Title: Love Bites
Genre: NCIS - Romance
Pairing: Tony and Ziva
Rating: M. Contains Adult content and themes throughout (none too explicit), DO NOT read if not old enough.
Timeline: Mid Season 8. A/U
Spoilers: Some mentioned, vaguely throughout the story. You will note them if you've watched, if not, they'll go over your head.
Summery: It takes a lot more than good chemistry to keep a relationship going, it takes love, trust, faith and a willingness to confide in one another. Without these it is a maze of obstacles, misunderstandings and insecurities. Tony and Ziva fudge their way through it before they can finally come together.
Warning: This fic contains references to the Jewish religion, beliefs and practices; if you are not comfortable with these DO NOT READ.
Disclaimer: Whistles/hums the theme tune… oops I don't own that either.
Total word count: 51 500
Inspired/triggered by: The song "Love Bites" by Def Leppard. (I don't own that either, only a copy.)
Written: Feb – March 2011
Revised and Edited May 2010
Tony slowly returned to some level of semi-consciousness, that blissful state between fully waking up and still being asleep. His body was first to register the presence of another next to his, against his. The scent notifying him of the person's identity, long before his mind could swing into full panic mode, by trying to remember what stupid or thoughtless antics he possibly could've gotten up to the night before. His body felt heavy, like it had slept the sleep of the dead and was reluctant to wake up. The body heat from Ziva was welcoming, winter this year round having an unforgiving chill to it. Tony's body relaxed again at the familiarity of their situation, their nights spent like this meant the world to him, Ziva, he doubted, would ever realize how much he treasured them. It had become somewhat of a habit for them to spend time like this. By some unspoken agreement, whenever things got too much or if a case caused too much strain on either of them, they would just show up at the other's place, no explanations needed. Ziva had cured him of the need to seek company in bars, or comfort at the bottom of a bottle, whenever things got too much. Their nights spent together, scattered as they were, was all that he needed… or so he kept on telling himself.
Ziva remained immobile next to Tony. Her head was settled on his shoulder, her arm resting over his chest and her one leg partially draped over one of his. She'd felt him wake and by controlling her breathing she'd hoped that he would remain put, mostly because she was partially draped over him, but also knowing that if he thought her asleep, he would be less inclined to move from her, thus waking her. She also knew that the minute he rose their time together would come to an end, and she hated it whenever that happened. But she also knew better than to ever indicate that to him. She was thankful for the times she could almost call him – hers. For those moments, she could almost believe that things could get no better, and what it would be like to have him to herself. They were the times she didn't have to concern herself with the thoughts of him possibly being with another, because he was with her. She loved sharing a bed with him, not that she'd ever tell him. It had been awkward the first few times, but she slept better now with him around than she ever had without him. She treasured these evenings together, often wished that they could have more of them. Then maybe their disagreements would lessen… lately, it had gotten to the stage where they would first start snapping at each other, before she would acknowledge the fact that she needed to spend another night with him, even if it was just for a movie.
Tony thought back to the reason or event that would have resulted in them ending up together in the same bed, again… The case, it had been another hard one, he'd been tired, she'd been tired. He moved slightly, trying to remember how they'd ended up at her place, granted it was closer to the yard than his… When his body registered two things; the first was that he had no clothes on, the second was that Ziva was partially draped over him and that she too felt naked, unless she was sleeping in warm gossamer silk. His body stiffened almost immediately as his mind reeled back to the previous evening, hoping that fate wouldn't have been that cruel; granting him the opportunity to finally make love to her, only to render him completely oblivious about it afterwards. And if they had, what now? How was he supposed to deal with it? Carefully he relaxed his body hoping to not wake Ziva, with her crazy senses there was no telling what he would be facing. He needed to get everything in perspective before she woke, he couldn't allow for this to screw things up between them.
He thought back to the previous day, the innuendo's they had issued, both spoken and unspoken… it had just been teasing, playful banter… or had it? Scrunching his eyes shut he tried to think past that, to when they had left… together? He vaguely remembered arriving at her place with her, he remembered stripping and showering on his own, then having dried himself off, before returning to her bedroom to pull his boxers and shirt from his bag. She'd already turned down the bed and he had instead just dropped onto it, vowing to get dressed before she came to bed. Thinking that he must have fallen asleep, because he couldn't remember anything past that.
Tony moved again, slightly, wondering what had happened to the towel. The covers and Ziva were self-explanatory. Just then he felt it partially over and under him, meaning that it must've come undone through the night. He managed to relax again, realizing that he could possibly still get out of their situation with his dignity intact. Vowing that as soon as Ziva woke and moved off of him, and possibly a part of the towel, he would rectify matters, before she took matters into her own hands, possibly injuring him in the process.
Ziva fought to remain still the second time his body stiffened, knowing that he'd realized their state of dress. She hoped that he was too deep in his head to realize that she was awake. His movements nearly caused her to close her arm over his chest, in an attempt to try and still him. It was dark outside, only the streetlights providing illumination. This meant that he would be unlikely to think her awake as well, but if he twitched about like that for much longer she would have to show some signs of waking. Ziva wanted to sigh with relief when he settled and his body relaxed again. She'd known that he would be uncomfortable with waking naked next to her, and she'd been partially responsible for that fact. After he'd fallen asleep she'd drawn the covers over him, before having a shower as well. Once done she'd slipped under the covers with him having loosened her robe, she knew better than to get into bed naked with him. It would topple their delicately balanced relationship into a territory she was not certain it would be able to recover from. Once she had established that he was truly asleep she'd loosened the towel and snuggled up against him, allowing for skin on skin contact.
Knowing that she'd be the first one to wake, she'd intended to correct things then and had drifted off to sleep. Only once she'd woken, she realized that she hadn't wanted to change their situation. She liked being this close to him, liked the contact and closeness they shared whilst like that.
Her mind went back to the case they had worked. They'd been less cautious with their insinuations. She'd given as good as she'd gotten, but suspected that he would once again draw back in the end, because that's what Tony always did. She hated it when he did that, hated the fact that one moment he could indirectly tell her how much she means to him, and then walk away. That he could push her to the point where she'd contemplate dropping him to the floor and spelling it out for him, because he seemed unable to see it. Sometimes she wondered what it would take to push him over, to get him to allow them both to have what they so badly wanted. In many ways she'd given up on him, especially lately.
She wondered how long it would take him to realize that he'd actually pushed her towards Ray. But Ray at a distance was safe. She would not get too attached, and that it in some way still left the door open for him, if he ever were to take a chance on them. He'd been slightly more tolerant of Ray's presence in her life, and had in many ways been sincere with his intentions. She only wished he would do something about what he actually wanted, because she was getting tired of waiting for him to finally do something. She knew that the decision had to come from him. She could not help him there. He had to realize for himself what he really wanted. Their relationship had grown beyond that of which it had been before Jeanne. Just the thought of that name still hurt her. She had spent too many nights wondering what it would be like to be loved by him, the way he had loved her… What she wouldn't give to just once…
Ziva moved slightly when Tony's arm came to rest over her back, holding her to him. Her side was starting to numb and she would have to move soon. Taking a risk that he may freak out completely, she leaned into him more, moving her leg higher.
Tony's heart rate doubled when Ziva moved, he was not ready for her to wake yet. He wanted for their shared closeness to continue, for a while longer at least. His breath caught when he realized that even though she had a robe on it must have come undone, and that she had nothing on underneath. His body only too well aware of the sensations her naked skin pressed against his was creating, especially as she snuggled into his embrace. He fought to control his body's initial reaction, and hoped beyond all hope that she would not wake, if only to allow him to accrue as much pleasure from the sensations created by contact they shared.
Tony somehow managed to relax once Ziva settled. Every nerve ending in his side was on overdrive as his body tingled where it came into contact with hers. His heart pumped blood through his body faster as it started responding to her, in ways he knew were not appropriate in Ziva's presence, not if he knew what was good for him. He scrunched his eyes once again hoping that he could get it under control, before his body became fully aroused and he would have to pull away, to have any hope of maintaining their friendship. Taking deeper breaths he hoped to get his body under control. But before he could even attempt to, he felt her stir again, and her one hand started twitching. At first it was only slight movements of her fingers, but then she nuzzled her head into his shoulder some more and her hand started drifting downwards, causing him to catch his breath. He knew that he should stop her. That he should catch her hand before it reached any incriminating evidence or she woke up fully and realized what was happening. He knew what he should do but, good intentions aside, it was something he'd wanted for such a long time. He knew he could play stupid if push came to shove, that he could claim that he'd woken to find her hand on him. When her hand came into contact with his hardened flesh, he bit back a whimper and fought the urge to push up into her hand. He couldn't even recall how often he'd imagined this scenario over the years. His hands closed into fists as he tried to control his reactions to her touch, whilst an inner war started raging, one part of him knowing that he was taking advantage of the situation at hand, by taking pleasure from the experience not meant for him. For all he knew she could be thinking that she was with Ray… Just the thought of the lucky bastard and that he'd possibly already experienced this a few times brought is body back a few notches. That was until her hand came into contact with his balls, which had him once again suppress a groan, and then other side of the war won out, the side that had wanted this for a lot longer than he would willingly admit.
Ziva's heart was thundering. She was taking a gamble, one in which the stakes were higher than any other she had ever contemplated taking before. A smile formed on her lips when she heard the groan he tried to suppress. His balls were heavy and full, she knew it had been a while for him. He seemed less inclined to pick up chicks in bars and clubs lately. She felt his hand on her back grasp a fist full of her robe as she moved her hand back to his now fully aroused appendage, her own body responding to its state. She had been mildly aroused on waking, but her body had responded as his had become aroused. That combined with his scent and the close contact with his body had rendered her just as aroused.
It was that contact and the evidence of his response to her that gave her the courage she needed to be willing to gamble their friendship, in hope that it wouldn't blow up in her face. Carefully she moved onto him. She felt his body stiffen in response and his breath hitch yet again as their bodies aligned with one another, before purposely relaxing onto him as she waited for his response, waited for him to pull back or move forward whichever came next.
Tony warily placed his hands on her back, holding his breath whilst he tried to control himself. He could feel her heat against him. It would only take the slightest move from him to be inside her, to finally be where he wanted to be, and he wanted that more than his next breath. His mind and body were once again at war. He did not want her to hate him afterwards, and he definitely did not want to make love to her if she thought he was someone else.
"Ziva." It came out a slight moan, and he cringed as his hands closed over her shoulders. He had meant for it to be a warning, to call her attention. To draw her back to the moment, if she was not aware of it… hopefully without suffering any injuries to certain parts of his anatomy.
"Yes Tony." She grunted in reply. Causing his heart to speed up some more, she knew whom she was with and what they were moving towards. He felt her move as she lifted off him slightly, to look down at him. The darkness in the room meant that they could just distinguish the others features. He waited for what felt like a lifetime, allowing for her to realize what was happening and to pull away. Then he felt her shift her weight on him, and his heart dropped as he thought for a moment that she was getting off of him. But the moment he felt her hips tilt and her body push back against him, neither his hands nor body would have heeded any thought of caution as his hands clamped onto her hips hard, pushing her back whilst his body raised up, driving himself into her heat. His head and shoulders pushed back into the bed, bracing.
"Ziva," he grunted her name, half in warning, half in ecstasy. Knowing there was no way he would be able to pull back now.
Ziva braced her hands against his chest as his body responded to her movement. His entry was fast, much faster and stronger than she'd anticipated. This drew a groan out of her as she tried to remain in position, and her body welcomed the longed for possession of his. His hands, clasping her hips, were sure to leave bruises as his body slowly lowered back down to the bed. Her body followed by instinct as the shockwaves of their coming together coursed through it. His hands moved slightly pulling her closer to him then pushed against her hips to make sure he remained inside her. His movements and gestures were fervent, holding her to him as he gasped for air. The sensations he experienced were unbelievable as Ziva slowly tilted her hips, providing just enough friction between them, which caused him to clutch at her more erratically than before. His hips tried to copy her movements. His hands finally settled on her thighs as his body rose against hers again, seeking more. It allowed for her to push against him and to sit up, locking their bodies together. As much as she wanted to hold onto him she needed to make it good for him, she wanted him to come back begging her for more.
Tony registered her body pulling away from him and automatically followed it with a determination to keep her close to him. Sitting up with her he reached for her face, drawing her closer as his lips closed over hers. He allowed every ounce of desire he'd felt for her over the years to seep into that kiss, whilst he hastily worked on ridding her of her gown. Once done, his hands ran up her back, pulling her into a closer embrace as he literally tried to devour her. He wanted possession not only of her body but of her soul as well.
Ziva's response was instant, returning as good as she got. Their bodily connection almost forgotten in their need to confirm their needs and desires to the other, to allow their actions to say the things that have gone unsaid for so long. Tony's fingers tangled in her hair as he tried to convey everything he felt for her, his one arm slinking around her body, to keep her as close to him as possible. Both Tony and Ziva released the tight hold they'd held on both their emotions and passions, whilst they tried to make up for lost time in one go. Neither feared the others retreat as the line had been crossed, and they had given themselves the permission to finally move on.
Ziva pressed against him, trying to maintain as much contact with his skin as he stole not only her breath but her ability to think as well.
Once the edge of desperation dissipated from their kisses, they settled to sporadic kisses whilst clinging to each other and slowly rocking together. The movement allowing for just enough friction as they caught up with the newness of the sensations coursing between them. Ziva felt his arms close in a firmer hold as his body started shifting below her.
Holding her as close to him as he could, ensuring that they remain connected, he turned them and lowered her down to the mattress, coming to rest above her. Slowly he moved against her, genteelly at first, holding her in an embrace whilst trying to keep as much of his weight off her as possible. Ziva went willingly, drawing him into a firm embrace as she shifted into place and wrapped legs around his hips.
Carefully Tony pushed up against her drawing back only for as far as her embrace allowed it. Her body and its welcoming heat around him drawing him back, long before he could even pull back far enough to really thrust properly back into her.
"Ziva." Tony grunted.
"Yes." Ziva grunted in reply, her arms wrapping around him tighter, wanting to keep him as close to her as possible.
"Ziva." Tony gasped, as his body braced against hers then pulled back for the first true thrust into her.
"Tony." Ziva gasped, as the sensations coursed over her body.
"Oh God Ziva." Tony grunted, after which his trusts became more purposeful and driven, allowing both to seek the pleasure they had so long denied themselves as well as each other.
Ziva's hold on Tony became more frantic as her head pressed into his shoulder, her one hand on his ass, the other holing onto him as she strained to keep their bodies in full contact. Even the distance needed between them to allow for his thrusts was too much for her.
Tony continued to push into her, whilst holding her in a close embrace. He was not even sure if he kept his weight off her enough to allow her to breathe properly as they clung to each other. Tony nipped at her neck, hoping to get her to pull back a bit but she would not relent, if anything, her hold tightened around him.
"Tony." She groaned as both her hands suddenly gripped his ass. Her fingers biting into the flesh, as her body stiffened below him.
The action caused him to buck against her, his mind registering the pain even before his body registered hers tightening around him.
"Tony," Ziva keened as her body pushed up against his, straining against him as the wavelike sensations started coursing throughout her body, her inner muscles gripping him tightly. Gripping him so tight that it caused him to jerk in response, her guttural cries wrenched the inevitable response from his body, as it released in reply, stunning him as her body convulsed around him and his gave it what it asked.
"Ziva!" he growled as he pushed down hard against her, driving himself as deep into her as he could, whilst his essence filled her. He could not have pulled back even had he wanted to.
Ziva relaxed her hold on him slightly as her body relaxed, and enjoyed the sensations still coursing through it. Her hold on him was enough to hold him close, but unwavering enough to prevent him moving away from her. She had no intention of ever letting go of him. It wasn't enough, could never be enough. She wanted more, even as the pleasurable sensations flittered through her body she wanted to do it all over again. She wanted to feel him move inside her again, listen to him as he grunted his pleasure in her ears as he let go of all of his inhibitions.
Tony pulled back slightly, allowing for him to kiss her softly tugging at her lips as he sought a response from her. Her hand managed to thread through his hair as she responded to his kiss, before they pulled each other into a close embrace.
Tony fearing that he was squashing her tried to pull back, however her hold on him was unrelenting. So, he opted for rolling them over, their bodies breaking their connection as he settled her over him, with her head resting over his heart, her legs resting between his, whilst his hands rubbed up and down her back.
"Ziva." He grunted after a while.
"Hmm." Ziva responded, her body stiffening, not sure whether she was ready to face the consequences of their actions yet.
"Covers." Tony replied, running his hands over her cooling skin.
"Huh?" Ziva replied, puzzled.
"Grab the covers." Tony clarified for her.
He felt her foot hook the covers, before she reached down and pulled them up and over them. He pulled them closer round her shoulders, holding her close for a while before slipping his arms under the covers, and proceeded to trace patterns on her back as their breathing and heart rates returned to normal again. Closing his eyes he drew in the moment. His arms tightened around Ziva, she returned his gesture by snuggling into him some more.
After a while he felt her body go limp as sleep once again claimed her. His fingers continued to trace patterns across her back as he savoured the moment, before wondering what daylight would bring and how long it would be before he'd be allowed repeat their performance, if ever.
Ziva woke the moment Tony moved away from her. Tony had tried to gently place her back on the mattress, he needed to use the bathroom and the towel was bunched under his back. Tried as he might, it had just become too uncomfortable for him to continue. He got out of the bed, taking the towel with him as he made his way to the bathroom.
Ziva bit her upper lip in effort to remain silent as he walked away, her heart sinking with every step he took. She'd known that it was inevitable, that he'd get up and leave again. It however didn't make it any easier to accept, especially not this time. She heard the toilet flush and the water in the basin run. Closing her eyes she swallowed against the pain that was surfacing again. In a way she was angry with him for slipping away into the night, but she knew calling him on it would only place strain on their friendship-relationship. She was not even sure what they had anymore, what change their actions could have made to that which they'd had. It had definitely complicated matters, leaving her to wonder, what now? Would she cope if he no longer desired her? It had always been a risk. It had often been what had held her back, but the line had now been crossed and the footing she found herself on was unsteady and unfamiliar. Ziva heard him come back to bed. Her heart started pounding again as she remained still. He lifted the sheets off her and she felt the warm cloth first brush over her abdomen, then move lower. She was shocked by his actions, she'd never known a man to do something so thoughtful, not to mention personal. Then he settled the covers over her again and returned to the bathroom, causing another inner struggle.
Tony turned off the bathroom light before returning to bed. Slipping between the sheets he edged closer to her again. He suspected that she was awake, knowing that her ninja instincts would have kicked in when he'd cleaned up a bit. He felt her turn her back towards him as he came closer to her, allowing him to spoon behind her, like he'd done so many times before. But this was the first time she threaded her fingers through his as he held her. He placed a kiss on her shoulder before settling behind her, ensuring that their bodies remained in contact.
Ziva closed her eyes as relief flooded her system, realizing that he'd not been intent on leaving her. She snuggled back into him and was happy when his arm closed round her in response. It allowed for her to relax and fall asleep again.
Tony followed her in sleep, his body although relived was in no way sated, but he was not willing to push his luck.
Ziva woke hours later, her body conveying a gentle touch up her thigh and over her side. The sensations between her legs told her that it had not been just another fantasy, that Tony had indeed been where she'd wanted him. His body was slightly distanced from hers, causing her to turn towards him.
Tony's body was once again fully aroused, it was what had woken him earlier, but he vowed not to wake her. He desperately wanted to be inside her again, to feel her around him, drawing him to a place he knew he'd only find again with her. He couldn't stop touching her, needing to touch her. Once she'd turned towards him his touches became more daring, knowing that she was awake and wanting, needing to communicate his desire for her. He hoped that she didn't regret what had happened between them and would allow for him to initiate a repeat performance.
Ziva sighed and stretched out her body in response to his touch, she moaned her approval, encouraging him to continue.
Tony took her response as encouragement and cupped her one breast. In their desperation before he'd not even had the opportunity to bestow them any attention. His touch became more frantic as her Ziva started returning his attentions, her body responding to his. Pulling her closer he proceeded with kissing her again and wasn't surprised when moments later he found himself on his back with his hands pinned, whilst Ziva rubbed herself against him.
"Ziva." Tony appealed, relaxing in her hold.
"Yes." Ziva answered, looking at him.
"Let go." Tony demanded in a low growl.
"No," Ziva decreed as she lifted off him slightly, "you take too long."
"Wha… oh god." Came his reply as her body swallowed his.
"This is what I want, no teasing." Ziva murmured under her breath, once he was fully sheathed.
Ziva let go of his hands, placing hers on his chest as she sat up. Tony's hands ran up her thighs as she started moving on top of him. Tracing his fingers down her arms he laced his fingers with hers and Ziva gripped his hands tighter, lifting her gauze from his chest. The predawn light filtering into the room made for more visibility, as their gazes locked. And for the first time Tony felt as if he could see right through to her soul. Her guard was completely down as she surrendered herself to the experience and the passion that stirred between them. Tony allowed her to set the pace. He was not too particular about it as he watched her move over his. Enthralled by the way her body sought pleasure from his and gave it as well. As long as she continued to move and he was inside her, he'd allow her to set any pace she wished.
Ziva held a steady rhythm, enjoying the sensation created as his body rubbed against hers, the way he filled and stretched her. Her hands gripped his tighter as the sensations intensified. She knew it was not hot or rough enough to get her off and that she could move like this on him for hours, which if given the opportunity to she would. She wholly enjoyed the feel of their coming together, the vibrations caused by him moving inside her.
Tony loosened his hands from hers and ran them up her tights again, settling them on her hips. Bracing his feet before he thrust up against her once she descended on him again. The action triggered a jolt sensation through her body, causing her to jerk in response. Tony counteracted her movements until her body started to soften from the intensity of the vibrations their movements caused. Tony's hands drifted to her abdomen then down between her curls, stimulating the bundle of nerves hidden within. Ziva's response was almost immediate as her fingers clutched at his chest and her body arched back. The moans she uttered encouraged him to buck up against her, whilst her body closed around his. A few trusts later he arched off the bed, gripping her hips to him as he impaled himself inside her, bucking his own release before dropping back down. Ziva followed and collapsed on top of him, both gasping for air. Tony settled his arm around her whilst working the covers up over them, Ziva having merely pushed them aside, had made easier for him to grasp a hold of them. He covered them again and settled, holding her to him as their bodies came down from their high. His body eventually softening and slipping from hers as Ziva remained lying on top of him. With time she straightening her legs and her hands slipped under his shoulders. Brushing her hair away from her face he looked down at her, only to meet her gaze. His hands pushed into her back, in an unspoken request for her to move so that he could kiss her. She understood and rose off him slightly to breach the distance and partake in the kiss.
Once they pulled apart Ziva settled again and Tony continued to rub her back. Their silence growing heavier as more light filtered into the room.
"Yes." Ziva answered, stiffening slightly.
"We need to talk." Tony said, his hands stilling on her back.
"I'm not sure if that is such a good idea." Ziva said rising off him slightly, intending to move from him.
"This changes things." Tony said, letting her move from him.
"I am aware of that." Ziva said sitting up looking for her robe.
"All right, what is on your mind?" Ziva relented.
"This… what happened between us."
"You are not new to this." Ziva said putting on her robe again.
"That's not what I meant." Tony persisted.
"You wish to forget it." Ziva said tying the sash. Refusing to look at him, whilst keeping her voice level.
"No I don't want to forget it, I'd rather die than forget it." Tony threw back his heart feeling heavy. Ziva was pulling away and it was the last thing he wanted.
"That can be arranged." Ziva threw back at him.
"There are times I really think you want me dead." Tony replied, hoping to lighten the mood slightly.
"That is true, as long as I get to do the killing." Ziva said, deadly serious.
"You're not helping." Tony injected.
"Should I be? I am not the one needing to discuss this." Ziva replied as she drew up her legs. Keeping her back to him, so that he could not read her expressions or see how much this was hurting her.
"You're the one needing to make a decision." Tony said, placing his hand on her back.
"I need to make a decision, how?" Ziva returned slightly confused, whilst turning her head to look at him.
"I'm not wiling to share." Tony said, sitting up next to her.
"And you think I am." Ziva quickly threw back, fighting the temptation to lean back into his touch.
"That is not what I meant either." Tony replied, dropping his hand from her back.
"So you're asking for exclusivity. Are you willing to give the same?" Ziva challenged him.
"I'm not the one dating exclusively at the moment." Tony threw back, also pulling up his legs.
"Ah yes Ray, I understand your request." Ziva said, this time looking ahead of her.
"You'll need to decide." Tony sighed, knowing he was not being fair on her, but he needed this.
"There is no decision to be made." Ziva returned, keeping her eyes in front of her.
Tony remained silent for a while, a painful sensation settling over his heart as the meaning of her words sank home.
"I'd best be going then." Tony said whilst turning, intending to get out of her bed.
"What do you mean by that?" Ziva threw back, tuning back towards him once she felt his weight shift.
"If there is no decision to be made then you have chosen him." Tony returned, his back facing her as his feet landed on the floor.
"Tony wait." Ziva exclaimed, reaching out to touch him but stopping before her hand made contact with his skin.
"Ziva, I know when it is time for me to go." Tony replied, dropping his face into his palms.
"Tony, do not make me drop you." Ziva warned, dropping her hand.
"You've done that before." Tony returned, not looking at her.
"I have, and I will do it again if I need to." Ziva threatened.
"What is it Ziva?" Tony relented, looking back at her.
"I want you to think." Ziva requested, their eyes locking.
"About?" He questioned, dispassionately.
"You know me…" Ziva started.
"I would like to think so." Tony returned, turning back towards her slightly.
"If I were in a true relationship with someone, would I sleep with my partner, share evenings and dinners with him? Allow him into my home and my bed?"
"We do those things." Tony reasoned.
"And that does not tell you something." Ziva returned, disgruntled.
Tony remained silent, mulling things over, whilst trying to understand what she implied.
"There is no decision to be made, because it was made a long time ago." Ziva stated.
"What about your friend?" Tony finally demanded.
"He is a friend, we email each other and spend some time together. He is easy to talk to." Ziva answered, hoping it would clarify things.
"And I'm not?" Tony questioned, puzzled.
"That, is different." Ziva returned.
"What do you talk about?" he questioned, studying her response. He'd know if she lied to him.
"Our day, what we did, the people in it." Ziva answered, unconcerned.
"And what am I?" Tony demanded.
"You, are a source of much frustration in my life. But, I have wanted this with you for some time now." She returned, her eyes drifting to the sheets again.
"So, you're willing to give it a try." Tony asked, hesitantly.
"Only if you are… I do not share either." Ziva started unsurely, before stating the last.
"I wouldn't ask that of you." Tony replied placing his hand on her shoulder.
"I will not let you go without a fight." Ziva said, looking up at him again.
"After which I would most likely end up on the floor, bleeding." Tony replied, hoping to lighten her mood with her old threat.
"No, she will." Ziva stated.
"Who?" Tony asked, puzzled.
"The other woman." Ziva clarified.
"I'll stop you." Tony replied, the meaning having hit home, whilst he turned more towards her.
"Ha, I'd like to see you try." Ziva disregarded his statement, rolling her eyes.
"That's easy, I'll just do this," Tony said as he closed the distance between them, wrapping his arms around her and kissing her.
"That would work." Ziva replied, once they parted.
"So, how long would I have before your father sends half of Mossad to come find me?" Tony chirped, pulling her closer.
"You are safe from them." Ziva answered, settling into his embrace.
"You'll protect me."
"No, he approves."
"What!" Tony exclaimed, pulling back slightly to look at her.
"He approves of you, you have shown him to be worthy." Ziva stated, matter-of-factly.
"When did this happen?" Tony asked, stunned.
"The day you pulled me out of that camp in Somalia." Ziva replied, sounding unconcerned.
"I didn't do it alone." Tony stated.
"You planned it, even if you thought I was dead…" Ziva said, pulling away from him slightly to look at him. "I see you do not understand, I shall explain."
"My father wanted retribution for Tali's death, he wanted Saleem killed for his involvement. Michael was originally tasked with the mission. He was the son my father never had in Ari. My father had planned that we would marry, that would not only have kept his retribution within the family and more fitting, it would also have provided him with grandchildren… But, certain events changed that." Ziva pulled away from him slightly.
Tony wanted to say something, but thought it best to remain silent.
"After you left Tel Aviv my father disclosed the details of his mission to me, and as family it would only be proper for me to seek retribution for her murder. It was one of the reasons why I was willing to take up the mission, for I also wanted to avenge the death of my sister and I was willing to kill to get it." Ziva remained silent for a few moments. "When I was captured, I did not think I would survive. I would rather have died than give them the information they wanted, I was not willing to put you in danger as well… but then you showed up." Ziva took a deep breath before continuing.
"Saleem was killed and Tali's death avenged. You not only finished what I had started… you also rescued me, an action of great importance and meaning according to our traditions and beliefs. My father approves of you because of your actions and because he could see what was there, although he did not understand it. He may have been opposed to my decision to remain with NCIS or on becoming an American citizen, but I think he understood in the end or at least he understood my reasons why. He made some conditions, most of them regarding me, and one in specific for you… one which I would have felt awkward about had I not discovered it unnecessary."
"What was the condition?" Tony asked drawing her gaze back to him.
"It is of no concern to you now." Ziva replied, imperturbably.
"You are protected by Mossad, whenever and where ever it is within their power, and you will be treated accordingly by any officer. You will also always be welcome as guest in Israel and my father's home."
"And you?" Tony asked, reaching for her hand.
"I have no ties with them anymore, other than by blood with my father." Ziva answered, allowing for him to take her hand.
"So I'm safe from them?" Tony asked, pulling her closer to him again.
"Yes." Ziva answered, after settling into his embrace.
"So what was the condition?" Tony questioned again.
"It is not important anymore, stop being like a dog at a bone." Ziva said wanting to pull away again. But Tony simply tightened his embrace.
"With, a dog with a bone, anyway I need to know. The last thing I need is for your father to turn around and suddenly claim me unfit."
"You were considered unfit from the start, by birthright and religion." Ziva answered managing to pull away from him slightly.
"So what changed?" Tony persisted.
"I do not wish to discuss this now." Ziva stated.
"When then?" He pushed.
"When it is time." Ziva returned, becoming flustered.
"When would that be?" Tony persevered.
"You will know." Ziva stated, irritated.
"Because I will tell you." Ziva answered, finally pulling away from him.
"Okay ex officer David could you send Ziva out, because I really need to speak to her right now." Tony joked, hoping to make light of her mood.
"You really need to get ready for work." Ziva stated.
"And Gibbs." Tony added.
"He should not be a problem, provided you behave." Ziva said, looking at him again.
"When do I not?" Tony replied, happy to note the lightening of her mood.
"You want an answer?" Ziva asked, raising a brow.
"Not needed… Shower?" Tony replied, smiling.
"You go ahead."
"Oh no, you're coming with me." Tony said, reaching for her hands.
"I do not think so. You have much to learn still." Ziva replied, holding her hands up and away from him.
Ziva arrived at the office before Tony, as was usual, Tony having needed to return home before going into work. Gibbs watched the two as they interacted throughout the day. Their bickering still evident, but he noted a slight change in the undertone. It was no longer galling, but teasing, almost challenging again. Around mid morning he watched as DiNozzo's mind drifted from his work. Whatever the agent had done the night before had had some lingering effects.
Just then Ziva returned from the lab and walked pass Gibbs, noting his observation of Tony. Smiling she shook her head before sneaking up behind Tony, much to Gibbs's surprise.
"And what are you thinking about?" Ziva questioned, loud enough for Gibbs to hear.
"You should know." Came Tony's whispered reply.
"I'm not so sure, but whatever it is you'd better snap out of it before Gibbs head slaps you." Ziva said, loud enough for Gibbs to hear.
With that Tony jerked upright looking towards Gibbs. "Sorry boss."
Ziva dropped her voice to a whisper. "Whatever it was I'd be willing to play, if you behave." Which drew his attention back to her, with a stunned expression on his face.
Gibbs watched the exchange, wondering what threat she had used on him to snap him round as fast. Then watched as she returned to her desk.
"So have you heard anything from your friend?" Tony started.
"Yes, he has sent me a message." Ziva returned.
"Can I read it?"
"Not unless you want to end up bleeding on the floor."
"I'll take that as a no."
"That is correct."
"So you're talking about me."
"That is hardly likely."
"DiNozzo!" Gibbs warned.
"Working boss." Tony said as his eyes locked with Ziva's for a moment, before returning his attention to the pile of cold cases on his desk.
Ziva sat on her couch, two nights, it had been two nights since Tony had staid over at her place, when they had finally moved from friends, co-workers, partners, to lovers. To her it felt like a lifetime ago, they had not even had the opportunity yet to fulfil his office time fantasy… sighing she pulled her robe closer as she flipped through the channels. It was Friday night, movie night and he was not here. They'd not even managed to make arrangements regarding the evening. She avoided her bedroom whenever possible, the memories that could ascend her, just by walking into it, was crippling to her person. It made her miss him even more. The first night alone had been the hardest for her. She'd slept that night, or at least tried to sleep, holding his pillow closely, needing his scent, knowing that he was miles away, with Gibbs having sent him to New York on some or another errant for the director. It was too soon for her, she knew Tony with beautiful women. His head was fast to turn, and New York was full of them… her thoughts drifted back to the past, to some of the errands Tony had needed to run for a director. They usually involved some or another female, and she was the one who'd always gotten hurt in the end. She fought her thoughts, not wanting to go there again, because if this was something similar to Jeanne she wouldn't know what to do. The last time had been hard enough and this time round the stakes were higher. She looked at the cell phone lying on her coffee table, waiting for the buzz. Tony had sent her a message every morning and evening since he'd left. She had expected another earlier the evening, but it had not come. He was possibly still out.
Getting up she took her cup to the kitchen, placing it in the basin. Turning out the lights she walked back to the lounge, collecting her cell phone before switching off the TV and turning out the lights. Entering her bedroom, she placed her phone on the nightstand, pulling out the book she'd been reading. Before going into the bathroom to prepare for bed then snuggling under the covers to continue reading.
Ziva was well into her book when her cell phone chimed, putting her book aside she reached for it her heart already beating, knowing it had to be him.
'You awake?' The message from Tony read.
'Yes.' she sent back.
'Good come open the door.' Ziva frowned on reading the message, and got out of bed, making her way over to the door, checking first to see if he was outside. All her doubts and fears fell from her as she opened the door to find him standing there with a happy grin on his face.
"Hi, did you miss me?" Ziva greeted him, unable to stop the elation that bubbled up through her body.
"Hey, you bet." Came his reply as he stepped closer. "I know it's a bit late for movie night, but I had to see you."
"Come on in." Ziva invited opening the door more and stepping back to allow him in.
Tony stepped past her into her apartment, whilst Ziva closed and locked the door then turned back to him, only to run straight into is chest.
"Oomph." She grunted as his arms came around her, holding her to him. His face dropped into her hair. Ziva slipped her arms around him in return, as she felt his ribs expand taking in a deep breath. Ziva closed her eyes and rested her head on his chest breathing in his unique scent. Ziva eventually pulled back sensing something was wrong, that he was holding out on her. Looking at him she noted how tired he appeared. Placing her hand on his cheek she tilted her head slightly before asking, "are you okay?"
"Yea, I'm fine." He replied leaning into her touch. "Just fine."
This caused her to frown, her eyes narrowing slightly as her hand dropped from his cheek. "Would you like something to drink?" Ziva offered, hoping it would get him to talk.
"No, I should go." Tony finally stated, fighting the urge to throw her over his shoulder and to carry her off to bed, wanting to do untold amounts of pleasurable things to her. He knew it had been a bad idea to come here directly. He should have gone home and rested first.
Ziva frowned. "You are not staying over?" her voice sounded strained, she could hear it and knew he would as well.
"I don't have a change of clothes, and I'm too tired to be good company." It was the most logical explanations his mind would give him at the time.
Ziva looked at him, a frown once again forming on her forehead. "You have been asked to work under cover again?" She questioned unsurely, not sure what she'd do if his answer wasn't the one she needed to hear.
"What!" He exclaimed, trying to keep up with her, before realizing what she meant and where her thoughts had run off. "No I haven't, I wouldn't, not now." Came his response.
"Then stay," Ziva stated simply. "You do not need clothes to sleep in my bed." She said turning from him.
"What, so that you could have your way with me." Tony threw back following her lead anyway.
"I know you like it, but no, you need sleep, I shall even offer a back massage." Ziva threw teasingly over her shoulder as she entered her bedroom.
"Oh no, the last time you did that you hurt me." Tony said following her into her bedroom.
"Oh I promise I will behave." Ziva said handing him a towel.
"I'll have to see that." He half challenged her.
"Off you go." Ziva said turning him and shoving him in the direction of the bathroom. "Go shower and then get into bed. Have you eaten anything?"
"Airline food." Tony replied.
"Oh joy, tasty." Came Ziva's tongue in the cheek response.
"Tell me about it." Tony returned, turning on the water.
Ziva settled in bed whilst waiting for him to finish up. Tony once done, entered her bedroom having switched off the lights then slipped into bed next to her.
"You sure you don't mind?" Tony asked as he came to lie down next to her.
"Tony." Came Ziva's frustrated reply.
"Just checking. I don't want any parts of my anatomy missing in the morning." Tony returned playfully.
"I promise to safe keep the desirable ones. Now on your stomach." Ziva whispered provocatively, before sitting up.
"Oh you were serious." Tony said turning over.
"When am I not?" Ziva retorted.
"Good point." Tony relented, hugging his pillow.
"Relax Tony. I won't hurt you." Ziva said as she settled over him.
Tony felt his back loosen up as Ziva ran her hands over it. The movements against him at first soothing as he closed his eyes, handing over all senses to her, allowing small pleasurable groans to escape his mouth.
Ziva continued until the knots finally loosened from his shoulders and his muscles were soft and plaint under his skin. The warmth, the feel thereof was intoxicating as she soon found herself in a trans like state of arousal. Her movements no longer intent on releasing the built up strain in his muscles, but having turned to caresses as her body recognized and welcomed his under her. She felt him move and it only served to heighten the sensations, her eyes followed her hands' movements over his skin, registering texture and his response.
"Ziva." Tony grunted, his voice raspy.
"Hmm." Came her reply as she ran her hands up his back again, her hips shifting slightly against him.
Tony was sure that Ziva was unaware of the soft grunts she made whilst moving against him, how her body pushed onto his. He was already painfully aroused. Her movements against him only rendered things more painful as she pushed him into the unyielding bed. He didn't want her to think that he expected sex every time they were together outside of work, but at that moment not having her proved more difficult. It had been too long since their last time, too long without her around. He'd spent too much time the last two nights thinking about this. Tired body or not, he was more than good to go, and from the movements and sounds Ziva was making, so was she.
"Ziva." He grunted again.
"Yes." Her reply sounded more like a moan.
"Move." He commanded gruffly.
"Why?" Ziva asked unable to comprehend why he would want her to do that.
"Because I want to turn over." He gruffly answered.
"Why didn't you say so?" Ziva returned, once his words penetrated her foggy, highly aroused mind.
"I just did." Tony stated.
Ziva lifted off him slightly allowing for him to turn over, before she settled down again. This time she started rubbing his chest as his hands snuck up her thighs. Their eyes met as he undid the sash on her robe and pulled the sides apart to reveal her tank top and a pair of shorts. Running his hands up over her shoulders and down her back he pushed the robe off her whilst drawing her closer. Ziva went willingly and within moments of their lips meeting all thoughts of sleep left their minds as a blinding passion once again consumed them. Tony's hands clutched at her as he tugged at her top impatiently, trying to pull it over her head. Once he'd succeeded, he rolled her under him and started tugging at her shorts. Ziva lifted slightly hoping to help him. His hand slipped down between her legs, her heat scorching him as he tested her readiness. Pulling her legs up with his arms he moved them up angling her body.
Ziva's body through the haze registered the threat and reacted, locking her legs around his chest she by instinct twisted, catching Tony off guard and dropping him back onto the bed.
"Ziva." Tony gasped as her legs retained their hold, making it difficult for him to breath.
On registering her name Ziva relaxed her hold, then sat up unhooking her legs.
"What was that for?" Tony asked shocked, his heart pounding in his chest.
"You were the one who started wrestling." Ziva threw back.
"I was not." Tony insisted.
"Then why were you trying to shoulder pin me?" Ziva threw back.
"A what, I can assure you I wasn't trying to pin you." He insisted.
"You weren't, then what were you doing?" Ziva demanded, challenging him.
Tony just sighed, "come I'll show you, just don't ninja flip me again."
"If you pin me to do something stupid, you'll be in hospital before the night is out." Ziva warned him.
"If you don't enjoy it then your welcome to." Tony said getting into position again, his heart still thumping from the adrenaline spike it received when she'd flipped him.
Ziva dropped onto her back allowing Tony to take up her legs again, this time more slowly.
"This was what I wanted to do," Tony said before sinking himself into her.
"Why like this?" Ziva asked once he was fully sheathed.
"Do you feel how deep I am?" he asked looking into her eyes, moving his hips slightly.
"Yes." Ziva gasped as he moved slightly.
"It's still not deep enough for me, I want to get so deep into you, you won't know where you start and I end." Tony said thrusting lightly.
Ziva just grunted in reply.
"You okay with this?" Tony asked still lightly moving inside her.
"Oh yes." Ziva replied closing her eyes, handing herself over to the sensations.
"No ninja stunts." Tony grunted.
"No… Just …don't stop." Ziva replied between gasps.
"I'm not planning to." Tony grunted as he started rolling his hips. Holding on for dear life as Ziva body braced slightly against him. Each stroke pushing onto into her deeper recesses. He felt himself hit her cervix head on every time, heard her grunts of encouragement. His hips rotating faster, pushing into her harder as he looked down at her, deep in the throws of pleasure, her body responding to his as he drove on, her trust in him evident, as she allowed herself to take pleasure from him. He saw her body jolt every time he drove into her, her body stopping his forward motion. He knew she would be sore in the morning, but right there and then there was nothing he wanted more than to drive her senseless with pleasure. Hoping he could give her the pleasure he received every time her body wrapped around his, with every thrust he made into her. Gazing down at her, understanding the trust she showed him, seeing the pleasure she took from being with him. Beholding the glazed expression in her eyes when she turned them to him, the way her mouth gasped every time he thrust into her, hearing the grunts he evoked from her…he knew that she was the last and only woman he wanted to be doing this with, for the rest of his life. He now only had to convince her of that.
Ziva felt the coil of sensations deep in her gut, the pleasure building. Every stroke, every strike of him inside her registered, she could not have held onto him if she tried. She was mindless, boneless, folded in half as he pounded away on her. Causing shock waves to course over her body with every stroke. She was oblivious to the world, only Tony and what he was doing to her registered as her body started to tighten in anticipation, causing her to strain against him more. The sensations were deeper, stronger than in the past, stealing her breath for a few moments. She felt it tighten, coil, then sharpen before she released, causing her she to voice her approval as she tipped over the edge.
Tony drove on. Fighting is own need for release. When her body suddenly clamped around his like a vice. Ziva screamed something in Hebrew that he did not understand, but he took it as encouragement, and pushed into her in time with her body's convulsions, until he himself voiced his approval and released inside her.
Bracing himself over her he released her legs, allowing her to drop them down onto the bed. Then closed the distance to kiss her, gently drawing her back to him as they both still gasped for air. Drawing her into an embrace before rolling sideways, holding her close as his fingers knotting in her hair.
"God, I'll never get enough of you." Tony stated, holding her do him.
"Why do you say that?" Ziva mumbled into is shoulder.
"Because all I can think of now is how much I want to do this again." Tony replied hugging her closer.
"And that is wrong?" Ziva asked surprised.
"I'm not going to answer that." He returned, pulling back slightly.
"Why?" Ziva demanded.
"Because if I do, I'll end up in hospital. Instead of spending the weekend with you, watching movies and making love." Tony answered rolling onto his back.
"So those are your plans for the weekend." Ziva spoke up as she settled her head on his shoulder.
"Unless you have any other." Tony replied wrapping his arm around her shoulder, holding her to him.
"No, I'm happy to go with that.' Ziva replied running her fingers through his chest hair.
"And no more ninja stunts, okay." Tony said playfully tugging her hair.
"Had I known what you were intending to do, I would not have." Ziva said raising her head to look at him.
"Your training kicked in." Tony stated, running his hand over her back.
"Yes." Ziva confirmed.
"I won't hold it against you, if…" Tony started teasing.
"If what?" Ziva demanded, narrowing her gaze.
"You tell me what your father's condition was." Tony asked, bracing his arm against her back, wanting to prevent her slipping away.
"Tony I told you it is not important anymore." Ziva said lowering her head to his shoulder.
"How would I know, if you don't tell me." Tony reasoned, and then started tracing patterns on her back.
"You really want to know?" Ziva asked.
"Yes." Tony confirmed.
"He demanded that you be circumcised." Ziva stated.
"But I'm…" Tony started.
"I know." Ziva confirmed.
"That's it?" Tony asked,
"You're kidding right." Tony said tugging at her hair again.
"No, that was his one condition." Ziva stated, "But there are a few more I would keep you to."
"Any of them involving torture." Tony teased.
"Depends on your view of torture." Ziva said, rising her head to look at him again.
"So lets hear it." Tony said rubbing her back.
"In our customs there are laws and obligations that men have to their partners." Ziva started.
"This sounds serious." Tony chirped.
"In our relationship I will hold you to two of these." Ziva stated.
"And they are?" Tony asked, locking gazes with her.
"Onah and keri." Ziva mentioned.
"In English Ziva."
"Onah is the obligation of a man to have regular sex with his partner or wife.' Ziva started dropping her head back to his shoulder,
"I like that one." Tony stated, "No trouble there."
"There is a catch." Ziva warned.
"Isn't there always." Tony sighed.
"You may not demand it. In our culture the woman has the final say in whether sex occurs." Ziva finished, waiting his response.
"As it should be, both partners consenting." Tony replied.
Ziva frowned whilst thinking his response over. "I never thought of it like that." She finally answered.
"And the other?" Tony asked.
"Keri may be a bit more sensitive." Ziva started.
"Why?" Tony asked.
"Because it is very specific." Ziva said, running her fingers through his chest hair again.
"So let's hear it." Tony said squeezing her shoulder.
"You may only emit inside me." Ziva finally spoke up.
Tony remained quiet for a while.
"That means no self gratification." Ziva spoke, barely above a whisper.
"I understand, but why have a law like that?" Tony finally spoke up.
"Keri was based on a deep-rooted religious belief that semen holds life, therefore it is sacred and should only be released where it can create life, it should not be wasted."
Ziva felt Tony stiffen slightly. "Well technically it's true." came his eventual reply.
"I'm holding you to it to make up for time wasted." Ziva said lifting her head off him again. Then dropping her voice. "That way only I get to take advantage of you."
"I definitely have no problem with that." Ton replied, pulling her closer to kiss her.
"I'm going to clean up." Ziva stated once they pulled apart.
"I'm coming too." Tony said as she moved away from him.
Pulling a pillow closer, I allow the tears to escape. I left Tony at work this evening without a word, without an invitation to come over later… that is after he finishes with Abby and the nuns. The last three months have been like a dream come true. We've become close in every sense of the way, but this gets to me every time. It started earlier today, the reminder that that which I want does not want me. Hugging his pillow closer, it still smells like him and that tears me up even more. Years ago I mocked him about it, and today I regret it. I regret it more than shooting my brother, more than having given Gibbs an ultimatum, more than having, even for a moment, doubted Tony…
I want this. I need it for when we wake up from the dream I currently find myself in. That when it is all over and done, I would at least have something tangible to hold onto, because I know that somehow he will not be mine forever.
I need to speak with someone, a woman, someone that would understand. Abby does not know about us, and that is still for the best. Jenny is dead, not that she would have understood. I would not dare to discuss this with a councillor; they may just think me crazy. A rabbi would not understand, and Noda is in Israel. This was not a matter to be discussed over the phone. I would need to put in leave, speak to Director Vance, and see if they would allow me to return to Israel. I'll have to talk to Gibbs without giving anything away… that would be the hardest. And Tony, what do I tell him of my sudden need to return to my native country?
Tony was at work before Ziva. Gibbs looked over at her desk concerned, a frown marring his forehead. Ziva was never late. Something must have happened. Just then Ziva walked into the bullpen, head down, reserved. Gibbs looked from Ziva to Tony. He saw the look of concern that Tony threw her. Gibbs had noted the two of them growing even closer over the last couple of months. They'd lately become completely in sync, often functioning without needing to say a word to one another. He'd drawn the conclusion that the inevitable had occurred, and that they'd managed to keep it out of the office. He didn't want the sordid details, he didn't need them, but Tony's response that morning was a clear indication that he had no idea as to what was up with Ziva. Which lead him back to wondering about them. Their banter was still there, then as if on cue DiNozzo spoke up.
"Good afternoon Ziva." Tony greeted in a teasing tone.
"Morning Tony." Came the muted reply from Ziva.
"Let me guess, you hit something with your car." Tony continued, hoping to get a more lively response from her.
"No, not today," came her reply as she placed her backpack on the floor.
"Okay, so what's wrong?" Tony pushed as Ziva turned towards Gibbs.
"I do not care to discuss it." Ziva stated flatly. "Sorry I'm late, is there anything I missed?"
"We're just waiting for Abby with the results." Gibbs returned, watching her closely.
"Okay." Ziva replied, turning back to her desk.
"Were you fighting with your boyfriend?" Tony asked, his tone more serious.
"If I had I would be at the hospital, making sure they don't revive him." Ziva said, intending to sit down.
Tony was about to reply when the director spoke up. "Agent David. My office please."
"Oh, Ziva's in trouble, who did you off last night?" Tony asked as she stepped past his desk.
"It'll be you soon." Ziva threatened, before taking the stairs.
"I wonder what that's about." Gibbs mumbled. It never being a good sign when any of his team members were called into Vance's office, alone, but it was even more so if it happened to be Ziva. His eyes followed her movements before his gaze dropped to Tony, who also had a frown marring is forehead. The silent 'what's that all about' question evident on his face.
Ziva mounted the stairs and followed Vance into his office.
"Good morning agent, please take a seat." Vance greeted, indicating towards the table before taking a seat as well.
"Good morning director." Ziva replied, before taking a seat.
"I've been waiting for you to come in this morning." Vance started.
"I apologize for being late." Ziva responded.
"That's not why I called you here." Vance continued.
Ziva remained silent, waiting for him to continue.
"I spoke to your father this morning…" Vance started, "I'm flying out to Israel this afternoon. There's word of possible terror attacks in Egypt, and with the country already politically unstable at the moment it could amount to a civil war." Vance continued, "I want to know if you would like to be included in the detail." Vance requested.
Ziva looked at the director.
"We will be gone for a few days as there's a series of matters needing to be discussed. I thought to ask you first, before requesting anyone else."
Ziva prepared to speak, "Did my father request for me to go?"
"No he didn't request it, although I know he would be pleased to see you."
"I will accompany you." Ziva finally confirmed.
"Thank you agent David, go home and pack. I'll inform agent Gibbs of your assignment." Vance concluded, rising from his chair.
"Thank you." Ziva replied as she too rose from her chair, before turning to leave his office.
Ziva stopped for a moment to look down at everyone below, her gaze momentarily stopping on Tony then moving on to Gibbs as his phone rang. She watched him answer the phone, saw him stiffen and look towards Vance's office, spotting her, Tony's gaze following his.
"Yes director I understand, I will be up in a few moments." Ziva heard his reply as she once again proceeded to the stairs. Descending them and returning to her desk, where she reached for her backpack.
"Ziver." Gibbs said fixing his stare on her.
"Yes Gibbs." Ziva replied, turning her attention to him.
"Be careful, and look out for yourself."
"I will." Ziva said pulling her backpack over her shoulder.
"Hey wait, where are you going?" Tony asked, stunned at the exchange between them.
"Israel." Ziva replied, looking at him.
"What, why?" He asked almost panicky, the shock evident in his voice.
"I am to accompany the director." Ziva replied.
"When are you leaving?" Gibbs noted Tony's stress level rise with every answer she gave him. Not that he could blame the senior agent, for he felt the same way about the situation. Knowing that whenever Ziva had returned to her native country she'd been injured, more extensively each time, the last time almost having claimed her life. He didn't like the odds this time round.
"This afternoon." Ziva answered flatly.
Tony's panicked look increased to a level Gibbs had not seen before.
"I'll walk you out." Tony stated, getting up.
"That is not needed Tony, you have work to do, I will see you in a few days." Ziva said holding her hand up to halt him.
"Where are you going?" McGee questioned, stepping into the bullpen with Abby in tow, both making for Gibbs' desk.
"Ziva is going to Israel." Tony answered for her.
"What!" Abby exclaimed, turning towards Ziva, her pig tails flying. "You can't go back there." Both Tony and Gibbs were thankful that Abby, unlike them, would voice her thoughts and concerns, without caring what others thought.
"Every time you go there you get injured, or we hear that you're missing or dead." Abby stated then turned to Gibbs. "Gibbs stop her, she can't go!"
"She's accompanying the director." Gibbs returned.
"I should have known Vance is behind this." Abby replied irritated.
"Abby." Gibbs tried to call her attention.
"No Gibbs don't you see, they want to take her away from us." Abby turned towards Tony suddenly. "Well aren't you going with her?" She demanded, "You're her partner."
"No Abby I'm not." Tony stated, his voice slightly lowered.
"I am going to go, I will see you all later." Ziva said as she turned and walked towards the elevator.
"This is not fair…" Ziva heard Abby rant, before the doors of the elevator closed, allowing her to release a sigh.
Gibbs entered Vance's office not long after, and came to a halt on the opposite side of his desk.
"Gibbs, this is for you." Vance said, handing him a file.
"What is this?" Gibbs asked, taking it and reading the name.
"Your newest team member." Vance answered.
"You're replacing Ziva?" Gibbs demanded, looking at Vance.
"No, that is a new agent requiring some hands on work in the field." Vance returned, starting to pack up his desk.
"And Ziva." Gibbs pushed.
"She remains on your team… Ms Jane will be here tomorrow." Vance said rising from is chair. "Arrange with office supplies to get a desk set up."
"And where do you suggest we put her." Gibbs asked, unwilling to move any of his team members around.
"There is the compartment behind your desk." Vance continued as he packed his bag.
"How long will she be staying?" Gibbs said looking at the file.
"As long as she is needed."
"Then she'd best not bother coming." Gibbs said, dropping the file on Vance's desk.
"You have no say in this Gibbs." Vance returned, halting his packing to look at the agent.
"That is my team, I decide who's on it." Gibbs returned pointing to the door, his voice rising in irritation.
"Not this time." Vance challenged him.
"Why?" Gibbs demanded.
"Because higher authorities want her on your team." Vance said squaring his stance.
"Why, so they can spy on us." Gibbs returned.
"No, because you will be able to teach her something." Vance said resuming his packing.
"If it's training she needs, then send her to Quantico." Gibbs challenged, as Vance picked up the file.
"I know you don't like this Gibbs, no more than I like doing it, but it is only for a few months until I can reassign her as an agent afloat." Vance returned, extending the file, which Gibbs took from him.
"You make sure to bring back Ziva, unharmed, or this one will be fired with a rap so bad no one will touch her." Gibbs said before he made to leave the office.
"You'd better, because there's not enough marines in the entire US army to prevent us from fetching her again." Gibbs said before closing the door.
Gibbs marched into the bullpen, dropping the file on his desk. Causing both Tony and McGee to startle then look at him.
"McGee, get on the line to the IT department, have them set up another desk."
"The one behind me." Gibbs said pointing to the one on the other side of the partition.
"What's up boss?" Tony asked.
Gibbs turned towards Tony "We have a new team member." Gibbs stated, gauging Tony's reaction to the news.
Tony's heart dropped, as his eyes enlarged at the implication. "Vance is replacing Ziva." He replied shocked, not sure if he could breathe.
"No, we have become the new academy." Gibbs replied, not surprised at Tony's response, his feelings for Ziva were never far below the surface.
"A new probie." McGee replied. "New blood for Tony." He teased.
"I would prefer for him not teethe on her." Gibbs said, checking his phone.
"I don't want new blood, what we have is fine." Came Tony's reply to McGee.
"A she?" McGee asked.
"Yes, one Erica Jane." Gibbs answered before turning, "I'm going for coffee."
"Right boss." Tony replied, before looking over to Ziva's desk, concerned.
McGee picked up the pone to call IT, before excusing himself and heading towards the lab.
Ziva stepped off the plane with Vance and his designated bodyguards. The warm Israeli sun bearing down on them as they completed formalities, then headed out to Mossad headquarters.
Ziva made her way to her father's office, only to be stopped by Liat.
"Where do you think you are going?" Liat demanded, stepping in front of Ziva.
"To see my father." Ziva stated, making to pass her.
"I do not think so." Liat returned, blocking the way.
"Who's going to stop me? You?" Ziva challenged, looking the girl up and down.
"Yes, he is not expecting you." Liat returned the challenge.
"I was not aware that I needed an appointment to see him." Ziva stated, unperturbed by the officer's challenge.
"He is a busy man." Liat stated, irritated by Ziva's lack of response.
"I realize that." Ziva returned, having seen the woman's irritation level spike.
"You cannot just march in here and expect that he would see you. You are no longer Mossad." Liat issued a new challenge.
"What is the problem?" Hadar asked appearing behind Ziva.
"She wants to see the director." Liat answered firmly.
"And there is a problem with that?" Hadar asked calmly.
"She is a rouge, a traitor, how do you know she does not have orders to kill him? She then killed her brother." Liat returned, agitated.
"That is enough Liat, you shall not speak of the directors' daughter in such a manner." Hadar commanded.
"He deserves a better daughter, one who stands beside him and does not go running off with some fancy man." Liat challenged Ziva once again.
"You know not of what you speak." Hadar stated.
Eli having prepared to leave for the meeting had heard the commotion down the hall and opened his door, intending to enquire as to the source of the commotion.
"What appears to be the problem?" Eli started before recognizing his daughter. "Ziva."
"Father." Ziva greeted.
"What is going on here?" Eli demanded looking at his agents.
"Liat refuses to let me through." Ziva answered his question.
"Let her pass." He commanded.
Liat stepped out of the way, allowing Ziva to pass.
"Come in, I did not expect of you to accompany director Vance." Eli said as Ziva stepped past him into his office.
"He requested my presence." Ziva returned.
"Please excuse Liat, with things as volatile with our neighbours she is vigilant." Eli said as he closed his office door.
"I'm pleased to note that she cares for your safety." Ziva returned, turning to look at her father.
"It is good to see you." Eli started, "You look well."
"Nice to see you too." Ziva returned.
"Sit." Eli insisted.
"I do not plan to stay long." Ziva returned.
"How have you been? Eli asked.
"I am well." Ziva stated.
"And agent DiNozzo?" Eli invited.
"He is well."
"Why did you bother to come, if you do not wish to speak with me? " Eli commanded.
"Because there is another reason why I came to see you." Ziva replied.
"I would like to speak with Noda. I know that she stays with you now." Ziva stipulated.
"Why would you wish to speak with her?" Eli asked surprised.
"It is none of your concern. It is a matter between women." Ziva retorted.
Eli's brow frowned. "Is it about agent DiNozzo?" he queried.
"I will notify her, you should come for dinner then we can all talk. I will arrange for Hadar to collect you from the hotel tonight." Eli returned.
"Ziva you do not need to thank me, my house will always be your home, no matter our differences, you do not need an invitation to visit." Eli started before a knock at the door disturbs them.
"Pardon me director, but the others are waiting for you." Hadar said, standing just inside the door.
"I am on my way." Eli said turning his attention back to Ziva. "Until tonight then."
"Yes." Ziva replied as her father made for the door.
Hadar looked at Ziva and nodded his head.
"Ziva dear girl, I did not believe your father when he told me you were coming to visit." Noda started as Ziva entered the house with Hadar.
"Noda, it is good to see you again." Ziva said, hugging her aunt.
"Come dear, come, I have some things to attend to in the kitchen, and you can make us some tea." Noda said leading her off to the kitchen as Eli walked into the foyer.
Ziva followed her aunt into the kitchen. Then proceeded to make the tea whilst her aunt checked on the food before joining her for tea.
"So Ziva, what troubles you? Your father sounded concerned, he has never known you to seek advice from a woman." Noda started, fixing Ziva with an intense gaze.
"It is difficult to explain." Ziva replied, thinking Gibbs could teach her aunt a thing or two about pointed gazes.
"How so?" her aunt asked taking a sip of her tea.
"I do not really know were to start." Ziva started, dropping her gaze to her cup.
"Just start with what concerns you most, the rest will come." Noda spoke up, placing a hand on Ziva's.
Ziva took a deep breath and lifted her gaze. "I think I'm being punished." She finally stated.
"Why dear girl would you say that?" Noda asked, a concerned frown forming on her forehead.
"Because I really think I am." Ziva replied dropping her gaze again.
"Okay," Noda started, "how are you being punished?"
"There is something I really want, and I have done the needed to obtain it, but it is not happening." Ziva replied, demurely.
"Does it involve the man who rescued you?" Noda was quick to ask.
"Yes," Ziva replied more surely, "it involves Tony."
"You seek a relationship with him." Noda invited.
"I have a relationship with him." Ziva stated.
"That is good news, your father was unsure if he would approach you." Noda said patting her hand. "So what is your concern?"
"I do not know if it will last, I do not know if he will turn to another woman. I'm selfish enough to want him only to myself, and it may eventually drive him away." Ziva replied, anxiously.
"It is normal to feel this way when you truly care for your partner." Noda stated, returning her hand to her teacup.
"I have changed so much for him." Ziva murmured,
"No Ziva you have not changed." Noda stated, before continuing, "You have grown, matured even. You have the same fire inside you have always had. You have merely learned to control it better. You now think before you act, where in the past you would have rushed headlong into something without thought for consequence." Noda said before taking another sip of tea.
"I am not so sure." Ziva muttered.
"You are confused only because you do not foresee what could go right with your relationship, you are focusing on the negative." Noda stated, causing Ziva to look at her.
"I do not understand."
"You are concerned that his attention may wander, that he may leave you, but do you have any reason to believe this would happen." Noda challenged.
