"So, Ziva," Tony drew out the sounds of his partner's name as he looked around the alley outside the internet provider's building. "What was it like being stuck in the elevator with Probie all night?"
"Better than being stuck in the elevator with you," Ziva mumbled under her breath, rolling her shoulders in an attempt to work out some of the knots from her night in the cold metal box.
"What was that?" Tony grinned. "You seem tense this morning. All worn out from a long night of hot of Probie s… erg!"
"If you value your life," Ziva glowered at her partner as she squeezed the pressure point between his right thumb and forefinger, "You will erase that line of thinking. Immediately."
"Consider it erased," Tony rubbed his hand as it was released from Ziva's vice grip. It hurt of course, but there was something strangely hot about pain when it was caused by her. "I am just glad it was not me stuck in there with McGigabyte. A whole night of MIT double-speak and computer somethings." Tony gave an exaggerated mock shudder.
"Actually, it was not that bad," Ziva admitted. "He was so tired that he fell asleep for the first few hours but it got quite cold. It was just when he woke up and we were still trapped that he began to panic. It was a little… frustrating."
"It got cold hey?" Tony questioned, his curiosity piqued. "And how did you stay warm?"
"We were both on our way home so we had our overcoats," Ziva answered, pretending to miss the innuendo in Tony's tone.
"How very McGeeish of you both," Tony rolled his eyes.
"Oh? And what would you have done to stay warm? If McGee had not been in the elevator." Ziva teased.
Taking the bait, Tony smirked and wiggled his eyebrows at his partner. "I think you know, Officer David," he said smoothly. "Sharing heat, conserving heat."
"And creating more heat?" Ziva teased again. This really was too easy.
"Oh yeah," Tony's eyes glazed over as he let his imagination run away with him. "Creating and sharing heat. Anything I can do to contribute to global warming."
"When did you become environmentally conscious?" Ziva asked, moaning as she bent to inspect a tyre track that seemed fresh.
The uncharacteristic display of pain from his partner snapped Tony out of his daydreaming and he was at Ziva's side in a heartbeat.
"What is it?" he asked, his voice full of concern.
Ziva straightened up and looked Tony in the eye. "It is nothing," she assured him. "As I told you, the elevator was cold and hard. Usually a hot shower would cure such small problems, but as I did not get to go home this morning, not that I would have had any hot water anyway, I must suffer."
Tony smiled, a very DiNozzo-like plan formulating in his head.
"I have hot water."
"You do?" Ziva turned, wondering how many days' worth of paperwork it would cost her. "How do you have hot water?"
"I might not have been a boy scout like McWebelos, but Tony DiNozzo is always prepared. For anything," he added with satisfaction.
"You have a generator?" Ziva asked.
"Ok, not that prepared," Tony admitted. "Ok, honestly? My house used to be owned by a large Italian family. Six kids. Don't ask me how they squeezed them all into three bedrooms, but to their credit they installed a massive hot water heater. Top of the range, excellent insulation. Stores enough water for thirty minutes of shower and keeps it hot for almost a day."
"Well, at least one of us got a hot shower this morning then," Ziva suddenly felt childishly jealous.
"Well, no. I overslept," Tony sighed. "No breakfast either. I barely made it to the Navy Yard on time."
"Ha," Ziva immediately covered her mouth with her palm. "I am sorry, Tony. That was mean. I just feel better now, knowing you are suffering too."
"You have no idea. I stink, my hair is a mess. It goes against everything the DiNozzo name stands for," Tony whined.
"At least you can have a hot shower tonight," Ziva reminded him. "I have an instant hot water system that heats as you use it."
Tony grinned. This really had been too easy. DiNozzo plan executed. "You could always use some of my water," he suggested, keeping his voice perfectly even.
"You would do that?" Ziva asked, naturally suspicious of such an offer.
"Sure. I can cut my shower short. Fifteen minutes is long enough. Or…"
"There will be no 'or', Tony," Ziva cut him off as they walked back into the building to find the team. She knew Tony so she knew what the next words from his mouth would have been. They would surely have had to do with sharing and creating heat.
