A/N: I'm going to regret posting this now, I just know it. This thing has absolutely kicked my butt, and I am currently stuck on chapter five. Seriously stuck. I'm hoping that posting will light a fire of inspiration under me, but I just know I'm setting myself up for anguish later. Please be patient with me. I've done so many rewrites and this is about the fifth version in six months. What I'm trying to say is that I'm a bit nervous about this one.
Rating is for adult themes and maybe some coarse language. I'm going for slow burn hot, rather than in-your-face smut. And there's a vague case plot as well. (If you squint.)
Set out of current cannon.
Disclaimer: Just taking them out to show them a good time. I'll return them to their rightful owners soon.
Late on a Saturday morning in early August, Ziva David stepped out of the air-conditioned comfort of her Mini Cooper and into the record-breaking heat of the day. It was the kind of day that sucked the energy and common sense out of a person, where crimes of passion skyrocketed and every pool in the Capitol region was crammed to capacity with heat-ravaged bodies. The news was reporting over 15 heat-related deaths since Monday, and serious-looking reporters with painted on makeup and hair that didn't move solemnly delivered the news that this hell on earth was unlikely to end for another few days at least.
The heat wave hadn't bothered Ziva too much until Thursday, when her air conditioner at home broke and she was forced to spend the night wiping herself down with a cool, wet towel to find any relief. By Friday morning she, Tony and McGee had started having their conversations down in the morgue. By Friday afternoon Ducky had kicked them out, and they took laptops, case files and Slushies down to the shower room. Gibbs had remained in the bullpen, stubbornly wearing his trademark sports coat and drinking piping hot coffee. Ziva supposed he had an image to protect. Either that, or Abby and Tony's theory that he was formed from carbon steel was correct.
Although Saturday was supposed to be the team's day off, Ziva had to admit to being at least a little relieved when Gibbs had called and told her the weekend was over. Visions of a cool office and easy access to sugary, icy drinks filled her head and made her smile, until Gibbs informed her that the crime scene was outdoors and an hour's drive away. Oh, and she had to find Tony before she came.
It was this last detail that now saw her leaving the comfort of her car to stride towards the park two blocks from Tony's apartment. A group of five women in tiny shorts sat on the bleachers on the edge of the small playing field, soaking up the blistering sun and laughing. Ziva steered well clear of them, and instead headed towards an empty picnic bench in the shade of a large oak tree. Suffering heatstroke was not on her list of things to do today.
A breath of wind lifted her hair and snaked along the back of her neck, and Ziva closed her eyes in momentary relief. It had to be pushing 100 degrees right now, and the humidity was nudging the edges of what Ziva would call bearable. Even the barest hint of wind seemed like a gift from God.
She looked out at the playing field and smiled under her sunglasses. Speaking of gifts from God…
Her view was of about ten men, aged from mid-20s to early-40s, mostly in very good shape, mostly shirtless, and all crashing into each other while they played a loose game of what Americans thought passed for football. It certainly wasn't going to be the worst sight Ziva saw today. In the middle of the pack was Tony, clad only in athletic shoes and knee-length blue shorts, and running around with more energy than he had any right to have in this heat. He had a smile on his face that could light up Vegas, and Ziva felt a pang of guilt that she was going to be the one to burst his happy bubble. She didn't have the heart to stride in there and drag him home, so instead she sat on top of the picnic table, her feet up on the seat and elbows braced on her knees, and waited for him to see her.
She didn't have to wait long. He looked her way when a pass went long, and a moment later he was smacking one of his team-mates on his back and jogging off towards the bleachers. Ziva watched as he picked up a white t-shirt, his keys and phone from the bench, then turned back as one of the women called out to him. He slid on his sunglasses as he replied, and Ziva could almost pinpoint the moment when all five women broke into laughter. She smirked to herself. Typical Tony.
She watched him unabashedly as he approached her, letting her eyes travel over his bare chest and arms. She'd always been attracted to him (even if she'd been appalled with herself when they'd first met), but lately he'd been looking more toned and, well, delicious. Her mind wandered to a place where those arms were wrapped tightly around her and that chest pressed her into a bed while she arched beneath him. She discreetly squeezed her thighs together and filed the thought away for future exploration.
When he got within six feet of her, Tony had looked up with a smile that made her sigh. Yes, please, she'd thought, as she blatantly looked him up and down. More of this.
Tony raised a single eyebrow and smirked. "Back at you," he shot back without missing a beat. "I missed three calls from Gibbs."
"Why do you think he sent an assassin to get you?" she asked, poker faced, and pushed her sunglasses up to rest on her head so that she could see him better in the shade.
Tony laughed as he wiped the sweat off his forehead with his forearm. "What's going on?"
"Dead woman in a lieutenant's pool," she replied, her eyes pausing on the V-muscle that disappeared into the top of his shorts. "That is all I know."
Tony took in the familiar look in her eyes, the one that said she was thinking impure thoughts, and sent a silent prayer of thanks for it. So, she was in one of those moods. The kind where she spent the day ogling him without caring if he caught her and touching him at every opportunity. Usually it only came out after they'd had a few drinks, but more and more he was seeing it when she was stone cold sober. And Tony could not be more pleased or encouraging.
"Sounds like a job for Team Gibbs," he said, as if he'd been paying attention all along.
Ziva swung her legs around and slid off the bench to stand in front of him, so close that her chest brushed his. "I'll give you a ride," she said, drawing another smile out of him. "But you need to shower first."
She turned and sauntered back to her car in the lot, leaving Tony to watch the swing of her ass in her jeans.
"Thank you, Ziva," he called.
Yep, Tony had a feeling he was really going to enjoy today.
Back at his apartment, Tony had the quickest shower of his life and then pulled on jeans and a green t-shirt. Okay, so it wasn't exactly standard work attire (these days), but it was Saturday, it was their weekend off, and he had five minutes' notice. And anyway, it wasn't as if Miss Ziva David out there was dressed up to the nines. She was in a freaking tank top. A blinding white tank top that showed off her gorgeous golden skin and hugged her curves…
"Tony!" she called out from the living room. "We must go. Gibbs will kick your ass."
He frowned and opened his bedroom door. "Why would he only kick my ass?" he argued as he walked down the hall. "You're just as much to blame…"
He trailed off when he caught sight of her, standing in front of the fan in the living room with her arms out the to side. She turned her head to look back at him, and the fan blew her long, dark hair back over her shoulder. She gave him that look again, dark eyes under heavy lids, and Tony had to curl his fists and take a deep breath. They were only 20 minutes into their day together, and already he was finding it hard not to go over there, shove her against the wall and have his way with her.
If Ziva had known his thoughts were mirroring hers, there was a very good chance she would have encouraged it. He'd put on those damn jeans that fit his ass so well, he hadn't bothered to shave, and she could smell his soap and shampoo from across the room. She felt a flash of desire, and she turned her head away from him before she made them very, very late.
What was it they said about excessive and prolonged heat having an effect on a person's ability to think clearly?
"Ready?" she asked.
Tony swallowed hard and swung his backpack over his shoulder. "Let's go."
I quite like this chapter. Through all my rewrites, this chapter has basically stayed the same. Time will tell if the rest of them are any good.