"You do not know Tony." Ziva stated.
"Does he love you?"
"I think so, yes" Ziva replied.
"Do you love him?" Noda pushed.
"Yes." Ziva answered surely.
"From what your father has told me he is very protective of you." Noda continued.
"He is… why would my father discuss this with you?" Ziva asked a frown marring her forehead.
"Because I asked… Ziva, you are his last living child and he has taken this very hard." Neither saw Eli enter the kitchen, "When news came from America that they had pulled you from that camp, your father only asked if Tony was involved." Noda said watching Ziva's reactions.
"I knew then that no other man was worthy of you." Eli stated, causing both woman to look at him.
"What are you doing here?" Noda demanded, "this is a woman's place, get out." Noda scolded Eli.
"I came to see about dinner, we are hungry." Eli stated.
"And now you and Hadar can go hungry." Noda continued.
"Oh be quiet sister I intend to talk to my daughter." Eli said dismissing Noda, and turning his attention to Ziva. "Ziva I have told you that I approve of this man. I saw his concern for you when I visited. He has proven it with his actions, regardless of what I heard Liat say about him." Eli started.
"Hadar?" Ziva questioned.
"Yes, he was shocked by her reaction to you, and her thoughts on agent DiNozzo. She had wanted to meet him, yet could not believe that it was he who had gone to avenge you, but had instead pulled you out of that camp. She considers him soft." Eli stated.
"As do you." Ziva challenged.
"Only in training." Eli replied before continuing, "but if there is one thing I have learnt about agent DiNozzo, it is never to underestimate him or his commitment to you." Eli spoke surely, "and neither should you."
"Than what is the problem?" Eli demanded, not understanding Ziva's mood.
"You would not understand brother. You are a man, and think differently." Noda dismissed his words.
"I do not argue that, but I am a hungry man," Eli pushed.
"We will eat soon enough, now go and do something and leave us be." Noda all but chased him from the kitchen.
"Sister you are a guest in my house." Eli warned.
"I may be, but Ziva wanted to talk with me." Noda stated.
"I will leave you be then." Eli relented.
"I think he has a hard time coming to terms that you are here." Noda said, after Eli disappeared through the doorway.
Ziva remained quiet.
"He does not understand your concerns." Noda said rising, intending to check the food.
"I know." Ziva returned.
"So why would you think Tony would look elsewhere." Noda started picking up the conversation where they had left off before Eli interrupted.
"His reputation." Ziva stated.
"He is an adulterer?" Noda asked, starting to check on the food.
"No he does not turn to married woman, he just loves woman." Ziva replied, rising to help her aunt.
"Any man does." Noda stated, before continuing. "But it is not cause on its own for concern, there are ways of keeping their interest."
"Noda!" Ziva exclaimed surprised.
"Ziva you are not a child, you know of what I speak." Her aunt continued.
"I do." Ziva returned, shocked.
"Ziva," Her aunt called her attention, "what happens between a man and a woman in the bedroom remains there, I would not ask of you to share."
"I know." Ziva stated
"But, you will know if his interests move from you there first." Her aunt stated, before continuing, "Is this your concern, that he is no longer willing."
"No, that is not my concern." Ziva answered surely, knowing that it was the one area in their relationship that did not concern her. Both of them seeming insatiable.
"Then what is?" Her aunt pressed.
"It is me." Ziva sighed.
"You have no interest, I find that hard to believe." Noda stated.
"No it is not that, we… well…" Ziva said unsure as to how to phrase it.
"Enough said," her aunt returned, "then there should be no problem."
"It is not that part of the relationship that I am having trouble with."
"Are you afraid that your relationship would not develop without it."
"No," Ziva was quick to reply. "We have been co-workers and friends for years. That has not changed. We still communicate the same as we always have. We're possibly closer than I ever thought we could be.
"Then I do not understand why you fear loosing him for a reason other than an adulteress." Her aunt stated.
"With our line of work it is not uncommon to loose a partner." Ziva reasoned.
"But that is different than that which concerns you." Noda insisted,
"Yes it is." Ziva confirmed.
"Then what is it?"
Ziva took a deep breath, drawing her courage together. "I have failed to conceive." She finally admitted.
"And this concerns you?" Her aunt asked outright.
"Yes." Ziva nodded her head.
"This is why you think you are being punished?"
"Yes." Ziva confirmed.
"I understand," Noda returned before continuing, "well let's get your father and Hadar fed and then we will discuss it after dinner. You will be staying the night. These things are best discussed on a full stomach anyway." Her aunt finished turning off the oven.
"Yes Noda." Ziva relented.
"So have you finished discussing matters?" Eli asked as they sat down at the table.
"No we have not Eli." Noda replied, before turning her attention to Hadar. "Hadar, after dinner you are welcome to take your leave, Ziva will be staying the night." Noda stated, not for a moment concerned for Eli's response.
Eli looked first from Ziva then to his sister, "Is everything alright?" He asked to no one in particular.
"Yes, everything is fine." Noda spoke up.
Hadar studied Ziva for a moment before nodding his head.
"I will need to be returned to the hotel early to tend to matters." Ziva finally spoke up.
"I shall collect you in the morning." Hadar confirmed.
"No, she will travel with me, director Vance has enough bodyguards." Eli stated.
Just then Ziva's cell buzzed.
'Are you okay? I'm worried, what are you doing?' It was Tony.
Ziva texted back. 'I'm fine, having dinner with my father and aunt.'
"Agent DiNozzo?" Eli asked.
"Yes." Ziva confirmed.
"Send him my regards." Eli said as her cell buzzed again.
'Lucky you, can we trade places? I could use a good meal round about now. We have a new agent on the team.'
'My father sends his regards, I cannot talk now, will chat later… what new agent?' Ziva texted back, before pocketing her phone.
"Is everything okay?" Noda asked having noted the frown having formed on Ziva's forehead as she read the second text.
"Yes, they have a new agent on the team." Ziva replied.
"After dinner Ziva we can retire to your old room, at least there we should not be disturbed." Noda said looking pointedly at Eli.
Ziva walked around her room, which for the most had remained unchanged since she had left it. Opening her closets she found all her things still in place.
"He refused to have it cleaned out after you went missing and was presumed dead." Noda said as she entered the bedroom.
"I do not understand, I moved out long before then." Ziva replied as she closed the closet door.
"Like with Tali, he observed both Shiva and Shloshim."
Ziva remained silent, knowing he had not observed the traditions for Ari.
"I often found him in here during that time." Her aunt continued, having noted Ziva's silence. "But that is not what you wish to discuss. Come sit and tell me what concerns you." Noda said sitting down on Ziva's bed.
"You know now what my concerns are. I just wish I knew why it is happening." Ziva said, joining her aunt.
"Child you are concerned for nothing, you are still young." Her aunt started.
"Noda I should have conceived by now." Ziva reasoned.
"How long have you and he been…" Noda asked waving her hand in the direction of the bed.
"Three months." Ziva replied.
"And there have been no precautions?" He aunt asked outright.
"No, I have even made him observe the laws of keri."
"Have you abided by the laws of niddah?" her aunt asked.
"Noda, you know I do not practice them."
"It is a consideration." Her aunt insisted.
"How?" Ziva asked, not sure if she would be willing to forgo another week of intimacy with Tony on a monthly basis.
"Many who do practice them fail to conceive, as the niddah period and the wombs ability to conceive a child often differ. It is why there were so many barren women in our history." Her aunt answered, leading Ziva to understand
"But that is not the reason for me." Ziva stated, dejected.
"Calm yourself, your mother and father were together for over a year before she conceived you, you need not rush these things." Noda said hoping to lighten things.
"Noda you do not understand. Years ago I mocked Tony about no one wanting to birth him a child. Now I feel that because I took pleasure from that predicament that I may never birth a child by him."
"And you want a child by him?" Noda asked unconcerned.
"Yes, more than anything in the world. I can't explain it. I have never been like this." Ziva finally got up off her bed and started pacing her room.
Noda just smiled, "It is because you have found your mate, and it is time."
"But I never knew it would be this strong." Ziva said as she turned around to look at her aunt.
"It is instinct, your parents felt the same." Noda returned, unperturbed.
"But what if it never happens, and he leaves me before I can conceive." Ziva started once again pacing.
"You need to stop concerning yourself with it." Noda simply stated.
"What? How? Why would I?" Ziva asked coming to a complete halt and looking at her aunt.
"Because it is getting in the way."
"I do not understand." Ziva returned, shaking her head slightly. "It is expected of us to produce an heir."
"Ziva, you are so focused on what you want, that you're failing to see what you have." Her aunt started, indicating that she join her on the bed. "You are missing out on so much because you worry about not achieving this, and in the end it will come between you." Her aunt finished as Ziva sat down again.
"What am I missing?" Ziva demanded.
"You are so concerned about whether this will happen that you fail to enjoy what you and Tony have." Her aunt insisted, "Do not make this about a child, your body will not prepare itself if you constantly worry and concern yourself with this." Noda said taking Ziva's hands. "The more you do, the less likely you will be to conceive, and the more likely it will be that Tony will leave you, not because you cannot conceive but because he will start to think that he is failing you somehow. Men can be very insecure at times."
"It's hard Noda, I feel like there is something wrong with me." Ziva said, looking down at their hands.
"Ziva there is nothing wrong with you. Many women experience these concerns. You are a strong woman. Do not let this ruin your relationship. When it is time, it will happen."
Ziva's phone buzzed. "Now dear girl, I think it is best to see to that" Noda indicated to her phone, "Then get some sleep. We can talk again in the morning."
"Thank you Noda."
"You are most welcome." Noda said as she left the room.
Ziva picked up her phone. 'Hey what are you up to?'
'Getting ready for bed.'
'Don't do that.'
'Talk about going to bed when I can't join you.'
'You couldn't do anything anyway.'
'I could hold you, that would be a million times better than being here.'
'I take it Gibbs is not around.'
'He is now. I just got a glare because I'm paying attention to my phone.'
'Did he smack you?'
'No, told him I'm texting you to find out how you are doing.'
'Send him my regards.'
'I did. So where are you staying?'
'At my fathers'.'
'Should I be concerned?'
'No, everything is fine, we are talking.'
'So, you're really getting ready for bed?'
'Yes, focus on your work.'
'Phone me later, we'll talk.'
'In about six hours.'
'Okay, sleep tight.'
'I will, you behave.'
'Ziver go to sleep.'
Noda left Ziva's room and made her way towards the kitchen, intending to make herself some tea before going to bed.
"Is Ziva alright?" Eli asked, coming to stand in the doorway.
"She is fine Eli." Noda replied, looking at him.
"What is the problem then?" Eli asked, entering the kitchen.
"There is no problem, she only needed an ear." Noda said whilst waiting for her tea to drag.
"I find that difficult to believe." Eli stated, coming to a halt across from her.
"You should rather concern yourself with rebuilding your relationship with her, and soon." Noda spoke up, removing the teabag.
"I was right then, something is wrong." Eli reasoned.
"No, nothing is wrong, but I will be disappointed in you if you do not make the effort." Noda spoke up with determination.
"I am missing something here." Eli conceded.
"Your daughter plans to make you a saba." Noda finally spoke up.
"Ziva is with child?" Eli asked, shocked.
"Not yet, but she intends to be soon, and if you do not make amends you will miss out." Noda finished taking her cup of tea. Watching the stunned expression on Eli's face. "I will speak to her in the morning about remaining here for the remainder of her visit, but the rest is up to you." Noda said before taking her leave of him.
Ziva made her way into the building. The flight back had been long and draining, her body hadn't yet adjusted to the time change. The lift doors opened revealing a silent office, 'lunchtime' Ziva thought as she made her way to her desk. Rounding the corner she saw Gibbs at his desk, flipping through a file. He looked up as he caught movement out of the corner of his eye.
"Ziver you're back." He spoke in way of greeting.
"Yes." Ziva returned as she placed her bag at her desk.
He continued staring at her, almost as if he was trying to figure out what had changed about her. Ziva was feeling better. Her discussion with Noda had helped to put her fears to rest.
"Go see Abby." Gibbs finally spoke up, knowing that Abby was unlikely to forgive him if he failed to send Ziva down to her first. Also he thought it best that Abby inform her as to the antics of their newest team member.
"Yes." Ziva replied, turning away from him, making her way to the lab.
Gibbs looked after her, a frown forming on his forehead, wondering if her father and her had managed to settle things between them. The agitation that had been evident on the day she'd left was no longer there.
Abby was busy analysing some information when Ziva entered the lab.
"Hello Abby." Ziva spoke up.
Abby's head snapped round, "Ziva, you're back!" Abby exclaimed leaving whatever she'd been doing and moving over to envelope Ziva in a hug.
"Thank god you're back, I was starting to contemplate ways of getting rid of her." Abby said as she pulled back.
"Who?" Ziva questioned, puzzled by Abby's intentions, Abby being the least likely person to actually hurt someone.
"Agent Jane," Abby replied thinking Ziva would understand. Then noted Ziva's puzzled expression. "The newest team member, didn't Tony tell you when he spoke to you?"
"He texted me that there was a new member, but we have not discussed it." Ziva stated, not entirely sure how concerned she should be regarding Abby's behaviour.
"She's pure EVIL." Abby stated, turning back to her work for a moment then swinging back to face Ziva, "but things will be fine now that you're here, you can just scare her into place." Abby continued holding her hands up is a scary gesture, which caused Ziva to raise her brows in question.
"Abby I have not even met her." Ziva finally stated, not understanding the goth's reasoning.
"I tell you she's a blond devil woman, and she must keep her hands off Tony." Abby said reaching for her Caff-Pow. Causing her to miss the frown that appeared on Ziva's forehead.
"Tony?" Ziva questioned, trying to keep her voice neutral. Her heart pounding at the mere thought of a blond woman having spent as much time with Tony in the workplace, even with Gibbs about.
"Yeah she's all over him like a rash when Gibbs isn't around." Abby continued, "Gibbs doesn't like her either."
"So why is she on the team?" Ziva asked, hoping to remain calm enough to get sufficient information. 'For by wise guidance you can wage your war.' The former Mossad motto came to her.
"Orders from above." Abby returned, before continuing, "but I'm telling you, she's bad news. Tony belongs to you." Abby stated.
"Excuse me?" Ziva questioned, not sure if Tony had spilled the beans to Abby about them. And if not, she was not going to either.
"Oh come on Ziva," Abby spoke up in an exasperated tone, "we all know you're meant to be together, it's only the two of you that need to admit it."
Just then Jimmy walked into the lab, "Abby I brought some samples from Dr Mallard … oh hi Ziva, I see you're back."
"Hello Jimmy." Ziva greeted, his interruption giving her just enough time to process the information Abby had divulged.
"Hopefully things will return to normal now." Jimmy said as he handed the samples to Abby. Causing Ziva to frown again.
"It cannot be that bad." Ziva returned, hoping that this was not some trick they were trying to pull on her.
"You have no idea," Abby started. "Tony's walking on egg shells whenever Gibbs isn't around." She finished, before placing the samples on the table.
"Yeah he's constantly making sure one of us is around, he doesn't want to be left alone with her." Palmer confirmed.
"I would have thought that he would like being alone with this woman." Ziva said testing her theory, hoping that it came across that she wasn't concerned if there was another woman on the team. "This is Tony we are talking about." She finally stated, noting their expressions of disbelief.
"She's like a vampire after blood, and you know how much I like vampires…" Abby started only to be interrupted by Jimmy.
"Yes that's a really good way of putting it Abby." Palmer spoke up, turning his attention momentarily to Abby.
"You need to lay down the law." Abby returned.
"I will decide when I meet her." Ziva replied, concerned, but not too sure about their assessment of the new agent. She still remembered when she'd joined the team. They'd not been too welcoming of her either. Their team was closely knit and did not take well to sudden changes or new members.
"Ziva, it's good to see that you're back." Ducky's voice came from the door.
"Hello Ducky." Ziva spoke up, hoping to have a change of subject.
"I take it your trip was uneventful." Ducky stated more than asked, having checked her over and finding no physical indications proving him otherwise.
"Yes." Ziva returned.
"Abby I'm looking for the blood work on that one victim I sent you this morning."
"It's this way Ducky." Abby said as she turned to lead the doctor away.
"Have you told Ziva about the newest team member." Ducky asked Abby as he walked past Ziva.
Ziva watched as Abby tended to Ducky, Still not sure what to make of the situation.
"Abby is right, agent Jane is trouble." Jimmy spoke up next to Ziva.
"Agent? Not probationary agent?" Ziva questioned.
"I think she's still only probationary." Jimmy replied.
"I'd best get back upstairs, in case Gibbs need me." Ziva said before leaving the lab.
Upstairs Tony, McGee and Erika entered the bullpen. Tony feeling highly irritated with both McGee and Jane. He was missing Ziva, and had on more than one occasion contemplated calling her, but it was the middle of the night in Tel Aviv and he did not fancy waking her. Dropping his backpack in the corner behind his desk he sat down in his chair. Looking up he saw Erika leaning against Ziva's desk. He hated it when she did that, the woman had realized that he'd often gazed at Ziva's desk when in thought, and had started manipulating it. He was now beyond irritated. It was Friday. Ziva should've been back already, he reasoned, wondering as to what directors meeting took four days to complete.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you." Gibbs said looking at Erica as she settled against Ziva's desk.
"Boss?" Tony questioned, looking at Gibbs thinking the comment had been meant for him.
Gibbs in turn caught his eye and indicated with his head to the floor at Ziva's desk.
Tony's turned his attention to the area indicated by Gibbs, noting Ziva's backpack. "Ziva's back." Tony stated, his heart soaring at the first piece of good news he's had all week. He was about to look around, hoping to catch a glimpse of her when her voice assailed his ears.
"I am, yes." Ziva stated, striding into the bullpen.
"Hey welcome back." McGee chirped.
"Thank you McGee." Ziva said, for a moment turning her attention to him. Then turned her attention towards the woman partially reclining against her desk, right in front of Tony.
"Tony." Ziva greeted, her voice neutral.
"Hey Ziva." Tony greeted, in his bantering tone "You've been to see Abby? Because if you haven't…" He started.
"I have been to the lab Tony." Ziva replied, before turning her attention to the woman. "You must be agent Jane." Ziva stated more than asked.
"Why yes I am, but you can call me Erica." The woman replied.
"Move from my desk." Ziva commanded as she stepped in behind it.
"Why would I need to do that?" Erica asked, turning around, knowing that Tony would be faced with a view of her rear end.
Gibbs watched as Tony turned his eyes heavenwards, not sure if it was meant for Ziva or Erica.
Erica had bargained on the fact that Tony would be watching their interaction, therefore moved her hips slightly.
"Because I would like to actually work and not choke on your perfume." Ziva said, whilst taking her seat.
Gibbs sat back in his chair, Tony looked over towards him, realizing that Gibbs was leaving Ziva to draw the line.
"Oh a hot South American temper." Erica baited Ziva.
"Excuse me?" Ziva questioned, her eyebrows shooting up.
"You're from South America," Erica stated. "My guess Brazil… You have that caramel toned skin thing going." Erica returned, sounding like a brainless gossip. Leaving Ziva to question as to who had relieved her of switchboard duty at a cosmetic firm.
"I have no idea what you are talking about." Ziva stated, shaking her head slightly.
"Or maybe Cuba." Erica said, placing her hands on Ziva's desk leaning forward some more, intending for Tony to get a better look at her rear end as the fabric pulled tighter over it. She couldn't understand him, he seemed like the playboy type yet he had not returned a single come on. "Your colouring is right."
Just then Ziva reached down, and Gibbs who had been watching the events unfold knew what to expect.
"I'm going to ask you again to move away from my desk." Ziva warned as her hand closed over what she had been reaching for.
"So tell me where are you from?" Erica asked, ignoring Ziva's request.
Ziva's actions were swift, as her knife pierced the table just shy of the woman's right hand.
"What the fuck, are you crazy woman!" Erica exclaimed leaping back, "You could've hurt me." Erica finished, stepping further back from Ziva's desk, in shock.
Ziva just smiled at her.
"Are you out of your mind flinging a knife about like that?" Erica demanded, "You could hurt someone."
"I doubt that, had I intended to hurt you I would have aimed it at your hand, not next to it." Ziva stated nonchalantly.
Erica gave Ziva a furious look then turned her gaze towards Gibbs, who just smiled and shook his head, "Ziva," he spoke up.
"What, I did ask her to move away from my desk… twice I may add." Ziva replied.
"I'm not arguing with you," Gibbs returned.
Ziva slipped her knife back into its sheath, then looked over at Tony who gave her the thumbs up as Erica retreated to her desk.
"DiNozzo I saw that." Gibbs warned.
"What boss?" Tony returned with an innocent face.
"So Ziva, how was Israel?" McGee asked as Ziva entered her password to gain access to her computer.
"It was good to see my family." Ziva returned as she opened up her email account.
"You're from Israel?" Came the stunned question from behind Gibbs.
"I am, do you have a problem with that?" Ziva asked, looking towards the woman.
"So did you spend any time with your father?" McGee asked, drawing her attention back to him.
"I visited with him and my aunt." Ziva returned.
"Must have been a nice holiday." Came Erica's barbed reply.
"Ziva was in Israel accompanying the director." Gibbs returned.
"She must have had a lot of free time to spend with her father and aunt then." Erica retorted, refusing to step down.
"Erica I would be careful around Ziva, she's got ninja skills." Tony chirped.
"You don't say, but then the Israelis always were a blood thirsty nation."
"Actually most Israelis are peace loving people." Ziva returned as she clicked through her email, choosing not to rise to the bait. Gibbs observed the interaction between the two, knowing that Ziva would be the last to step down. He had been wise to send her down to Abby on arrival.
"Yeah right, that's why they have suicide bombers." Erica returned.
"I think it is you that is mistaken," Ziva said turning her attention towards the woman. "It is against our beliefs to indulge in suicide, there is no honour in it. Most suicide bombers come from Iraq, which is listed as an enemy state to the Israelis, we do not believe in their form of jihad." Ziva finished, unperturbed by the woman's goading.
This left Erika speechless, allowing Ziva to return to her emails.
"Any emails from your friend?" Tony questioned.
"Yes, as a matter fact there are." Ziva replied, turning her attention momentarily towards him.
"Care to share?" Tony invited.
"Not likely." Ziva returned.
"Are we ever going to meet him?" Tony asked.
"Maybe." Ziva returned with a teasing tone.
"Or he doesn't exist." Came the biting remark from behind Gibbs.
Gibbs got up, having had enough of the bickering and walked out.
"Now where's he going?" Erica asked watching Gibbs leave.
"Coffee." The other three agents replied in unison.
"So Ziva, any hot plans for tonight?" Tony asked teasingly.
"Not really, I intend to go to bed early." Ziva stated, this time not looking at him.
"Ooh lucky bed, will you be alone?" Tony teased.
"Talk about boring," Came the grinding reply from the corner, causing Ziva to roll her eyes. "Are we still going for drinks tonight?" The irritating voice continued.
"Well sure." McGee answered looking at Tony in expectation. Tony in turn looked at Ziva.
"What do you say Ziva, care to join us?" He teasingly invited.
"At the chance that I might kill someone. No. I need to readjust my body clock, which is why I did not go home when we arrived back." Ziva stated.
"And here I thought you missed us." Tony threw back.
"It is unlikely that I could not cope for four days without you." Ziva returned, causing McGee to grin.
"Oh your Mossad friends must have kept you occupied then." Tony mocked, sitting back in his chair.
"Liat was entertaining." Ziva returned with a bored tone.
"Oh Liat, a dangerous little bombshell that one. Nice body though." Tony returned, looking up at the ceiling, allowing his mind to wander to his favourite little ninja.
"Earth to Tony…" Ziva called, "She'll rip your gut out given the chance." Ziva deadpanned.
"I know, but man what a firecracker…" Came his fanciful reply.
"Who's the firecracker DiNozzo?" Gibbs demanded, stepping into the bullpen sporting his cup of coffee.
"Liat." Tony replied.
"Director David's one bodyguard?" Gibbs questioned.
"Yes." Came Tony's reply.
"Ziva?" Gibbs asked, fixing his gaze on her.
"I didn't say anything Gibbs." Ziva returned, raising her hands.
"He's got that far away look again." McGee chirped.
"You want to snap him out of it or should I." Ziva asked Gibbs.
"I've already slapped him this week. I fear that too much attention will ruin him." Gibbs replied.
"Okay I'll do it then." Ziva said getting up from her desk and sneaking up behind Tony.
"They had better be about me." Ziva whispered into his ear.
"They always are." Came his gravely reply.
"Then imagine it's blondie and snap out of it." Ziva said slightly louder.
Tony turned to look at her. "Must you always be such a mood killer." He said loud enough for the others to hear.
"Tony you are such a pushover." Ziva said as she walked back to her desk.
"I am not." Tony returned, indignantly.
"You so are." Ziva returned.
"I agree with Ziva." McGee spoke up.
"I didn't ask for you opinion McJoin in." Tony returned.
"Right go home, I've had enough of you." Gibbs said, getting up and leaving the bullpen.
"Ten bucks he's got a date tonight." Tony challenged.
"Possible." Ziva returned.
"Probable." Came McGee's reply.
"What no takers." Tony asked.
"Hmm, not enough options." Came Ziva's reply.
Erica looked at the interaction between the team members, realizing that the task at hand may be harder than she had thought.
Later that evening Tony stopped at Ziva's apartment, he remained in his car for a few moments, not sure if he should've come over to visit, but he needed to see her. He'd left the others at the bar after the first round, and intended to call in on Ziva before she went to bed. Her behaviour before she'd left for Israel still concerned him. He looked up to her apartment, seeing that her bedroom lights were still on, meaning she had not gone to bed yet. Getting out of his car he crossed the road and made his way into the building.
Ziva's phone rang. Dropping the book she'd been reading she reached over to answer it, expecting it to be Tony. Her mind registered the name flashing and her heart started racing, not sure as to why he would be phoning her.
"Shalom." Ziva answered her phone.
"Ziva there is no time to talk so listen." Hadar's voice commanded over the line.
"Talk." Ziva returned.
"Agent DiNozzo is on his way up to see you, he has been followed. We do not know the intention of the stalker as we are still looking into her background." Ziva got out of bed, and made her way to her front door.
"The officer currently observing them has seen no reason to engage with her until tonight. It is the first time she has indicated any intention to do more than observing his movements." With this Ziva opened the door to find a stunned Tony on the other side. Reaching out she grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him into her apartment, closing the door behind them and turning towards the kitchen. Tony just followed her stunned.
"The officer will approach her and if needed will approach you as well, the intention is to show her that you have protection and to find out her reason for following agent DiNozzo." Ziva opened the pantry door pulling out a bag of microwave popcorn then handed it to Tony, pointing towards the microwave.
"Why am I under surveillance?" Ziva demanded as she opened a drawer then reached under it to pull out the knife hidden there.
Tony placed the popcorn in the microwave then turned to watch Ziva's body language, having realized within moments of being pulled into her home that she was on the phone.
"The officer will explain I do not have time." Hadar replied. "The officer will use your old Mossad identity to address you, for appearances you are Mossad."
"Who is the officer?" Ziva demanded as she headed towards her bedroom, causing Tony's heart to speed up. Having seen her take out the knife and now returning with her gun, he knew something was up, especially since she replied to whomever was on the phone with in Hebrew.
"Officer Gideon will approach her."
"Thank you Hadar, I will speak to you later." Ziva said whilst entering the lounge and turning on the TV. Then returned to the kitchen, and Tony.
"What's up?" Tony asked, trying not to sound as troubled as he felt. He hoped that her father had not managed to talk her into rejoining Mossad, for if that happened she would loose her citizenship and be deported.
"You were followed here, do not open the door." Ziva ordered, tucking her gun behind her back.
"What?" Tony replied stunned.
"Mossad officers are apprehending the person." Ziva answered. "
"Who was on the phone?" Tony asked his voice tight with concern.
"Hadar." Ziva answered. "Finish with the popcorn, the idea is to appear like there is nothing out of the ordinary, I will select us a movie." She finished before turning back to the lounge. Ziva barely had time to insert the movie before there was a knock on her door.
Ziva made her way to the door indicating for Tony to remain in the kitchen.
"Yes." Ziva asked from behind the door.
"Officer David it is officer Gideon, I have someone here who claims to know you."
Ziva reached behind her back wrapping her hand around the gun handle. Opening the door slightly to allow for her to look out. Ziva recognized the officer. "Shalom" she greeted then looked at the person next to him. "Agent Jane." Ziva acknowledged the woman next to the officer.
"You know this person Officer David?"
"Yes," Ziva confirmed, "come in." Ziva said stepping back indicating for the officer to enter, letting go of the gun.
Just then Tony came out of the kitchen with the popcorn.
"Tony." Erica greeted sweetly. "This looks cosy. And here was me thinking Ziva had a boring life."
"Agent Jane," Tony greeted before turning towards the lounge.
"Please." Ziva said indicating to Erica and the officer to prelude her.
"So what's this, cavorting outside of work?" Erica teased.
"I do not know what you mean." Ziva replied.
"This is cosy. Does Gibbs know about this, you know rule twelve and all?" Erica implied.
"What, Movie night?" Tony replied nonchalantly, turning to Erica, "Yeah he knows, we've been having movie nights for what the last three years. Abby, McGee and Palmer at times join in. Ziva learned about American culture watching movies." Tony said as he settled on the couch.
"Ha!" Ziva snorted in reply, before sitting down.
"So what are you watching tonight?" Erica asked sweetly.
Tony looked at the screen "Love bites, hey weren't we saving this one to watch with Abby?" Tony asked looking at Ziva.
"We can watch it again when she comes over." Ziva deadpanned.
"What's it about?" Erica asked, hoping to catch them.
"It's a comedy about this vampire Zackery that oversleeps for like a hundred years. On waking he finds that Kendall lives in the house. He falls in love with her and tries to reinvent himself so that he could be with her." Tony finished.
"A vampire romance, I can see that it would appeal to Abby, but somehow not to Ziva here." Erica said turning her attention back to Ziva.
"So what brings you to my apartment?" Ziva asked, intending to ignore the woman's question.
"I was wondering why Tony left so early and no one bothered to ask any questions, but then I guess they knew where he was going." Erica provoked Ziva.
"So you followed him." Ziva finished for her.
"It is not a crime. But then I would not have know about this if I hadn't, interesting to know." Erica turned towards the officer, eyeing him. "Can you let go now?"
The officer looked at Ziva who nodded her head "Please Officer Gideon escort her out, she was not invited." Ziva replied, watching the officer lead an indignant Erica from her home. Then turned to Tony, whilst pulling her gun from behind her back, clearing the barrel and flipping the safety back on.
"That woman gives me the creeps." Tony finally said. "She's obsessed."
"No, she is working under cover, it is a front." Ziva stated, before getting up and returning her gun to her bedroom.
"Why do you say that?" Tony questioned, watching her as she moved away.
"She has been following you all week." Ziva said as she returned to the lounge.
"How do you know?"
"Hadar told me."
"How long has Mossad known?"
"I'm not sure. Officer Gideon will brief me once he returns."
Just then a knock sounded. "Officer David it is I officer Gideon."
