A/N: Just a short little tag I wrote to "Jetlag". On most days, I hate Tiva, but this song was just beginning to be used. Please don't forget to R&R :)

The Only Exception

"Can't believe they couldn't be bothered to send a car."

She did not glance up from her book at the muttered complaint, though the smallest of smiles tugged at the corners of her mouth, hidden by her dark hair. "Stop complaining, Tony."

"Bet the FBI would have sent a car. This is embarrassing. I did not take this assignment to see Paris from the backseat of a smelly cab. I could have gotten the same experience in DC."

"You did not take this assignment at all. That is why it is called an assignment. It was assigned to you."

"I could have told Vance to give it to McGee."

"Not if you wanted to keep your job," she smirked, closing the book in her lap before brushing her long hair behind her ears.

"They still should have sent a car."

"And the Director should have sent McGee," she countered, though her tone was light.

"You wouldn't have lasted an hour on the plane with McGee," Tony responded, slumping down just slightly in the seat as he scowled at the back of the cab driver's seat. "He's no fun to travel with."

"And you are?"

"You've gotta admit that I kept you entertained," he grinned, his first real smile since they'd stepped off the plane.

"You always keep me entertained, whether or not you mean to." Rolling her eyes at him, she leaned forward between the two front seats and tapped the cab driver on the shoulder. "Combien de temps?"

"Cinq minutes. Et mon taxi ne pue pas," he responded, his meeting Tony's in the rearview mirror. "C'est lui peut-être."

She barely stifled her giggle as she sat back in her seat. "Merci."

"What did he say about me?" Tony asked, narrowing his eyes at the back of the driver's head.

"He said we will be at the hotel in another five minutes and that his cab does not stink, however he thinks that perhaps you could use a shower."

His scowl turned to a deep frown and a moment later, he lifted his arm under the pretense of stretching before he sniffed discreetly.

"Oh Tony," she laughed. "You are far too easy sometimes."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," he muttered, though she was sure she caught the faintest hint of a smile when he turned to glare out the window.

It was the most they had teased one another since her return to the states almost five months ago, she realized, her smile faltering just slightly. What had once been a fun, comfortable relationship had disintegrated into nearly nothing thanks to her own foolishness, though until this very moment, she had not realized just how much she missed what they had once had.

Unexplained tears blurred her vision as she turned her head, glancing out the window of the cab as a light rain began to fall around them.

How fitting, she thought darkly, reaching up to brush away the single tear that dared to spill over, streaking down her cheek stubbornly.

"Nous sommes ici," the cab driver announced as he pulled up in front of the old brick hotel, jarring the Israeli woman from her thoughts.

Blinking back the remaining tears that threatened to spill, she took a deep breath and leaned forward, pressing the money into his hand as she offered him a smile. "Merci. Et s'assurer que vous allez l'achat vous un désodorisant d'atmosphère," she responded with a wink. "Me fier, l'odeur ne venait pas de lui." Waving her hand in front of her nose for effect, she climbed from the cab, barely suppressing another giggle at the incredulous glance Tony threw her way.

"What did you say to him? I never really paid much attention to my French teacher in high school, but those words he just growled were definitely on the no-no list."

"Do not worry about it," she responded dismissively, opening the trunk the grab their bags from the back.

Cocking an eyebrow at her, he grabbed the bags from her hand and closed the lid of the trunk, unsurprised when the cab driver peeled away from the sidewalk, his tires squealing. "You must've really ticked him off."

"Like most men, he is far too sensitive about his car," she said with a shrug, hurrying up to the front of the hotel, shivering just slightly in the chilly afternoon air.

"Cold?" He asked, shrugging off his suit jacket.

"Perhaps a bit. I was not expecting it to be so chilly. McGee assured me that we would have nice weather for the duration of our stay."

"That'll teach you to believe McGoo," he grinned, dropping it around her shoulders before he pulled the hotel door open, ushering her inside.

Tugging the warm fabric tighter around her body, she slipped passed him, breathing in his scent deeply. It was one she had missed greatly.

"C'mon," he urged, shifting the bags in his hands as he nodded to the front desk. "Got a lot of sights to see and not much time to do it. Quit wastin' time."

