Ziva had never felt a pillow so soft as the one her head rested on now. The bed which had not offered her any sleep that morning felt different now. Or was it her who felt different. She did not feel as alone now as she had. She had apologised to him before for the situation she had brought him into but she had not understood that he had entered into it willingly. To protect, and then to avenge her. She could hear his breathing behind her and she was thankful for her partner. For all his hi-jinks and wisecracks, he was a great agent. And a good friend.
"Tony?" she asked. "Are you still awake?"
"Yes" he rolled to face her.
"Thankyou for coming for me"
"No problem," he said, as he placed his arm around her. "I've got your back."
Ziva was woken by her phone ringing. "DiNozzo" it said.
"Where are you?" she asked.
"Squeezing in some final sights," he replied. "But you need to get up now. I will meet you at the cafe at 1500."
"Ok," she agreed and she hung up.
He did not seem to be bothered by the things she had said last night. Perhaps the knowledge of what had really happened to her had silenced the suspicions he had. She had always thought it was better to know something bad for sure than be thinking the worst and not know.
She looked at the clock. 2:30. Plenty of time to meet Tony. She had hardly anything to pack. She would leave her bags and get them when they caught the taxi to the American Embassy.
Dressing in her red top, she studied herself in the mirror. Did she look different than yesterday? She felt like a weight had been lifted from her. Her guilt felt lighter, her eyes brighter, and even if the nightmares still came, she knew that they were not real and that her friends would be there for her.
Tony thought about last night as he rode back through the city to the cafe. It was certainly not how he had expected things to be. They had cleared the air of what had been hanging between them for months now. He felt guilty, she felt guilty and they both had opened up about everything they had done. Tony knew she would not heal from her emotional hurt so soon, but she certainly had looked peaceful when had left her that morning.
He thought about asking her whether she thought they should mention last night to anyone. But he decided that there was no need. They had merely shared a bed and he was pretty sure Gibbs didn't have a rule about that. Even so, things would be different now, he knew. The tension of the last few months would fade. Now things could begin to go back to normal.
He saw her sitting at the same table as yesterday, wearing a red top and her hair out. My partner he thought. Ninja assassin chick, super hot and yet so strong. You are one lucky agent, Anthony DiNozzo.
He heard her cell ring as he rode up behind her.
"Bonjour, McGee" she answered. "No, everything's fine."
Tony smiled as he pulled up the bike.
"We are leaving for the airport as soon as Tony returns from seeing the sights." she said, a little annoyed at his being late.
"I'm here," he called out as he parked.
"Okay, McGee. Au revoir." She hung up.
"Tell McGee I love Parie" Tony grinned as he moved towards the table.
"Why don't you tell him yourself, when we get back," she quipped. "We must pick up our witness at the embassy. Come on," she moved to stand up.
"Woah, hold your horses," Tony sighed as he sat down. "One day, just isn't enough in this town is it. I get why artists love it. Something about the light. Picasso, Rodan, the can-can girls at the Moulin Rouge." he teased.
"This is not a vacation, Tony," she reminded him for the third time.
"But it is a beautiful day," he smiled as he slipped a piece of danish into his mouth.
Ziva looked up at him quizically. "Why are you in such a pleasant mood?" she asked. "What's wrong with you?"
"I slept well last night." he answered. "Why, didn't you."
Ziva looked at the table. The truth was she had, once she had finally fallen asleep in his arms.
"You certainly looked, comfy enough." he teased.
Ziva looked up at him and laughed.
"Paris" he said. "France. It's really not what I thought it would be." He snapped a picture of an innocent passer-by. "Of course, all I had to go on was a French arms dealer and his rather fetching daughter."
He could se Ziva was getting annoyed with him now and he liked it. Pushing her buttons. Knowing where they stood again was such a relief.
"Oh well, cest la vie. It's french for something."
"That's life," Ziva said as she packed her American History book in her handbag. She stood up. "Let's go."
Tony rose too and motioned to the scoter with his hand. "Apres vous" he said. Ziva made a sound which was supposed to show her distain for the scooter, but she knew she would ride with him.
"Here we go" he said as he jumped on the scooter and started the engine. "Hop on. I'm getting pretty good at this."
Ziva climbed on behind him and held him tightly around the waist.
Tony laughed as he beeped the horn and they rode back to the hotel.