Tony leaned in close over Ziva's shoulder, reading the dead petty officer's service record from her computer screen. Her long, dark ponytail hung over her shoulder. It smelt like oranges. He'd always liked the smell of her shampoo. Or maybe it was just that he liked to be close enough that he could smell it.


He blinked back to focus.

She turned to face him, her lips very close to his ear. "Did you hear a word of what I just told you?"

He swallowed hard. Nope. Not a single word. She clearly knew he hadn't. Better to just admit it. "No…" he told her finally.

"And why not?" she purred into his ear.

It was hard to think of anything else when she was that close. "You're distracting." Had he just said that out loud?

He could not see her face, but she was leaning in so close he could feel her smile. "Distracting?"


"How so?"

The blood had long since left his brain, and he was having a hard time coming up with something witty. "You know how."

"I do not think I do," she told him coyly, her lips brushing his cheek.

He closed his eyes. It was so easy for her to get him incredibly turned on. She hadn't done it so overtly in a long time, but she hadn't lost her touch.

It was obvious, from the amusement in her voice, that she knew exactly the effect she was having on him. "Am I still distracting you?"

He chuckled, a low throaty sound. Actual words weren't possible at the moment. Several moments passed silently, her breath hot against his ear, as a delightful fantasy played out in his head.

"Hi, McGee!" she chirped suddenly.

Tony's eyes snapped open, and he shot up to standing. He still pressed up close to the back of her chair, but they were no longer cheek to cheek. As he looked around confused, Ziva snickered.

"McGee's not here."

"No," she smirked, "he's not."

"Just wanted to make me squirm?"

"I could have said it were Gibbs."

Tony scowled, "Or you could have just not said anything."

"We were not going to accomplish anything while you remained…distracted."

Tony sighed, and ran his fingers through his hair. On that point she was right. He took a deep breath to focus and leaned in—somewhat further away this time—to focus on the screen.

"Not exactly a model sailor," he noted. "He was getting written up every other week. