A MATTER OF TRUST
Once Gibbs and McGee had left the bullpen Tony blurted the question he'd been dying to ask.
"So, Little Miss Hasty, when does the Miami Hurricane blow into town?"
DiNozzo had observed his partner blowing through her paperwork at breakneck speed all afternoon.
"Tony, what makes you think that my friend is coming into town? Can I not just walk away on a Friday night without leaving a mountain of reports for myself come Monday?"
Her fingers continued to fly during her casual response, not losing a precious moment of productivity.
Tony considered this before crossing the bullpen and sitting on the corner of her desk. He watched as she typed and noted that her error rate seemed to increase the longer he sat. Something was definitely on her mind and he knew the tell tale bounce in her step, the decrease in bickering and the lack of a single Hebrew utterance in frustration the past few days added up to one likely possibility.
"Well, for starters you've been overly pleasant, you haven't given Gibbs any guff or ranted to McGee or me about anything. In addition to that your weapons have not been cleaned, rearranged, or otherwise recreationally handled all week. It's well known that the best remedy for life's little irritations is life's little infatuations. Or is it more than that?"
He added, forcing a twitch of his eyebrow and a knowing smile.
At this her fingers stilled and she gave him a sly look of her own.
"Since I do value my time and I would much rather finish my report than endure your constant prodding, I will admit that, yes, my friend is arriving tonight."
He opened his mouth at the same time her hand rose to cut him off.
"NO, you may not meet him."
"Come on, Ziva! I promise to be on my best behavior."
"Well, Tony, if you are on your very best behavior from now until his next visit, perhaps you can meet him then."
With that she printed her final document, placed it in the file and started the process of logging off and gathering her belongings. Her coworker had not moved from his perch on the desk or given a slick reply, instead he sat pensively staring at the wall while she completed this process. She paused in front of him, questioning the weight of his gaze and wondering what was going on behind those eyes that didn't seem to register her proximity.
"What is it Tony?"
The uncertainty in her voice roused him from his thoughts. He tipped his head to the side, smiled at her and replied lightly,
"Nothing. Ziva, have a good weekend." He didn't add the rest of his thoughts, which would have played out something like, Have you done a complete background check? Can I please rough him up just a little bit? and especially, Don't let him get too close.
She moved passed him and he resisted the urge to reach out and touch her arm, delaying her inevitable departure as though once she left she'd never be that close to him again.
He noted that he needed to take his romantic sensibilities down a notch.
She waved with a smile as the elevator doors closed, leaving him to his thoughts and a cluttered desk.
Tony had not spent his afternoon diligently working. In fact, he couldn't remember what report he had abandoned just minutes before, only that it was the same one that he'd stared at all day. His train of thought had been derailed every time he looked up and saw Ziva trying to tamp down her excitement.
With each bounce in her step the feeling of dread within him grew.