"Why does he address you as officer, has your father pulled you into Mossad again?" Tony asked the question that had been burning in his mind.
"It is for appearances." Ziva said as she went to open the door.
"Come in officer Gideon." Ziva invited. Then indicated towards the lounge before following him and sitting down next to Tony.
"Hadar said you would brief us." Ziva opened.
"Yes." Officer Gideon replied. "The lady has been following agent DiNozzo since Tuesday. She had only observed his movements thus far."
"Who is she?" Ziva demanded.
"We have only managed to pull the same information as what is available in her NCIS personal file. At the moment we have someone following her movements, it was only when she approached your vehicle and apartment block that we felt the need to accost her."
"How long have we been under surveillance?" Ziva demanded.
"You're father ordered surveillance when the political unrest in Egypt started. You were not to be notified, we were only to observe and insure your safety."
"That explains it." Ziva said sitting back.
"What?" Tony asked.
"When I was in Israel my aunt insisted that I stay at my fathers' house. My father also mentioned that director Vance had enough bodyguards and that I should travel with him. I could not understand their behaviour." Ziva said looking at Tony.
"We do not know who this woman works for but she will remain under observation, as will you." Officer Gideon confirmed.
"Okay so what now?" Tony asked.
"Tonight you will return to your apartment, you are to follow your daily routines and things are to appear as normal as possible, until we know what is happening." Officer Gideon spoke up.
Tony dropped his face into his palms with a sigh. "Never a dull moment David." He finally spoke up.
"It seems that way." Ziva returned.
"Officer Hadar will contact you in the morning. I will remain on lookout for her tonight, we will do noting unless she approaches your apartment."
"You mean you'll allow for her to sit out there and watch?" Tony asked disbelievingly.
"There is noting we can do to prevent it, we have made our presence known it should be enough to discourage her." Officer Gideon said rising from his seat.
"I should be going as well." Tony said, causing Ziva to look at him frowning.
"No, you must remain for a while, to give the impression that you have not been alerted to anything. Stay, watch the movie then go home." Officer Gideon said, indicating for Tony to remain.
"Thank you officer Gideon." Ziva spoke up, rising from her seat intending to walk the officer out.
"Officer Gideon," Ziva called his attention, speaking in Hebrew.
"I want to be contacted directly if she is outside or near the building, do not contact officer Hadar."
"I do not want my father involved or concerned for nothing."
"Yes Ms David."
"I will discuss this with Officer Hadar, he will understand and confirm with you, shalom."
Ziva returned to the lounge and sat down next to Tony, who had not liked the fact that she addressed the Mossad officer in Hebrew.
"And I thought you could be a mood killer." Tony finally spoke up. "So this is what Mossad protection means."
"Yes, let's just watch the movie." Ziva returned, disgruntled.
"Okay." Tony replied reaching for the remote, knowing he would get little more out of her. Turning on the movie he kicked off his shoes and settled back. Pulling Ziva into his arms as he settled. "Relax, your Mossad buddies are keeping an eye on the coast."
"I don't trust that woman." Ziva spoke up a while later.
"That makes you, me and the rest of the team." Tony returned, pulling her closer.
"I'm talking about with you." Ziva clarified.
"So she's a little taken by me, I can cope with that." Tony replied casually.
Ziva turned a look on him.
"I didn't say I was interested." He quickly defended.
"If you were you can leave now." Ziva stated, pulling back slightly.
"Not a chance, I'll miss this too much." Tony replied, drawing her closer again.
"Nice save." Ziva said, resting her head on his chest.
"Careful, your nasty side is showing." Tony teased.
"I blame it on a lack of sleep."
To this Tony moved them to lie down, pulling Ziva with him. Ziva moved willingly as he spooned behind her, holding her. The position may have been slightly cramped, but welcomed by both as they settled to watch to movie.
"You understand what this means?"
"We cannot do this too often, she seems like someone who will run and tell Gibbs."
"Yes, I know. But it is only until they figure out what she's up to."
Ziva fell silent, turning her attention to the movie.
A while later Tony moved slightly, then brushed Ziva's hair from her shoulder. His fingers started slowly tracing down her arm, he was surprised when he received no response from her. Lifting slightly to look down at her, he noted that she'd fallen asleep. Then shook his head. Only Ziva could drop off after having had an adrenaline high. Pulling her closer he breathed in her scent, closing his eyes as he savoured the peaceful moment, relieved to have her back safe and sound.
Monday morning Ziva was sitting at her desk when Gibbs placed a plastic bag in front of her.
"What's this?" She asked looking up at him.
"You damage it - you fix it." Gibbs replied, indicating to her desk before continuing to his own.
Ziva looked into the bag, finding some sanding paper, filler and finishing agent.
"What's in the bag?" Tony asked as he stepped into the bullpen followed by McGee, both moving to their respective desks.
"A gift from Gibbs." Ziva answered, moving the bag from her desk to the floor.
"The boss is giving out presents?" Tony asked, turning and looking at Gibbs after having stashed his backpack.
"Don't get your hopes up." Gibbs returned, before checking his messages.
"I would never do that boss." Tony replied, turning and looking towards Ziva. Then saw Erica arrive.
Ziva's eyes followed Erica as she entered the bullpen and proceeded to her desk.
"Good morning." Erica greeted, as she walked through the bullpen, swaying her hips as she sashayed past Tony's desk.
"Morning." The three agents returned.
Ziva's glance returned to Tony, raising her eyebrow, to which Tony dropped his face into his palms.
Gibbs looked over his agents. Having noted the exchange between Tony and Ziva, before Ziva turned her attention back to her e-mail.
The week passed with no noticeable change in the teams' interaction. The team was still unwilling to accept Erica, and Erica was still doing her best to draw Tony's interest. Teaming up the members was more difficult, as Tony being senior field agent was automatically placed in charge of any new team member when out in the field. To Ziva it felt like an encroachment on their partnership, and Gibbs had on more than one occasion seen her texting on her phone when Tony and Erica left. He'd on one occasion even had McGee trace her texts, only to find they were not being made to either Tony or Erica.
Tony arranged a movie night at his apartment for the team. The event being welcomed by all the younger members, and everyone brought their own idea of snacks and eats. Due to Abby's insistence they agreed to watch one of the twilight movies. Ziva was last to arrive, she placed the DVD her and Tony had watched during their last movie night on the coffee table. Before dropping her pack next to the couch, reaching into it and extracting more snacks.
"Love bites, you got it!" Abby squealed, snatching up the DVD.
"Yes." Ziva replied.
"Can we watch this one after Twilight?" Abby asked, looking towards Tony.
"If you want to." Came his ambiguous reply, he was willing to spend the whole night watching movies if it meant having Ziva close by.
"Yay, I've been dying to see it." Abby continued, as she placed the DVD back on the coffee table.
Everyone then settled down to watch the movie. Abby settled on Tony's one side, leaving the other side as always for Ziva but Erica was quick to make herself at home. Ziva in turn settled next to McGee, in such a way that she could keep an eye on Erica without it seeming obvious. Abby gave Erica a look conveying her dislike, however Erica just shrugged it off. Tony glanced at Ziva, neither of them happy about the turn of events.
Ziva excused herself after the first movie, claiming early morning commitments, as did Palmer and his fiancé. Tony walked them to the door, drawing Ziva aside for a moment.
"Must you go?" Tony questioned, once Palmer and his fiancé were out of sight.
"Yes." Ziva replied, turning to look at him.
"And what if she won't leave? I need you here to toss her out." Tony said dropping his voice.
"Abby will make her leave." Ziva returned, for a moment looking past his shoulder.
"And if that does not work?" Tony questioned, trying to read her eyes, which seemed closed off.
"Text me, I will have her removed." Ziva stated outright, like it did not really concern her.
"I'll call you anyway." Tony said stepping closer to her.
"Good night Tony." Ziva mumbled standing her ground.
"It'll only be a good night if you stay." Tony whispered.
"Ha, at the risk of injuring her, I think not." Ziva returned, stepping back slightly.
"Drive safely." Tony jostled her.
"I will try." Ziva retuned, reserved, before she turned and walked away from him.
The week that followed saw the team fall into a new routine, one that Gibbs was not comfortable with. He'd hoped the younger agents movie night at Tony's would to some extend smooth things over, but it had apparently left things unchanged, with Abby becoming even more hostile towards the new agent. Tony was taking strain as well. For years he'd acted as the glue that held the team together, his mood all too often affecting the entire teams' morale. He'd become more distracted, his mindless banter once again increasing. This was warning enough to Gibbs that his senior agent was finding himself having to deal with a situation he was not entirely comfortable with. Knowing that the more ridiculous his behaviour was the more disturbing the situation, and the more desperate Tony's attempts would be to hide or deflect his emotions or concerns.
Tony and Ziva's bickering had also returned, but unlike the playful banter they had previously engaged in, the recent brand had a biting undertone to it. Gibbs was aware that something was ailing between the two agents, their usual accord being off. Although Ziva's behaviour had been more protective than jealous in nature, it was disquieting. He didn't think it stemmed only from the new agent in the team, as Ziva's tendency was more to disregard the woman. What concerned him most was that the change in behaviour between Ziva and Tony had started before Ziva's visit to Israel. He was not sure if he was ready to ask the questions, or if he was even willing to seek the answers as to the reason.
Ziva was frustrated with their situation. Even their banter had taken on a new level of impatience and capriciousness. They also seemed to spend no time together anymore. Their interactions having become dependant on silent glances and coded answers, which were often misinterpreted. Mossad had been unable to connect Erica to any organization, and other than her stalking Tony she behaved the same as any other agent in NCIS would.
Tony loathed their situation. Having Ziva so close, having shared so much with her, only for it to be ripped from him by a situation he once again had no control over. He missed their evenings together, the feel of her skin under his hands, the scent of her early in the morning when he woke, the welcoming heat of her body as they lay together, her body welcoming his possession, altogether silencing the lonely ache he'd lived with for years...
By mutual agreement there was no convening outside of work, which was hard on both. Even before becoming lovers they indulged in the comfort and company the other provided. Their time separated now a blatant reminder of how their lives use to be before.
It was only the two of them in the bullpen. Ziva sat at her desk typing. She could feel his eyes on her, could feel their burning intensity. Glancing up from her computer she met his gaze, the fiery lustful gape drawing an instantaneous response from her, one that simultaneously irritated her. In the past he'd at least spared her the immersed gazes. Now the heat and desire they held only allowed for a heightened level of irritation to rise in her, mostly because until they knew what was going down they were powerless to do anything about their desires. The only comfort his gaze provided her, was the knowledge that Tony had not turned to other avenues to take care of his needs. She gained reassurance from the fact that he still desired her. She however knew it would only be a matter of time before it would move on. Tony was a sensual person, behind the playboy exterior was a person who felt deeply. He could for hours hold her, simply stroking her skin, without needing more. They could watch movies or just enjoy the silence together as long as he was allowed to touch her in some way. She couldn't see him waiting indefinitely on the sidelines.
Ziva closed her eyes and sighed, dropping her head into her hands, fighting the thoughts and memories of their being together, his hands running over her body, their breaths mingling as they allowed their bodies to speak for them, and afterwards holding her close to him. She fought her body's response to the images his gaze aroused.
"Tony." Ziva warned in a low frustrated growl.
"I can't help it," He returned, knowing what the warning was for.
"Try." She threw back at him in irritation.
"I don't want to." He stated flat out.
"You have no choice." Ziva finally stated, trying to ignore him, trying to ignore the heat that was starting to simmer in her. But it was futile. It only served to irritate her more.
"Ziva." Tony moaned her name in a way that merely elevated her to a higher level of arousal, which resulted in a higher level of irritation.
"Enough!" Ziva exclaimed rising from her chair. "I'm going to see Abby." She stated.
"You need some girly time." Tony threw back bitingly, not liking her response to him.
"No, I need to get away from you." Came Ziva's fiery reply.
"I hadn't realized my company had become so offensive." Tony returned, now also irritated.
"Well now you know." Ziva threw back at him fiercely.
"I guess I do." Tony returned just as ardently, rising from his seat.
"Problems?" Gibbs asked stepping into the bullpen.
"No boss, no problems." Tony was the first to recover.
"None whatsoever." Ziva confirmed.
"Good, I'm glad to hear." Gibbs retorted, looking from one to the other.
Ziva stepped round her desk and left for the lab. Tony just shook his head and sat down again, releasing a sigh.
"You've been in her email again." Gibbs queried, looking at Tony.
"Boss?" Tony questioned, looking up at Gibbs.
"It's been a while since you mentioned her boyfriend." Gibbs stated.
"That's Ziva's affairs." Tony returned, flatly.
"It's never stopped you before." Gibbs stated.
Tony remained silent, knowing that what Gibbs had said was true. Wishing that the situation between them were only a simple matter of him snooping through her email.
"You and Ziver, it's placing strain on the team." Gibbs stated.
"What should I do?" Tony asked trying to keep the dejected tone from his voice.
"Whatever you two use to do when this happened." Gibbs returned, waiting for a response.
"I'm not so sure that would work." Tony returned, dolefully.
"Whatever it is, snap out of it. I cannot afford for a rift to form in the team."
"Okay boss." Tony returned, watching Gibbs' retreating form as he made his way to his desk.
Ziva sat on her couch that evening. That afternoon a brooding Tony, and the usual silent and observant Gibbs had met her return from the lab. She'd hoped to divert her attention from their situation by helping Abby, however, there had been little for her to do. She'd also turned down Tony's invitation for drinks after work, as much as she appreciated his intention to make it look work orientated, she was too wound up to idly spend time in a bar with him. Her conversation earlier with Hadar had proven just as frustrating. They still hadn't found any reason as to why Erica was tailing Tony. Hadar had suggested that it might even be a NCIS internal investigation. Which caused her even more concern, because she could find no reason as to why anyone would order an investigation on Tony. It did however made more sense with Vance having ordered the new agent onto their team. The knock on the door drew her back from her thoughts. A quick glance at the clock confirmed it to still be early. Stepping over to the door she checked the peephole to identify her unexpected visitor. Taking a beep breath she opened the door to reveal a reserved looking Tony.
"Tony?" Ziva questioned, not understanding his reason for coming over.
"Can we talk?" Tony asked, his voice sounding as serious and his appearance. Ziva's heart leapt into her throat. She'd been quick to learn that a serious Tony never bore good news.
"Come in." Ziva invited, stepping sideways allowing for him to enter, then closed and locked the door behind him.
Ziva turned round to face him, only to find him fidgeting. Her brow rose in question.
"I can't do this anymore." Were the first words to escape his mouth.
Ziva felt her heart drop as his words registered. She'd hoped that she would have him at least for a little while longer before this happened. Crossing her arms her head dropped as she took a deep breath, trying to simultaneously swallow the bile that seemed to be rising in her throat. Fighting to keep the emotions running rampart through her system in check, she released a sigh.
"Okay." She finally confirmed. Vowing to herself that she wouldn't allow for him to see how much it hurt her.
Having been as centred on her own thoughts, she failed to notice the frown having formed on his brow. Tony stepped closer. Unsurely placing his hands on her shoulders, he registered the stiffening of her body.
Ziva fought against her body's desire to collapse, her lungs seemed incapable of taking in any air. Her body having turned numb was unable to respond to her minds requests to move away from him. She wished a hole would open up and swallow her instead.
Tony pulled her closer. "I need you Ziva, I need to touch you, to hold you. This is hell." He groaned as he settled her against him.
His words took a few moments to register, shocking her out of her reverie. His hands lifted her face to his. Breathing became easier again, and her arms loosened.
"Tony." She barely managed to croak.
Their gazes locked, and the unchecked desire his held almost knocked her breath away. Her own response was instant, her eyes darkening with desire, her body's response instant as he closed the distance between them.
"Ziva." He groaned her name. It came out as a mixture of pure need and unadulterated desire, before his lips descended on hers. A hot, untameable craving took control as all rational thought was driven from them, both allowing the heat of their needs to consume them. Tony clutched her closer then lifted her and carried her to her bedroom, not even bothering to search for the light switch. Once there he allowed her to slip down to the floor. There was no time for finesse, their need uncontrollable. Their movements were desperate as she tackled his belt and pants and he hers, both intent on only stripping themselves of the clothing impeding their joining. Ziva dropped onto the bed, Tony following her, his hands reaching for her, running reverently over her before testing her readiness. A gasp left her lips, which soon turned into a moan as Tony entered her body, her body opening, welcoming his.
"Oh god I've missed this." Tony breathed against her ear, once he was fully sheathed.
Ziva's back arched up, her breasts pushed against his chest as her hands moved to grip is ass, her legs splaying wantonly.
"Give it to me Tony." Ziva grunted, trying to draw him in deeper still.
Tony started moving against her, her hips immediately synched into rhythm with his. The sounds of their heavy breathing and gasping filled the dark room. Her fingers bit into his buttocks as she grunted her approval. Her need supplemented his as he grunted in response, increasing his pace, pounding relentlessly into her. Their need for slow and methodical loving no longer existed, only a blinding need for them to merge together.
Tony drove into her like a man possessed, his thrusts hard, forceful, causing them to shift with every stroke. The bed rocking at the intensity of their joining. Ziva reached up with her hands, bracing them, as Tony lost all sense of self in his need to reclaim her. The extra jolt caused by the resistance shocked Tony as his hands started roaming her body gripping it, holding her closer as he literally tried to fuse into her skin. He'd never before lost himself like that, had never allowed for that type of uncensored, unlimited, feral behaviour to overtake him. He was lost in himself, lost in his need for her, in his need to mate with her, claim her. It was raw, pure instinct that guided him.
"Ziva…can't stop." He whimpered, as he pounded into her. "Can't slow down."
"Don't." Ziva hummed in reply, before biting down on her lip, again becoming caught up in her own need, the speed and roughness of their coupling.
The sensations were euphoric and nearly drove him insane as he surrendered himself to their passion. A feral groan escaped his lips as he applied himself more, powering through thrust after thrust trying to satiate his need for her, his hips slamming into hers. The ripples of pleasure that transferred between them began to pull at his release, awakening the need to expend himself. He gritted his teeth as he pounded into her, each stroke, each thrust being met with more and more friction as her body started closing around his.
"Oh Jesus, Ziva." He grunted as he drew deeper from within himself, needing to hold out.
Ziva grunted her pleasure, the guttural sounds driving him on as her body arched against his, greedily accepting each thrust. She was lost to the moment, to him and how he was taking her, possessing her. At how easily he could pleasure her, compelling her body's response with his primitive stroking deep inside her.
Tony growled with satisfaction, his animalistic need taking over again as he crushed his lips onto hers in another feral kiss. Then burrowed his face in her neck, drawing in her intoxicating scent. He kissed her throat, licking and biting at her neck. He wanted this to be at his hardest, his strongest and most powerful for her, he needed to show her what he felt, desired, and needed the most.
"Need more." He growled lowly near her ear in a very rough voice he knew she liked, and would be her undoing, whilst trying to draw air into his lungs, his pace punishing. "Can't get enough." He grunted as his one hand gripped her hip, pulling it closer, trying his best to hold back, to wait for her.
Ziva's fingers stiffened against the headboard, her body arching against his as her orgasm built. "Tony," she moaned, completely lost in their passion.
He thrust harder and deeper as her head pushed back against the pillows, feeling her release nearing, as her body called to his.
Feeling his own release nearing, he raised off her, his knees finding purchase on the mattress as he leaned more into her with every thrust forward, his upper body lifted from hers as his hands gripped her hips, her hands still bracing them as he continued to primitively pound into her.
Her hips responded to his gripping fingers as she ground her body against his, wanting even more, seeking her release. It took a few strokes from him to send her over, her orgasm rushing through her like a tidal wave. Ripples of ecstasy flooded through her as she bit down on her lower lip trying to contain her scream of delight, trying to breathe, trying to hang on as her body violently trembled. The impassioned keening that erupted from her throat soon became pleasure filled grunts as he continued to move inside her, pressing against her constricting walls, prolonging her release.
He pumped harder, feeling her contractions around him, milking him, drawing him along with her. Tony's blood roared though his veins like wildfire. He felt the first rushing surge and jerked hard against her. He released a long guttural cry feeling his own body starting to spasm. Gripping her hips, he impaled himself in her depths, his body constricted tightly, pumping her full of his seed, his body jerking at the intensity of it as he surrendered himself to the longest, hottest release of his life.
Tony sank down, folding forward and dropping his head between her breasts, allowing them a chance to catch their breath. His whole body trembled from the intensity of the moment. He felt her hands settle in his hair and nuzzled his head against her. Both of them slowly returned from their respective highs, whilst holding onto one another.
"You okay?" Tony questioned when he moved, lifting off her slightly.
"Uh-uh" Ziva mumbled.
"Did I hurt you?" He asked rolling off her.
"A bit." Ziva confirmed.
"No need to be, I enjoyed it as much as you." Ziva replied, turning towards him.
Tony drew her closer. "I'm going out of my mind with this." He stated once she'd settled.
"That makes two of us." Ziva replied, releasing a contented sigh.
"You're vibrating." Tony spoke up.
"I know." Ziva returned.
"I meant your phone." Tony clarified.
Ziva sat up slightly, pulling the phone from the confines of her clothes. Opening it, she groaned as she read the message.
"Bad news?" Tony asked, sitting up slightly as her body stiffened.
"She's here." Ziva replied.
A sigh escaped Tony as he dropped back onto the mattress, closing his eyes, whilst trying to contain his frustration.
"Uh! Why can't I just kill her and get it over with." Ziva growled in frustration, as she got off the bed.
"Because then the newsflash would read; a work related lovers feud gone wrong… NCIS agent arrested for the murder of another obsessive stalking NCIS agent." Tony returned sitting up and looking after her.
"Not now Tony." Ziva replied irritated. "I may just have to kill you too." She replied yanking on her pants again.
"You're feeling rather blood thirsty." Tony replied as she threw him his pants.
"Tony." She returned, exasperated.
"I like it here." He persisted.
"We have a cover to keep."
"I don't care." He insisted.
"I do, Hadar thinks it might be an NCIS investigation."
Tony noted her careful movements, "I really hurt you." He stated, feeling guilty about it.
"I will be fine, now get dressed." Ziva insisted. Pulling her hair back into a ponytail.
"Ziva." Tony started.
"Get dressed, we do not have time to discuss it. Do not turn on the lights." Ziva said reaching for her phone again, flipping it open. She typed in a message for officer Gideon then sent it off.
Tony got up and made his way to the bathroom, before redressing. Then met up with her in the kitchen again, where Ziva turned to look at him.
"You're lucky it's known for you to have unruly hair." Ziva said indicating to his hair.
Tony just ran his hand over it. "Yeah, I guess it has some uses."
"Come I will walk you down." She stated making her way to the door.
"You don't need to walk me out." Tony stated.
Ziva just raised her brow. "I am meeting Officer Gideon downstairs, we have a backup arrangement."
"Okay." Tony returned.
Ziva and Tony together walked out of the building towards his car. Both made sure not to touch one another, knowing that they were under surveillance. Once he'd left, Ziva returned to the reception area to wait for Officer Gideon. Who arrived moments later, stepping closer to her kissing her cheek, placing his hand on her back guiding her towards the elevator.
"Well, well, well. It seems Ms David is not as boring as I thought." Erica said raising her camera, capturing some photos.
Erica was still puzzled by their behaviour towards one another though. She had hoped to receive some conformation with regards to her suspicions, and possibly the reason for Tony's self-elected celibacy. She'd been surprised by this incident, and hopeful of a confirmation. Thinking Mossad not all that good, if they were unaware that Tony was being tailed. She checked her watch again. Tony had remained in Ziva's home for less than fifteen minutes, which did not indicate a romantic partnership. Although the two seemed close, she considered it unlikely that they would indulge in physical activities, after having shown nothing of the sorts for weeks now. Lifting her camera again she took shots of the Ziva and the officer's interaction. The indication that the officer, who'd previously apprehended her, was more than a bodyguard to Ziva came as a surprise. However, she suspected that with Israelis things were rarely as straightforward is they appeared. It was clear that she could strike Ziva's name off the list of possible partners for Tony. It had been three weeks and Tony had still given her nothing more to go on.
On reaching her door Ziva turned to Officer Gideon. "Have you managed to learn anything?" She demanded.
"We managed to get our hands on the notebook stashed in her car earlier today. It seems that she is trying to determine who is closest to agent DiNozzo, but other than mentioning team members and agent DiNozzo's commitment to go bowling Ms Scuito and the nuns there was nothing else." The officer returned.
"Why would anyone want to know about his personal life?" Ziva thought out aloud.
"They may consider transferring him." Officer Gideon returned, "It is not unknown for an agency to assess the impact of such a decision, especially if past attempts have been unsuccessful." He added.
"Be that as it may, why such a long investigation?"
"He has turned down offers before?" The officer questioned.
"Yes. He turned down the one in Spain."
"They may think it was for personal reasons."
"But an almost month long investigation… it does not make sense."
The officer remained silent.
"Go out the back and make sure she does not see you. Let me know when she leaves." Ziva said opening her door, "Shalom Officer Gideon."
Ziva entered her apartment and made her way to the bathroom, turning on her bedroom light in the process. Then started the shower, allowing it to run whilst stripping her clothes. She stepped into it drawing a deep breath. She knew she was going to be tender in areas in the morning.
Once done she stepped out, wrapped herself in her robe then made her way to the lounge turning out lights before returning to her bedroom. Turning on the bedside lamp she dropped her cell phone on it and turned off the main light. Then crawled into bed reaching for her book, fighting the memories the lingering scents invoked, tried to control the longing that filled her. She wanted him next to her, so that she could snuggle up to him. Her bed felt even emptier tonight. A few moments later her phone buzzed.
'She has left.' The message came through.
She replied, thanking him then texted a message for Tony.
'Good night, thank you.'
'Missing you.' Came his reply.
Ziva swallowed the lump forming in her throat, whilst reaching for his pillow she hugged it closer, knowing it was going to be a long night.
'Me too, sleep tight.' She finally sent off to him.
'Thanks, sweet dreams – of me." His response caused her to grin.
'And here I thought I could dream of that other guy.' Ziva baited him.
'You can, as long as you're kicking his ass in it.'
'You know me so well, my nice naked dreams belong to you.'
'As they should, sorry about tonight.'
'If I close my eyes I can still feel you.' Ziva teased.
'Not a good idea.' He returned.
'Because it wasn't enough, I'm good for another round.'
'I would say come over and let me help you but we both know that would be a bad idea.'
'We've gotta find a way around this.'
'We do, now go to sleep.'
'You're meeting me in my dreams?'
The following morning Gibbs realized what had seemed off with the two of them as Ziva reclaimed her position next to Tony again. It was a sight he'd gotten so used to over the years that it surprised him how he could've overlooked the fact that there'd been a greater physical distance between them than usual, especially since Ziva's return from Israel. They once again focused on the others words and could finish the others sentences, or as in Tony's case, correct Ziva's. He was also surprised to see Erica's reaction to their re-established closeness. Her attempt to stand as close to Tony had simply resulted in Tony moving away from her and an observable glower being cast her way from Ziva. Both McGee and Abby had noticeably relaxed within hours of Ziva and Tony's partnership restoration.
In the days that followed Gibbs still kept a close eye on both. Not fully understanding the change in them since their spat a few days prior, but they'd seemed to have settled their differences somehow. Stepping into the bullpen early the one morning he made his way to his desk, when he caught sight of an unmarked envelope having been placed on it. Frowning he pulled on some gloves then picked up the envelope, before turning it over and opening it. Reaching in he pulled out a series of photos. His eyebrows rising when he recognized one of the persons captured in the images. Whomever had taken the photo's had spared little thought for their implication. Slipping them back into the envelope he made his way down to Abby's lab.
"Abby!" He called on entering the lab, looking around.
"Over here Gibbs." Came her reply as she passed through the far side doors.
"I need you to run an image for me." Gibbs got straight to the point, drawing one of the photos from the envelope and handing it to her.
"When do you need it?" Abby asked, whilst looking at the image of a guy.
"Now." Gibbs replied.
"New case?" Abby questioned as she placed the photo on the scanner.
"You could say so." Gibbs replied.
Abby scanned the photo and started to run it against those in the database. Gibbs took the photo from her and returned it to the envelope.
"So what are we looking for?" Abby asked, turning her attention back to him.
"A name." Gibbs replied.
"And it seems we have one." Abby returned her attention to the screen.
"Who's he?" Gibbs asked coming to stand behind her.
"Officer Benjamin Gideon." Abby replied, reading the credentials the system threw out.
"Officer?" Gibbs questioned.
"Yes, he's a Mossad officer, came into the country five weeks ago on a visiting visa." Abby replied, before continuing, "Explains why the system threw him out so quickly."
"What is Ziva doing with an officer of Mossad?" Gibbs asked, turning to leave.
"Ziva!" Abby gasped, "Gibbs wait! What do you mean?" Abby asked starting to follow him.
"Not now Abby." Gibbs said as he left the lab.
Gibbs strode into the bullpen. "DiNozzo, conference room." He commanded, whilst walking through the bullpen. Causing the other two team members present to look up at him as well.
"Boss." Tony replied, getting up and following. Ziva looked after them, frowning. Wondering if Gibbs had somehow figured it out.
Tony followed Gibbs into the conference room and closed the door behind them, already feeling uncomfortable with the situation.
"Sit down DiNozzo." Gibbs commanded.
"Boss?" Tony asked, misunderstanding Gibbs's irritation.
"Anything between you and Ziva I need to know about?" Gibbs demanded as he turned to face Tony.
Tony just looked at Gibbs, stunned by the outright question and the annoyance that came off him. Of all the things he had expected, nothing had prepared him for this type of interrogation from Gibbs.
Gibbs in turn misread his silence. "I don't need another incident between the two of you." He stated outright.
This caused Tony to appear even more confused. Gibbs reached into the envelope and pulled out a photo, then placed it on the table turning it and sliding it towards Tony.
"Do you know who this is?" Gibbs demanded, watching Tony's reaction.
Tony looked at the photo then at Gibbs, before replying, "It's officer Gideon." Tony replied, for a moment relieved.
"How do you know him?" Gibbs asked taking the photo from him, causing some sense of unease to settle once again.
"He works for Mossad, Ziva introduced us." Tony replied, looking at the desk for a moment, Gibbs's stare having become too intense.
"Dammit DiNozzo!" Gibbs exclaimed. "I don't need a repeat of Rifkin. These photo's alone are enough to cost Ziva her citizenship if they end up in the wrong hands." Gibbs said waiting for the words to sink in. "What's she doing with an officer of Mossad?" Gibbs finally demanded.
"He was sent by her father as protection." Tony returned, looking at Gibbs.
Gibbs took other photos from the envelope, placing them in front of Tony "This was one time I would've welcomed the news of the two of you being in a relationship, but you should realize how that looks." Gibbs said drawing Tony's attention to the images on the table.
Tony dropped his face in his palms, letting go of a sigh. Trying to come to terms with the images of officer Gideon being overly familiar with Ziva.
Gibbs having seen the reaction turned around, reaching for his phone then hit the speed dial, "Ziver, conference room." Then collected the images up as he waited for her.
Ziva stepped into the conference room, her concern mounting when she noted Tony's downcast look and the anger radiating off Gibbs as he watched her enter. Taking a deep breath she thought it inevitable that this would need to be faced.
