Okay, so this isn't fantastic, but I had serious issues trying to figure out what to write, seeing as how I kind of ended it already. Anyway, I hope this satisfies, and I appreciate everyone that takes the time to read it. Reviews, of course, always appreciated.
Tony DiNozzo was much happier than he should have been at the moment. But, pain killers did wonders and the savory smells wafting out of his kitchen were reviving the apetite he'd lost after days of hospital food. Most tantalizing was the fact that a certain Israeli was sashaying around his kitchen, preparing him dinner.
He had watched her make sausage earlier, fingers delicately kneading the meat and spice mixture together, and for the first time in his life, Tony longed to be pork. The memory of her hands in his hair and along his bare back was still very vivid in his mind, so much that he found himself staring and daydreaming when she was near. He'd even felt the need to ask his doctor yesterday before he checked out of the hospital, if the pain meds had an effect on his libido. The older man had given him a strange look, and commented that he'd never heard of that effect.
Tony knew he had to get himself under control. If he was still staring at her when he went back to work, Gibbs would read his face instantly, and then headslap him into another hospital stay. Not only was mentally undressing his partner against Gibbs' rules, but Ziva was like a daughter to the man, and Tony knew that Leroy Jethro Gibbs was rather protective of his adopted daughters. Even if she used to be an assassin.
As for Ziva herself, well she seemed to have reverted back to her post-Somalia withdrawn quiet phase. It both puzzled and troubled him. She'd volunteered to stay with him a few days and help him out, and Gibbs had given her the green light to take a few days off. She'd taken him home yesterday, and spent the time since busying herself with whatever needed to be done. Tony had insisted earlier that she didn't need to cook, that he'd just order a pizza, but she'd forcefully commented that pizza wasn't food suited to assist healing. He needed real food.
He hadn't bothered arguing, but let her do whatever she wanted.
So, Tony camped out on his sofa, and kept out of her way. He'd spent the day watching various cops shows on TV, and scoffing when they messed up procedure. Like shooting warning shots into the air. Seriously? No cop ever did that, not when they would have no idea where it was land (like maybe their nearby partner, or a civilian hiding somewhere?), and had to account for every bullet that left their gun barrels. Uh, sure boss, bullet went, uh, yep, definitely went somewhere.
"Are you still watching these stupid shows?" Ziva asked, setting a plate of food, silverware and a napkin on a TV tray for him.
"Hey, hey, not all of them are stupid. This is a new one, with a super hot CIA agent, and you know about my weakness for spies." He leered.
"I did not know you thought of James Bond quite that way."
Tony gagged on the hot, yummy food he'd just put in his mouth, and had to concentrate on swallowing. "While Bond has his virtues, he wasn't the spy I was referring to."
Rather than shoot another zinger as he expected, Ziva said simply, "Eat your dinner before it gets cold." Then she was heading back to the kitchen.
Having had enough of quiet-distant Ziva, Tony set the plate down, and hopped off the couch, following her to the kitchen.
"What are you doing?" She demanded when she saw him. "You should be eating and resting."
"Yeah, my shoulder, not my legs, and as you can see, I'm not doing anything with it." He gestured to sling holding him arm immobile.
"Your food will get cold."
"That's what the microwave is for."
"Go sit down, Tony."
He shook his head. "Not until you tell me what's going on."
"What do you mean?" She thrust her hands on her hips, defensive, aggressive.
"You've been weird for days. You barely talk to me, unless you're telling me to eat, or rest, or be careful, or go to bed, and you look like you're in outerspace half the time. What is going on with you?"
She sighed. "Nothing, I am fine."
"Damn it, Ziva. You are not. You're babying me, you don't baby!"
"You are injured, you require care!"
"Not a nursemaid!"
"Fine, you would like me to go, I will go!"
Tony groaned loudly. "No, I don't want you to go! I want you to tell me what I did wrong, what I did to upset you!"
And, then her face suddenly seemed to change, the anger falling away, the defensiveness disappearing. "You did nothing wrong, Tony," she said softly.
"Then what...what changed?"
