A/N Hi everyone. Thanks for the kind reviews and alerts! Someone said that he had accidentally moved in with her and that made me laugh!
This chapter was kind of hard to write. I really wanted to stay as true to their voices as possible while having some fun with them!
Special thanks go to Ryalin for helping me get the most important thing, their little points of language right.
His thoughts were broken by movement beside him. Ziva turned her body so she was facing him.
"Morning" she whispered. Most of the other passengers were sleeping.
"Actually, I think it is 2100 DC time" Tony corrected her. "But it sure feels like morning. No chance of a ten mile run though." he smiled.
"Have you been awake long?" she asked, stifling a yawn.
"Maybe half an hour? I didn't check the time when I woke up. I've been thinking"
He mentally head slapped himself. He was opening the door to potentially awkward questions.
"About?" She walked right through the open door.
"Um. Honestly?" he hesitated. "About this." He indicated the two of them, pointing with his index finger. "How this, waking up next to you, is not weird. About how much I like it."
She smiled. "Me too, Tony." They were silent for a few minutes, each lost in their own thoughts.
"Tony, do you remember this morning in the elevator?" she asked. "I said I feel like we are sneaking around and I do not like it because we are not doing anything wrong?"
"Yeah. I remember." He wondered where she was going with this.
"I think that perhaps we are breaking therules." she said quietly.
"The rule?" Tony asked. She couldn't mean the rule. "Ziva, I know I'd remember if we had...I mean...I would remember." He finished lamely.
"Tony, Gibbs did not tell us "Don't have sex with co-workers". He could not help but laugh at her whispered, deep-voiced impression of their boss. "I do not think he made Rule # 12 because Jenny would not have sex with him anymore."
Tony raised an eyebrow. "I am sure that was part of it! She was pretty hot." This comment earned him a gentle swat from his partner.
"But you're right" he admitted. "I get the feeling that it was very, very bad between them in the end."
"She broke his heart, Tony." Ziva had known the history before coming to NCIS, but only from Jenny's perspective. It was not until she met Gibbs that she had understood the true depth of their relationship.
"As I was saying. The rule is not "No sex with co-workers". It is about something deeper than that. If it was simply about sex, then of course we would not be breaking it."
Tony mumbled something incomprehensible.
Ziva ignored him and continued.
"As I understand it, the rule means no dating. No relationships. That is entirely different. No dating means no emotions and attachments and no chance of heartbreak. Dating means movies and dinner and spending more time with each other than with anyone else." She had obviously been thinking about this more than she had initially let on.
"You think we're dating?" Tony asked. "I've never dated anyone before without... you know..."
"Sex?" she offered. "Truthfully, neither have I, but more...devout...practicing Jews do it all the time. Christians and other religions too."
Tony exhaled deeply. "I suppose. It is kind of weird though. Dating but no sex." How could he put this without getting his face slapped? "Not that you are not hot and it wouldn't be...I mean I know it would be amazing but it is not a good..." he floundered.
"You really are surprisingly bad at this, Tony," she laughed softly. "I am beginning to wonder how much of your great reputation you have just made up."
"But you are right," he ignored the dig. "Gibbs had his heart broken because he was emotionally involved. Attached. And I admit that I'm fairly attached to you." he smiled. He gently flicked the tip of her nose with is finger to prove his point.
"I dragged McGoo all the way to Somalia for vengeance when I thought you were dead. If that's not attachment then I don't know what is."
He stopped and thought. "So we are breaking Rule # 12. I kind of expected at least one of us to be naked if I ever said that. Ow!"
She had punched him.
He continued, rubbing his arm. "So do we stop this and try and go back to how we were before Paris? Or do we just wait until Gibbs thinks we are actually sleeping together, the more normal kind of sleeping together, and head slaps us into the next county?"
"Oh, I am pretty sure Gibbs already thinks we have slept together. Probably more than once." she said lightly. "He thinks we did in Paris."
"Ha. I have better self control than Gibbs does. How much do I want to rub that in his face and...ow! Will you stop punching me!" He frowned at her. "You're going to give me Deep Vein Thrombosis or an embolism or something."
"Do you want to stop coming to my house?" she asked, getting him back on topic.
"No." He did not need a single moment to think about it. "No. It feels right. Besides, it would be like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted."
"And if we are already attached," she continued, "Then the damage is already done."
Tony chuckled softly at her repeating his idiom. "I think I proved that last summer when I had my little breakdown." Business as usual lost all meaning he remembered.
Suddenly wishing she had watched more chick flicks, Ziva wondered if there was a way to define what they had.
"Is there a name for this thing we have? What would they call it in one of your movies?"
"This?" he asked. "I honestly have no idea. This is new for me. More than friends, without benefits? We are definitely more than friends but we are not lovers. What comes in between?"
"Um. For me, usually one date, Tony. Until now. I do not want to 'jump into bed' with you. Not that I do not find you very appealing. But I do not think that we should make this any more complicated than it already is."
He nodded slowly. "We still need some level of professionalism at work. You have always distracted me more than I should let you. But I agree. Continue as is. I need to know where the line is. Rules or not, you are still hot and I am still..."
"A man?" she offered. "Who has shown remarkable self control until now." she patted his cheek with a grin. "But you are right. It is unfair of me to provoke you the way I do. I will be more...careful."
"Not too careful." Tony teased. He didn't want to lose the flirting that was often the highlight of his day.
"We don't need to say anything to anyone, right? I mean... Man this is weird." Tony's head was swimming. He was now officially dating Ziva. And he liked the thought of that.