"Yes." she spoke up after having closed the door.
"Who is officer Gideon?" Gibbs demanded even before she'd made it to the table.
The sock was immediately evident on her face, "He is an officer of Mossad." Ziva answered looking towards Tony, not understanding.
"Anything else?" Gibbs asked watching her closely.
"He is in DC." Ziva answered.
"Are you seeing him?"
"No." Ziva replied outright.
"Don't lie to me Ziva." Gibbs said turning away from her, causing her to look at Tony in question. Tony's look remained distant, causing her even more concern.
"I am not." Ziva defended herself.
"Then what is this?" Gibbs demanded, shoving a photo towards her.
Ziva looked at it for a moment then looked up at Gibbs. "That is not what it seems."
"Then what is it? Because whatever that is, it's enough to get your citizenship revoked." Gibbs returned, watching her closely. He was quick to make out the panicked expression that crossed her face, before she could mask it.
"Officer Gideon was assigned to me for protection." Ziva replied, glancing towards Tony again, who met her gaze.
"And that is how Mossad protect?" Gibbs asked, noting their silent communication.
"No. It was to throw her off." Ziva stated, returning her attention towards Gibbs. "I did not know she would take photo's." Ziva finished before turning her attention towards Tony.
"Who?" Gibbs demanded.
"Agent Jane." Ziva answered, noting the frown having formed on Tony's forehead as he looked over the photos again.
"Explain." Gibbs returned.
Ziva sat down, taking a deep breath before she started explaining events, from Mossad's involvement right up to current events. She also added her conversation with Officer Gideon.
Gibbs looked from one to the other before demanding, "Why didn't you come to me?"
"We didn't think it was anything serious." Tony defended their case.
"Mossad was there to protect Tony and we thought she would grow tired and give up." Ziva backed him up.
"Is there anyone we can confirm this operation within Mossad?" Gibbs asked, looking pointedly at Ziva.
"Yes, Hadar will confirm it, he received orders from my father to arrange our protection." Ziva replied.
Gibbs looked pointedly at Ziva as he went over her words then reached for his phone hitting the speed dial once again. "Director, we have a situation, could you meet me in the conference room." He spoke into the phone leaving Tony and Ziva to exchange guarded looks.
A few minutes later Vance entered the conference room. Having taken stock of the persons present, he closed the door behind him.
"Gibbs." He spoke up in a way of greeting.
"Director." Gibbs acknowledged.
"What's going on here?" Vance asked looking at Tony and Ziva.
"You tell me." Gibbs demanded.
"You called me in." Vance returned, his attention centred on Gibbs.
"Why was agent Jane placed on my team?" Gibbs demanded.
"For training, I told you." Vance returned, not sure if he should request of the two agents to leave.
"Ha!" Came Ziva's reply as she rolled her eyes.
"Not for spying." Gibbs asked, a frown forming on his forehead.
"What do you mean?" Vance asked, tilting his head slightly.
"For the past few weeks she has been observing Tony's movements." Gibbs returned, indicating towards Tony with his head.
"Who told you this?" Vance demanded.
"Ziva's protection." Gibbs said, tilting his head slightly.
Vance looked at Ziva. "Your father told you?" He questioned surprised.
"No, there was a situation at my apartment one evening that forced them to breach their orders." Ziva returned, sitting back slightly in her chair.
"You were aware that she has protective detail." Gibbs demanded.
"Eli informed me of his intent before we left for Israel. He thought that there might be a chance that she'd be abducted."
"And Tony?" Gibbs persisted.
The director looked from one to the other. "Eli was not planning to take any risks so Tony was included, Eli knew Ziva would stop at nothing if anything happened to him."
"So what is Agent Jane doing following Tony?" Gibbs asked.
"The scuttlebutt is she's throwing herself at him." Vance returned, "DiNozzo should know how to handle that."
"Rule number 12." Tony replied, "And I'm not interested."
"Then she has no other orders from you?" Gibbs returned, not too convinced.
"No, she hasn't, I placed her on your team because your team can teach her something." Vance insisted.
"What is that?" Gibbs questioned.
"Proper procedure, you read her file, she has no problem going above anyone's head to get ahead." Vance returned.
"She should attend a seminar of sexual harassment in the workplace." Ziva injected.
"The same can be said for the two of you at times." Vance returned, looking from Ziva to Tony. "She's to be scheduled to attend the next one." Vance stated looking at Gibbs.
"We don't know why she is following DiNozzo but we can beat her at her own game." Gibbs started.
"Boss?" Tony answered looking from Vance to Gibbs.
"DiNozzo as of tonight you are back in the clubs." Gibbs ordered, "no serious drinking or parting." Ziva kept her gaze down as the meaning of Gibbs's words sank home.
"I know it's a school night." Tony replied, unenthusiastically.
"Ziva ask your Mossad contacts to record her movements." Gibbs said, turning towards her, noting her drop in composure.
"They already are." Ziva confirmed lifting her gaze, having schooled her features.
"Then warn them of Tony's change in activities." Gibbs said, noting her frown as his words sank home.
"DiNozzo chat with the ladies. Do not take any home. We don't know if her fixation on you is psychotic. I want her movements traced and a recorded."
"Okay boss." Tony nodded.
"Right then off you go," Gibbs dismissed him then turned to Ziva, "Ziva."
"Yes Gibbs." Ziva returned, having intended to leave with Tony.
"Stay." Gibbs insisted as Vance and Tony got up to leave the conference room.
Tony glanced behind him for a moment, before moving away as he and Vance left the conference room.
"Why didn't you come to me?" Gibbs asked as soon as the door had closed.
"I did not think it would be a problem." Ziva stated flatly.
"She did not appear to be a threat." Ziva backed up her reasoning.
"She's caused trouble between you and Tony." Gibbs stated, intent on scrutinizing her reaction.
Ziva frowned at that.
"The other day." Gibbs pushed.
"Tony was just being his obnoxious self." Ziva returned.
"I had noticed." Gibbs returned with a slight smile.
"We are fine." Ziva insisted.
"I don't need another Rifkin situation, or apartments blowing up." Gibbs warned.
"Officer Gideon and I are not involved." Ziva returned, hoping it would clear Gibbs's concerns.
"Why the need for the display." Gibbs asked indicating towards the photos.
"The photos do not show Tony leaving." Ziva asked indicating with her head towards the envelope Gibbs was holding.
"No," Gibbs returned, "What was he doing at your apartment?"
"We talked." Ziva returned.
"What happened at the office?" Ziva returned.
"How long was he there for." Gibbs asked, suddenly understanding the reason behind the sudden shift in their partnership, thinking that DiNozzo had taken his advice to sort things out with Ziva.
"About fifteen minutes." Ziva replied.
"Who took these?" Gibbs asked, indicating to the photos.
"Agent Jane would be my guess."
"Okay?" Ziva questioned.
Tony had barely sat down at his desk when his phone rang.
"Tony come down to the lab." Abby ordered, sounding concerned.
"I'm on my way Abbs." Tony replied dropping the receiver in place.
"Where's agent David?" Erica asked as Tony stood up again.
"She's in the conference room with Gibbs." Tony answered as he walked past her.
"What's eating him?" Erica asked looking at McGee.
"Well according to Abby, Ziva's seeing someone from Mossad again." McGee answered whilst tapping away at his keyboard.
"And Tony disapproves?" Erica persisted.
"The last time he killed the guy." McGee returned bluntly.
"So he's protective of her?" Erica kept on asking.
"It's a complex situation, but yes, Tony's very protective of her, as he is with Abby." McGee answered, becoming slightly irritated.
"That's all they are?" Erica fished.
"Yes, they tend to bounce off one another from time to time, like earlier this week." McGee returned. "They've been that way since Jeanne."
"Jeanne?" Erica asked surprised.
"Another long story." McGee answered with a sigh.
"That is none of your concern." Ziva stated as she walked into the bullpen, moving to sit down at her desk.
Gibbs followed with the envelope in clear view. Then dropped it on his desk. "Where's DiNozzo?" He asked turning to McGee.
"Abby called him down to the lab." McGee answered looking up at Gibbs.
"Coming McGee." Gibbs asked, turning and walking towards the elevator.
Tim looked after Gibbs then jumped up to follow him.
"Hey Abbs what's up?" Tony asked as he entered the lab.
"Gibbs was here earlier." Abby started, turning towards him.
"About Officer Gideon." Tony replied halting in front of her.
"You know about him and Ziva." Abby returned, concerned.
"There's no him and Ziva." Tony stated, hoping to put Abby's fears to rest.
"But Gibbs… and I don't want you two to..." Abby started, pacing.
"Abby," Tony called her attention, "Ziva's father sent him as protection for Ziva, that's all."
Abby looked at Tony. "Oh okay, 'cause I'd hate for you two to start fighting again."
Erica looked after McGee and Gibbs "I will never understand how this team works." She stated, turning her attention towards Ziva.
"Rule no 8. Never take anything for granted." Ziva returned, as she turned to her computer.
"What is it with everyone and those rules?" Erica asked shaking her head.
"They work." Ziva stated.
"And you've never been tempted to break them?"
"I have broken them and suffered for it." Ziva stated turning her attention towards Erica.
"Oh, so Tony has no aversion to breaking rule 12?" Erica baited her.
"It wasn't rule 12." Ziva returned.
"Oh which one was it then?" Erika asked, feigning interest.
"In order, it was rules 10, 15 and 2." Ziva returned.
"And they are?" Erica asked raising a brow.
"Never get personally involved, always work as a team and never screw over your partner." Ziva answered, returning her attention to her computer.
"Then what's between you and Tony?" Erica asked outright.
"We are partners." Ziva stated.
"You're close for partners." Erica stated, watching for Ziva's reaction.
"We have risked our lives for one another." Ziva returned ambiguously.
"I see." Erika returned
"Tony go pick up that suspect Abby identified, take Ziver with you." Gibbs ordered as they entered the bullpen later.
"Why not send McGee?" Erica was quick to ask.
"Because Elf Lord does not have Ninja skills." Tony threw over his shoulder as he moved to his desk to pick up his backpack.
"More like her back up." Erika mumbled, just loud enough for Gibbs to hear.
"What was that?" Gibbs asked.
"Nothing, just thinking aloud." Erica answered smiling at Gibbs. Then watched as Tony and Ziva left together.
A week passed with little change in the team. Tony became the depiction of his former playboy self, irritating the team and causing Ziva to draw back from him slightly. Mossad had noting to report back to her, and although Erica followed Tony about there was no interaction between them. None of the team members, as by Gibbs's orders, were willing to disclose any personal history of Tony to her.
Tony and Ziva managed to go out to the movies together one night and saw The Social Network. Then spent the better part of the next morning discussing it at work. On a superficial level everything appeared normal within the team, only Tony and Ziva were aware of the underlying tension between them and matters regarding Erica. Gibbs remained uninvolved, and although he enabled for them to work together more often, it was not on the same level as in the past. This frustrated Tony because he could sense Ziva distancing herself from him.
Gibbs had sent Ziva on an errant when they arrived. Erica and Tony were out in the field checking up on a lead. McGee and Gibbs were the only ones present in the office when the delivery boy entered.
"Good day I have a delivery for a Ms Ziva David." He spoke up looking uneasily from Gibbs to McGee
"Flowers? Who's sending Ziva flowers?" McGee spoke up, checking his calendar to ensure he'd not missed some important date.
"She's out of the office at the moment." Gibbs returned, frowning. "You can just place them there on her desk." Gibbs continued indicating Ziva's desk with his head. "McGee, sign for them." Gibbs said returning his attention to the file he'd been reading,
"Okay boss." McGee said rising to see to the delivery boy.
Ziva walked into the office some time later and immediately noted the flowers on her desk.
"Who brought these?" She asked looking from Gibbs to McGee.
"A Delivery boy." Gibbs answered.
Raising her brow she reached for the card. "Missing you," she read out aloud, it was signed HB. "I don't think these were meant for me." Ziva said turning her attention back to the flowers, frowning.
"The delivery guy said they were." Gibbs replied, not looking up from the file he was reading.
Ziva gave McGee a questioning glance. He only nodded his head in response.
"Oh looky here, Ms David got flowers, he must be serious." Tony said teasingly as he stepped behind his desk, he and Erica having returned.
"Who?" Ziva almost snapped, lifting her gaze suddenly, having been caught off guard.
"Your boyfriend." Tony said sitting dropping his backpack.
"What would you know?" Ziva teased.
"If not him, you must have a secret admirer." Tony teased, then sat down.
"I must have." Ziva returned, her eyes narrowing slightly.
"Maybe not." Erica replied, having watched their interaction.
"Didn't he sign the card?" Tony asked, looking over at her.
"How do you know it's a he, it could always be a she." Ziva mischievously returned, her eyes challenging him.
"Trying to change the subject again." Tony returned, not willing to take the bait.
"I never was partial." Ziva returned, unconcerned.
"DiNozzo, Ziver." Gibbs warned.
"Quitting boss." Tony was quick to reply, glancing towards Gibbs and catching sight of Erica's shocked expression.
Ziva sat for a few moments a frown on her brow, knowing there was no reason for anyone to send her flowers.
"Ziver what did you get?" Gibbs pulled her from her thoughts as she started explaining her findings to him, listening as they followed their findings.
An hour later Tony clicked on his Email
'And here I thought it would take you longer to figure it out.'
'They're beautiful thank you… What do you want?' Tony looked up at her, frowning, after having read the message.
'Why would I want anything?' Ziva looked at him grinning, then typed on her keyboard.
'Because I know you.' Tony just grinned at her response.
'Okay I do.'
'See, I knew it, what do you want?' Tony looked up at her, meeting her gaze.
'Come out with me tonight.' Ziva frowned on reading his message.
'I don't know.' Tony looked at her questioningly.
"DiNozzo, Ziver stop emailing each other." Gibbs commanded as he stepped out of the bullpen, causing Erica and McGee to look at them.'Go with me.' Ziva looked up at him, and then nodded.
"You cannot be serious." Tony started out loud.
"I am." Ziva returned.
"There is no way she would ask you that."
"No." Ziva returned sitting back in her chair.
"Yes, I want her email address." Tony demanded.
"Ha, like I'll give it to you." Ziva challenged.
"I'll hack your email." Tony threatened.
"Tony, even with a manual you couldn't manage it." Ziva returned unconcerned.
"I'll get Mcgeek to do it." Tony threw back.
"Hey don't involve me." McGee was quick to return.
"McGee knows what's good for him." Ziva returned, putting her feet up.
"You're not allowed to divulge information like that without my say so." Tony insisted.
"Says who?" Ziva challenged.
"I want her email address." Tony demanded.
"Who are you two talking about?" McGee asked, already smiling.
"Liat." Tony returned, glaring at Ziva.
"So what does she want?" McGee asked, looking towards Ziva.
"She asked what I'd rate Tony's tush." Ziva returned, settling with the most ridiculous thing she could think of.
"And you told her?" McGee asked.
"Yes." Ziva confirmed.
"Ouch." McGee said smiling.
"Mcgeek I want that email address." Tony demanded turning is attention to McGee.
"No, I agree with Ziva." McGee returned, then looked at Ziva.
"What am I missing here?" Erica asked.
"Not long after Ziva joined the team, we caught Tony on a rather alluring web page, well for him." McGee started turning is attention to Erica.
"And Tony wanted his tush rated." Ziva added.
"And?" Erica pressed.
"Ziva gave him a two." McGee returned.
"That's harsh." Erica gasped, looking at Ziva questioningly.
"Out of five." Ziva returned.
"Well I've seen your tush Tony and I'd give it at least a four and a half." Erica said turning her attention to Tony.
"See Ziva, that's more like it." Tony challenged Ziva.
"Ha," Ziva exclaimed, "she has not been under cover with you, therefore she does not know the rest."
"Tell me?" Erica invited.
"Tony and Ziva were sent undercover as newly wed assassins." McGee started.
"Interesting, anything happen between them?" Erica was quick to ask.
"What happens under covers stays under covers." Tony stated.
"Which is Tony's way of saying nothing happened." McGee continued.
"We got partially naked." Ziva added, nonchalantly.
"So you're an authority on Tony's tush? Erica asked
"It was some time ago." Ziva returned, pensively.
Erica just looked at Tony then returned to her work.
'How did the conversation end up here?" Tony emailed Ziva
'Don't ask me."'So… you still think I'm a two?"
'You know what I think of your tush.'
'Oh and what's that?'
'It scores best when my hands are on it.'
'Really? What's the score then?'
'I'd give it a six out of five, especially if you're naked.'
'Ooh naughty Ziva, I've missed her.'
'Hence the flowers.'
'Yes. You feel like using those ninja skills and sneaking into my apartment tonight?'
'And what do I get?' Tony smiled.
'My undivided attention.'
'I can't.' Tony looked at her questioningly.
'Oh sorry I didn't realize. You can still come over though.' Ziva looked up at him, smiling slightly.
'I'll think about it.'
"Are you two still at it?" Gibbs demanded, walking into the bullpen with his fresh cup of coffee.
'Delete emails' Tony was the first to message
'Deleting' Ziva returned
Just before leaving that evening Tony tossed a crumpled piece of paper at Ziva, which she caught.
"Yes Tony." She replied, tossing the paper in the wastepaper basket.
"So, anything interesting tonight? Or are you planning to meet up with mystery man." He asked indicating to the flowers.
"Maybe." Ziva teased, nodding her head slightly.
"You know that I have a good idea who he is." Tony teased her.
"And your point is?" Ziva challenged him.
"He's a very lucky man." Tony stated.
"I'll remember to tell him that." Ziva returned starting to pack up her desk.
"I'm sure he knows." Tony returned reaching for his backpack.
"Good night Tony." Ziva said as he stepped past her desk.
"It's bound to be Ziva." Tony returned, before throwing a "good night," over his shoulder.
"He seems happy." Erica returned, halting for a moment at Ziva's desk.
"Knowing Tony I would say it's a sports night tonight, and he's got a big bet on some game."
"Sports night?" Erica asked.
"Probably some big game on TV, I never keep up with them." Ziva said flinging her backpack over her shoulder.
Three hours later there was a knock on his door. Knowing whom to expect he opened the door allowing her to enter.
"Any trouble." He asked placing a quick kiss on her cheek, before closing the door.
"The security in your building is ridiculous, I came round the back and there was hardly anything to stop me." Ziva said dropping her bag.
"Says the little ninja." Tony teased pulling her into a hug. "And Ms Jane?" He questioned.
"She is still in her car. I informed officer Gideon that I would possibly be staying the night. They say she's been leaving at about midnight every night whenever you stay in."
"Ooh Ziva for a whole night." Tony breathed into her neck, "I've missed that."
"Tony." Ziva warned.
"Okay I know, I know, no getting naked, but I still get to hold you." Tony said, rubbing her back, "So there's a loophole forming with Ms Jane."
"Yes, but I'm not willing to take chances, so I'll leave out the back early in the morning." Ziva replied, relaxing into his embrace.
"Where did you park?" Tony questioned, drawing away from her and turning towards the lounge area.
"I took a cab." Ziva replied following. "We're watching a movie?" She questioned, sitting down on the couch.
"Watching a movie, the game, I don't mind." Tony replied, sitting down next to her. Then pulled her closer. "I just want to be with you."
The following morning Tony strolled into the bullpen with a large grin on his face.
"I take it you had a good evening." McGee spoke up, noting Tony's demeanour and happy mood.
"Oh yes, a long night spent with a beautiful lady in my arms." Tony started, with a dreamy expression on his face.
Ziva just rolled her eyes and shook her head slightly.
Erica suddenly turned and looked at him.
"And Ziva owes me dinner." Tony stated, turning his attention to her.
"What?" Ziva questioned, fixing a pointed look at him.
"I won." Tony stated.
"Won what?" Ziva asked, a frown forming on her face as she tried to figure out what he was talking about.
"Our bet." Tony said as he dropped his backpack behind his desk.
"Which one was that?" Ziva asked, folding her arms on her desk and looking up at him with a raised brow.
"The lady from downstairs." Tony replied, adding a good measure of playboy cockiness.
"You did not." Ziva returned with just enough of an incredulous tone.
"Oh yeah." Tony returned, nodding his head slightly.
"I was so sure she was gay." Ziva threw back, shaking her head slightly.
"Oh she is, hilariously funny… So when's dinner." Tony shot back.
"You have proof?" Ziva questioned, raising her one brow.
"Oh yeah, not that I'd be willing to show you here." Tony retuned, indicating that they should leave.
"We could go elsewhere." Ziva suggested, having picked up on his cue.
"Boys or girls?" Tony asked, stepping out from behind his desk.
"Whichever one is empty." Ziva answered, rising from her chair and following Tony.
"Where are they going?" Erica demanded from McGee.
"Restroom." Came his muttered answer.
"What!" Erica exclaimed, her eyes bugging.
"Old habit." McGee returned with a bored tone, not even bothering to look from his computer screen.
"What are you doing?" Ziva was first to ask, after they'd checked the restroom to ensure that they were alone.
"Hey dinner at your place gives me a valid reason to be there." Tony reasoned, turning to look at her.
"And the story?" Ziva requested, unimpressed.
"Marks on my back, if anyone asks." Tony said standing closer to her.
"Ah, she was a wild one then, I will remember that." Ziva said, gazing at him from under her eyelids, her voice teasing.
Her response shocked him, rendering him speechless as his mind fled to images of Ziva, uninhibited.
"Hey, you're at work," She called his attention. "Who knows, maybe I will mark you on Friday." She whispered in his ear before turning to leave.
"Friday." Tony repeated in a daze.
"Friday." Ziva confirmed, before stepping out of the men's room, leaving Tony behind in a trancelike state.
Ziva entered the bullpen only to be met by Gibbs's demand. "Where's DiNozzo?"
"I left him in the restroom." Ziva returned, having stopped in front of Gibbs.
"Alive?" Gibbs questioned, raising a brow.
"He is in his mind." Ziva answered, intending to move past him to her desk.
Gibbs just looked at her.
"I could not help it, he should know better." Ziva reasoned, lifting her hands in explanation.
"I didn't say anything." Gibbs said, before stepping past her and making his way to the men's room.
"DiNozzo." Gibbs called on entering.
"Yes boss." Tony replied tuning towards Gibbs.
"Oh Jesus please don't tell me you took someone home." Gibbs stated more than asked.
"I would never go against orders boss." Tony replied, his voice still distant.
"Then what's this?" Gibbs demanded, fixing a glare on him.
"Ziva." Tony exhaled her name.
Gibbs smacked him behind the head.
"Ouch!" Tony yelped, looking towards Gibbs.
"Snap out of it DiNozzo, she's been playing with your mind for years." Gibbs said, turning around and exiting the restroom.
"I know." Tony admitted.
Tony followed Gibbs into the bullpen, rubbing his head when Ziva looked up at him, grinning.
"You're enjoying this." He said looking at her with something akin to loathing.
"Oh yes." Ziva returned, smirking.
"Right McGee, what have you got?" Gibbs demanded, drawing everyone's attention back to the case.
For the rest of the week the team worked relentless to solve the case, and by Friday afternoon they had managed to apprehend the suspect and was wrapping up the case, leaving only the mountain of paperwork to be resolved.
"Are we going out to celebrate?" Erica spoke up.
"Can't, sorry, I'm meeting with my sister." Came McGee's reply as he tapped away on his keyboard.
"I already have plans." Ziva returned, not looking up from her work.
"I thought we were having dinner tonight." Tony was quick to jump on Ziva, his tone brusque, whilst not paying attention to Erica's shocked reaction. "You're going back on our agreement."
"As I said I have plans." Ziva said looking up at him. "With my mystery man." She added when he did not catch on, adding a glare for good measure.
"Oh well lucky for him, but you still owe me dinner." Tony returned trying to keep the brusque tone he had used on first hearing of her plans, having understood her warning.
"So come over, I'll make enough for everyone." Ziva said offhandedly, dropping her gaze back to her work.
"And what about your plans?" Tony asked, feigning uncertainty.
"They are not until much later." Ziva returned unperturbed.
"That's over share." Tony stated, with mock disbelief.
"Oh and like you do not, anyway you only ever worry about the food." Ziva returned, finally looking up at him again.
"You're a good cook." He complemented her, smiling.
"It helps to like cooking." Ziva said, shrugging her shoulders.
"I'm gonna end up doing the dishes again." Tony added, not liking her attitude.
"And here I thought you were not trainable, seems there is hope for you yet." Ziva said dropping her attention back to her work.
"What time?" Tony asked, a frown forming on his forehead.
"About eight should do." Ziva returned, her tone bored.
"What are we having?" Tony persisted.
"Food." Ziva answered, slightly irritated.
"I know, what wine should I bring?" He asked, hoping to clarify his intent.
"I'm cooking beef." Ziva simply stated.
"Red wine then." Tony said, before dropping his attention back to his own work.
"Your boyfriend does not mind you allowing Tony to join?" Erica's question came from the other side of the bullpen.
"Why should he? Tony is my partner." Ziva simply stated, lifting her gaze towards the woman.
"It's just strange, I mean, I wouldn't like it if my boyfriend brought his partner from work home for dinner and she was female." Erica returned, her voice filled with loathing for such a situation.
"I do not get it." Ziva simply stated.
"What she means is that lover boy might feel I'm infringing on his turf." Tony clarified for her.
"That is ridiculous, Tony, a threat to my relationship." Ziva returned with an incredulous tone.
"You have a good point there, Ziva." McGee added, ginning. Looking from Ziva to Tony.
"What's wrong with me now McSkinny." Tony demanded with an irritated voice.
"Well, Ziva's boyfriend probably knows that you're not a treat to their relationship." McGee backed up Ziva's statement.
"Oh and why's that?" Tony demanded, now irritated.
"Because if your were, you would've done something utterly stupid by now." McGee returned, playfully.
"Meaning?" Tony implied, suddenly just as irritated as Ziva had been.
"History's not repeating itself." McGee stated.
"It's not Rifkin this time round."
"Enough," Ziva said getting up from her desk. "I am going home, everyone enjoy your weekend. Tony I will see you later." Ziva greeted as she walked round her desk.
Later that evening Tony knocked on Ziva's door, not sure what her mood would be like after her departure from the office earlier.
"Tony." She greeted friendly enough on opening the door. Tony stepped inside and kissed her on the cheek then handed her the bottle of wine.
"Where's our friend?" He questioned, looking around her apartment,
"Outside." Ziva stated, before returning to the kitchen.
"Will he be joining us?" Tony asked, following her into the kitchen.
"He will enter the building a bit later then make it appear as if he is." Ziva said, checking on their meal.
"So we're alone then." Tony said dropping his voice as he came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist, drawing her closer.
"Yes." Ziva whispered in reply, leaning back into his welcoming warmth.
"I miss holding you." Tony breathed into her ear, causing her to frown.
Tony kissed her neck then held her tighter. "You smell good."
"Okay that is it, what are you up to?" Ziva asked, suddenly turning around to face him.
"I'm wooing you" Tony answered adding a smile.
"Wooing me?" Ziva asked, incredulously, raising her brow.
"Yes, I read somewhere that in your religion, men arouse their partner's interest with words." Tony returned, allowing her to step out of their embrace.
"Just what have you been reading?" Ziva started, before realizing the oddness, "Wait, you've actually been reading and not just looking at pictures?" She returned surprised.
"It's true, isn't it?" Tony asked as she moved to the drawer to pull out the corkscrew.
"It would be, if you were a practicing orthodox Jew, conforming to Negiah." She finally answered, handing him the bottle and a corkscrew.
"And you are?" Tony asked unsure, having taken them from her.
"Jewish by birth. That is why I ask, what have you been reading?" Ziva returned, watching as he opened the bottle.
"This and that, okay, so how does that work?" Tony asked intending to hand the opened bottle back to her.
"Put it on the counter to breathe." Ziva said turning her attention back to the food.
"Ziva." Tony requested.
"Well alright." Ziva relented. "If you were an orthodox follower, you would not be allowed to touch me, you would need to express your feelings or intentions verbally."
"No touching." Tony asked, stunned.
"No touching." Ziva confirmed. "The orthodox believe that touch between male and female is forbidden unless it is direct family, or an emergency."
"That sucks, and here I thought it was some seduction technique."
"Oh it could be used for that too."
"But no touching."
"Not quite, it is complex."
"I've got all night." Tony said standing closer to her.
Ziva looked at him for a while. "Okay," She started once she realized he was serious. "Once the couple is married and sexual relations have been initiated, and all the laws involved…"
"Wait, there is laws regarding that?" Tony asked incredulous.
"I hold you to some of them." Ziva stated.
"There are more." Tony asked disbelievingly.
"The orthodox practice is very complex, but yes there are." Ziva confirmed as she started dishing up. "Anyway, it is considered useful for the man to be able to arouse his spouse verbally. Partners also learn that way what the other finds pleasurable, allowing for an openness in the bedroom and throughout their relationship."
"Have you ever practiced it?" Tony asked outright.
"I would have to feel comfortable with my partner. I would need to trust him before I would grant him that knowledge." Ziva returned.
"Wanna try?" Tony challenged.
"Tony, you would not remain coherent for more than two minutes." Ziva threw back at him mischievously.
"How do you know?" Tony demanded, teasingly.
"Because I've been doing it to you for years, but on a much lower level." Ziva returned, handing him the plates.
"Oh." Tony gasped surprised as he turned to go place them on the table.
Ziva turned reaching for the wine and glasses before joining him. Silently contemplating her next move.
After dinner they settled onto the couch to watch a movie. Ziva had on purpose maintained a distance between then since their conversation in the kitchen. She'd seen how it affected him and how he seemed to withdraw from her in response.
"Negiah is hard isn't it?" Ziva whispered next to his ear, having leaned closer to him.
Tony turned his head to look at her, realizing what she'd been doing. "You're playing with me." He finally stated.
"Oh yes, so why don't you follow me and we find out what makes you feel good." Ziva said rising from the couch.
"The movie?" Tony questioned.
"Leave it on." Ziva whispered taking Tony's hand, pulling him with her.
Ziva brought him to a stand still next to the bed then ran her hands over it chest, drawing her fingernails across it on the downward strokes. Looking up at him she spoke up, her voice seductive, "so Tony, how would you like me to mark you tonight?" Then started to move around him. Running her hands along him. "Should I gouge your back in a moment of passion as you cause me to scream your name, or should I bite down on your shoulder instead." Ziva asked scraping her nails across his back. Causing him to catch his breath and shudder in response. "Or should I sink my nails into your ass as you enter my body." Ziva continued, allowing her nails to trace over his ass, feeling him tighten the muscles. Ziva smiled at his response and started tugging at his shirt, freeing it from his pants. Then closed the distance between them, wrapping her arms around him hugging him from the back. Before moving her hands down, "Would you want me on top when this is inside me?" She asked, stroking his obvious erection, eliciting a groan from him as his head dropped back. "Or do you want to be on top, driving into me?" Ziva asked as she loosened his belt, then his pants.
"Zee." Tony grasped, unable to control the images that ran through his mind. Unable to decide which he wanted more.
"Or would you want to bend me over and mate with me like a dog?" Ziva asked, having reached under his boxers, wrapping her hand around him, squeezing lightly.
