Jerry trailed along after Tony as he left his desk for the snack room.

"So, tell me about Ziva." Jerry sat himself at one of the tables.

"What is it with you people?" Tony asked, frustrated.

Jerry frowned. "Petty Officers?"

"No. Witnesses." With more force than was strictly necessary, Tony thrust the heel of his hand into that particular spot on the vending machine and bent to retrieve his candy bar. "Witnesses whose lives we are tasked with protecting. And all they can do is butt into ours."

"Hey, I just call it like I see it, Agent DiNozzo." Jerry raised his hands in defense. "And after tomorrow I'll never see you again so what have I got to lose?"

"Did you really tell Abby that McGee looks at her butt?" Tony sat in the plastic chair and opened his chocolate.


"And Gibbs that he was a bad housekeeper?"


"And Ziva… Wait, what did you tell her she didn't say anything to me."

"I didn't tell her anything." Jerry smiled.

"You didn't? Huh. Earlier she definitely sounded offended about something, she was practically running from you," Tony frowned. "She said 'There's nothing different about him'."

Realisation dawned.

"She was talking about me."


"Jerry, if you say 'yup' one more time, I swear you're gonna need protection from me."

"Fine. Geez you'd think people would appreciate a friendly heads up, y'know. I asked her about you. And her. And what the deal was with you two. If you'd had a fight or something. Some kind of lover's thing. Because everyone has been looking at you sideways for the last two days and her and Agent Mcgee were whispering about you behind your back."

" Oh. That." Tony slumped a little in his chair. "Again there's meant to be a 'deal with the two of us'. Why can't people just let it go?"

"You don't really want me to answer that, Agent DiNozzo."

"I don't?"


Tony wondered if his usual tactic of talking in circles until the interrogatee gave it up would work on the relationship Rain Man. "Are you sure about that?"


"Jerry, I swear to God…"

"Everyone asks, Tony, because it is so damn obvious. To everyone except you it seems. Agent McGee watches Abby's butt, but you watch Ziva. Not in a creepy binoculars in the tree way. She does it too. It's actually kinda hot. And you both have this innate sense of where the other is, how they're moving and you move in perfect time together. Seriously man, you should get Abby to show you the security footage some time. I've known you guys two days and can see what the two of you are completely blind to."

"You thought we'd had a fight?" Tony asked.

"You're going to ignore everything I just said aren't you." Jerry sighed.


"Fair enough. Yeah. Like I said, everyone was on eggshells around you. And you really don't strike me as the kind of guy who is all work and no play."

"I'm not. Usually," Tony admitted.


"Woman problems. Conscience vs history. You know how it is." Tony smiled and pushed his half eaten chocolate across the table to Jerry who took it.

"Yeah, I know. Well I've been told I listen as good as I talk. Leaving tomorrow remember. No lasting judgment."

"Nah, its ok. Thanks anyway. I talked it out with Ziva actually. She stood there, looked me in the eye and told me just to be myself."

"How very Robin Williams of her."

"Ha, true. But yeah. It'll be ok. It's just, realizing that I have the power to really hurt other people, with something other than a bullet. Its fricking scary."

"You have the power to love them too. Not to get all Dr Phil on you…"

"Because it's been so light and fluffy until now," Tony interrupted sarcastically.

"…But I'm pretty sure you're really a fun guy. I mean, you steal from the vending machine. You're the Fonz! This guilt you feel, this trouble you've been having is only half of you. You gotta find some kind of balance between the two."

"That's exactly what Ziva said."

"Smart woman. Very perceptive. Most of the time…"

"Don't start with that again."

"Fine, fine. So, what are you gonna do?"

"Well… I'm your detail so you're stuck here as long as I'm here. You wanna help me with a special…project?"

"Why not. What do you have in mind?"







** This is currently planned to be chapter 1/3 of a False Witness plot bunny attack**