A/N: This is just a little TIVA one-shot, inspired by the episode 'Recoil'. I hope you like it. Reviews much appreciated, naturally ;D Thanks!

The first bit (italicized) is the episode dialogue between Ziva and Michael Locke at the bar.

*****

"You could come home with me?"

Ziva laughed.

"Why would I do that?"

"Because you feel guilt about lying to me. Or because you just killed somebody and...you need somebody to hug?"

"I have a feeling that you're angling for more than just a hug."

"Angling? No. Hoping?" he gave her a small smile.

Ziva cocked her head and eyed him.

"Have you been telling me the truth about your girlfriend? Or are you just taking advantage of my...raw...emotional state?"

"Yes. And...yes."

*****

She smiled at his honesty.

"So, what do you say?"

He grinned at her and it felt...nice, uncomplicated, exactly what she needed. Ziva's lips were just about to form the word 'Yes', when she felt a strong presence behind her, his tone firm when he spoke, his mouth close to her ear.

"No."

She knew immediately, of course; knew his scent and his stance and his voice. It was Tony.

*****

Tony was aware of exactly what he was doing and exactly how little she'd appreciate it, but that didn't stop him for even a second.

He had been truly worried about Ziva. She was uncharacteristically shaken up, even considering the toll that this case had taken on her, and worse, she wouldn't talk about it at all. Today she'd nearly taken his arm off when he reached out to tousle her hair. In a normal day, he touched her dozens of times, and she'd never given him that look before. So when she'd adamantly refused to go for even one drink after work, he'd canceled his date and followed her, knowing it was wrong. He didn't care, dammit. He was worried about her. He didn't know why, but he felt responsible for making sure she was okay tonight, whether she liked it or not.

It had been hard to observe her, sitting alone, downing drink after drink, so agitated and absent from herself. Watching her contemplate going home with the guy from the bar was just too much for him to handle.

*****

"Excuse me?" Locke asked in surprise.

"No," Tony repeated calmly, speaking to both of them now.

Ziva stiffened and Locke looked to her before taking in the menacing expression on Tony's face.

"Michael," she began, "I am sorry. He-"

"You know what...I think I should go. I'm sorry, Gina, uh, Ziva...sorry."

He shrugged and quickly left the bar. She watched him through the glass, jogging over to a taxi, waving as he turned and caught her staring. Ziva turned and squared her shoulders, taking a step closer to Tony, her eyes blazing up at him furiously.

"Just what do you think you are doing?"

"Stopping you from making a stupid mistake," he said harshly.

His criticism stung her sharply and she felt herself grow more defensive.

"And what if I wanted to-"

"That guy doesn't even know your name, Ziva. He doesn't know you."

"It is none of your business, Tony!" she cried, stamping her foot in frustration.

"It is my business, dammit! You're my partner!"

She was surprised at the anger she heard in his voice.

"So what?" she fired back. "How does that make it your business if I want to have a meaningless-"

"Don't say it," he flinched.

Ziva paused abruptly at the hurt in his eyes, biting back her retort.

"Why not?" she asked, her voice softer.

"Ziva," he sighed and ignored her question. "I care about you. Why won't you talk to me about this?"

"Because!" she said urgently, her hands gesturing emphatically, "I do not want to talk about it! I want to forget it! Just for a short while. Is that so terrible? Why do you insist on pushing me? Why are you even here, Tony?"

Her voice cracked on her last two words and Tony's heart sank as he noticed again how pale her skin was, her dark eyes scanning his, obviously close to tears. She was suddenly so fragile and still so beautiful. She didn't belong to him and he knew he shouldn't blame her for that.

Tony swallowed hard and nodded.

"Ziva...I'm sorry."

She shook her head and stared at the floor for a moment, trembling slightly as she tried to regain control of her emotions. Finally, she looked up at him and saw his blue eyes pleading with her, although she was still frustratingly uncertain just what it was that he wanted from her.

What made her really crazy was that her anger had already faded so quickly simply because it was Tony, looking at her like a little puppy-dog. It was Tony, staring at her, silently asking her the questions neither of them ever dared to say out loud. And it was Tony, trying to protect her even when she wished he wouldn't.

