Tony lay on the ground, his head pulsing. The world was black. Suddenly, little dots of reality began to materialize, until he squinted and looking up, say Ziva's face above him. Ziva's beautiful face…
"Are you ok?"
Tony squinted at the shadow of a face hovering over him. Not Ziva's. But close enough in appearance to be her sister.
The woman reached her hand out and helped Tony up. The world spun around him but he managed to regain his composure quickly. His heart raced as he peered at his helper.
"Who are you?"
She smiled wryly at him. She was petite with long dark hair flowing over her shoulders and big sumptuous lips. Her skin tone was the same as Ziva's. She was Ziva… but she wasn't.
"Your guardian angel apparently."
Tony tried to repress a blush as this gorgeous woman smiled at him. His hand tingled where hers had helped him up. He grinned like the Cheshire cat.
"And what exactly did my guardian angel fly out of the sky to save me from? I have no idea what just happened."
He surveyed his surroundings. Right. He was walking down a suburban street, headed to a store just a little ways away from his house. Ziva had been talking a lot lately about the movie Chinatown, saying "how do you like them apples??" whenever she wanted to throw something in his face. He rolled his eyes and grinned slightly to himself. He'd been headed to the mall to buy her the movie when his mysterious wipe-out had occurred.
"You just kind of had a dark-out. You hit your head too."
Tony felt his head pulse, reached around and found a huge bump. He stared at this woman, trying to repress his laughter.
Ziva… are you in there??
He decided not to correct her idiom.
"Black out… who am I? Ashton Kutcher in The Butterfly Effect?"
He chuckled slightly and watched as her expression changed to one of confusion.
The woman glared at him, "I am American."
Tony raised an eyebrow at her, "Your accent says differently." Her accent was sweet and compelling, definitely Israeli, though her English was better then Ziva's had been when they first met.
The woman stared at Tony placidly, clearly unwilling to clarify her origins. Tony coughed slightly.
"Sorry, I think we've gotten off on the wrong foot here. Thank you for helping me. I-uh- I guess I'm just extra exhausted from all the-uh- working out- I do, and that's why I wiped out. I really appreciate your kindness."
She smiled widely, and his pulse accelerated. He began to sweat.
Play it smooth Dinozzo… smooth.
"So, if you're my guardian angel, did it hurt, when y-?"
"Would you like to go to dinner with me Tony?" she purred, interrupting him with confidence.
"Y-yes- I- that would be- nice."
She smiled, and took a piece of paper out of her purse, along with her pen. Scribbling a number on a piece of paper, she handed it to him.
"Good, here is my phone number. 6 pm at that restaurant Rosita's tomorrow. Don't be late. I like it when my men come on time,"
She raised an eyebrow at him and then turned quickly and began receding into the half darkness. Tony shook his head. Had that just happened. He quickly yelled out,
"Wait!! What's your name?"
She turned around slowly, and tossed him a wink before continuing to walk away.
Tony looked around from left to right. Had anyone seen that?? This had to be the best moment of his life in about three years. Apart from finding out Ziva was still alive, and that one night in Paris…
As he half-skipped home, having completely forgotten about his reason for going out in the first place, he didn't take the time, in good detective fashion, to realize that he hadn't told her his name, but that she had still used it. He also didn't notice the edge of a wooden baseball bat sticking out of the hedge.
Ziva glanced inconspicuously over at Tony. He was smiley today, too smiley. She didn't like it, because she didn't know why. And Ziva always had to know why.
"Tony- what is wrong with you? It looks like someone stuck a hanger in your mouth."
Tony's eyes unglazed and he snapped around to look at her confusedly.
"Why would someone do that?"
Ziva laughed, "I-uh- mean… you have been smiling a lot. Did you win at pool last night?"
Tony frowned slightly at her, "I always win at pool."
Ziva raised an eyebrow, "Did you win money?"
"What does it matter to you Zee-vah?"
Ziva grinned to herself, he hadn't said her name like that for years. She stood up and slouched over to where he sat. She leaned down over his desk and met eyes with him. He stared back into hers, caught by the worry in them.