"I have already seen all the sights in Paris."

"Then you can play tour guide. Whatever. We're going."

"And if I say no?"

"Ziva… we're in Paris. Together. Alone. You're not really gonna tell me no," he smirked.

For a brief moment, she debated telling him exactly that just to get a rise out of him, but something inside her made her pause. They were, as he said, alone in Paris. Together. They were away from DC and the office, away from everything reminded her of those last few disastrous months.

They had a whole twenty-seven hours before they boarded the plane back for the United States, but for now, they could forget it all. At least for awhile.

"Very well, Tony," she responded, offering him a shy smile.

Unable to contain his bright smile, he led her over to the front desk, leaning heavily against the wooden counter. "Agents DiNozzo and David, NCIS," he greeted, flashing his badge at the young woman behind the desk. "We're here to check in."

"We have been waiting for you," she greeted. "Welcome to The Hotel Costes." Turning away briefly, she grabbed a hanging key from the wall behind her before she slid it across the counter to him. "You are in Room 305."

"Wait a minute… we're supposed to have two rooms," he responded, and Ziva did not miss the slight frown on his face.

"We have you booked here for one room," the young woman responded, her fingers moving quickly over the keys.

"There must be a mistake," Ziva frowned.

"There is no mistake."

"Well do you have another room available?"

"We are completely booked," she said, and though her tone was apologetic, she did not look the least bit sorry. In fact, it was all Ziva could do to keep from slapping the irritated look off of her face.

"Perhaps you should check again," she growled.

"Easy," Tony muttered, dropping a hand onto her shoulder. "It's only one night. Thanks anyway," he said, grabbing the key from the counter.

"She did not even check to see if there were any vacancies," Ziva grumbled, turning back to glare at the young receptionist as Tony led her toward the elevators.

"It's only one night," he repeated. "We've shared a room before."

"And you snore like a drunken bear."

"You're not exactly the most delicate sleeper either," he snorted, stepping onto the elevator as the doors opened. "Besides, we're not going to spend much time in there anyway. There's a lot I want to see."


"It's Paris, Zee. We're in the most romantic city in the world and you really wanna spend our only day here arguing with the receptionist over room reservations? If it's that big of a deal, I'll take the floor."

"There is no need for that. It is, after all, only one night," she sighed.

"Finally on the same page," he responded, smirking as they stepped off the elevator on the third floor.

They were quiet as they made their way down the hallway to their room, but she could not help but glance at him out of the corner of her eye. This was the most excited she had seen him in a long time, and she quickly found herself wondering if it was because they were in Paris, or because they were in Paris together.

The thought sent a trail of goosebumps up her arms. Shivering just slightly, she tugged the jacket tighter around her thin body, offering him what she hoped was a confident smile as he opened the hotel room door for her.

"Since you are forcing me to spend the evening with you, I am calling dips on the first shower."

"Dibs, Zee-vah," he corrected.

"Whatever," she responded with a dismissive shrug of her shoulders as she dropped his jacket to the chair beside the door. Taking her bag from his hand, she offered him a coy smile before making her way to the bathroom. She could feel his eyes lingering on her as she walked away from him, her cheeks flushing at the very idea that he could not take his eyes off of her.

"Still upset that they did not send a car?" She asked, her arms wrapped around her body as they walked. The air around them was chilly, but despite that, she felt comfortably warm.

"And miss all this?" He asked incredulously, pulling her closer to his side with a broad grin. "Nah. The FBI can keep their cars."

Though their expedition had started out quite awkwardly once leaving the hotel, it was not long before they found the comfortable rhythm that had been missing for quite some time. What had been out of synch between them for so long seemed to finally be clicking back into place.

"I've missed this, Zee," he said after a long while, almost as if he had been reading her mind.

"So have I," she sighed, peeking up at him with a shy smile.

Ducking his head just slightly, he pressed a gentle kiss to the top of her hair and squeezed her again, breathing in her scent. "So… what now?"

"Well… I was thinking perhaps we should decide on dinner. It is beginning to get late. Have you seen enough sights for today?"

"I think so. Got some great pictures."

