Author's Note: This was started back in the spring, so it doesn't take any of the last few episodes of season seven into consideration. No spoilers.

As far as being in relationships – not that what she had with Anthony DiNozzo was a relationship, mind you – Ziva tended to show remarkable restraint.

She would sip her coffee, make a remark when he tried to get under her skin with some scathing dig of the day, and then wait for Gibbs to come in.

"Grab your gear!" was her salvation, more often than not, although she would shoot Tony a pointed gaze as they made their way to the car.

They would solve the case – hell or high water, it would take, for them not to – and she is fairly certain that if Gibbs asked them to traverse the various circles of hell, they would not dare to question it. There would be downtime between each case, and then, almost like clockwork, they would repeat the cycle.

The end of each case was not, however, as much as the rest of the team may have thoughts to the contrary, the end of the time her and Tony spent together.

There were the times when they would go out to dinner, and he would regale her with stories – "Ziva, you've got to hear this one!" – and she would sit back as he filled in the blanks of his life, prior to their first meeting.

Of course, she would stop him – "I really do not need to hear about your former girlfriends!" – if the topic was one she disliked.

It was nice, though, and after he finished with his stories, she'd start in on hers, about life in Israel, about life before coming to NCIS, and she could have sworn that perhaps, he truly was interested in what she had to say.

And then, there were the times when they would go to the cinema together, usually after finishing a nice dinner together. With Tony, it always seemed to be the classic film festivals at the local theater, and not the summer blockbusters. Not that she had any particular interest in seeing a movie about toys, anyway, though some of the action movies seemed as though she might try to entice his interest with them later.

The only disadvantage was that he tended to incessantly quote whichever film they had last seen –"If I hadn't been very rich, I might have been a really great man," was his current refrain of choice, owing to the fact they had seen Citizen Kane only the week before.

So, it was a welcome relief to her the next time they went to the cinema, and instead, she was hearing him say, "Some people can smell danger. Not me."

It would tire eventually, as it always did, but it was oddly endearing, his fascination with classic films. Besides, all she had to do to get him to change his chorus was take him to a new movie.

One thing she did not tire of, however, was the feeling of him pressed up against her, skin on skin, his hands skimming along her hips, her lips trailing up his neck, the only sounds being soft utterances of repeated names and the occasional gasp of breath.

She could never tire of the feel of him, not after she felt him once. He was hard to forget, that Tony was.

No, she thought to herself as she rearranged the pens in her pen cup one morning, and aiming a well-timed hair flip in his general direction, they were not in a relationship. There were no exchanges of words like "love" or "date" that would imply they were anything but what they portrayed themselves to be. But whatever it was that they did have was something that she enjoyed thoroughly. She knew she would be extremely jealous if she found out he had had the same arrangement with some other woman, past or present.

No need to change what worked for them - right?