She sighed and unfolded her arms, tilting her head at him.

"Do you still wish to buy me that drink?"

A slow smile spread across his face.

"Yeah. I'd like that."

He carefully raised his arm and very, very slowly brought his hand up to tousle her curls. She smiled at him, understanding the gesture, and he let out the breath he wasn't aware he was holding in. Before he could think, he moved to cup her face, stroking her cheek softly with his thumb. Ziva closed her eyes and leaned into his touch, making his heart jump in his chest.

She allowed herself a moment, just a moment of his comfort before she remembered herself and pulled away. She grabbed his hand and dragging him to the bar, smiling again when she heard him laughing behind her.

"Heidi! Two more of those excellent mojitos, please."

*****

A short while later, Tony's impression of Abby impersonating Gibbs had Ziva clutching her stomach and begging him to stop. Tony felt his chest swell with an absurd amount of pride as he made her laugh, really laugh, the rich, throaty sound traveling straight to his groin.

They talked about work for awhile, gossiping and bantering easily. It was halfway through their next drink when she got quiet again, her eyes suddenly furtive.

"What is it?"

"Huh?"

She looked up, startled at his question, as if she had forgotten he was there.

"Ziva, what are you thinking about?"

He took her hand, interlacing their fingers. She shook her head and shut her eyes against the onslaught of flashbacks. He waited patiently.

"I was too slow, Tony," she whispered.

"You weren't," he said firmly. "You got the bastard. You're here and he's not. You're still here, Ziva."

"I almost died."

She opened her eyes and locked onto his, her emotions palpable in the small space between them.

"But you didn't," he said, the heat in his voice surprising both of them.

He turned his body to face her, putting one hand on her shoulder and the other on her leg, making sure she was listening to him.

"You did everything right, Ziva. You couldn't have been any faster or better or smarter. You're alive and that's all that counts."

She nodded, slightly surprised at how closely he touched on her fears, realizing that, like so much else, he silently shared them with her.

"Toda, Tony."

Ziva took a long sip of her mojito and suddenly noticed that his hand was still on her thigh. Tony followed her glance and pulled it away, embarrassed. She grinned at him and twirled her dark, silky hair in between her slender fingers.

"What?" he asked self-consciously.

"Nothing. I just never thought I would see Tony DiNozzo blush."

"I was not-"

He was struck dumb as she took his hand and put it back on her leg, placing it higher this time, so that his thumb rested on her inner thigh.

"Ah, yes!" she laughed triumphantly. "Blushing!"

She ran her fingers over his cheeks, tracing the faint redness she found so endearing, tickling the tops of his ears.

"Zeeee-vah!!"

He pushed her hand away and scratched at his face. She smiled at his comically childish expression.

"Excuse me just a moment," she said, inclining her head towards the restrooms.

Tony nodded and she swiveled towards him and climbed off of her bar stool, leaving her standing trapped between his legs.

"Oh. Sorry..."

Tony tried to move to let her by, but she held him in place, a strong hand on each of his denim-clad thighs. He felt it as soon as he looked at her; the suddenly renewed sparkle in her eyes, the way she licked her lips subconsciously. He wasn't going to be able to stop himself from kissing her this time.

Ziva saw the moment he acknowledged it, his blue eyes darkening, his breath hitching before he leaned forward and took her face in his hands. He was more gentle than she'd ever imagined he'd be, his warm, full lips soft against hers, his tongue playfully teasing her until she sighed softly, opening her mouth and pressing herself against him. Tony's hands dropped to her waist as her fists clenched around the fabric his shirt, a small sigh of desire escaping her lips as she felt his erection hard against her stomach.

Ziva pulled back and gasped for air, her dark brown eyes hot and liquid with lust.

"Heidi?"

The bartender turned at the sound of Ziva's voice.

"Yes, hun?"

"We will take our checks now, please."

"Sure thing."

"I will be right back," she whispered in Tony's ear, grinning to herself as she walked to the ladies' room, feeling his eyes on her the whole time.

*****

Ziva stood at the sink in the ladies' room, splashing water on her face.

Am I drunk? Am I crazy? Is he drunk? Is he crazy?