"Personally, I think your photography could use a little work, but whatever makes you happy," she teased, pulling away long enough to link her arm through his. "Come on. I know a wonderful little restaurant."

"Think they've got pizza?"

"Only you, Tony," she laughed. Pressing herself tighter against his strong body, she tugged him gently down the street, missing the fond smile playing on the corners of his mouth as he followed behind her, praying to God that as long as he lived, he would never forget this moment.

When I was younger I saw

My daddy cry and curse at the wind

He broke his own heart and I watched

As he tried to reassemble it

And my momma swore

That she would never let herself forget

And that was the day I promised

I'd never sing of love if it does not exist

But darlin'

You are the only exception

You are the only exception

You are the only exception

You are the only exception

It was the most relaxed he'd seen her in months, he realized, watching as she talked animatedly with her hands. Her pretty lips were set in a smile and he could see the amusement in her brown eyes as she teased him, reaching over to pluck a piece of food off of his plate.

He'd tuned her out, though it was not intentional; he'd gotten lost in her movements and he could only hope that she didn't ask him to repeat what she'd just said. He'd forgotten what she was like when she was relaxed enough to let her guard down, but the longer he watched her, the more sure he was that he never wanted her to put that wall up again.

"Tony," she said and he could hear the exasperation in her tone, leading him to believe that it wasn't the first time she'd called his name. "Are you paying attention?"


"I uh…" he trailed off, clearing his throat before allowing a broad grin to slide into place. "Sorry. Spaced out for a minute, I guess."

"I suppose I will forgive you… this time," she responded, a hint of teasing in her voice as she leaned over and plucked another shrimp from his plate. "This place has good food, yes?"

"Definitely. Good choice."

She faltered momentarily at his short response, her brown eyes flickering uncertainly. "You do not like it."

"What?" He shook his head, offering her a genuine smile. "When have you ever known me to not like food?"

"Good point. But if that is not it, then what is it?"

He hesitated at her question; this was his opportunity, he realized, to tell her how much he'd missed this, but staring at her gorgeous face, he didn't know if he had it in him. "I just…" Swallowing hard, he reached out, brushing her curly hair back behind her, allowing his hand to linger against her cheek.

Closing her eyes, she turned into his touch.


Opening her eyes, she chewed her lower lip nervously as she regarded him carefully. "Hotel room?"

"I thought you would never ask."

Shoving the hotel door open, the pair stumbled inside the room, his hands gripping her hips as hers fisted in his hair, their lips never parting. Kicking the door closed behind them, his fingers tightened around her waist as he lifted her up and she responded in kind by wrapping her legs around him.

This very moment was one they'd been dancing around for a long time, and as he carried her to the bed, he knew there was nothing in this world he'd ever wanted more.

He dropped her onto the mattress, releasing a quiet grunt when she grabbed his tie, pulling him down on top of her. Her breaths were coming out in short ragged spurts that tickled his face until she wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling his lips down to hers once more.

"Ziva…" he managed, gasping for air as he pulled away. Reaching down between them, he cupped her face in his hands, smoothing her hair from her face again.

"Now," was her only response as she allowed her hands to slide down his hard chest, coming to a rest on button of his pants. "We have… we have been playing at this for far too long, Tony."

"I don't… I don't want you to regret this in the morning."

"I could never regret this," she assured him, closing her eyes as he claimed her lips once more.

His long fingers went to work on the buttons of her shirt expertly as she worked at freeing him from his pants. In that very moment, it was as if everything that had seemingly tried to pull them apart ceased to exist.

Beneath him, she shifted slightly before she managed to flip them over, a smirk playing on the corners of her lips just seconds before she leaned down, crushing herself against him again.

The next few moments passed in a flurry of activity as clothes were thrown and scattered all over their room. For a brief second, she found herself lost in the moment until he flipped them again, sliding into her in one swift motion, bringing her back to the here and now.

A content sigh escaped her as he filled her, her sharp nails raking down his back as he lowered his lips to her neck.

Ziva arched her back, parting her legs a bit more as an offering and Tony didn't hesitate. Nipping playfully at her neck, he moved against her, every sound she made going straight to his cock.