Ziva sighed, and waved him into a seat, falling tiredly into one herself. "I have done horrible things, Tony, and I have had them done to me. There was a time that I could forget, or at least I did not dwell on any of it. But now, perhaps it is all of you, or just that everyone has their limits, but I can not stop hearing you screaming and crying. I can not block it out of my head."
Tony sat watching her open-mouthed. "Ziva, you saved my life."
She said nothing, just looked toward the stove, where she had been storing leftovers.
"You don't think I'm mad at you, do you?"
"No, I know you are grateful."
Tony just stared at her, absolutely lost on what to tell her. What to say to make her realize she'd done nothing wrong, that the screaming in her head was unnecessary guilt. He sighed. "Ziva, you are the only person in the world who would cut a bullet out of my shoulder, and at the same time try and distract me from the pain with innuendo. Have I thanked you for that yet?"
"You have not said the words, but I knew it."
"Well, then let me say the words," he paused and gripped her shoulders, "Thank you, Ziva, for saving both mine and McGee's asses with your firearms skills, and saving mine a second time with your unexpected medical talents."
"You're welcome." She resisted the urge to look away from his eyes.
He could see that she still wasn't convinced, so Tony made a quick decision, fueled no doubt by the innuendo they'd swapped that fateful night. He put his hand on the side of her head, and pulled her lips to his. Ziva didn't resist. She stiffened at first, but then pressed her soft lips even firmer into his, and Tony was surprised to feel her trembling.
Trembling. Ziva David. In his arms. Since when did she do that?
Ziva teased his lips with her tongue until he parted them enough for her to deepen the kiss, and pressed her body against his with a neediness she had never experienced before. She could feel her body flushed with heat, her heartbeat like a snare drum in her head. She wasn't surprised when Tony's arm wrapped around her waist, and drew her toward him. She was startled when he, only moments later, broke the heady kiss, and put space in between them.
He was panting, his eyes shut as he tried to regain his breath. His lips were flushed a deep pink, and swollen, plump, and very enticing. But, Ziva stood patiently, resisting the urge to quell the burning low in her belly. Then he opened his eyes.
"That was...dizzying," he spoke slowly, deliberately, as if coming down from a high.
"Then why did you stop it?"
"Because, if I didn't stop it then, I wouldn't have been able to later, and if I'm going to have you naked in my arms, I want both arms to work with." He gestured to his cast.
Ziva very nearly blushed. "Of course."
Tony shifted nervously on his feet, and cleared his throat. "Would you settle for dinner and snuggling?"
The corners of her mouth turned up in a smile. "I think that would be...nice."
"Great, grab a plate, I'll work on reheating mine." He nodded his head, still trying to stop all the spinning inside his skull.
Ziva nodded, and finished what she'd been doing, scooping food onto a plate, and storing the rest in containers. When she went back to work, Tony would have plenty of leftovers to eat. Not that she was afraid he'd starve, he had one good arm to dial out for delivery, but still, his cholesterol was probably high enough. She also grabbed two glasses of ice water.
When she got to the living room, she found Tony digging through his vast film collection. He plucked a DVD out with a triumphant smile, and set it up in his very expensive DVD player. Tony handed her the case as he sat beside her on the couch, and she raised her eyebrows at him.
"You fell asleep the first time."
"And, it is that important that I see this movie?"
"It's a good movie."
Ziva smiled at that simple, and very Tony-like explanation. "Alright, let's watch."
Grinning happily, Tony got comfortable on the sofa, sitting barely inches from her, and hit the play button. Thirty minutes in, after they'd finished eating, and the heat between them had sufficiently cooled, Tony risked putting his good arm around her shoulder. With no hesitation, Ziva slid closer to him, and rested her head on the crook of his arm, her hand tangled in the fingers sticking out of his sling.
This time she stayed awake, and for the first time in days, it was quiet in her head. Not completely silent, but not as loud and overpowering as it hand been. It was a start.
When her tears dripped onto his t-shirt, Tony kissed the top of her head, and held her a little tighter. He also said a silent prayer that he'd heal quickly.
He didn't realize that it hadn't actually been silent until Ziva agreed, amusement coloring her voice.