Set after season five and contains spoilers up to season seven...not many though...and I still don't own NCIS.

Perhaps Love

Gibbs looks up from his computer screen as his agents start handing him their reports. He reads them all through then looks at his team. The past two weeks have been brutal and just due to the case load. He looks up at the staircase where Vance gives a slight nod.

"Go home you guys; we've got a full weekend off."


"No, you're not on call. It's not just a full weekend off DiNozzo; it's the entire next week. Spend your time wisely, with the holidays coming up, I can't guarantee when any of us will see another one." Vance delivers his announcement and heads back upstairs. Behind him he can hear Gibbs giving Tony an affectionate smack to the back of the head.

"Get your jaw off the floor Tony and go home. All of you get out of here."

The scurrying sound of agents picking up their bags is the next sound to reach Gibbs ears and he leans back in his chair smiling faintly to himself. He'd worked hard to convince Vance that if the team had to go through another week especially one like the previous two, he might lose all of them.

Exhaustion was part of it, but the cases had been extremely emotional for all of them. And it hadn't been just one particular case but three. Still, his team had prevailed and now they would be rewarded not just with a weekend like he'd requested but with a full week off.

"Boss, you okay?"

Gibbs turns to stare at his youngest male agent. The concern in Tim's green eyes makes the older man smile even more.

"I'm fine McGee, just thinking about the week off."

"Alright, have a good night then."

"Good night Tim."

Gibbs shuts down his computer He looks around the squad room and double checks making sure that all of his team has left the room. Not seeing anyone Gibbs leaves just as Leon Vance walks out of his office. Both men nod to each other as they walk to their vehicles and drive away.

Neither man notices Tim's car come back around the corner. Tim has been watching as his team leaves and notices that while Gibbs, Tony, Ducky, Palmer and Abby have all gone, Ziva has not left the building yet. Tim sighs wondering if he is being a McWorrywart as Tony likes to call him. He drives up to the gate and asks the guard if he's seen Ziva leave yet.

"Not yet McGee, I always check you guys off when you leave. So far she's the only one that hasn't come through."

Tim thinks about that and places a phone call. When the cell phone rings from his own backseat Tim peers over the headrest. The guard chuckles when Tim sheepishly hands him Ziva's gate pass. Tim looks at the sleeping form and decides to let her stay asleep.

He drives down the road and half an hour later is pulling up in front of his apartment. When the engine turns off, Ziva wakens briefly. Tim opens the door so that she can exit easier and offers her the use of his couch while he takes the dog out. Ziva gives him a sleepy nod and he escorts her inside.

"Down, Jet, she doesn't need you jumping on her tonight. Ziva, we'll be back in a half hour. I just want to make sure that he doesn't leave us a puddle to clean up in the morning."

Ziva nods and stretches out on the couch. Tim brings her a pillow and blanket before he leaves. She's almost sleeping again when the duo returns to the apartment. Jethro pads over to the couch and nudges her hand gently with his muzzle, and gets a soft pat on the head. Tim walks into his bedroom and pulls out another blanket as well as an oddly shaped pillow. Ziva blinks owlishly at the pillow, not immediately knowing why Tim is giving it to her.

"You might want something to hold on to if the nightmares come tonight." Is Tim's only explanation. He looks down at the dog and softly gives him a command to stay by Ziva's side.

"Come wake me up if she needs me boy." Tim exchanges tired smiles with Ziva and heads to his bedroom, making sure to leave the door open so that he can listen for his friend if she should need him in the night.

The dog lies down, watching over both of his charges. Ziva curls up under her blankets, surprised by Tim's thoughtfulness. She's never mentioned that she has nightmares and not just from her time in Somalia. She holds the pillow closer, breathing in the faint scent of the man who'd given it to her.

"You have a nice master Jethro."

The dog pads closer to her and she pulls the pillow and blankets off the couch to lie down beside the canine. Ziva runs her hands over the dog's fur not noticing the tears that are running down her cheeks. Those silent tears were the reason for Tim giving her not just the pillow but the dog to watch over her.

Tim can't remember the last time he's had a full night of sleep, but at least he's had his furry companion to keep him company. Now he's trusting the dog to wake him up in case the nightmares hit Ziva the way they've been attacking him. Sighing, Tim rolls over and attempts to get a few hours of sleep.

Jethro the dog watches his human companions. He's worried about both of them and when the female starts twitching pads into Tim's bedroom and nudges him with his nose. Tim lets out a soft yelp when he first feels Jet's cold nose on his back. Then he rolls over and looks at his dog who is pulling the covers back.

Tim hustles out to the living room and sees that Ziva is in the throes of what appears to be a full blown nightmare. He picks her up and carries her back into the bedroom, cradling her to his chest as he murmurs softly into her ears. He settles back against the headboard, letting his head drop to hers as he whispers

"Perhaps love is like a resting place

A shelter from the storm

It exists to give you comfort

It is there to keep you warm

And in those times of trouble

When you are most alone

The memory of love will bring you home

You're safe Ziva I've got your six. Shhh…it's okay, you're safe"

It takes a few minutes before the words penetrate. As he feels the tension leaving her, sending her into sleep, he cautiously tucks her into the bed before lying beside her, keeping a hand on hers, letting her feel the connection between them.

Jethro pads quietly into the room several hours later and rising up on his hind legs sees the two snuggled up close together. He puts his head on his paws and watches them sleep, seeing the way that his master has an arm protectively wrapped around the woman.

The woman, for the first time since he's met her is almost completely relaxed and snoring lightly. Dropping back to all fours he allows himself the luxury of closing his eyes, keeping his ears tuned in case they need his assistance.

Ziva wakes up the next morning feeling more content than she has in weeks. She looks up at the man who has held her most of the night, not asking for anything more than her trust in him.

She focuses on the words he'd uttered and wonders why she's never seen the love that he has for her. She smiles as she traces small patterns on his chest. They have a week off to do whatever they want. Maybe she can take advantage of that week to find out more about this man and her own feelings for him.

A/N: This one will actually be about three or four chapters as I try to base each chapter around the song "Perhaps Love" which was written and sung by the late John Denver in a duet with Placido Domingo...or that's what my cd says anyway...which means that I don't own any music rights by said artists either...