"Did you meet someone yesterday Tony?" her voice was matter-a- fact, but if he listened really closely, he thought he could hear a hint of vulnerability in there somewhere.
Stop kidding yourself Dinozzo. She's just being Ziva.
Tony chuckled, "It would be hard to live in the great US of A and not meet someone everyday Ziva. Americans are very friendly,"
Ziva sighed and stood up straight, placing her hands on her hips in frustration, "You know what I mean Tony,"
Tony leaned back in his chair and threw his legs over his desk, trying to be suave. He failed when his foot kicked his stapler off the table and it went flying across the room. He stared at it for a second, then disregarded it and, crossing his legs and leaning back in his chair, met Ziva's eyes confidently.
"What if I did meet someone Zee-vah? Who wants to know?"
Ziva glared at him, "Well, clearly I want to know, and that is why I am asking!"
Tony grinned from ear to ear.
Could it be? Could Ziva David be jealous? No…no way.
McGee stared over at the two, entertained by today's shot of office- time-sexual-tension. He couldn't help but chuckle at the irony of this conversation. After all, only five months ago, Tony had been probing into Ziva's life in the exact same way about Michael. When would their stupid games end?! Scratch that, he was enjoying their games, it was way more fun watching this, then filling out paperwork on the latest case. Way more fun….
"McGee! Stop ogling like your tuning into daytime television and do your work!"
McGee swallowed hard as Gibbs rounded the corner. Busted!
"Tony, Ziva… how many times do I have to tell you- stop playing grab- ass. In case you nimrods didn't notice- we have a case to solve."
Ziva and Tony both wiped around. Ziva turned and discreetly whispered to Tony, "What is a nimrod?"
Tony quickly tried to explain himself, ignoring Ziva's question. "No asses were being grabbed boss. We were just having a- conversation."
Gibbs stood level with him and met him squarely in the eye, "Yeah, well… unless it's about the case… you can spare me the details."
Tony nodded and sunk down into his chair. Ziva sat back down in hers too, but continued to steal glances at Tony once Gibbs has finished his rounds. He'd met a woman. She was sure of it. She began typing again, trying to ignore the knot forming in her throat.
What is wrong with you Ziva? Stupid PMS. Stupid, stupid hormones!
She took one last glance over at Tony before continuing with her work.
Tony hurried out of the office, almost forgetting his lunch bag in his excitement.
"You almost forgot your lunch bag!"
He wiped around and Ziva was right there, in his face. Close to him, too close to him….
He swallowed hard, trying to fight the urge to grab her by the arms and kiss her with everything he had in him. He'd been fighting this urge for 4 years, what difference did 5 minutes make? She smelled like papayas…
He grinned shyly at her, and grabbed his lunch bag. They began to walk to the elevators in silence. Tony grinned as he thought of the night he had in store. Ziva caught the grin out of her peripheral vision and bit her lip.
Stop it Ziva. Tony deserves this! A woman. Stop being such a fool… about Tony of all people!!
They entered the elevator together, and Tony pressed the button, his grin prevailing.
His teeth are going to give me a headache….
"Your teeth are going to give me a headache."
Tony turned and looked around at her, "What?"
Oh shit!! I said that out loud.
"No-nothing," Ziva replied, clenching onto her bag extra tightly. His arm grazed against hers as he turned to face forward again. Her nipples hardened.
Air conditioning… I don't know why they leave it on in the elevator…
The elevator opened to reveal the underground parking lot. Tony got off and turned to Ziva.
"Have a beautiful evening m'lady," he said with a charming smile, before stalking off in the direction of his car.
"You too." The words caught in her throat as she watched him walk away.
Tony walked toward the table where his lovely date sat. He was dressed to the nines, and looked every bit as handsome as he once did in his chick-chasing prime.
His date looked up and quickly shoved a photograph with one single tear stain on it back into her purse. It was a picture of Michael Rivkin.
"Hello there, Tony."
AN: TBC!! Please review, that is the food of us storytellers.