"Ziva." Tony gasped, his hands reaching back to her pulling her body closer to his. Ziva let go of him and started undoing the buttons on his shirt. Then drew it off, whilst he took care of his pants and boxers. "Get into bed." Ziva commanded as she saw to her own clothes.
Once done she crawled onto him rubbing their naked bodies together, looking into his eyes which were glazed over with passion, she closed the distance kissing him briefly, to which he tried to follow her up, wanting more. His arms closing around her as he held her closer. Tangling his fingers in her hair he pulled her down so that he could kiss her. Ziva rubbed her body against him, letting him know she was ready for him. Breaking the kiss, Ziva kissed down his neck whilst lifting off him slightly. Nipping at his chest. Before looking down at him.
Then moved her hips against him. "What do you want Tony? She asked, her voice raw with desire.
"You." Came his grunted reply came as his hands ran down her sides.
"I don't care, I just need you."
"This is the best part," Ziva said as her body absorbed him, "This is when you're mine." Ziva said as his full length disappeared into her. "I spent years thinking what it would be like to have you inside me, to hold you there, and to be able to do this." Ziva said as she closed her pelvic muscles around him, squeezing him.
"Oh God Zee, more, please." Tony supplicated, resting his hands on her hips as his head pushed back against the pillows.
"Patience Tony." Ziva whispered, "you American men are so impatient, it is all about the release to you." Ziva finished, as she repeated the action.
"And not to you?" Tony moaned, once she had eased the pressure on him.
"There is much pleasure to be found in the journey, I will have to teach you tantric." Ziva said, moving slightly against him, her hands resting on his chest.
"Monkey sex?" Tony grunted, his fingers biting into her hips.
"No, drawing pleasure from the entire act, not just seeking release." Ziva husked, as she started scraping her nails down his chest, causing him to shudder in response.
"Oh I think I'm there already, I could happily spend hours inside you." Tony gruffly returned, running his hands along her thighs.
"You like being inside me?" Ziva asked leaning forward slightly.
"It's my favourite place in the world." He gasped as Ziva closed her muscles around him again, moving slightly.
"Good, I like having you there." Ziva whispered, before kissing him.
Ziva sat upright again, reaching for his hands, lacing their fingers. "So my little hairy butt, let us enjoy the journey." Ziva husked as she started to move on him, picking up a sensual rhythm, gazes locked.
A while later Ziva gasped, her body suddenly slacking as she tried to remain upright as pulses coursed through her, before dropping onto his chest boneless, incapable of moving. Tony shocked by the sudden change closed his arms around her. "Ziva" he called concerned. Moving her head slightly she mumbled a weak "hmm".
"Not sure." She mumbled in response.
"You okay, you've gone completely slack."
"I can't move, no energy."
"Oh shit!" Tony exclaimed, moving, intending on turning them over.
"Lie still, too good." Ziva grunted the command.
"What's too good?" Tony questioned concerned.
"Okay," Tony returned, continuing to hold her.
Ziva remained lying on top of Tony, her body heavy, her muscles feeling drained. The residual effect of the pulses leaving her incapable of moving.
"Intense orgasm?" Tony finally asked.
Ziva shook her head, "more like sudden arousal, only ten times stronger."
"You sure you're okay?"
"Oh yes." Ziva breathed in response.
"You mind?" Tony asked, pushing against her hips, thrusting up and moving inside her.
"No, feels good." Ziva grunted in response.
Ziva had never been passive in bed, and Tony found it difficult to keep moving and set a rhythm without her help. Had it not been for her grunts in response to his movements, he would have stopped.
"Tony." Ziva grunted.
"Yes." Tony answered, stopping his actions.
"Roll over." Ziva grunted.
"Okay." Tony said, holding her close and rolling them over.
"Are you okay?" Tony asked as he settled above her.
"Oh yes," Ziva grunted, as her head rolled back.
"What's wrong?" Tony asked, looking down at her.
"More pulses." Ziva grunted in response, then gasping her pleasure.
"Oh yeah, even better when you move."
Tony drove into her, watching as she succumbed to the mindless pleasure her body was experiencing, before his body released and he bucked against her. In that moment of mindless pleasure he felt like a God, knowing he could do these things to her, that she could surrender herself to him so totally.
Rolling off her he dropped onto the bed next to her, Ziva was incapable of moving, her body splayed on the bed. Tony turned her onto her side and spooned behind her. Allowing themselves the pleasure of indulging in the moment.
"Come with me tomorrow." Tony spoke up a while later.
"Where are you going?" Ziva responded, shifting slightly.
"Apartment hunting?" Tony said, his hand starting to trace patterns on her side.
"Why?" Ziva asked, turning her head to look at him.
"My lease is almost up." Tony returned, moving a lock of hair that had fallen across her face.
"Why not renew it? Ziva asked frowning.
"I thought it was time to find a new place. You've got experience with apartment hunting and we can have lunch." Tony reasoned, before wrapping his arm around her.
"Erica." Ziva ground out the name with dislike.
"She can tail us from apartment to apartment if she likes. It's not uncommon to take a friend with you to look at apartments." Tony reasoned.
"What are you looking for?" Ziva asked, snuggling into his embrace.
"Something a little bigger I think." Tony returned kissing her shoulder.
"I guess I could." Ziva conceded.
A while later Ziva moved in his embrace. "You should go." She spoke up, turning to face him.
"I don't want to." He whispered determined.
"I don't want you to either." Ziva whispered back.
"So I'm staying." Tony declared.
"You can't, it's enough you nearly gave it away today." Ziva said tracing his face, hoping to soften her reprimand.
"What do you mean?" Tony asked frowning.
"I thought we were having dinner." Ziva quoted his earlier words, "you were too fervent in your response."
"You need to be more careful." Ziva stated, resting her hand on his cheek, his head leaning into the touch.
"Well if it wasn't for her I wouldn't need to, I could hold you whenever I wanted." Tony pronounced, frustrated.
"Tony." Ziva called his attention back to her.
"Okay, I'm going." Tony said, making to get up.
Ziva smiled placing pressure on his cheek and closed the distance between them, kissing him on the lips, catching his lower lip between her teeth, tugging on it.
"Now I'm not going." Tony declared, dragging her closer tangling his fingers in her hair, kissing her passionately.
Ziva broke the kiss kissing along his neckline before settling on an area on his shoulder, nipping at first she settled her lips and sucked hard.
"Ziva!" Tony exclaimed, realizing what she was doing, then squirming.
Pulling back slightly Ziva looked at the area, before kissing him on the mouth again. "You are marked." Ziva declared looking at him again.
"Oh really." Tony said rolling them and pinning her under him. "You're gonna pay for that."
"I did say I would mark you." Ziva managed to get out before Tony could silence her.
Early Monday morning Ziva walked into the office, only to find Gibbs standing in the middle of the bullpen holding a pair of gloves.
"Gibbs?" Ziva asked as he held them out to her.
"Your desk." He indicated with his head.
Ziva glanced at her desk, catching sight of the unmarked envelope lying partially under her keyboard, a frown forming on her face "Where is she?"
"Check the envelope first." Gibbs said as Ziva took the gloves.
Ziva dropped her backpack behind her desk then snapped on the gloves moving over to the envelope. Carefully picking it up she gently felt it. "There is something inside it."
"Letter bomb?" Gibbs asked, lifting a brow.
"You think she is capable of making one?" Ziva questioned, her voice disbelieving.
"You never know." Gibbs returned.
"No, it does not feel like one."
"Then open it." Gibbs insisted.
Opening the envelope Ziva looked inside, drawing out the folded note. Opening it caused a small bag containing white powder to drop from it. Both Ziva and Gibbs stepped back, eyeing the package. Reading the note Ziva frowned. 'Haven't forgotten you, here is a small gift. Love HB.'
"Admirer?" Gibbs questioned rising his brow.
"No, he would not send me something like this." Ziva answered, before reaching down to pick up the packet.
"Abby's lab, now, I want that analysed." Gibbs said, turning and leading the way.
"Abby." Gibbs called on entry.
"Yes Gibbs" Abby answered, before poking her head around the one end of the island.
"I need you to analyse this." Gibbs said, indicating to the packet Ziva held.
Abby took the packet, "looks like drugs, possibly heroin or cocaine." She replied before turning around. "Let's have a look." She continued, before dropping some in a petri dish and adding an activator.
"It's cocaine hydrochloride."
"Hey?" Gibbs asked.
"Blue equals cocaine." Abby said, indicating to the petri dish. "I'd have to do more intensive tests to check its purity."
"That won't be needed." Gibbs said, reaching for his phone and turning away from them. "Hey doc could you come round to Abby's lab, thanks." Then turned back to Abby, "I need that letter and envelope analysed. Keep it under raps."
A few moments later Ducky stepped into the lab. "Good morning Jethro, Abby, Ziva, what appears to be the problem?"
"Hey doc, I need you to draw Ziva's blood so that Abby can analyse it." Gibbs cut to the chase.
"Gibbs?" Ziva questioned.
"Any employee found with drugs in their possession must be tested, or you'll be out rightly dismissed." Gibbs said turning his attention to her.
"But I…" Ziva started.
"I know." Gibbs returned, "but it's protocol."
"Okay." Ziva relented.
"The drugs are yours?" Abby questioned, disbelievingly.
"They were on my desk this morning." Ziva returned.
"Abigail I'm just going to collect the blood tubes," Ducky said intending to leave the lab.
"Oh I have some over there." Abby said, pointing towards a drawer for Ducky. "The needles should be there as well."
"Thank you, Jethro you will need to sign the required forms as will Ziva."
"Send them up." Gibbs said, leaving Ziva in Ducky and Abby's care.
Ziva entered the bullpen a while later holding a swab to her arm. Stopping for a moment at Gibbs desk she handed him a form.
"Morning Ziva, what's up with the arm?" McGee asked as she stepped past his desk.
"Random blood test" Gibbs answered before Ziva could, causing Tony to look at her frowning.
Gibbs watched Erica's reaction to his words noting nothing suspicious.
"Erica you have to undergo testing as well." Gibbs stated, reading through the form Ziva had handed him.
Ziva lifted the swab from her arm checking to see if the bleeding had stopped, then tossed it in the trash as she sat down at her desk.
"Tested for what?" Erica demanded.
"Prohibited substances." Gibbs replied, "Ducky will be waiting for you."
Erica got up and left for the lab.
"Boss?" Tony asked as Gibbs picked up his phone.
"Abby, Erica is on her way down, I want blood tests on her as well and swab her hands."
"What's going on?" Tony asked out loud.
"Not your business DiNozzo." Gibbs returned.
"Right Boss." Tony returned looking at Ziva in question. Ziva just shook her head knowing that the less Tony knew about it the better.
Later during the day Ziva's phone rang.
"Come down to the lab." Abby's voice came across the line.
Ziva rose from her chair, "I'm going down to see Abby." Ziva mentioned to Gibbs as she passed his desk.
"Hello Abby." Ziva greeted on arrival.
"You've been holding out on me." Abby said with a smile on her face.
"I have?" Ziva asked confused, a frown marring her forehead.
"You know at first I didn't understand the flowers and all, but it makes perfect sense now." Abby continued, not noting Ziva's confused expression.
"What makes sense?" Ziva asked, hoping that Abby had not figured it out yet because then Gibbs would know.
"Your blood work came back." Abby said testing Ziva's response.
"And?" Ziva asked, not much concerned for the results knowing that she was clear.
"Oh you're clear for drugs, not that that surprised me," Abby said turning to her computer, "but what did surprise me is what else I found."
"What did you find?" Ziva asked concerned, coming to stand next to Abby.
"You have slightly higher than average levels of oestrogen and progesterone in your blood as well as hCG." Abby said turning back to her.
"Meaning?" Ziva asked raising a brow.
"You're pregnant!" Abby exclaimed excitedly.
"What!" Ziva exclaimed.
"So who's the father? I promise I won't tell Tony." Abby said placing emphases on the promise.
"No," Ziva started shaking her head. "Abby I cannot possibly be pregnant." She stated.
"Your blood work says you are." Abby said, coming to a standstill and frowning when she noted Ziva's expression, "you're sure?"
"Abby I menstruated last week." Ziva confirmed.
"That can happen." Abby stated, unconvinced.
"Abby I would know if I'm pregnant."
"Okay, then we'll just check to make sure, come along." Abby finally said, grabbing Ziva's arm.
"Where are we going?" Ziva asked, whilst being dragged in Abby's wake.
"To the morgue." Abby replied as the door swished closed behind them.
"Why?" Ziva asked, trying to keep up with Abby's determined strides.
"Ducky has an ultrasound." Abby said before they entered the morgue.
"Hey Ducky," Abby greeted on entering the morgue, "you mind if we use the ultrasound quickly."
"What could you possibly need the ultrasound for?" Ducky asked turning towards them.
"We just wanna check something quickly." Abby replied walking over to the apparatus.
"It is for medical use, right?" Ducky asked, uncertainly.
"Oh yes definitely," Abby replied before turning towards Ziva, "come on Ziva, on the table." Abby said, indicating the autopsy table.
"I'm not getting on there." Ziva returned, indignantly.
"Oh yes you are or I'll tell Gibbs, and he'll make it an order." Abby threatened.
"Oh alright." Ziva finally relented, sitting up on the table.
"What in heavens name are you two up to?" Ducky asked having witnessed their exchange.
"Ziva's blood work says she's pregnant, so I wanna check." Abby returned, waiting for Ziva to lie down.
"This should be interesting." Ducky muttered, making his way over to them.
"Abby I cannot possibly be pregnant." Ziva continued adamantly.
"Okay, so pull up your shirt a bit and loosen your pants." Abby requested whilst reaching for the conductor gel. "Ducky we're gonna need your help." Abby said turning back to Ziva.
"Do I have a choice in the matter?" Ducky asked coming to stand next to Abby.
"No." Abby simply stated, before turning her attention to Ziva.
"I thought as much."
"Right Ziva, pull down your panties a bit, I need to get to your lower abdomen." Abby said as Ziva tried to keep her back from touching the cold metal table."
"Abby, that's cold." Ziva gasped, as Abby applied the conductor gel to her abdomen.
"Right Ducky, you do the scan I want to watch the monitor." Abby said, handing Ducky the probe.
"Okay Ziva just relax." Ducky said as he progressively ran the probe slowly over her abdomen, the three of them intently watching the monitor.
"I don't see anything." Ducky was the first to speak up after having covered Ziva's lower abdomen.
"It's got to be there, blood work never lies." Abby insisted, not taking her eyes from the monitor.
"It's not there Abby, unless the attachment is recent." Ducky insisted, looking at both women.
"How recent?" Abby demanded.
"In the last two days," Ducky answered turning his attention towards Ziva. "When was your last cycle?" He asked lifting the probe.
"Last week." Ziva said turning her gaze back to him.
"Then it would not have happened in the last few days." Ducky confirmed. "Just let me quickly check your ovaries to confirm."
Everyone's attention returned to the monitor. "No, I'd say you're not pregnant, see your left ovary is enlarged showing a follicle to be released soon." Ducky said pointing to an image on the monitor, before lifting the probe away again.
"But her blood work says she is." Abby insisted.
"She could have been pregnant and miscarried, which would explain the blood results," Ducky said looking at Abby, "and will explain your cycle last week." Ducky said having turned his attention towards Ziva.
"How can that be?" Ziva asked, fighting the heavy feeling settling over her.
"The human body is extremely complex, and no part is more complex than the reproductive system." Ducky started, indicating to the roller towels next to Abby. "Although your body may have lost the potential life it was carrying, it is already preparing to possibly conceive again." Ducky said taking the paper towel and removing the gel from the probe. "You should ovulate within the next four to five days." He finished handing the probe to Abby to return to its place.
"You're telling me I was pregnant." Ziva asked accepting the paper towels from Abby to wipe the gel from her abdomen.
"Yes." Ducky returned as Ziva sat up and swung her legs over the side of the table. "I take it that the fact that you no longer are is distressing you." Ducky continued having observed her downcast look.
"I did not even know, I did not even suspect." Ziva replied disbelievingly.
"During your cycle last week, was there any clotting visible?" Ducky asked, watching her intently.
"Yes." Ziva returned, her gaze still fixed to the floor.
"And that is normal for you?"
"No." Her reply came out more like a sigh, as she momentarily lifted her gaze to Ducky.
"Then chances are that you were aborting?" Ducky said looking from Ziva to Abby, whom also had a downcast demeanour.
Ziva's gaze dropped to the ground again.
"You were planning this baby?" Ducky asked, placing a hand on her shoulder.
"Not so much planned, but hoped." Ziva returned truthfully.
"How far along could you have been?" Ducky asked, squeezing her shoulder.
"I'm not sure." Ziva returned shaking her head.
Abby became restless, crossing her arms in an attempt to stand still.
"When was your last cycle then," Ducky asked causing Ziva to look at him. "The one before last." He clarified.
"When I went to Israel." Ziva replied. Ducky turned towards his desk, taking hold of the calendar, whilst Abby walked over to Ziva wrapping her in a hug. "I'm sorry."
"Yes, well, let's see." Ducky said turning to face them. "That would have been less than six weeks ago." He muttered, before placing the calendar back on his desk.
"Ziva there are many various reasons for early pregnancy loss, you must not blame yourself." Ducky started walking back towards them. "On average twenty five percent of early pregnancy losses happen within the first few weeks, often even before a woman realizes that she even was pregnant. You were only made aware of it because Abby ran your blood, which picked up traces of the hormones still found in your system." Ducky finished, stopping in front of them.
"Abby would you mind?" Ducky asked, indicating the door.
"No." Abby said, turning around, intending on leaving them alone.
"I'm going to make the assumption that you are planning on conceiving a child." Ducky said, looking at Ziva.
Ziva slightly nodded her head.
"I'm not going to ask by what means or who the intended father is." Ducky continued, "but I can offer you some advice."
Ziva looked up at him.
"You have no problem with me discussing this with you? I know many women would feel more comfortable speaking to a female physician."
Ziva shook her head. "I have no problem."
"Contrary to popular belief you should not engage in sexual intercourse at the moment of ovulation. It is a common misconception that that's the best time, when in fact it is not." Ducky started, pacing slightly.
"Why?" Ziva asked outright.
"It is estimated that on ejaculation that about three hundred million spermatozoa are released. Freshly ejaculated spermatozoa are not well equipped to fertilize ova. They have to undergo a series of changes known as capacitation. These changes take place a few hours after ejaculation. Of the three hundred million sperm that was ejaculated during intercourse only about two hundred make it to the oviduct, and would be able to fertilize the ova. You're with me so far?" Ducky asked, looking at her for conformation.
Ziva nodded her head.
"With age these numbers can drop substantially, the older the male, the higher the likelihood that he may develop spermatozoa defects, thus lowering his fertility rate. On the other end, the ova of the older female may also not be as resilient as those found in teenagers, often lessening the window period for conception." Ducky looked towards her again.
Ziva nodded again.
"But there are ways to manipulate this and improve chances."
"Semen can survive for up to three days in the uterine, if the conditions are ideal. Regular engagement in intercourse two days prior to ovulation will increase the amount of capatized spermatozoa available to fertilize the ova. This is especially important in the case of older partners." Ducky turned his attention to Ziva. "It is however believed that multiple emissions increase the chance of a girl, where a well-timed emission could result in a boy. This based solely on the belief that male sperm is faster than female sperm, but that female sperm have more stamina."
"I would not care either way." Ziva spoke up.
"I see, well fertilization is only the one part of conception."
"I do not understand." Ziva stated frowning.
"You see, once the ova is fertilized it has to attach itself to the uterine wall, and remain attached. Which is where I fear things went wrong with your attempt. How long have you been trying to conceive now?"
"About three months." Ziva answered.
"That's not awfully long." The expression caused Ziva to frown. "It has been proven that the risk of miscarriage increases in first time mothers aged over thirty. Miscarriages are also common if you undertake or participate in strenuous or high impact exercise, swimming is best if you plan to get pregnant." Ducky said looking back at her for conformation, before continuing. "Increased stress levels also play a part as does Progesterone deficiencies."
"So no running or fighting and lots of sex for the next three days should get me pregnant." Ziva returned.
"Your exercise should ease up for at least ten weeks if you're serious about it. Swim to keep fit." Ducky confirmed.
"Then I'm lucky it's almost summer." Ziva returned, alighting from the table.
"Ziva, between us." Ducky said calling her attention. "There's also an increased risk for early pregnancy loss should the father be over the age of forty."
"Understood." Ziva nodded.
"Come and see me in about three weeks, and we'll have a look again." Ducky said walking her to the door.
"Thank you Ducky." Ziva returned before leaving.
Ziva returned to the bullpen, her strides not as determined as usual. Her sudden change in demeanour caused a frown to form on Gibbs's forehead, especially since having noted the amount of time that had elapsed since her departure to the lab.
"Everything okay." He asked, as she sat down at her desk.
"Yes." Came her muted reply, which caused Tony to look over to her, frowning.
Gibbs got up from his desk and made his way to the lab, whilst Ziva at first dropped her head in her hands, then after a while got up to go to the bathroom.
"Abby." Gibbs called walking into the lab, detecting the lowered volume of music playing in the lab.
"Yes Gibbs." Came her cheerless reply.
"What's wrong?" he asked, noting her downcast appearance.
"Nothing." Abby returned.
"Ziva's blood results?" Gibbs commanded.
"She tested negative for drugs." Abby answered, folding her arms.
Gibbs looked at her, "Something else showed up." He stated.
"Why would you think that?" Abby enquired, tightening her arms around herself.
"Because both of you look like someone took something from you." Gibbs returned.
"You would have figured it out anyway." Abby started, "I picked up something in her blood which ended up being a false alarm."
"Can I see her blood results?" Gibbs asked, noting the slight easing of her body language.
"They're on the screen over there." Abby said indicating to a monitor.
"There's nothing out of the ordinary." Gibbs said, looking towards Abby.
"She had increased levels of oestrogen and progesterone in her blood as well as hCG." Abby said, indicating the spikes on the chart.
"Those are hormones." Gibbs returned.
"Yes Gibbs, pregnancy hormones." Abby stressed. Gibbs looked at Abby, "but it turns out she's not pregnant, we went down to Ducky and did an ultrasound, she lost the baby."
"How far along was she?" Gibbs asked, his voice having dropped.
"Not far, she didn't even know. She only found out because of the blood tests. If I hadn't said anything she would never have known. Gibbs, I saw her face when Ducky told her, she really wanted the baby. I wanted the baby, I was so happy for her when I read her blood results." Abby rambled, her voice pained.
"Any idea who the father could've been?" Gibbs asked once she gave him the opportunity.
"She didn't say."
"DiNozzo." Gibbs suddenly said.
"You think Tony?" Abby asked, looking stunned.
"He knows who." Gibbs stated, reaching for his phone. "DiNozzo, Abby's lab." Gibbs summoned, before closing his phone and turning to Abby, "any progress on the letter?" He questioned.
"The letter was photocopied, the paper is standard office paper. There were no fingerprints, markings or traceable identification marks, whoever did it knew how to hide evidence."
"Hey Abby, Boss." Tony said on entering the lab.
"Ziva, pregnant. What do you know about it?" Gibbs demanded, on turning his attention to Tony.
"Ziva's pregnant?" Tony asked stunned.
"Was pregnant." Gibbs clarified for him.
"Was?" Tony questioned not understanding.
"Yes DiNozzo, was." Gibbs said, irritated by Tony's lack of comprehension.
"She couldn't have been." Tony stated outright.
"How do you know?" Gibbs demanded.
Tony just looked at Gibbs, "We've been partners for years, I would be blind not to notice things." Tony returned as a reason.
"Ziva didn't even know Gibbs, how could Tony?" Abby questioned.
"Because he knows who the father was?" Gibbs insisted.
"What happened?" Tony asked, turning to Abby instead.
"She lost it." Abby stated. "The hormone traces we picked up in her blood were what her body had not yet processed." Abby finished, looking towards Gibbs.
"How far along was she?" Tony asked, confused.
"A few weeks at most." Abby answered, uncertainly.
"Someone in Israel then?" Gibbs asked, trying to draw Tony's attention back to him. Tony closed his eyes and shook his head. "No."
"Who do you think was the father then?" Gibbs demanded.
"I know who the father was, I don't have to think about it." Tony returned, looking at Gibbs.
"Officer Gideon." Gibbs suggested.
"No." Tony stated, looking from Abby to Gibbs, then took a deep breath. "Me."
"What!" Abby was the first to react, her face portraying her shock. "That's why you guys were so awkward when she returned from Israel." Abby started.
"Before she left for Israel." Gibbs injected.
"You were seeing each other." Abby accused him.
"We are seeing each other." Tony corrected her.
"But you're…" Abby started.
"It's a long story Abby, let's just say agent Jane has not made things any easier." Tony threw back, aware of Gibbs's scrutiny.
"How long?" Gibbs demanded.
"About four months now." Tony returned.
"I can't believe this, you and Ziva have been seeing each other, you were going to have a baby and you didn't think to tell me." Abby ranted, "You're like my best friends and you kept this from me, for years I've been watching you two, thinking, hoping that it would someday happen, and when it does you don't tell me. And what are you doing in the nightclubs anyway, and the flowers, and the drugs, and you guys don't spend as much time together, and there's the officer from Mossad."
"Enough Abby." Gibbs commanded, "DiNozzo sent the flowers, there has been no word of Ray and agent Jane has been stalking Tony, which is why he's in the clubs again. It's also why Ziva put up the show with officer Gideon, it was to throw off more than Erica."
"Drugs, what drugs?" Tony asked.
"Not important now. You'd better sort this out with her." Gibbs commanded.
"You're not angry?" Tony asked preparing for a head slap.
"I'm livid, but it was inevitable, I've been watching it develop for years. I just never thought either of you would do anything about it."
"No deliberation?" Tony asked.
"I'm not one to judge, I had the same with Jenny."
Tony just dropped his gaze, still feeling guilty for her death.
"Two words of advice, DiNozzo."
"Don't loose the one you love to your ego, don't make my mistake."
"Think before you open your mouth on this one." Gibbs said turning to leave.
Gibbs entered the bullpen making for his desk, reaching into his drawer he extracted a piece of paper. "Ziver conference room." He commanded, whilst picking out a pen and leading the way.
Ziva rose from her chair and silently followed him, causing McGee and Erica to look after them, both frowning.
"Sit down." Gibbs invited as he closed the door behind them. Turning back towards her he noted that she was unwilling to meet his gaze. "DiNozzo snapped, he never was good at keeping his emotions intact." Gibbs started, looking at her.
"We really tried." Ziva replied, dolefully, whilst taking a seat.
"I know, six years is a long time considering the attraction between you." Gibbs said, sitting down as well.
This caused Ziva to look up at him, "I will move teams." She stated unenthusiastically.
"That's not why I called you here." Gibbs returned, watching her closely.
"Why then?" Ziva questioned, her voice uncertain.
Gibbs just looked at her.
"Abby told you." Ziva said after a while, with a cheerless voice.
"Yeah." Gibbs sighed.
"Gibbs… I" Ziva started, only to be silenced by Gibbs holding his hand up.
"I'm not saying anything." Gibbs stated.
"We broke one of your rules." Ziva said, partially surprised at Gibbs's relaxed outlook, but questioning his intention.
"Real emotions and affections don't submit to rules, the rule was there to prevent thoughtless actions and their consequence." Gibbs stated.
"You are not angry?" Ziva asked surprised.
"I'm disappointed that you weren't able to come to me and be open about it." Gibbs returned, his voice conveying a serious undertone.
Ziva dropped her gaze to the table, swallowing at the lump having formed in her throat. She'd never wanted to disappoint him, not Gibbs. He'd always been there for her.
"Ziva," Gibbs called her attention, waiting for her to look up at him before continuing. "Four years ago a relationship between the two of you would have cost you your partnership." Gibbs stated seriously. "Emotions in the field can cloud judgement. Like now, I would not send you and DiNozzo out together because it will affect the team." Gibbs finished watching her closely again.
Ziva nodded in response, before Gibbs continued. "You and DiNozzo have always operated on a highly emotional level. You complement, counteract and challenge one another, which is what makes you such a good partnership. One without the other is lost. I saw that more than once." Gibbs paused again.
Ziva looked at him questioning, unsure of where he was going.
"Neither of you are willing to build that bond again with another partner." Gibbs stated, "but to add an emotional situation like this would cause serious discord to the team, especially with DiNozzo's babbling." Gibbs finished, causing Ziva to nod in agreement.
"We didn't break the news of your situation lightly to Tony." Gibbs said after having taken a deep breath, Ziva's shocked expression was immediate. "I suspected your involvement, but didn't realize the extent thereof." Gibbs added in his defence, knowing that it was best for her to hear it from him. "He needs time to process it, as do you." Gibbs finished before he slipped the paper towards her. "Sign." He commanded, pointing to the sheet.
Ziva looked at him confused.
"You are to take the rest of the day off, tomorrow as well if you feel the need to, you have enough time." Gibbs stated, causing Ziva to look down at the sheet of paper in front of her. "You and DiNozzo need some space to sort this out, and I don't need for this to blow up at work or on a crime scene." Gibbs stated noting her reluctance.
"Why me." Ziva demanded.
"Because you're hurting." Gibbs stated. "You need the time to process what has happened."
"And Tony?" She questioned.
"Right now he needs to keep busy. At least until he's gotten over the initial shock, only then will he be able to think, without his mouth." Gibbs stated.
"Understood." Ziva confirmed before signing the leave form.
"Ziva, be patient with him, this affects him as much as it does you." Gibbs said as Ziva rose from her seat, having followed his lead. Ziva just nodded her head in response.
"Regardless of what has happened between you in the past, you two always gravitate back together eventually." Gibbs started, "You'll get through this."
Ziva simply nodded in reply, swallowing again as she fought the tears that were threatening.
Gibbs turned to lead the way out of the conference room, with Ziva following him.
"Oh yes being upset may help the cause." Gibbs stated just before exiting the door.
"Sorry?" Ziva questioned not understanding.
"I'm sending you home after a drug test." Gibbs implied.
"Agent Jane." Ziva returned, nodding her head, having realized his request.
"Uh-hu." Gibbs returned, before stepping through the doorway.
Gibbs and Ziva entered the bullpen with Ziva going straight to her desk. Tony having returned to his desk felt his heart start to race, when he saw her pack up her desk. Her actions and the fact that Gibbs returned holding forms of some sorts did not bode well. Neither did the fact that she was unwilling to even look his way. Her actions drew McGee's attention, as she swung her backpack over her shoulder, and walked out of the bullpen without greeting.
"Where's Ziva going?" McGee questioned, looking after her.
"Home." Gibbs stated as he sat down in his chair, placing the sheet of paper in a folder.
"Boss?" Tony questioned looking towards Gibbs, only to catch the warning look on his face.
"But why?" McGee asked, not understanding the situation.
"Not your business." Gibbs returned looking towards Tony. "DiNozzo, take McGee and go and see the victims' brother, find out what he has to say."
"What about agent David?" Erica finally asked.
"She might return in a few days. In the mean time you can check the victims' background." Gibbs stated.
"Boss?" Tony questioned, concerned.
"Now DiNozzo." Gibbs commanded, realizing that Tony hadn't shown any indication of leaving to go question the victims' brother.
