A/N: This is just a little TIVA fic that the plot bunnies wouldn't give up, no matter how many carrots I offered them. It may be a little more OOC than my usual fics, and will probably be three chapters. I'll definitely finish it this week. Hopefully, it doesn't completely suck. Enjoy and review please :) Thanks!

*****

Ziva reached for her cell phone, distracted by Tony, who was kissing her neck and trying to drag her back into bed. She punched him in the arm and flipped open her phone.

"Ow!" Tony whispered.

"David."

"Ziva, it's Jenny. Are you on your way to NCIS yet?"

"Not yet, we were-I was- just leaving."

"You have a call in MTAC from Tel Aviv in one hour."

"I will be there. Thanks, Jen."

"No problem. Tell Tony I say 'hi'."

Ziva grinned and hung up.

"What was that about?"

"Jen says 'hi'. And I have a satellite call from Tel Aviv this morning."

"Daddy dearest?"

"Probably."

She began to button her shirt and he pouted at her.

"You hurt my arm."

Ziva rolled her eyes before smiling at him.

"My poor baby. Shall I kiss it and make it better?"

"Yes, please," he grinned.

Ziva kissed his bicep gently, laughing when he pulled her on top of him.

"Tony!" she protested, "We must get going."

"No," he said firmly, rolling on top of her and kissing her nose.

She laughed and wrapped her arms around him. Tony smiled down at her and kissed her hard, his tongue teasing hers before his teeth scraped over her bottom lip as he reluctantly pulled back.

"Okaaay. I guess we can go to work."

Ziva suddenly flipped them over so that she was on top, her hips straddling his.

"Not a chance."

Tony grinned victoriously and helped her undo the buttons she'd so recently fastened.

*****

Ziva rushed into MTAC, smoothing her curly hair and trying not to look like she'd just had incredibly hot sex with her partner. She nodded at the operator and her father's face filled the screen.

"You are late."

She rolled her eyes.

"I am sorry."

"You look well."

Ziva nodded.

"Thank you. As do you, Director."

Eli David cleared his throat in what Ziva was certain was a rehearsed gesture.

"Satellite time is costly. I will get to the point. I am considering terminating the Mossad liason position at NCIS."

He watched her face closely and saw what she attempted to cover.

"Abba...but...why?"

She knew she had made a mistake and she mentally chastised herself. Eli looked at her, a small smile on his lips.

"You wish to stay in Washington, then."

A statement, not a question.

Ziva nodded.

"Yes. I like my work at NCIS."

"Your work?"

"Yes..."

He raised an eyebrow and sighed. Ziva was careful not to fidget under the burden of his silence.

"Tell me...do you love him, Ziva?"

She froze.

"Did you think I would not find out? Your partner, Anthony DiNozzo. He has slept at your apartment nearly every night for the past five months."

Ziva's fists clenched, angry with herself. He had caught her off guard; she should have been expecting this. Taking a deep breath, she calmed herself and looked her father in the eye.

"Yes. I love him."

Chin up, defiant, she gave him her best imperious look, infuriated by his smile.

"Very well. You do not need to give me such a look. I am not without emotions, Bat. I do care for your happiness."

She stared silently at the screen and waited him out. Finally, he shrugged.

"Perhaps I will speak to Director Shepard about extending your contract, then. Two years?"

Ziva blinked.

"Toda, Abba. I-I do not know what to say."

He laughed.

"My Ziva? Speechless? This is a first, yes?"

She just smiled.

"We miss you here."

"I miss you, too."

"I think it is time for a visit."

"That would be-"

"Spending time with one's children is a true gift. It will be good to see you in person."

Her face reflected her surprise as she registered his agenda. After all, Eli David always had one.

"Abba, I cannot just-"

"I have booked your transport for tonight."

Her face showed her disbelief but his voice was firm.

"I am an old man, Ziva. You can give me one month. Especially when I am offering you two years. Come and visit with your family."

Ziva could not believe it. He had done it again, manipulated her using his unique mix of insistence and guilt, harnessing the power of a veiled threat and the obligations of love and duty. And, once again, he would win. She would accept his negotiation because it was easier than fighting him.

"Then I will see you tomorrow afternoon, Director."

He smiled in satisfaction and nodded his approval before his image disappeared from the screen.

*****

That evening, Tony followed Ziva around her apartment as she packed and explained the situation to him again. He was not taking the news of their forced separation well and Ziva was getting frustrated.

"Tony, please understand."

"So, you're going? Just like that?"

She shoved clothes into her duffel bag, shaking her head.

"I have to, Tony."

Her voice was strained and tired but he couldn't hear the rough emotions over the panic and anger that made his blood rush in his ears.

"He's your father, Ziva-"

"Yes! And my director as well. Why do you not understand this? I have no choice."

"You could choose me."

Tony could hear the petulance in his voice but he couldn't help it.

"I am choosing you, Tony! If I want to stay in America, I must give him this trip. Why are you making this so hard?"

"Oh, I'm making this hard for you? That's just great, Ziva."

She shook her head sadly, knowing that he was angry and would push her away no matter what she said. Zipping her suitcase, she glanced at the clock and sighed.

"I have to go."

"Then go."

She looked at him but he didn't raise his eyes from the floor.

"I love you. I will call you when I land."

He didn't answer and she turned away sadly.

*****

Ziva closed the door and walked out to the car service her father had sent. The driver took her bags and opened the door for her. Tears welled in her eyes as she slid into the backseat.

He didn't say it back.

The driver confirmed her airline and pulled away from the curb. Ziva wiped her tears away with the sleeve of her sweater and leaned back on the leather seat, closing her eyes as they came to a red light. She and the driver both looked up, startled by a bang on the trunk.

"Jesus Christ! Get a load of this maniac."

The driver leaned on his horn as Tony started pounding on the window, his eyes frantic.

"Oh!" Ziva shouted. "It is okay! That maniac belongs to me! Stop, please!"

The driver sighed and slid the car into park. Ziva opened the door and Tony dragged her up into his arms, breathing hard from chasing the car three blocks.

"Ziva! God, I'm sorry. I love you. I love you, you know that, right? I know you have to go and I'll be here when you get back. Okay?"

She smiled at him and ran her fingers through his hair as she kissed him.

"I love you so much, Tony. I will see you in a month. Call you later, okay?"

"Okay, baby."

He held her tight to him for a long moment before holding the car door for her, leaning in for one more kiss before shutting it.

"Ready, lady?"

She nodded at the driver and he pulled out into traffic. Ziva turned and watched Tony through the back windshield, standing still against the cold wind, his figure reducing in size as the distance between them increased.

*****

Tony was glad that Ziva wasn't close enough to see the tears that pricked his eyes or the sadness etched on his face. He'd gone back to her apartment and gotten drunk, passing out in time to catch a few hours sleep before work, a routine that would become very familiar in the long days without her.