"I don't think you understand," Tony whined. He knew that city-wide blackouts like this were the types of situations that always led to good things in movies. "Come on, a man's got to try! If I don't offer it then we don't share…
"I understand completely," Ziva cut him off. "Thankyou for offering…"
"Boss," Tony cut Ziva's answer off, disguising the warning as a greeting.
The two agents walked towards their team, reporting the tyre tracks and possible witness they had found. The shower conversation was over. For now. But the proposition would be on both their minds for the rest of the morning.
At 13:00, Gibbs grew tired of watching DiNozzo run his hand through greasy hair and whimper.
"Lunch break," he barked. "You have one hour."
Tony's head snapped up. "Really?"
"Thankyou, Boss!" Tony jumped out of his seat and sprinted for the elevator. If he sped he could make it home and back in half an hour, which left him with just under half an hour of hot, steamy shower to enjoy.
Tony ripped off his tie and was about to start unbuttoning his shirt when he heard pounding on his door. Precious seconds ticking, he sprinted down the hall and flung the door open.
"What do you want?" he asked crankily.
"Surely you have not forgotten the offer you made this morning?" Ziva smiled as she stepped inside. "I am here for my fifteen minutes."
"Oh you are, are you?" Tony slammed the door. They were wasting time. "You did not sound so keen this morning. I have decided that fifteen minutes is not long enough for me. I retract my offer."
"Well, there is a way to double your time," Ziva turned and walked towards the bathroom, leaving Tony standing in the loungeroom, stunned.
He heard the bathroom door slam and his attention returned to the situation at hand. Surely she had not meant? He had only been joking around that morning. No, this was a trap. It had to be. There is no way that Ziva would… Would she? Tony remembered his words from earlier "A man's got to try."
He hurried down the hallway. His shock had already wasted him five minutes of potential… The water was already running and he could hear Ziva softly singing in a language that was not English.
"Ah, Ziva," Tony squeaked. He cleared his throat and tried again. "Were you seriously offering to…" He was cut off by gentle laughter from behind the door.
"No, Tony. I will be out in ten minutes."
Tony sighed. Of course it was too good to be true. He had been well and truly had, and not in the way he wanted to be. Resigned to his fate, Tony went to the kitchen to make a bowl of cereal. His fridge, it turned out, did not have the excellent insulation that the hot water heater did, so his mood was further spoiled as he crunched on dry cheerios.
When Ziva had two minutes of shower left, Tony went to his room, stripped and pulled on a bathrobe. To save time, he collected a fresh shirt and suit pants to take into the bathroom with him. He returned to the bathroom door and waited impatiently for his turn.
"Time's up," he said as his watch ticked over. "My turn."
"Just a minute," Ziva replied.
"Hurry up. Time is ticking. Gibbs will kill me if I am late," he reminded her.
"I know, Tony! I have worked for him for five years now too. I just need a few more minutes and my knots will be gone."
"Hey, no! A few more minutes? It is my turn! Didn't your parents teach you how to share?"
"No," she shrugged.
Tony was growing agitated. "Don't make me come in there and get you out. I will do it!"
"You wouldn't dare," Ziva challenged.
Tony thought through the potential weapons in his bathroom. Razors, tweezers -manly tweezers of course- various pills. Hell, possibly the soap for all he knew. They could all be deadly in the hands of that woman.
He sighed again. No, he didn't dare. Maybe one day, but not today. Not so soon after… Ziva's teasing had only just returned to the level that it had been before the summer. In response, he had stopped holding back and returned to their previous tension filled banter. Tony knew that she was worth more than him busting in there and dragging her out just so he could have his measly turn. She had earned all the hot showers she wanted as far as he was concerned.
Precious time ticked by as Tony stared at his watch. Twenty minutes.
"Ziva, seriously. I just need five minutes." Tony called through the door.