Just before leaving that evening, Tony approached Gibbs's desk. "Boss?"
"Anthony." Gibbs returned, looking up at him.
"About Ziva." Tony started. On which Gibbs reached for a folder, then handed it to Tony. Tony took the folder opened it and looked inside. "This is a leave application, not a disciplinary enquiry?" Tony questioned, not understanding, then looked up at Gibbs.
"She needs some time." Gibbs stated.
"But this afternoon…" Tony started, then noted Gibbs's look, "Agent Jane." he suddenly returned, nodding his head slightly in understanding. Gibbs held out his hand for the file again. Tony closed it and handed it back to him.
Ziva sat back on her couch. She'd spent hours on the Internet researching possible causes for having lost the baby. Pulling a pillow closer, she held it, whilst staring unfocused at the wall. She still found it hard to believe that, for a few weeks at least, she'd actually harboured a small life. One she and Tony had managed to create together. Ducky had been right in saying it would've been better had she not found out about it, if she'd remained oblivious of that fact, because all she could focus on was that it was gone. That somehow she'd done something and it had cost her the baby, and possibly even Tony. She'd earlier glanced at him from under her lashes, whilst she'd packed up her desk and he'd not seemed too thrilled with her.
Drawing the pillow closer, hugging it tighter, her gaze dropped to the floor as she rested her chin on the pillow. She couldn't help wondering if it might not have been that night together, it had been so good, such absolute abandonment. But had it been too rough? Had they somehow managed to dislodge the baby? It had been hard and fast, both of them having needed the release. Releasing a sigh she shook her head, she would need to ask Ducky that, and she wasn't even sure if she was wiling to discuss those details with him. She knew it wasn't due to a genetic disorder, because the baby could not have had Tay-Sachs. Tony's catholic. Therefore, there wouldn't have been the genes for it.
As much as she was mourning the loss of that life, she was also starting to mourn the possible loss of her relationship with Tony. They had not discussed children. In fact they had been so wrapped up with each other that they'd not discussed much of anything, outside each other. Both having been so caught up in the moment that no long term or any other relationship based plans had been discussed.
She was not even so sure if she still wanted a baby, only to raise it without him. Much against her own better judgement, Tony had once again taken complete possession of her heart. She had promised herself she would not again hand it over to him, at least not until she had reason to. That way he wouldn't be able to crush it again.
Tony was sitting on his couch, staring at the half empty bottle on his coffee table. In a way amazed at how easy it was to fall back on old habits, especially when the newer ones that made you happy seemed to be slipping away. He had only one thing on his mind, Ziva. Ziva and what she had become to him. To say that he'd been shocked when Gibbs had so bluntly demanded information from him about her pregnancy, did not even come close to what he'd experienced within those few moments in time. He'd gone from utter shock and disbelief to utter desolation in a few seconds flat. He was too old for these emotional roller coaster rides. It hurt, more than he cared to admit, to think that she'd been pregnant with his child and now no longer was. He was not even sure how he felt about the fact that she'd been pregnant in the first place. A baby, with Ziva, he still couldn't believe it, it seemed too unbelievable to be true.
He'd come to realize that he wouldn't mind having a baby with Ziva, that the more he thought about it the more he liked the idea. He'd never even thought about it until then, he was still trying to think up ways to hold onto her.
A baby, he couldn't even imagine Ziva pregnant, never mind giving birth to a child.
But lately her behaviour had caused him concern, especially when he started putting the patterns into perspective. Ziva rarely let him in on her thoughts or her feelings, although she was affectionate whenever they were together, she didn't acknowledge a need for him to be around. She could also handle their periods of separation much better than he could. This started him thinking of her interaction with officer Gideon, and how they always talked in Hebrew, and how today she had kept him in the dark about the drug tests, he still didn't known what drugs they'd been talking about. Even when she'd left, she'd not been willing to look at him. This led him to wondering if she was, maybe, looking for a way out of their relationship. Had she not wanted the baby? Unlike him, she'd not wanted for anyone to find out about them. He was not sure why, but knew from past experiences that that only occurred when there were other parties involved…
They worked together, there wouldn't be much of a chance of there being someone else on the scene, not without him at least knowing about it, or was she simply stringing him along. Initially they'd wanted to see how things worked out, but he was relieved to finally have it out in the open, so that he could lay claim to her and tell the world that he was the one who belonged with her, and she to him.
He downed another shot, the alcohol heating his oesophagus all the way down to his stomach. He wondered as to just how far along she could have been? And had Abby been right when she'd claimed that Ziva hadn't known? How long is a few weeks anyway, two, four, ten? Gibbs as usual had been right when he said that he needed to think about this, before he talked to her. He knew what he wanted from her… it was simple… he wanted everything and anything she was willing to give him. Because when it came to Ziva, pride be dammed, he wouldn't make the same mistake Gibbs had. He would only let her go if she wanted to go, and even then he'd fight her.
That evening after work Gibbs walked into the morgue.
"Hey doc." Gibbs announced his entry.
"Jethro, I did not expect to see you." Ducky said, turning to face Gibbs.
"I know." Gibbs said taking a seat.
"I take it you're not here to question me on my latest findings." Ducky said, reaching for the bottle of bourbon in his drawer.
"Ziver." Gibbs simply stated, as Ducky poured some of the liquid into glasses.
"Ah yes, impending motherhood, it doesn't surprise me though." Ducky returned, before returning the bottle to the drawer.
"You knew about her and DiNozzo?" Gibbs questioned as he accepted a glass from Ducky.
"It was obvious, they have always cared deeply for one another." Ducky simply stated, before taking a sip from his own glass.
"Yeah." Gibbs said before lifting his glass to his lips.
"I take it Tony did not take too well to the news." Ducky started, having studied Gibbs's actions for a while.
"Stunned was more like it." Gibbs returned, dropping his gaze to the contents in the glass.
"But it concerns you that they may not work it out." Ducky added, placing his glass on the desk.
"DiNozzo has never been good with situations like this, and I didn't help by dropping it onto him the way I did." Gibbs returned, playing slightly with his glass.
"You couldn't have known that it was his." Ducky returned.
"I should've suspected. They've been closer recently." Gibbs stated, looking towards Ducky for conformation.
"Well I'd say he has a lot at stake." Ducky finally returned.
Gibbs just nodded his head, before taking another sip.
"Is it his commitment to Ziva or the team that concerns you more?" Ducky asked, picking up his glass again.
"I know that he's remained with the team mostly because of their partnership. He would've wanted to take her with him if he were to move on, or take on his own team."
"And you would not have allowed for that?" Ducky stated.
"No." Gibbs returned firmly.
"Ziva has always been loyal to you. At times you've been more like a father to her." Ducky ventured.
Gibbs nodded his head. "Yet she couldn't tell me about Tony." Gibbs confirmed.
"It's not surprising considering your rules, that and the fact that Ziva has always been an extraordinarily private person. It also does not surprise me that they'd managed to keep their actual involvement from the team, we've for years seen them closely together." Ducky reasoned, before taking another sip from his glass.
"It doesn't surprise you that she would contemplate children?" Gibbs asked, pensively.
"With Tony? No. They have always been strongly drawn together, much like opposite poles of a magnet. I was just never sure whether they would actually find one another on such a level."
"It was inevitable Ducky, I knew that years ago. I just don't now if they're ready for a baby." Gibbs confirmed, his gaze returning to the contents in his glass.
"Yes, much like death, there's never really a good time for a baby, they are life-altering situations, but neither of them are getting any younger." Ducky reasoned.
"I know but a David-DiNozzo." Gibbs riposted, pensively, before finishing off the contents of his glass.
"Well there will certainly be no lack of fervour within the child." Ducky stated.
"That's for sure." Gibbs confirmed, smiling slightly at the thought.
"So the question remains, are you ready to be a grandfather?" Ducky ventured again.
"Grandfather?" Gibbs questioned, before placing his now empty glass on Ducky's desk.
"This is a team baby, and I dare say that neither of their parents seem likely to fill the position." Ducky added watching Gibbs's response, before also draining the contents of his glass.
"I hadn't even thought of that." Gibbs returned truthfully.
"Well personally I think this will do everyone some good, there's always a renewed sense of hope when a child is born." Ducky stated, placing his empty glass on his desk as well.
"We'll have to see if they make it through this first." Gibbs said with a sigh.
"Considering what they have been through already, I strongly doubt that they wouldn't." Ducky finished before rising. "How about dinner?" Ducky invited.
"It was my turn."
Ziva's phone rang. Having allowed herself to find some solitude in darkness, she was unwilling to answer it, expecting it to be Tony, knowing that she was not yet ready to speak to him. Picking it up off the table, she scrutinized the caller ID.
"Shalom." She greeted the caller on the other side.
"Shalom Ziva, I trust I did not wake you." The husky voice returned.
"No Hadar you did not, why are you calling?"
"I will be in America tomorrow morning to debrief the officers." Hadar stated.
"Debrief?" Ziva questioned.
"They are to be reassigned immediately." Hadar confirmed.
"You are removing them?" Ziva asked surprised.
"Yes, your father no longer thinks you would be a likely target. So we are removing the men, they are needed elsewhere." Hadar confirmed.
"I see." Ziva returned hesitantly.
"I will debrief you as well, and provide you with a copy of the information they have managed to gather." Hadar continued. "Would it be possible for you to meet me somewhere, or should I go to NCIS." Hadar questioned, his tone the usual businesslike.
"I can meet you somewhere, I would not want this to be know." Ziva was quick to return.
"I will let you know where to meet once I have landed." Hadar returned before adding, "Your father sends his regards."
"Tell him I return them." Ziva responded.
"He is somewhat improved since your last visit." Hadar added.
"I am pleased to hear." Ziva returned frowning slightly, not understanding the reason for its inclusion in the conversation.
"I will see you in the morning, Shalom Ziva." Hadar concluded.
Later the following morning Ziva entered the NCIS building, with Hadar at her side. Tony looking up from his desk at the sound of the elevator was the first to see them, a frown marring on his forehead when he noted Ziva holding a thick folder.
"Agent DiNozzo, shalom." Hadar greeted, causing everyone's attention to turn towards them.
"Shalom." Tony returned, his gaze moving to Ziva once again, who in turn was looking towards Gibbs.
Gibbs looked up at Hadar's greeting, his eyes landing on Ziva, who looked decidedly uncomfortable.
"Morning Gibbs." Ziva spoke up, her voice reserved.
"Ziva." Gibbs acknowledged.
"Could we go somewhere and talk?" Ziva requested, looking momentarily from Gibbs to Erica.
"Sure." Gibbs said getting up. "Conference room. DiNozzo take my calls." Gibbs commanded as he walked past Tony's desk.
"On it boss." Tony responded, as his eyes followed their departure.
"Lawyer?" Erica questioned in general, watching as Gibbs, Ziva and Hadar ascended the stairs to the conference room.
"Who?" McGee asked.
"The guy with Ziva." Erica returned, turning her attention toward McGee.
"No." McGee returned.
"Then who's he?" Erika returned looking towards Tony for answers, convinced that he would know, seeing that he'd been addressed on their arrival.
"Officer Amid Hadar, Ziva's father's right hand." Tony returned, keeping his gaze on his computer, trying to hide the feeling of unease that was settling over him.
"Ziva has her father fighting her battles?" Erica asked scornfully.
"I'm not sure, but if Hadar is involved it's serious, and rarely good news." Tony returned,
"I wonder what he's doing here, or if Vance even knows? McGee added.
Gibbs entered the conference room then rounded the table whilst Ziva closed the door behind them.
"Bringing in the heavy artillery Ziva." Gibbs asked as he sat down.
"Sorry?" Ziva asked not understanding.
"I know I implied for it to look convincing, but this." Gibbs said, indicating to Hadar.
"Officer Hadar is here to debrief the officers assigned to Tony and I." Ziva said as she took a seat to his left.
"Mossad is withdrawing?" Gibbs questioned looking toward Hadar.
"We have no reason to believe that either Ziva or agent DiNozzo may be in danger. There has been no indication over the last two months, the leads we followed have come to nothing." Hadar replied, as way of explanation.
"You have told him about the photos and the drugs?" Gibbs asked looking to Ziva for conformation.
"Our officers are currently engaged in an operation to seize any electronic evidence." Hadar confirmed.
"Should I even ask?" Gibbs questioned, looking towards Hadar.
"They are accessing her apartment and will remove any electronic means of storage." Hadar returned unconcerned.
"Where are they taking it?" Gibbs asked.
"It will re-appear in a box, addressed to Ms Sciuto's lab." Hadar returned. "There is also a note book that she keeps in her car, which you should be able to seize."
"And the source of the drugs?" Gibbs returned.
"Our men saw nothing, she did not receive any drugs whilst under their surveillance." Hadar confirmed.
Gibbs simply nodded his head at that.
"Hadar has complied a file for us containing all the information they have gathered in their time here." Ziva said handing Gibbs the folder. Gibbs opened the folder, which contained reports and photos.
"Our men will be made available for questioning until they are moved out in a few days." Hadar spoke up, drawing Gibbs's attention from the folder.
"That won't be needed." Gibbs stated, closing the folder then turned toward Ziva. "You're returning to work today?"
"I think it is best if I do not. I have to return Hadar to his hotel." Ziva returned, as means of an explanation.
"Would you like to be present during the questioning?" Gibbs asked, indicating the folder.
"Yes." Ziva returned confidently.
"I will notify you." Gibbs returned, rising from his chair. Then looked down at Ziva, "thank you."
Ziva frowned at him
"For trusting me." Gibbs clarified.
"I know whom I can trust." Ziva returned before herself rising from her chair.
Gibbs walked back into the bullpen carrying the folder Ziva had handed him. Tony looking after him then saw Ziva and Hadar leave.
"Boss?" Tony asked concerned.
"Not now DiNozzo." Gibbs returned, placing the folder on his desk.
"McGee I need you to run a trace on a number for me, then when you're done you'll need too help Abby to process the evidence in the lab." Gibbs requested, turning to the agent in question.
"I'm on it boss as soon as I have the number." McGee returned.
"Tony take Erica and go over the crime scene again." Gibbs commanded,
"Boss?" Tony asked taken aback.
Gibbs just looked at him before scribbling down a number on a piece of paper.
"Right looking for anything we might have missed, on it boss." Tony said picking up his backpack.
"McGee!" Gibbs called his attention then handed him the number, "I'll be with Abby." He finished before turning away and making his way to the lab.
"On it boss." McGee retuned, for a moment staring after Gibbs.
Gibbs entered the lab momentarily looking about before spotting Abby at the one table, with her back turned to him. "Abby" Gibbs called over the music.
"I don't have anything Gibbs." Abby returned not even turning to look at him.
"That's not why I'm here." Gibbs said coming to a halt next to her.
Reaching for the remote she turned the music down slightly. "Oh, why then? Or did you miss me?" Abby returned, puzzled.
"There's a box coming for you later today." Gibbs explained.
"And you want to be here when I open it." Abby stated.
Gibbs nodded his head slightly in response.
"Where's it from?" Abby asked fully interested.
"It's a gift from our Mossad friends." Gibbs returned, looking over the evidence on the table.
"Gift? As in explosive gift?" Abby asked.
"No, some electronics involved in an internal matter." Gibbs returned.
"Tony and Ziva?" Abby questioned.
Gibbs nodded his head slightly, "I want to be here when you go through it."
"Keep it under raps. McGee will be down later to help you process this." Gibbs indicated the evidence on the table, before turning and leaving.
Gibbs returned to the bullpen.
"Boss I ran the records on Erica's phone." McGee said as Gibbs sat down at his desk.
"Anything interesting?" Gibbs asked opening the folder Ziva had given him.
"Look for any reoccurring numbers over the last few weeks, calls made at odd times lasting longer than a minute. I want to know who those call were made to." Gibbs said flipping through the photographs.
"We're investigating Erica?" McGee asked confused.
Gibbs just glared at McGee.
"Right boss, checking numbers."
Ziva took a deep breath, swallowing down the bile that rose as her nerves once again got the better of her. Releasing a long sigh she opened the door to the observation room. "Director, Tony." She greeted on entering. Then positioned herself some distance from Tony, crossing her arms whilst waiting for Gibbs to enter the interrogation room.
Tony was stunned by her sudden appearance, his heart leaping into his throat as she settled herself some distance from him. At first glancing towards the director for a moment, he didn't seem to detect anything odd in their behaviour. Then glanced back at Ziva, recognizing the rigidity of her stance, then reminded himself that it was not the time neither the place to bridge the subject.
Ziva kept her gaze forward, trying to ignore her own as well as Tony's obvious discomfort. She knew that the situation was possibly just as hard for him as it was for her, but they were incapable of saying anything due to Vance's presence, and in a way she was thankful for that, not sure which way a conversation would have gone at that moment.
Tony kept glancing toward Ziva, noting her unwillingness to look or even glance his way. He knew that it was hard on her, but he had so many questions to ask her, the foremost being, whether if what they'd shared had meant anything to her.
Both Tony and Ziva visibly exhaled when Gibbs stepped into the interrogation room, knowing they would have something other than themselves to focus on.
Gibbs placed the folder on the table then sat down, placing his coffee next to the open folder.
"Agent Jane." He started.
"Why am I here?" Erica demanded.
"What were you doing tailing agent DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked, sorting through some images.
"Why would I want to do anything like that?" Erica threw back.
"Because we have proof." Gibbs stated selecting some images.
"What proof?" Erica demanded.
Gibbs placed a series of photos in front of her, then sat back and waited.
"Where did you get these?" Erica asked, suddenly discouraged.
"Mossad." Gibbs simply answered.
"Agent David had me followed?" Erica questioned disbelievingly.
"No, Tony's detail followed you." Gibbs returned.
"Tony has Mossad detail?" Erica returned, her voice incredulous.
"His partner is the director of Mossad's daughter." Gibbs stated. "They've followed your every move since joining the team." Gibbs waited a few moments before demanding "Why were you following DiNozzo?"
"I wanted to know if he was involved." Erica was quick to answer.
"That's all?" Gibbs asked.
"Well he sure as hell wasn't living up to his reputation." Erica returned, sarcastically.
"And the phone calls?" Gibbs asked watching her closely.
"What phone calls?" Erika challenged him.
"We had your phone traced." Gibbs stated.
"You can't do that!" Erica exclaimed in disbelief.
"It's a company phone." Gibbs returned calmly.
"Those were private calls." Erica insisted.
Gibbs merely looked at her.
"The calls were made to Adrienne." Erica finally relented.
"What were your orders?" Gibbs asked, scribbling down the name.
"I was asked to find out if Agent DiNozzo was in a relationship, and to identify the person." Erica returned.
"That's it?" Gibbs asked.
"Yes, although he lives the most celibate life I've ever seen a supposed playboy live." Erica returned, almost insultingly.
"I don't think so." Gibbs returned, placing emphasis on the, don't.
"I hardly ever saw him with anyone outside of work." Erica returned, insistently.
"That's why you tailed him for so long?" Gibbs questioned, whilst studying her reaction.
"Yes. They demanded a name."
"They?" Gibbs returned.
"I don't know. I figured it would be easy enough to find out, working on the same team and all." Erica explained.
"What was in it for you?" Gibbs deadpanned.
"They paid me five thousand up front." Erica returned.
"For a name?" Gibbs asked disbelievingly.
"As I said they wanted a name from me." Erica insisted.
"You gave them one?"
"The only persons he had regular contact with were Abby and Ziva."
"His work colleagues." Gibbs stated.
"At some stage I thought there may be something between him and Ziva, but when I saw her with her boyfriend I realized I was way off." Erica returned.
In the observation room Vance looked from Tony to Ziva questioningly. He also saw the look Tony cast Ziva, whilst Ziva's gaze remained firmly set on the parties within the interrogation room.
Gibbs pulled out the photos of Ziva and officer Gideon. "This the guy?" He questioned.
Erica looked at the photos for a moment. "Yes." She confirmed.
"You placed these on my desk." Gibbs said indicating to the photos.
"No." Erica returned firmly. "I handed them to my contact when he started demanding answers."
"Then how did I get a copy of them?" Gibbs persisted.
"I don't know."
"You took them." Gibbs stated.
"Yes I did, but why would I have wanted to give them to you?" Erica returned.
"Good question." Gibbs returned, "what about the cocaine?"
"What cocaine?" Erica asked stunned.
"The cocaine found on Ziva's desk."
To this Tony suddenly looked at Ziva, realizing why she'd needed the blood tests in the first place, and how close she'd come to loosing her job during this.
"I know nothing about that." Erica stated outright.
"You also read the card attached to her flowers." Gibbs stated.
"Why would I need to do that?" Erica asked disbelievingly.
"Who are you working with then?" Gibbs demanded.
"No one." Erica insisted.
Gibbs glared at her.
"As I said, I only needed to give them a name."
"Make yourself comfortable, it's going to be a long wait." Gibbs stated getting up. "The director can decide what to do with you." He said taking his leave.
Once they were done Ziva excused herself, leaving behind a stunned Tony, then made her way down to the morgue. On entering she looked around for a moment.
"Ziva, what brings you here." Ducky greeted her.
"Ducky." Ziva greeted, looking decidedly uncomfortable.
"Would you like some tea? I was just about to make a cup." Ducky offered, noting her uncertainty.
"That would be nice." Ziva said sitting down on a chair, whilst Ducky started preparing the cups.
"So what bring you here?" Ducky questioned looking at her for a moment.
"I have a few questions." Ziva returned, uncertainly.
"Are they personal or professional?" Ducky asked as he added the water to the cups.
"Personal." Ziva returned after a moment's silence.
"I see." Ducky returned, whilst removing the teabags from the cups.
"It's about my …" Ziva started, then faltered.
"Pregnancy loss." Ducky finished for her, placing the sugar in front of her along with the teacups.
"Yes." Ziva confirmed, adding sugar to her tea. "I just needed clearance on a few things."
"If I can be of any help." Ducky said sitting down, before adding sugar to his own tea.
"I calculated that I could possibly have been about six to seven weeks along." Ziva started.
"Based on?" Ducky asked, handing her the creamer.
"My cycles, dates, events." Ziva returned stirring her tea.
"And you have some questions?"
"Yes." Ziva confirmed, taking a sip of her tea.
"Well let's hear them." Ducky returned before taking a sip of his own tea.
"Is it possible that…" Ziva faltered slightly, before taking a deep breath, " Is it possible that rough sex could have caused me to loose the baby?" She finally finished.
"It's highly unlikely." Ducky returned, thinking for a moment.
"But it could?" Ziva persisted.
"Was there any bleeding afterwards?" Ducky finally asked.
"Then it's unlikely to have caused it." Ducky stated.
"I don't understand." Ziva spoke up
"Ziva, I understand your need to find a reason for the loss of your pregnancy, and that it's in your nature to seek the answers. But there are numerous reasons why it could have happened." Ducky tried to console her.
Ziva just looked down at the ground, utterly dejected.
Ducky looked at her then lifted his phone. "Abby, do you still have Ziva's blood results? Could you send them to me? Thank you."
Ziva lifted her gaze, not understanding.
"I take it you would want to be prepared for the next time." Ducky returned as means of an explanation.
Ziva nodded her head slightly. Then took another sip of her tea.
"Right then, in order for you to loose your pregnancy in the first trimester to arduous lovemaking, the blasocyst would have needed to embed itself close to or on the cervix. This is a common occurrence in some pregnancies, but it rarely gives complications until the second trimester, and in such circumstance bleeding would have been evident after intercourse."
Ducky started then looked at her for a moment. "But it is highly unlikely that you would suffer pregnancy loss in the first trimester due to arduous lovemaking."
"But you mentioned strenuous exercise?" Ziva countered.
"Strenuous exercise can prevent the zygote from attaching to the uterine wall. Female athletes are also known to have less oestrogen and progesterone and more testosterone in their systems. This is to help with muscle development and maintenance. The lack of the female hormones often means that the uterus does not fully prepare itself for the hosting of an embryo. Because of this and the fact that their workout routines are strenuous it's not uncommon for the zygote to be unable to attach itself to the uterine wall. Their routines can also be so intense that they can cause the blasocyst to become detached, even before it's had a proper chance to imbed itself." Ducky explained, and then took a sip of his tea before continuing. "Considering that you might have been six to seven weeks along, it would have been highly unlikely that your activities would have caused it, as the blasocyst would already have developed into an embryo and would have had a good connection to the uterine wall." Ducky finished.
Ziva nodded her head in response.
"As I said before Ziva there are numerous reasons why early pregnancy loss occurs, the most common being genetic disorders causing the body to reject the embryo, or in many cases it simply results from hormonal imbalances caused by stress."
Just then Abby entered the morgue. "Sorry I took so long, Tony was at the lab, he's looking for Ziva." Abby said on entering not having seen Ziva. "Oh Ziva, hi, I guess we found where you're hiding." Abby recovered, glairing at Ziva.
"Thank you Abby." Ducky said noting the look Abby gave Ziva.
"I'm still upset with you." Abby stressed, turning to Ziva once Ducky had taken the paper from her. "You and Tony?" Abby questioned disbelievingly.
"Thank you Abby." Ducky repeated, pointing towards the door, after seeing Ziva's discomfort.
Abby left the lab, after which Ducky looked over Ziva's blood results.
"I could understand why Abby was exited on reading these…" Ducky started, turning the sheet of paper toward Ziva. "Your oestrogen and progesterone levels are consistent with those for a early pregnancy and the amount of hCG would suggest the presence of a blasocyst in the uterus. Are you sure of your estimates?" Ducky said looking at her again.
'Six to seven weeks, yes." Ziva confirmed.
"That does not make any sense then." Ducky said returning his attention to the sheet of paper.
"What doesn't make sense?" Ziva was quick to question.
"The hCG levels are too low." Ducky started, indicating to the one spike on the graph. "They would have been substantially higher had you been that far along. You mentioned that you cycled the week before the blood tests?" Ducky asked, seeking conformation.
"Yes, what does that mean?" Ziva returned, alarmed.
"If you were that far along the remaining levels of hCG even after a week of your body processing the hormone, would have been substantially higher than those listed here." Ducky said indicating to the sheet, before picking up his teacup and draining it.
"So there is a problem?" Ziva finally asked, not understanding.
"No, that was the problem." Ducky returned.
"I do not understand." Ziva stated.
"When the zygote attaches itself to the uterine wall it releases hCG. This hormone tells the body to produce progesterone. The progesterone preserves the uterine lining thus preventing future cycling. hCG roughly doubles in quantity every sixty hours until it reaches the required levels where it is maintained. Failure for the blasocyst to produce sufficient amounts of hCG will result in a lowered level of progesterone, which in turn would lead to the breakdown of the uterine wall and the subsequent termination of the pregnancy as the embryo will not receive enough nutrition to continue growth."
"So the baby starved." Ziva countered.
"No, not really. There were developmental problems, which caused a drop in your hormonal levels." Ducky returned.
"So there was something wrong with the baby?" Ziva asked uncertain once again.
"Possibly, one could only determine that by testing the foetal matter." Ducky returned.
"So this is likely to happen again?" Ziva questioned, anxiously.
"I wouldn't say that it's impossible, but it's improbable that you would have a repeat." Ducky tried to encourage her. "Ziva, chances are good that your next attempt will be successful."
"There is unlikely to be a next time." Ziva answered lowering her head.
"You and Tony have decided against it?" Ducky asked, concerned.
"We have not discussed it." Ziva returned.
Ziva took leave of Ducky then stopped by Gibbs's desk to leave a post-it note on his computer screen, stating she would return to work the following Monday. Bidding McGee farewell she left.
Abby returned to the lab after having dropped the blood results with Ducky. "Ziva's with Ducky." She said on entering the lab, knowing Tony was still there.
"Okay." Came Tony's thoughtless reply. Causing Abby to look at Tony, who was once again going through the photos Erica had taken of Ziva and officer Gideon.
"You think she was cheating on you." Abby stated disbelievingly, frowning slightly.
"No." Tony was quick to reply.
"Then why do you keep looking at those photos?" Abby demanded.
Tony looked at Abby for a moment, not wanting to divulge to her that just before they had been taken, he and Ziva had shared the most intense sexual experience of his life. That he was the one who had caused the softened features in her, which had made those images so believable at first. Neither did he even want to contemplate the fact that he might never again be the one to put them there. That he may never again hold her that close or experience the elation that overcame him every time their bodies joined. That his memories of her bracing against him, her fingers sinking into his buttocks as she neared climax was enough to undo him, then only to be faced with the fact that with time someone else could experience that. That someone else would run their hands across her skin, hear her moans of pleasure and draw in her unique smell after sex. Those thoughts caused him more pain than he ever thought he could endure.
"Whatcha got?" Gibbs asked striding into the bullpen, before turning to look at McGee.
"I managed to trace the number on Erica's phone to an Adrienne Dulbecco" McGee returned, hitting some keys on his keyboard, before turning to the screen.
"He's a French citizen, currently residing in Florence. He's married and has interests in various listed companies. He's also considered a model citizen, donating large amounts to various charities."
"What's his interest in Tony?" Gibbs asked turning his attention to the screen.
"He married Jeanne Benoit in July two thousand and ten."
"Le Grenouille's daughter." Gibbs stated.
"Yes, I ran a trace on his cell to see if any other NCIS employees were on his contact list." McGee spoke, up drawing Gibbs's attention
"You found something."
"Yes, there were a number of calls made over the last week to a special agent Eric Kamen."
"Kamen?" Gibbs questioned the name.
"Special agent Eric Kamen, applied to NCIS as a field agent in two thousand and seven after serving as a Navy Seal for six years."
"He was taken off active duty after developing asthma."
"Bring him in." Gibbs said, before pulling the post it note from his screen, glancing over it.
Tony's heart was pounding in his throat as he swallowed down the bile that rose from his stomach, whilst he stood facing Ziva's front door. They needed to sort this out, he was just not sure he if was willing to face the repercussions should she no longer want him in her life. He'd known even before their relationship had changed, that there was a strong possibility that they would lose their friendship if things fell through. It had been a risk he'd originally been unwilling to take, knowing that his days were brightened whenever they spent time together. Knowing that that could change, that it already had, scared him more than he was willing to admit. This morning had been excruciatingly hard on him, not having been prepared to face her, then seeing her enter with Hadar and fearing the worst. Wondering if she would return to Mossad, should things take a turn for the worst.
He'd been dubious about Mossad's involvement right from the start. But, when Gibbs had later allowed him to flip through the file Mossad had compiled, he'd seen the extent of information she'd handed over to Gibbs. There were hundreds of photos taken, not only of Erica but also of him as he moved about, and of them together. Their daily interactions seemed so much more personal than he'd ever before realized. It had been the first time he'd been faced with the intimate nature of their interactions, which others had for years witnessed. It was then that he'd realized just what he'd demanded from her in the past, and it was a lot more than he'd ever imagined. They were so use to being in each other's space that the moment either of them backed out, their partnership and often the team as a whole had suffered for it.
The last two days had placed strain on the team again – he'd seen that. Gibbs was neutral on the subject, choosing neither side. Abby was upset because they hadn't told her about anything. Tim was either completely in the dark or secretly plotting another book. Ducky had not really discussed matters with him, but he knew that the man would remain a loyal confidant to Ziva. They had always discussed things in the past. He just wished he could know what had really happened. He knew that it was up to him to fix things, or whatever fixing them meant.
