Gibbs reflects on Tony and Ziva. Set somewhere in Season 7.

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These Days

Gibbs sat at his desk. A paper cup in his right hand, the aroma of deliciously potent strong coffee reached his nose and he smiled faintly. It was early evening and they had just finished a case. Some bastard in the suburbs killed a Petty Officer just because he parked his car infront of his house. Gibbs sighed as he thought back to the Officer's wife and two young sons. Distraught because of a crazed neighbour, their lives changed forever.

Gibbs was taken out of his mind as a laugh echoed around the bull pen as the rest of Team Gibbs finished off their paperwork. Ziva was laughing at something Tony had said and was explaining the joke to McGee. Gibbs smiled at the sound. For a long time he hadn't heard Ziva laugh and happiness stirred in him as he thought that it might be finally getting back to normal.

He knew that his two best agents had grown close in their years working together. That was blantently obvious. Tony and Ziva were some sort of action team. They had each others backs and Gibbs respected that. He knew that they would look after each other - no matter what. That had turned pear shaped however, as he thought bitterly back to the drama that Michael Rivkin created. Tony spurred fractionally by jealousy but mainly for his need to protect Ziva had killed him. And Gibbs saw his dream team disentegrate. All too soon they were split up and Ziva was saying goodbye on that hot day in Isreal. He had expected it but somewhere deep in his stomach, in his gut he had hoped that she wouldn't carry through.

And that was that. Tony tried to put on a brave face but then he cracked. Determined to find out where Ziva was and why she hadn't contacted him yet. Gibbs saw the need in Tony's eyes when he came to him with a theory and turned a blind eye when he and McGee went on their search.

The she was dead. The news rolled in and Gibbs watched as Tony shut himself off. He would stare blankly at her desk as he sat in his. His eyes wide and empty. He would be distracted on cases and didn't want to do anything. He tried to do paperwork instead of having lunch with the team and Abby mentioned that hadn't been out with them for post case drinks in a long while. He was slightly proud and greatly relieved when Tony snapped and demanded that they sort this out.

And so he found himself on a cliff edge in Somalia thinking that he was going to kill the man who had caused the death of his adopted daughter. Rescuing his agents who had purposely gotten captured in the desert. But as he stared through that scope lense and saw the zoomed in image of the back of Tony's head. He could just make out McGee lying on the floor and he felt a jolt of worry incase he had been hurt. Then his stomach somersaulted in a way it hadn't in a while when he saw her exhausted and brusied face. She was alive. She was back.

He thought back to the plane ride home. She sat strapped into the seat and hardly spoke a word. They flew straight home and if he wasn't so concerned about his Ziver he would've laughed at the state they all looked. He noticed Tony's caustious and concerned glances towards her. If she fell asleep he would stare at her until she jolted awake. Her eyes darted around and he lent back in his seat and tried to act as if he hadn't been watching her. He helped her as they moved out of the aircraft hanger and into a car. She sat beside him in the back but still they didn't talk. McGee was nearly comatose the whole way home but he had had a short conversation with Ziva quietly on the plane.

Tony cracked a DiNozzo joke in the elevator and no one really responded as they stepped out into the office. Then the clapping started and he had to stop himself from rolling his eyes. Vance all happy as usual even though if it had all went wrong Team Gibbs would've been unemployed. He watched from the corner of his eye as Ziva was hugged by Abby, McGee standing close by but he was mildly shocked as he watched Tony walk to his seat. Normally he would've been lapping all the recognition up, he even took recognition that wasn't meant for him in the first place. Tony was staring at Ziva again as she hugged Abby. The office slowly slipped back into its usual light hum of chatter and Abby started talking animately at Ziva who looked dead on her feet.

It had been awkward for a few weeks as Ziva adjusted back into the world of NCIS. Trust had to be earned and accepted again. He watched as she and Tony slowly built their relationship up again. He noticed that he waited for her as she gathered her things instead of running to the parking lot. He let her drive and didn't complain as much as he used to about her driving, which even Gibbs noted had gotten worse since her return. Ziva would come in early morning and it was obvious that she had hardly slept but some mornings she came in bright and cheery and they were always the mornings that Tony was in at the same time.

He susptected that something was going on. And his gut never proved him wrong so far. Tony's hand would linger on her back as he guided her towards the lab or down to see Ducky. She would sit happily on his desk and chat, her eyes straying from his eyes to gaze at his lips and body. Some days when Ziva was in one of her moods Tony would pull her off to the side, or disappear for an hour and when they came back she would be calmer. But Gibbs didn't miss the tense strain behind DiNozzo's eyes. They trained together too, Ziva using Tony as her punching bag as they fought in close combat. He found them one day when they didn't have a case down in the gym. Both of them were red and sweaty. He watched as Tony allowed Ziva to slam him into the mat before she muttered darkly something at him and he rolled her over so she was trapped below him. He was too far away to hear their conversation but it looked as if they were in a heated argument. He was almost mesmerised as they tumbled and swung at each other. They would jump up and circle each other on the map before one of them would make a move.

Abby told him that Ziva was staying at Tony's place everynight and his gut had twisted again. Abby had warned him not to mention it and that it was good for Ziva. Her new apartment was still not ready for her to move into and even then she could hardly sleep properly on her own. She still didn't feel safe. This, their crazy ninja Ziva didn't feel safe. Abby had glared at him and reminded him that Ziva wouldn't want this weakness brought up with anyone so he hadn't mentioned it at all.

And even though it was helping Ziva, Gibbs didn't like where this was going. It was straying into Rule Twelve territory. He knew that somewhere, whereever she was, that Jenny would be rolling her eyes and giving him a stern glare. Telling him to get over himself and his dammed rules. But they were there for a reason and that was the story Gibbs was sticking to. He didn't want to take them into his office and demand that they stop whatever this was before it became too late. He didn't want to find out that it already had happened. He didn't want to break up the team again because of this, just after it had got back together.

But he found that he didn't have to. Things slowly returned, Tony flirted with the girl who handed out the mail and Ziva didn't comment too much. They started their office banter that he found he had missed but it didn't sound any different than it had before. So far they had not ripped each others clothes off or attempted to kill each other with staplers and pens. So far so good.

Even now he watched them gather up their things. Tony printed a few pages of his paper work and slipped it into a file before setting on her desk. He lingered at the edge of his desk as she pulled her gun from her drawer and placed in against her hip. McGee said goodbye to them all and disappeared down to get Abby in her lab. Ziva smiled widely at him and her fingertips grazed his arm as she pulled on her jacked. He grabbed her bag and they made their way to the elevator, their conversation quiet and between themselves. Gibbs watched as he pushed the button and let her enter the lift before him. Ever the gentlemen.

And they disappeared for another evening. Gibbs would go to his boat in his basement and McGee to his surely riveting sequel. Abby would be bowling in the nuns again and Ducky catching up with his mother someplace else. But Gibbs didn't know what Tony and Ziva would be doing with their evening. They had evolved so much over time. Gibbs finally took a sip of his coffee, it was just the right temperature. He smiled and sighed, reclining in his chair. Pushing his worries about DiNozzo and David out of his mind until the next morning where they would arrive together - all smiles and sexual tension.