kind of a question, too.
"Uh, yeah." I shifted uncomfortably.
"I was unable to properly respond."
"You seemed to have a response ready pretty quickly," I pointed out.
"Diffusing the situation with humor, yes. I believe I may have learned that one from you."
"Perhaps, but the death threats are yours and yours alone," I deadpanned.
"Regardless, I was fairly stunned at your admission." She was speaking quietly now, so quietly that I felt like I had to watch her intently so as not to miss anything. I may be an idiot - her idiot - but I'm not completely inept. I know when something important is coming that I need to pay attention to. "Mostly because I did not think that you could, you know, mean it."
"I know." She was looking in my eyes, and I knew that I had to just kiss her. So I did. And she tasted as good as I remembered. And I just allowed myself to enjoy it, even though it was over so quickly, and we pulled apart again, and I looked into her eyes, and she said it.
"I love you too, Tony."
Now it was my turn to be stunned.
Which leads to overly sappy gift opportunities.
So she loves me. I was actually stunned, though I suppose looking back I shouldn't have been. So I did the only thing I could think of: I kissed her again.
Kissing Ziva is like nothing else in the world. She has this completely intoxicating taste, this exhilarating scent, and this incredible feel about her. It just makes my head spin.
It's actually kind of awesome.
But it can't last forever, so we pull apart again, and before I even know what I'm doing, I get up from the sofa and grab my jacket, reaching in my pocket. When I find what I am looking for, I sit back down beside her, and hand her the box.
She opens it. I suspect she knew what it was going to be before she even opened it, because really, what else could I possibly think to get her that wouldn't be totally cliché? But she looked down at the star of David necklace, then up at me, and smiled.
"What was this for?" she asked.
"Because you just needed to have it," I answered.
It was true. She knew it, I knew it, everyone knew it. And everyone could have predicted that I'd notice that her necklace was missing when she returned from Somalia, and everyone could have probably guessed that I would buy her a new one, and give it to her.
What, did you expect me to get her an engagement ring?
I actually left that one in the car.
Which leads to money being forked over as uninvolved parties bet on the welfare of friends.
I stayed over that night, just to keep an eye on her. We didn't have sex, believe it or not. I was definitely interested, but I wasn't going to push my luck, for one, and she did have a pretty long day.
Some might say that's a sign of maturity, and they're probably right. Three years ago I would have been more concerned with sex than anything else. I've changed, but in a good way.
My phone rings, interrupting my thoughts. Abby.
"So a little bird by the name of Gibbs stopped by and happened to mention that he caught the two of you breaking one of his rules, but he didn't say anything else. What were you doing?" She sounded almost accusatory.
"What is this, an interrogation?"
"Tony!" she sang loudly. "Tell me!"
"He caught me kissing her, and he slapped the absolute hell out of me," I replied. You can't lie to Abby. You can possibly get one or two past Gibbs, but you can not get anything past Abby.
She spoke again, but not to me. "I told you, Timmy, now pay up!"
"Abby, did you place a bet on-"
"Of course, Tony. I knew it would happen eventually." Smug. I hear it in her voice.
"You're too much," I replied, hanging up the phone. Ziva had heard the end of the conversation, and caught my eye, shaking her head.
"What do you want to bet those two will end up together?" I asked, and she punched me lightly on the shoulder.
"I don't know, Tony, perhaps we should ask them how much they bet on the two of us."
Which leads to overuse of the L-word. Sickening overuse, in fact.
"I love you," I said to her, for no reason at all.
"I love you, too," she responded, and nuzzled her face into my neck. It felt good there. I breathed in the scent of her.
And every chance I got, I told her.
Ziva always laughed and responded in kind. Sometimes she said it first, but usually, it was me.
I said it again at work. Fourteen times, in fact.
"Do you think you'll ever get tired of hearing that?" I asked her as we drove to Subway for lunch.
"No, but I think everyone else will," she replied with a twinkle in her eyes.
"I do love you."
"I know, and I love you, too."
Author's notes: And now for my list of over-used clichés, in order of appearance, and with a brief explanation of why they annoy me:
1. Hospital scene admissions: I get this, I really do. Nothing like thinking you've lost someone to make you want to tell them how you feel. It's just been done. To death.
2. "Too soon" L-word use: Guys, no one kisses someone for the first time then says that they love that person. Ever. This goes for the first time they have sex, too.
3. Getting caught by Gibbs: For the humor this provides, I'm not terribly opposed to this one, though it seems Gibbs is always the one doing the catching. Maybe McGee or Vance could find them one time. Maybe?
4. Death by paper clip: Yes, it was funny and cute. The first five thousand times I read it. Not to mention the time it was used on the show. Ziva is a trained assassin. I think she can find other household objects with which to kill Tony. I applaud the originality of those who can find another object for Tony to die by, and continue to groan when "eighteen different ways with a paper clip" is mentioned.
5. Sweet cheeks and hairy butt: Endearing, yes, but it's not like they regularly call each other that. And people are together, they use more than one endearment. Dear, sweetie, babe, love, etc. Sure, we have our pet names, but trust me, those aren't the only ones we use.
6. The "Gibbs as father" talk: How many times have I read the line, "If you break her heart, I'll break you?" I happen to think that Gibbs thinks that Ziva can take care of herself.
7. The unrelated segue: This section isn't a study of a cliché in itself. I just needed a segue. It's not really an NCIS cliché, per se, but a literary one. BUSTED!
8. The necklace: How many of these fics exist? How many of them are Exactly. The. Freaking. Same. All of them. Enough! While I dig the idea of Tony gifting Ziva with a new necklace, I really would hope that he'd do something more creative because even he knows that it's cliché and expected.
9. L-word over usage: People really don't say "I love you" that much. It bugs the crap out of me to read a fic that uses the ILU exchange fifty times.
Honorable mention: I didn't use these, but I think "tongues fighting for dominance" and "stopping only to breathe" deserve mention, because I think people just copy-paste kiss paragraphs from each other.
Final notes: I had fun with this. It's not meant to be taken too seriously. I have just grown weary of seeing so much of the same exact stuff written over and over again. This was also a great way for me to break out of my recent lack of writing. I hope this was entertaining, and feel free to mention any clichés that I may have neglected to mention.
Thanks for reading.