"I am finished, I am covered," Ziva answered as she shut off the water. "You may come in now."
"About time!" Tony threw open the door and stalked past his partner, who was wrapped in his bath towel. What he was supposed to use he did not know. Tony shut the shower curtain behind him before he allowed himself to grin, despite his much shortened turn. This level of familiarity, this level of trust from her, was huge.
Tony threw his robe over the top of the shower rail and turned on the water. He calculated that he had just over six minutes of hot water. He prioritised. Armpits, hair, shave really quickly if he could.
"What the? ZIVA!" he yelled as the water turned cold. He had barely gotten himself wet.
"Yes, Tony?" she asked innocently from the other side of the curtain. She borrowed Tony's brush to pull her hair back into a ponytail and threw his now wet towel over the railing for him to use. "I suggest you hurry, we don't have much time left."
"I'm going to kill her," Tony mumbled to himself. "She is actually going to die."
"What was that?" Ziva asked.
"Nothing, Probette. Just an overly ambitious, empty threat against your life."
"Good. Hurry up. I am leaving now, I will see you back at work."
Tony waited for the door to shut then stepped out of the shower and dried what little of him was wet. He sniffed his underarms, cringing. Great. Ziva smelt like a spring flower and he smelt like a mushroom. Opening the cabinet, Tony pulled out a large bottle of cheap cologne that he had been given by a long-forgotten girlfriend. He splashed generous amounts under his arms and some on his chest for good measure.
He looked at his hair. There was nothing he could do about that. With another sigh, Tony dressed in the clothes he had brought in. He did not bother with a tie. What was the point? He grabbed his backpack and returned to work, making sure to give the front door a satisfying slam.
When he arrived, with thirty seconds to spare, Ziva was at her desk innocently typing away. She did not look up as he walked past. She did not have to. She could smell him coming all the way from the stairwell.
"Ziva, go and interview Lt. Paxton's coworkers in the entertainment division," Gibbs ordered. "Take Pepe with you."
Ziva snickered and Tony scowled as he stalked back to the stairs.
"We spoke when she called in sick," Resnick explained as she took a deep breath and sniffed. "Which is kind of how I'm feeling right now." She turned to Ziva. "I'm sorry. I'm allergic to perfume and you're wearing quite a bit."
Ziva shrugged. "I'm not wearing any."
Realisation dawning, both women turned to look at Tony who lifted his head sheepishly.
He looked at Ziva pointedly. "I don't have any hot water," he explained, clenching his jaw and clearing his throat. "And it's not perfume, it's eau-de-cologne."
Ziva tilted her head and smirked across the table.
"Noted," Tony clenched his jaw again. He turned his attention back to Resnick. "How exactly do you have power?"
"Tony, you can stop sulking. You do not smell that bad," Ziva tried to placate her partner.
"I don't smell that bad?" He snapped back. "Resnick could hardly breathe and Gibbs called me a skunk! And made a joke. Do you realize how often Gibbs makes jokes?"
"Well before you smelt like a skunk," Ziva admitted. "It has dulled some. Now you smell like a flowery skunk. Like the cute little skunk in Bambi!"
Tony opened his mouth to protest further but stopped. Did she just?
"Did you just call me cute?" he asked in disbelief.
"Perhaps," Ziva smiled out the window, knowing she had won this round. Tony really had been wonderful to her today. "I don't know why you are so put out. Did you really think thirty minutes would be long enough to accomplish anything worthwhile?"
Tony choked, but kept his eyes on the road.
"You have a lot to learn, my Ninja." Tony smiled. "About many things. One of which, it seems, is how to share." He did not voice the other thought in his mind, that one of these days he hoped to give her a lesson on sharing that she would never forget. One that involved reducing global warming while maximizing efficient water use…
A/N Ok so I know I made Ziva a little bit of a pest. I have been watching too much season 3. Season 3 Ziva would so do this! The 'you are my friend' Ziva from Jurisdiction might. I hope season 8 Ziva is fun…