Facing at herself in the mirror, she decided that it didn't matter. The adage was true, life was too short. She, of all people, should know. She wanted Tony and she was sure that he wanted her, too. Really, it was amazing they'd held out this long, even despite Gibbs' rules.

She walked back to the bar and found him finishing his drink, a goofy smile plastered all over his face.

"Hello, Tony."

He jumped when she whispered in his ear.

"Hi, Zee-vah," he flashed her a grin.

Sliding back onto her seat, she sipped her drink through the red stirring straw, giving Tony a seductive stare that made his mouth go dry and his jeans become even more uncomfortable.

"Are you ready to go?" she asked, tilting her head towards the door.

"Yeah," Tony nodded cautiously, suddenly wondering if he was reading to much into her gaze, his own wishful thinking coloring her cheeks instead of her excitement. "Want to...split a cab?" he asked, his lack of enthusiasm for the idea obvious.

Ziva smirked and slid off of her chair to step close to him again, walking her fingers up his shirt until she reached the top button, shivering as she felt his hands come to rest on her lower back.

"Come home with me tonight, Tony."

He gulped adorably, his fingers tightening their grip on her body.

"Are you sure?"

His words caressed her ear, leaving goosebumps on her skin.

"I am very, very sure," she breathed in his ear, her fingers working the muscles of his back through his button-down shirt.

"Okay, Zee-vah," he whispered, leaning down to kiss her.

Ziva shivered at his touch, more insistent than before, his lips possessive and eager.

Heidi tactfully waited until they broke for air before she came down the bar and collected their money, thanking them for the generous tips.

"I called you guys a cab. It's out front."

Ziva flashed her a genuine smile.

"Toda, Heidi."

*****

Tony and Ziva made their way to the taxi and she relayed her address to the driver, sliding closer to Tony on the leather seat. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her lightly before his lips moved to her neck, his teeth grazing her sensitive skin.

"Tony..." she moaned loudly, oblivious to the driver, who was glancing at them in the rearview mirror.

Her hand found its way between his legs, caressing the muscles of his thighs slowly as she moved up to rub his hard-on through his pants.

"God, Ziva..."

His breath was heavy on her neck and she wished they would get to her apartment already, the urge to undress him becoming overpowering. Tony stilled her busy hands and brushed his fingers along the hem of her shirt, just barely touching her smooth skin, his eyes shutting at the exquisite feeling. Ziva was undeterred, freeing her hands and stroking her fingertips along his arms. Tony sighed and willed the car to go faster.

*****

"Ahem!"

Five minutes later, the driver cleared his throat for the second time and Tony and Ziva broke apart, startled back to reality.

"Sorry," Tony grinned, "what do we owe you?"

"That'll be twelve bucks."

Tony paid the driver and they walked into Ziva's building quickly.

He was lost in thought for a moment as he stood in front of the elevators, briefly wondering if he was taking advantage of his partner's vulnerability. As much as he wanted her, he still wasn't willing to do that.

"Tony?"

His head swiveled at the sound of her voice and he found her already at the top of the first flight of stairs.

She grinned as his eyes landed on hers and crooked a finger at him.

"Well? Are you coming?"

He nodded and followed, placing a hand at the small of her back as she unlocked her front door.

"Listen, Ziva. If you just want some company tonight, I understand that. We don't have to-"

"Tony."

Her voice was low and sultry as she turned and put a finger to his lips to silence him.

"I do not want company. I want you. In my bed."

There was no mistaking the look in her eyes and Tony felt his gentlemanly resolve crumble under the heat of her gaze.

Another breath, another heartbeat, and her arms snaked around his neck, her lips pressing against his, hot and demanding. Tony groaned, more than convinced, and hitched her legs up around his waist. He nudged the door open with his foot and carried her into the apartment, heading directly for her bedroom. He set her down on the bed and immediately covered her body with his own, his need turning feverish, heat pulsing through him with an electric beat.

Ziva's fingers deftly unbuttoned his shirt, every inch of his skin a revelation. The need to forget had transformed into an intent desire to commit him to memory. Tony allowed her to push the dress shirt from his arms before he removed her top, his breath quickening at the sight of her smooth olive skin. His mouth sought hers again as his fingers danced down her neck and over the swell of her breasts. Ziva reached behind her and unclasped her bra, moaning at the feel of his warm skin against her nipples.