Swallowing once again he reached up and knocked on the door, knowing that the sooner they got through this the sooner they could move on. Whether together or apart it would have to be seen.
Ziva's head snapped up at the sound of a knock at the door. She knew who it would be, but she wasn't entirely sure whether she was prepared enough for what was about to unfold. Slowly she rose off the couch and made her way to the door, checking, before opening the door for him. Ziva merely looked at him before stepping back, issuing a quiet invitation for him to step inside, then turned to close and lock it again, before finally turning to face him.
"Something to drink?" Ziva questioned with a restrained voice.
"No thanks." Tony replied looking her over, noting her downcast shoulders and expressionless eyes.
"You are angry, I can understand." Ziva stated as she stepped past him and made her way back to the lounge.
"I'm a lot of things, but angry isn't one of them." Tony returned, following her lead.
Ziva dropped onto the couch again, trying hard to remain composed. She could see that he was upset. She would've thought anger had been the main cause, but if he was not angry, then what was he? Doubtful? Maybe…
Tony sat down on the opposite side of the couch. To Ziva the distance it placed between them seemed impassable, a clear indication of what had happened between them. Where in the past she would have jostled with him and would have been wiling to cross it, she was held back by an invisible barrier.
"How far along were you?" Tony finally managed to ask her.
Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes, knowing that this had to happen she dropped her gaze slightly, "from what I've been able to determine, six to seven weeks." She finally answered, just as he thought she might not.
"How? We would have known." Tony asked, shocked, to him it was way more than the few weeks Abby had implied.
"When I went to Israel I had a shortened cycle, I put it down to the flight, the altitude and the stress, it has happened before. I didn't think I could be pregnant. Therefore I was not surprised when my last cycle was heavier. " Ziva explained, her gaze remaining on the floor.
"So you didn't know?" Tony asked softly.
"No." Ziva whispered, shaking her head slightly.
"Your contraceptive failed?" Tony finally followed up, needing to know how it had happened.
"I'm not on any." Ziva returned in a low tone.
"What!" Tony exclaimed, his head snapping up slightly, his heart suddenly racing again.
"As I said, I'm not on any." Ziva confirmed, this time more firmly.
"So you wanted to get pregnant." Tony stated, more disconcerted than angry.
"That surprises you?" Ziva returned calmly.
"What, were you hoping to get pregnant and then walk out on me?" Tony suddenly threw back, his shock having given way to anger.
"Like you can talk, you've hardly ever remained in a relationship for longer than a few months." Ziva threw back, responding to his anger by returning it.
"Why?" Tony demanded harshly.
"Because I wanted one." Ziva bit back.
"Jesus Ziva, if all you wanted was a baby I'd have given you one, I'd have given you as many as you liked, you wouldn't have needed to sting me along." Tony asserted rising to his feet, at that moment not even sure if he could contain the hurt her words had caused him. That and the fact that she could've been using him all this time, that what they shared meant nothing to her.
"I am not stringing you along." Ziva insisted, her anger barely contained, not understanding how he could think that, especially after what they had shared.
"Then what are you doing?" Tony demanded, turning to tower over her. "You won't let me know what your father requested of you, I feel like it's some sword hanging over us that could take you from me. You speak in Hebrew whenever you talked to Hadar or that Mossad guy, and you never actually let me in, I never know what you're thinking or feeling?"
"And you do me? I do not even know what I am to you." Ziva threw back, also rising from the couch to face him.
"How can you say that?" Tony questioned, exasperated, a disbelieving look dominating his features.
"We settled on exclusivity, there was no talk of anything else." Ziva threw at him, a frown forming on her forehead.
"And you think that's what you are to me?" Tony returned in disbelief, not understanding how she could even for a moment think that, especially considering what they'd shared together. She'd become so deeply ingrained in his life that he feared for what would happen to him, should she suddenly exit it.
"I do not know what I'm supposed to think." Ziva snapped back at him.
"Jesus Ziva, is that what you think? That I've just been spending the last few months happily passing the time with you." Tony said stepping closer to her. "Why Ziva?" Tony demanded.
Ziva's whole demeanour sank. Looking past him she released a sigh. "I have spent years, literally years hoping for something between us." Tony looked at her, frowning slightly, shocked by her confession. "Then when it finally happened I knew it would not last long." Ziva continued then looked at him again. "I wanted something to hold on to, something of you that would be mine." Ziva finished, her eyes once again dropping to the ground as she wrapped her arms about herself.
"But you didn't think to discuss it with me?" Tony returned, still reeling from the shock of her words.
"What was there to discuss, it was only a matter of time before someone else caught your eye, and you would move on." Ziva returned heatedly, her gaze lifting from the ground, challenging him.
"Oh, so you would have been happy to settle for my genes instead of me." Tony returned resentful, knowing that he could never think of settling for anything other than her, if he had a choice. How could she not see that? How could she not realize that with her he wanted everything?
"If it was all I could have." Ziva returned honestly, her voice more restrained in an attempt to cover up the hurt she still felt.
"God I must've been living in another world then, one where I couldn't even begin to account for what I was feeling." Tony started angrily, before stressing "I finally had you, you were mine, I could touch you, hold you, make love to you. It was more than I'd ever dared to hope for six months ago. I've been thinking of any and every possible way I could hold onto you." Tony tuned from her before continuing, "only to now find out that you were waiting for the whole thing to come crashing down around us." Tony finished once again angered.
"We only started this because I took a chance, you did not even have the guts to do anything." Ziva bit back. Looking at his back, it seemed easier to challenge him if he was not looking at her.
"You're right I didn't have the guts," Tony returned, swinging round to face her, "I would rather have faced a firing squat than have to face your rejection." Tony finished, impassioned.
"I would never have rejected you. You always pulled back from me." Ziva stated, looking straight at him, challenging.
Tony just looked at her completely stunned.
"In the past, our relationship was strained whenever a beautiful woman came onto the scene." Ziva stared, then dropped her gaze to ensure he could not see how much the words that followed, hurt her. "I was not willing to go into this blindly, believing that you were mine and that we would remain together. You love woman Tony. I knew I wouldn't hold your interest for long." Ziva finished tentatively.
"Things were different then." Tony stated.
"I realize that." Ziva returned with more vigour.
"Now, now I wish I had entered into this as carefree as one would enter a new relationship without any luggage." Ziva's gaze remained on the floor, her shoulders slumped.
"You mean baggage." Tony corrected her.
"Whatever." Ziva returned shrugging her shoulders.
"And the baby, was that supposed to be some way of holding onto me?" Tony finally asked when he noted her reluctance to continue.
"No, it would have been something of you that would always be mine, something no one could take from me. A confirmation that we were together at some stage." Ziva returned sitting down again, feeling her heart break all over again at the loss of that.
"So you weren't trying to trap me? Not that I would have minded, I could have happily lived with that. It would have made things a lot easier." Tony started rambling, trying to avoid the sudden sense of loss he could pick up from her.
"Tony, I would not use a child like that." Ziva stated flatly, still not looking at him.
"Why couldn't you just be happy that we were together?" Tony started dejectedly. "Jesus Ziva I love you, I would have given you anything I could have. But your actions condemned this relationship from the start. We could have found a way around our differences." Tony continued looking down at her. "This would've never worked if you're just waiting for it to end." Tony returned still towering over her slightly.
Ziva's heart raced at his words. Clasping her hands together in an attempt to bring her emotions under control again. In all the time they'd been together there had never been any mention of love. She had felt it from him in the way he acted towards her and he'd shown it, but he'd never told her. It was something that had always been there between them, but it was never voiced.
"Ziva, please, say something." Tony almost pleaded, needing some response.
"What is there to say? You have already decided." Ziva returned, his last words hitting home the hardest.
"Anything would do right now." Tony said sitting down again.
"I couldn't, not with what had happened in the past." Ziva finally spoke up.
"What do you mean?" Tony demanded.
Ziva took a deep breath before speaking "Jeanne."
"What… What could she possibly have to do with this?" Tony demanded.
"Because you loved her." Ziva threw back, looking at him again.
"What does that have to do with us?" Tony demanded in defence.
"You fell in love with her, you allowed yourself to love her. She made you happy, you were so happy back then." Ziva returned heatedly before dropping her voice, and gaze. "I did not see that happening with me." Ziva finished, her voice loosing its certainty towards the end, whilst she shook her head slightly.
Tony was stunned to silence, knowing that the level of happiness he'd experienced when with Jeanne was nothing compared to how he felt when he was with Ziva.
"I couldn't understand the changes in you then, couldn't understand why you distanced yourself." Ziva continued slightly dejected. "You were not open or honest to me about it, I had to find out discursively that you were in a relationship. It was like you didn't want me to know why you were happy." She finally finished, once again looking towards the ground.
"I wasn't allowed to, it wasn't even like I wanted the relationship in the beginning… and then I didn't know how to tell you." Tony returned, wishing she would look at him, so that he could gauge her mood.
"But you didn't want for it to end either." Ziva insisted, looking towards him, challenging him to deny it.
"No I didn't." He returned honestly. An uncomfortable silence swathed them for a while.
"Ziva, two years ago I said something to you, something I had not meant to tell you at the time, and had it not been for circumstances I would never have told you."
Ziva looked at him for a moment, searching his face. A lot had been said between them in the last two years, but she knew of what he was talking. "You said you couldn't live without me".
Tony dropped his gaze to the floor. "I've recently changed my mind regarding that."
Ziva just looked at him blankly.
"It's not that I can't live without you, I probably could. I no longer want to." Tony stated, joining his hands, lacing his fingers in front of him, leaving a moment for his works to sink in before continuing, "I was hoping to get you to move in with me, but I guess it is good thing that we didn't find an apartment you liked enough, that way I wouldn't have to move into it alone." He finished with a sigh.
Ziva's mind was still reeling with the information he had disclosed, before the rest filtered through. "Wait on Saturday, we were looking for an apartment for us?" Ziva asked stunned, looking towards him.
"In a way." Tony returned, looking towards her.
"And you did not think to tell me about it?" She asked incredulous.
"I didn't know how." Tony stated, shrugging his shoulders slightly.
"And then you wonder how we get into situations like this." Ziva returned, rolling her eyes before shaking her head slightly in disbelief.
"I wasn't sure if you'd even like the idea." Tony countered.
"Had you told me why we were looking at apartments I would not have been as ruthless of my assessment of them."
"You would have moved in with me?" Tony asked incredulously.
"Yes, and I wouldn't have cared which one either." Ziva returned with certainty.
"Oh we have so screwed this up." Tony stated shaking his head slightly, before asking, "so which one did you like best?"
"What!" Ziva exclaimed not understanding.
"The apartments." Tony clarified for her.
"Oh, the third one was the nicest." Ziva said thinking back slightly.
"That's the one you were the hardest on." Tony came back with in disbelief.
"Simple, I did not want you to live there." Ziva stated.
"Wonder if I could still get the lease on it." Tony thought out loud more than anything.
"Why?" Ziva questioned not understanding his sudden change in mood.
"Because you're moving in with me." Tony said reaching for her. "That way I can tie you to the bed and make you fall in love with me." Tony jostled her.
"Ha, I'd like to see you try." Ziva challenged, realizing Tony was off into his little world again, but not fighting his embrace, she'd missed it too much.
"I wonder where I put those fluffy handcuffs of mine… Oh and if that doesn't work, I'll make sure to get you pregnant then I'll use the kids to hold onto you." Tony continued not even registering her challenge.
"Why would you need to do that?" Ziva asked stunned, puling from him slightly, but his arms closed tighter around her.
"Ooh, I could have fun making those babies with you." Tony continued, still oblivious to her.
"Tony!" Ziva insisted, calling him back from his mind.
"What?" He questioned looking down at her,
"You don't need to." Ziva stated.
"Don't need to what?" Tony asked, having lost track of their conversation.
"I'll move in with you." Ziva answered.
"Really? Tony asked unbelieving.
"Yes." She confirmed, her voice sure.
"What about your father and the demands he made?" Tony suddenly pulled back, releasing her.
"I think it is time I told you…" Ziva said sitting back and settling against the back of the couch. Tony followed her lead and sat back as well, before she continued.
"I cared about Michael, but not enough to claim that I loved him," Ziva started.
"I remember you mentioned something similar once." Tony returned uncomfortably, not really wanting to discuss the man.
"He was what you would call a crush, a man that my father noticed. My father encouraged a relationship between us. Thinking back now I think I was in love with the image we would have made, although I do not think he was as taken by the idea as me."
"Okay I'll agree with you there." Tony returned, remembering the conversation between himself and Rifkin.
"Before his death, we." Ziva said indicating between herself and Tony, "had gotten to know one another, as co workers and as friends. You were easy to love, and at times hard. I only knew Michael the officer, not necessarily the person. I only got to know what he was capable of the time he spent with me, before he… died." Ziva paused for a while, taking a deep breath. "With you I knew the person, I could have fun with you, we all could. And that is why we all love you."
"You've said that before." Tony deadpanned.
"My father was not blind. He'd seen what I was not willing to acknowledge." Ziva continued. "Being the last of my family it is expected of me to continue our bloodline, unless he has another child." Ziva added, her gaze dropping from him to her hands.
"I don't even want to imagine that." Tony returned when she remained silent.
Taking a deep breath she continued. "The one night whilst he was here we had dinner… It was hard, we did not talk much, but we managed to repair something of a relationship."
"That's when he told you?" Tony asked, hoping to draw her attention back to him.
"No," Ziva returned shaking her head slightly, "we communicated via email after that."
"And?" Tony encouraged.
"He encouraged me, said you were essentially a good man, and that he would approve of you because of you deeds… and the fact that he knew I cared about you." Ziva finally finished, still not looking at him.
"And attached to that was the list of demands that goes with his approval." Tony added a little fractiously.
"Your requirement, which you already know about, goes for any man in a Jewish relationship." Ziva said looking up at him.
"So what did your father expect of you?" Tony almost demanded.
"That I honour my family." Ziva finally stated.
"Somehow I'm already starting to regret having asked."
"It is not so bad." Ziva returned shrugging her shoulders slightly.
"Your idea of bad and my idea of bad differ greatly Ziva." Tony stated, watching her closely.
"He asked to have some involvement were we ever to have children." Ziva finally said dropping her gaze from him, causing Tony to frown.
"Oh no-no-no-no, no turning my kids into Mossad ninjas." Tony returned, not for a moment thinking what he was implying. Causing a frown to form on Ziva's forehead. .
"Tony!" Ziva called his attention.
"Never mind." Tony returned, having realized what he had said, before asking. "He did not request of me to conform?"
"We are not Jewish by practice." Ziva stated.
"Then why hold me to the laws?" Tony returned.
"I hold you to the laws not my father," Ziva started, before taking a deep breath. "I used them so you would remain loyal to me in some way."
"You really thought I would leave you?" Tony asked sitting forward.
"Yes." Ziva whispered nodding her head.
"Never." Tony stated, before reaching out and placing a hand over hers. Then moved closer to her wrapping his arms around her.
Ziva went willingly, relief flooding her body when it came into contact with his. She almost immediately softened against him, as he rubbed her back. They remained like that for a prolonged period of time, not needing to talk, both having a considerable amount of information to process.
"You wanna watch a movie?" Tony asked, not wanting to leave yet, but not sure if he'd be allowed to stay either.
"We could." Ziva replied disinterested, knowing that would mean she would have to get up to arrange it, and that right at that moment she didn't feel like going anywhere.
Tony instead reached for the remote. "Let see what's on TV." He returned not wiling to let her go of her either. He flipped through some channels, eventually stopping on one of the movie channels.
"What movie is this?" Ziva asked when he settled.
"Clash of the Titans, it's a classic." Tony returned, positioning himself so that they could watch the movie, whilst holding her.
Once the movie was finished, Tony turned off the TV and hugged her closer. "Time for bed." He stated, encouraging her to move.
"I was wondering when you would get to that." Ziva returned looking at the clock, "It's late."
"Yes." Tony returned carefully, "you want me to go?"
"Not really." Ziva returned unassumingly.
"I'd be happy to hold you," Tony returned, sensing her reluctance to physically fortify their relationship again. "It would be our first night without the cavalries again." He reasoned, hoping she would allow for him to stay.
"You don't mind?" Ziva returned.
"Why would I mind?" Tony returned readily, "beats sleeping alone in my bed anytime."
Ziva just smiled and shook her head before rising from the couch, with Tony following her lead. Both prepared for bed. Tony slipped in behind Ziva, wrapping his arms around her possessively, holding her close he drew in her scent, closing his eyes in relief. Things would be okay, they could make this work, he was sure of it.
Ziva snuggled into him some more, not minding his possessive grasp of her, she needed the contact with his body, to confirm that he was still there and that she could risk her heart this time round.
"Ziva?" Tony whispered some time later.
"Hmm." Ziva returned, not really wanting to spoil the moment.
"Did you really want my baby or just a baby?" Tony asked softly against her shoulder.
Ziva's heart started pounding, not sure if he would like her answer. "It had to be yours." She confirmed.
"Do you still want one?" Tony asked, tracing his fingers over her arm.
"Are you hoping to get lucky?" Ziva returned playfully, hoping to throw him off the subject.
"No, I just wondered" Tony finally admitted.
"I'm not sure anymore." Ziva finally answered, having thought about it more.
"Why?" Tony asked, rising onto his elbow behind her, wanting her to turn towards him. Even in the dark he didn't want to discus it with her back to him.
Ziva, having sensed his change in mood, moved onto her back facing him slightly. "The last few days." She finally stated, before continuing, "I don't think I could go through something like that again."
"Was that what you and Ducky were discussing this afternoon?" Tony asked, his fingers tracing patterns on her abdomen.
"How do you know about that?" Ziva questioned, surprised.
"Abby told me." Tony returned.
"We were discussing why… it happened." Ziva returned, dolefully.
"You want to talk about it?" Tony asked, this time resting his hand on her abdomen.
"Not really," Ziva returned, before asking. "Why do you ask?"
"I kind of liked the idea of getting pregnant." Tony confirmed.
"Ah, I should have seen that coming." Ziva's voice turned to teasing. But she placed her hand over his, to soften the sting.
"No I'm serious, I like the idea of you carrying a mini me or mini you." Tony confirmed, this time stroking her abdomen, moving her hand with his.
"I can't believe this, Anthony DiNozzo has gone broody." Ziva teased.
"Must be the company," Tony said closing the distance between them, before continuing, his voice barely above a whisper. "Just think about it, I'll get to smirk when men look at you and wonder who's the lucky guy who got you pregnant." Tony returned.
"I should have known that it's about you, Tony." Ziva returned, smacking him lightly in the chest with the back of her hand.
Tony was glad that the room was dark, for he wasn't sure he that would've managed to keep a straight face at that. He opted for kissing her neck instead, distracting her momentarily.
"Tony." Ziva murmured.
"Okay, okay I'll go to sleep." Tony relented, "night Ziva." Tony said, quickly kissing her.
"That's all I get!" Ziva demanded, disgruntled, not understanding his sudden change of mood.
"Yes." He confirmed settling again, after kissing her shoulder and drawing her hair from it. Then whispered near her ear in an impish tone "if I gave you more I'd get into trouble."
"Why?" Ziva questioned not understanding.
"Because I wouldn't want to stop." He added cockily.
"Oh." Ziva breathed in response.
Ziva turned onto her side again and Tony spooned behind her, wrapping his arm around her and holding her close again.
Tony was unable to fully settle and started rubbing her back, it giving him something to do.
Ziva closed her eyes soaking in the sensation, "hmm that's nice."
Tony was at first surprised that she was still awake, having thought she'd drifted off to sleep already. He wrapped his arm around her again. His body tight with anticipation, thinking that he should've rather gone home instead, because he was unlikely to get any sleep tonight. He felt her body suddenly tense next to him.
"What's wrong?" He asked softly.
"Nothing." Ziva returned, wanting to avoid the situation.
"Then why are you so tense suddenly?" He pushed, not wanting her to back out again.
Releasing a sigh, she turned towards him, drawing in a deep breath before stating, "I want to respond to you, but I can't."
"Why not?" He asked stunned.
"I'm possibly very fertile at the moment." Ziva stated.
"And here I thought you were going off me." Tony joked in return, not wanting her to know how much it affected him, how badly he wanted to have her pregnant with his child.
"That is unlikely to happen." Ziva stated.
"Come here." Tony requested whilst turning onto his back, drawing her with him, letting her settle her head on his shoulder whilst wrapping his arms around her shoulders, her hand coming to rest on his chest. "I don't even want to suggest other means, because we both know the only place I want to be is inside you, anything else is just a tease." Tony continued with a serious voice.
"Tony." Ziva warned
"What?" He demanded in return.
"You are not making this any easier." She stated.
"Why should I?"
Ziva remained silent for a while, causing Tony to become concerned, he was about to speak up when she finally replied. "Because I don't want to hope for something only to be disappointed again."
This caused Tony to ponder for a while, before stating. "Then don't hope for it, just let it happen. And if it doesn't we could have fun trying again." He tried to reason.
"You just want to use my body." Ziva threw back at him, playfully poking him in the chest with her finger.
"Quite the contrary my dear." Tony returned in his best James Bond impersonation, causing her to grin. "I want to pleasure your body."
Ziva remained silent after that.
Tony laced his fingers with hers and rested their hands on his chest before continuing. "I've spent hours thinking about what I'd like to do to you. When you sit across me at work, I often imagine the sounds you make when I'm inside you, how warm and sensual it is to be nested there. I remember the pleasure I feel when I'm deep inside of you. The way I want to howl whenever your nails sink into my ass, because I know you're close. The look of pure passion that covers your face and how fast that is replaced with pleasure as your body lets go. The way you push up against me when you release and I try to get as deep as possible so I can feel your body grip mine."
Ziva gasped as he spoke, her eyes closing as she saw the images they would make together. The sensations his words provoked, aroused her, causing her to push her body closer to his, as she moved partially over him.
"Tony." She moaned.
"Yes?" he returned, his mind already moving onto another plane as his body welcomed the sensations of having her pushed up so close to him.
"Make love to me." Ziva breathed, her hand pulling from his and starting to move possessively over him.
"Ziva." He gasped, his hands landing on her back as he sought her lips, turning them, placing her on her back and coming to rest over her. Before drawing away from her slightly.
"Are you sure?" he whispered.
"Yes." Ziva returned, arching against him, drawing a guttural groan from him.
Tony closed the distance between them, slowly kissing her, words no longer needed as he allowed his instinct to guide him, slowly taking possession of her lips, savouring the moment. He felt no need to rush headlong into the act, knowing that they would get there eventually. Following only his instincts, his hands started running over her body, drawing her clothes from her. Encouraging her to soak up the sensations, whilst he himself basked in the sensations that passed through him at the feel of her skin under his hands, the taste of her skin as he placed kisses all over her. He took comfort in the fact that he felt no need to rush them, only doing what his intuition told him they needed. Following no previous laid out plan, knowing that she'd be there with him.
Ziva relaxed into his touch, allowing the sensations to soak into her soul. She needed him more than she'd been willing to admit, she needed a connection with him on more than a physical level, for it to be more than just sex between them. She felt no need for conscious thought as his lips moved over her body. She no longer needing to chase her release, she was purely living in the moment.
When Tony eventually moved over her to join them, there was no uncontrollable urge to rush headlong to the end, only a need for them physically join, to become one, of two souls coming together. His breath hitched on their joining, the sensations intense.
"Breathe slowly." Ziva husked, running her feet down his legs. Tony made the effort and found an inner calm come over him again, as she ran her hands gently along his back.
Hooking her feet around his ankles, she tugged slightly. "Bend your knees and lift your feet." She whispered.
Tony complied, feeling her move her legs placing her feet on his, moving her hands down his arms, whilst he braced himself, lacing her fingers with his. "What are you doing?" he gasped.
"Together we form the symbol of infinity." Ziva whispered.
Tony thought for a moment, "Monkey sex?"
"No, it symbolizes how long I will love you." Ziva returned.
"Ziva!" Tony gasped as he realized what she'd implied. A strong jolt of surprise coursed through him, and a deep happiness settled over his heart. Not knowing what else to do, he kissed her, before moving slowly inside her, making sure to maintain their position.
"Ziva, I want to make a baby." Tony moaned, finally pushing deeply into her.
In reply Ziva wrapped her legs around his waist. Allowing him to drop his feet back down. "Make me pregnant Tony." Ziva grunted.
Tony moved against her, the sensations more intense. The feeling deeper, like a part of him was finally being filled. At that moment there was only the two of them, nothing else existed but the moment. He felt Ziva's whole body go slack again, following his body's natural instinct he rocked against her, knowing what was happening. Then experienced his own pleasurable pulses as he moved within her, when moments later his body gave up his essence. Unlike the tight, forceful releases he'd always sought, his release was softened as his essence moved into her.
For the first time in his life he did not feel drained but energized, connected, as he released her hands and held her closer. Then kissed her, loosing himself in the moment again, drawing in her taste, the texture and the playfulness of their lips. A deep-rooted feeling of happiness settled over him, realizing he'd finally found what he'd been seeking all along. Knowing he didn't need to say the words, because it would've seemed too cliché.
Ziva wrapped her arms around him, lightly holding him to her, not ready for them to separate yet.
"Thank you." Ziva whispered before allowing him to pull away from her. She followed him and settling with her head on his shoulder, her fingers playing with his chest hair.
Tony lay back, looking up at the ceiling not fully understanding the feelings and sensations running over his body, "I feel I should be thanking you." Tony returned holding her closer, his conscious mind returning and with that his possessive nature.
In the weeks that followed there was a noticeable calm that settled over the bullpen. The team functioning as the well-oiled machine it was. Gibbs overlooked Tony's habit of resting his hand on Ziva's lower back or hip whenever she stood close enough to him, which was often. The level of intimacy between them was not hidden from those around them, but their conduct was above reproach. It was also not an uncommon sight for them to enter the office with Tony carrying both backpacks. They were inseparable and responded to one another by instinct.
The news of them moving in together also did not come as a surprise. It merely confirmed their commitment to making it work, and not long after that there were rumours circulating that they had applied for a marriage licence.
Gibbs often breathed a sigh of relief, not even wanting to contemplate the possible repercussions their fall out could have caused within the team. He didn't want to loose any of his team members, although both McGee and Tony were well capable of running their own teams, the closeness of their team would suffer the loss of any member. He also knew that he would not willingly give any of them up easily, especially Ziva. It pleased him to see the two of them so happy together, for they deserved it.
Gibbs was the first to pick up the change, not that it had been notable at first. It was the small things that gave it away. Tony became even more protective of her, not allowing her out of his sight for any prolonged periods of time, and the softer, gentler air about Ziva.
"Hello Abby." Ziva said cheerfully, walking into the lab the one morning.
"I'm still angry with you and Tony." Abby returned. Not even bothering to look up.
"Are you busy?" Ziva questioned coming to a halt.
"Not really." Abby returned, uncommitted.
"Can you get away for a few minutes?" Ziva asked her, crossing her arms and waiting patiently.
"I guess, why?" Abby asked, finally looking up from her work.
"Come with." Ziva invited, turning to walk down the passage. Abby followed, not sure what to expect.
They joined Tony and Ducky in the morgue, who were waiting on them. Abby looked from Tony to Ziva puzzled.
"Whenever you're ready Ziva" Ducky simply stated indicating to the table.
"Wait you're…" Abby started looking from one to the other.
"We don't know for sure yet, but we thought you'd like to be here when we found out." Tony replied, whilst Ziva got herself ready for the scan.
"Right Ziva you know the procedure." Ducky said as he took hold of the gel, placing some on her abdomen.
This time four sets of eyes trained on the monitor as Ducky moved the probe about.
"And there we go." He finally stated, halting the probe to an area. Freezing the image on the screen before printing a copy.
"That's the baby?" Abby asked surprised.
"Yes Abby." Ducky confirmed.
"It looks like a cyst, its got no hands or feet yet." Abby spoke up, disbelieving.
Ducky took the printout and measured the embryo, "That's because it's only about five weeks old." Ducky said, handing the printout to Ziva.
Tony clasped her hand. "So we're really pregnant his time?" Tony asked, still not able to believe it.
"I would very much say so." Ducky returned, cleaning the gel off the probe again, before handing Ziva some paper towels.
"Yay!" Abby exclaimed, hugging Tony tightly.
"Abby let me go, I can't breathe," Tony chocked, "I would like to actually see my child born." Tony insisted, tapping Abby's shoulder.
"Oh sorry, so who all knows?" Abby was quick to ask, looking from one to the other, her supposed anger no longer evident.
"Only those present would know." Tony returned remaining close to Ziva.
"Know what DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked walking into the morgue, "Ziva get dressed, I told you guys no grab ass at work." Gibbs commanded coming to a halt near Ducky.
"Ziva's pregnant." Abby exclaimed, bouncing with excitement.
"I gathered from her state of dress that she might be." Gibbs said with a softer tone. "Congratulations you two." Then turning to Ziva, "I guess I have my answer now."
"Which one was that?" Ziva asked surprised.
"Whether you wanted children." Gibbs returned.
"I remember telling you that I did not have a simple answer to that question." Ziva said sitting up.
"Yes you did and look at you now."
"I think it was more a matter of finding the right person to have them with." Ziva concluded.
"It always is. No strenuous field work for you for the next few weeks." Gibbs returned.
Ziva nodded her head in response.
"Are you going to tell your father?" Ducky was the one to ask.
"Once we're sure everything is okay." Ziva returned looking towards Tony.
"Have you had any morning sickness?" Abby asked.
"This little ninja, morning sickness." Tony returned disbelievingly. "She's got an iron gut." Tony spoke up, wrapping his arm around Ziva's shoulders.
"Ah here's everyone." McGee spoke up from the doorway.
"McGee!" Abby exclaimed then beckoned him closer, showing him the image on the monitor. "Ziva's pregnant."
"Congratulations." McGee said offering Tony his hand.
"What'll you be naming the baby?" Gibbs asked, watching Ziva closely.
"David if it's a boy and Davida if it's a girl." Ziva returned.
"Wouldn't that be strange with your surname being David or will the baby carry Tony's." Abby was the first to speak up.
"We both will have Tony's." Ziva confirmed, looking up at him smiling.
"You're getting married!" Abby exclaimed disbelievingly.
"Yes." Tony confirmed his eyes holding Ziva's.
"When?" Abby demanded.
"As soon as our licence comes through." Ziva stated looking towards Abby.
"We have got to plan this." Abby started, reaching for Ziva's hand.
"Abby we're having a civil ceremony…" Ziva stated, before Abby could pull her in her determined wake.
This caused Abby to look at her frowning. "We cannot have a religious one without either of us converting to the other's religion, and that will take years." Ziva clarified for her.
"Oh." Abby said the frown disappearing from her face. "So your gonna get married here at NCIS."
"Most likely." Tony confirmed.
"We still have some planning to do." Abby said tugging Ziva along.
"You would have been safer just sending her an invitation the day before." Gibbs injected.
"And have her angry with us for that too." Tony returned.
"I would never have forgiven you." Abby declared.
"Don't we just know it?" Ducky finished.
Story started: 1 February 2011.
Completed: 5 April 2011.
Final Proofread, Edit and Compilation 12 May 2011,
Actual story word count: 51 533