Author's Note: Post-ep to Jurisdiction.
Sometime over the course of the movie, he noticed that her hand stopped descending to her cup, and the popcorn bowl had long since been depleted. Mostly, he thought, because of himself, but she had taken a handful every now and then.
A while later, he noticed, out of the corner of his eye, that she was no longer looking at the screen, and instead, seemed to be looking down at the carpet.
He took his eyes off the screen. No. She wasn't looking at the carpet; her eyes were closed, cup resting askew in her lap.
He turned back to the screen.
As the credits rolled, he stood up, stretching his arms above his head. "Ziva," he said, "the movie's over; you can wake up now."
She didn't reply.
He went back to his desk, keeping a close eye on her. Somehow, he was in awe that she could actually sleep through the movie. It had pirates!
Tapping his pen against his desk, he mused. It couldn't just be a coincidence that both of their dates canceled. Not that he minded having an impromptu movie night with Ziva. She was a hard person to fully unravel and get at what she was thinking at a given moment, though, so her true thoughts on the matter were still a mystery.
He walked over to her desk, making sure as he crossed the room that she did not stir. She twitched once, and he stood silent for a moment, waiting for her to wake and yell at him, as she always did, for prying.
Her desk, much like her, was a mystery to him. He had poked his nose in before; found tantalizing glimpses into her life.
Tonight, the only mystery was if she had written anything about a date anywhere he could find.
Ten minutes and a shuffle through her papers, and he found nothing. Nothing that would prove one way or another if she really had had a date.
He was ready to go back to his own desk, perhaps play some solitaire, when he heard her voice. "Tony?" she said, "What are you doing?"
He froze. He felt like a kid caught with their hand in the cookie jar – if someone ate all the cookies first and washed out any remaining crumbs. "Nothing." He walked over next to her. "Absolutely nothing."
"Liar," she mumbled sleepily, "you were prying in my desk."
"And if I was?" He stood closer to her.
"I would not leave my planner where you could find it." She seemed a little more alert now, although he could still hear the fatigue edging her voice.
"A-ha!" he said with a broad grin, a little excitement creeping into his voice. "So you did have a date."
"I said no such thing; but, yes, I did."
"Who would cancel on you?"
"Do we insist on having this conversation?"
"Friends talk about things, Ziva. You called me your friend."
"One of the workers at the bakery where I buy my bread, if you must know," she said, shaking her head ever-so-slightly, "and who would cancel on you?"
He shrugged. "Does it even matter anymore?"
"Friends talk about things, do they not?"
"I didn't have a date."
"Then why did you say you had one?" she tipped her head upward to look at him.
"I didn't want you to feel alone."
"That is very sweet of you, Tony, but you did not have to lie to me. I would have still watched –" she paused for a moment, "- or slept through the movie with you." She let out a yawn.
"Want me to drive you home?" he said, reaching into his pants pocket and finding his keys.
"And how will I get to work, if my car is here and I am not?"
"I'll pick you up."
She thought for a moment. "Then, take me home," she said, with a small smile.
The car ride to her apartment had been quiet. More than once, he looked over to see if she was asleep, but her eyes seemed to be focused on the road, not on the inside of her eyelids.
"Ziva?" he said, as he pulled up in front of her building, "we're here."
"I know," she said, opening her door and getting out, as he did the same. "You do not have to follow me to my door, you know."
His only response was to lead the way.
She stood at her doorway – keys in the lock, left unturned. "Good night, Tony," she said, reaching to turn the key, "and thank you, for bringing me home."
He placed his hand between her hand and the key. "'Night, Ziva," he said, tipping her chin up and pressing a simple kiss to her lips, before letting her chin down and walking away, back to his car.
She stood there, frozen, almost as those she was going to call after him, say something in response. He didn't turn around.
They were friends, after all, and hadn't crossed the line.
Friends who watched silent movies at work together on Friday nights.
But, still, friends.