Shoes and clothes were flung across the room until they were both naked, touch becoming their most treasured sense. Time was usurped, dethroned by passion as their lips and hands skimmed over soft skin and hard muscles, their kisses heated and urgent. They'd gone years without this intimacy and they refused to be denied for even a moment more.

Tony pushed Ziva down onto her back, his tongue gliding from her lips down to circle her nipples, feeling them tighten under his warm, wet caresses.

"You're so fucking gorgeous," he whispered, continuing his route down her body, punctuating his words with soft bites and hard kisses.

"Tony..." his name escaped her throat as his mouth reached her inner thighs, a protest and a plea.

He grinned up at her, watching her bite her bottom lip, her hands reaching for him. Tony ducked under her grasp and quickly flicked his tongue over her clit, rewarded by her sharp intake of breath. He traced her slick folds before circling the swollen nub again, making her buck her hips up off of the bed.

"Tony! Please...I need...oh..." her head fell back onto the pillow as his tongue moved faster before he slid up to kiss her hip.

"What do you need, Zee-vah?"

Her fingers gripped his hair, pulling him up to her mouth, kissing him hard, tasting her own arousal mingled with his. Her dark eyes captured his gaze and her breathy voice earned his full attention.

"I need you to fuck me, Tony."

Her husky moan made his throbbing cock jump with impatience and she smiled wickedly, taking him in her hand and stroking him firmly before guiding him to her entrance. She felt the tip of him slide into her wet, silky heat and rolled her hips at him, both of them groaning as he filled her up.

Tony's eyes shut, his head falling into the crook of her neck as the feel of her overwhelmed him, surging through his veins. Ziva's legs tightened around his hips and he began to move slowly, letting the pleasure build within both of them.

"Ohhhh God...Ziva. Yeah!"

"Ah! Yes!"

She cried out as he moved faster, his every thrust sending her reeling.

"So good, Ziva. Oh...yeah! Fuck!"

One minute Tony was biting down on her shoulder and the next she had flipped them over, impaling herself on him and riding him, her rhythm fast and erratic, desperately close to climaxing.

Tony watched her in awe, her eyes shut and her mouth open, her firm, round breasts bouncing gently as she moved, her palms on his chest for balance.

"Ken, Tony! Yes! Yes!"

Tony felt himself start to lose control, determined to take her over the edge with him. He grasped her hips and pulled her towards him slightly, thrusting up into her hard and fast. Ziva gasped and exhaled something in Hebrew as her clit rubbed against his pubic bone with their every movement, the delicious friction enough to drive her wild.

"TONYYY!"

Ziva circled her hips against him and screamed his name, her muscles tensing and releasing around him as he exploded inside of her, blinded by at the pure intensity of his orgasm. His movements slowed but didn't stop as they recovered. Finally, she collapsed on his chest, both of them covered in a delicate sheen of sweat.

"Wow," she whispered, still incapable of forming a coherent sentence.

"You said it, ninja."

For some reason, Tony started laughing and it quickly became contagious. Soon they were they were both hysterical, clutching each other and gasping for breath.

When they calmed enough to disentangle themselves, Tony turned on his side to face her, propping his cheek on his hand. He grinned when Ziva faced him and mirrored his position. They were silent for a long moment.

"No regrets, right?" Tony finally asked, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear.

"We should have done that a long, long time ago," Ziva said confidently.

Tony laughed.

She kissed him before sliding closer to him, closing her eyes and sighing when he wrapped his arms around her tightly.

*****

Awareness slowly crept over Ziva, the bright morning sunlight coaxing her awake. She felt slightly fuzzy for a few moments as her brain struggled to figure out what was different. Her sheets were soft against her skin, the scent of lavender in the air as familiar as the strong arm draped across her stomach. Ah, yes. She smiled and opened her eyes, watching Tony pout in his sleep.

Ziva was happy, but not naive. She knew that last night had changed their relationship irrevocably and that things might be slightly awkward at work and that Gibbs was probably going to kill them both. She also knew that everything would be okay. She knew, because it was Tony.

It always had been.