"So… so good," he managed, grabbing her wrists before he held them above her head, loving the way she squirmed beneath him, trying desperately to gain some semblance of control.

"Harder," she commanded, the word coming out in no more than a breathy gasp as she lifted her hips against him. "Please. More."

"So polite," he laughed, though he complied with her orders, allowing the rocking of her hips to set his pace.

She could feel herself drawing closer to the edge with each passing minute and it wasn't long until she was ready. "I am… Oh God, I am so close!" She cried, writhing against him. "Tony!"

The sound of her moaning his name was enough to send him over as well, and they pair came almost simultaneously, both completely and utterly spent. He collapsed on top of her, both of them panting heavily as they tried to catch their breath.

After a moment, he rolled off of her, reaching up to swipe at his sweaty face as he glanced over at her with a slight grin. "You… you okay?"

Turning onto her side, she pressed her naked body against his, allowing her fingers to draw lazy circles against his chest. For a moment, she didn't speak, and all he could think was that he'd fucked up with her again.

Just as he opened his mouth to speak again, she stopped him, her voice wavering slightly as she rested her head against his chest.

"I think… I think that perhaps I am better now than I have been for quite a long time."

Maybe I know somewhere deep in my soul

That love never lasts

And we've got to find other ways to make it alone

Or keep a straight face

And I've always lived like this, keepin' a comfortable distance

And up until now I had sworn to myself that I'm content

With loneliness because none of it was ever worth the risk

Well you are the only exception

You are the only exception

You are the only exception

You are the only exception

Tony could feel McGee's eyes boring into his back as he stood in front of Ziva's desk, pretending that he wasn't watching her carefully while he flipped through the pictures he took during their short trip.

"Ah. Champ du Mars. Bogey and Bergman will always have Paris…" he trailed off, cocking an eyebrow at her. "And now, so we will we."

She was pretending to ignore him, but he could see the slight twitch of her lips as she tried to not smile.

Behind him, McGee cleared his throat, pushing himself up from his desk. "I guess Nora won't… seeing as her own fiancé used company money to try and have her killed."

He stilled for a fraction of a second before he backed away from Ziva, moving to lean against his own desk. "Yeah well, that's gotta sting."

McGee shrugged. "Well, her testimony was gonna expose him too. Beringer stole from the Navy, Daniel stole from Beringer. How'd she take it, by the way?"

Tony watched Gibbs strolled into the bullpen, coffee in hand.

"Pretty hard, even for her."

"Rule number twelve," the silver-haired agent grunted.

"Uh… hey, Boss. How… how's the shoulder?" McGee asked, ignoring the irritated look the older man threw over his shoulder before he stood upright and stalked back out of the bullpen, heading for the stairs.

"Boy, McGee," Tony snorted. "When you blow it, you blow it."

"DiNozzo, it was an accident. MTAC, McGee!" Gibbs called down over the railing.

"Yes Boss!" McGee called back, straightening as he started after his boss before he paused, glancing back at his two partners. "Hey, in Paris… who got stuck with the couch?"

"Me," Tony responded without hesitation, not bothering to look up from his pictures. "We flipped a coin."

"Mmm… Tough break," the junior agent smirked as he stepped out of the bullpen, leaving the pair alone.

At her desk, Ziva paused, glancing up at Tony. She didn't miss the slight smirk on his face as he glanced at her over top of the pictures in his hand.

"Why did you just lie to McGee?"

"Why'd you lie to Nora?"

The Israeli shook her head, returning her attention to her computer. From the corner of her eye, she saw him push off of his desk, his eyes never leaving the photograph in his hand.

"Nora was right," he decided, pausing in front of her once more. "Found my favorite picture, and funny enough, it's the only one with someone in it."

A quiet giggle escaped her as he dropped the picture on her desk.

"Very French New Wave, don't you think?"

"Maybe," the woman replied with a casual shrug as he snorted, picking the picture back up again. "But I think it would be better in black and white."

I've got a tight grip on reality

But I can't let go of what's in front of me here

I know you're leaving in the morning when you wake up

Leave me with some kind of proof it's not a dream

You are the only exception

You are the only exception

You are the only exception

You are the only exception…

And I'm on my way to believing

Oh, and I'm on my way to believing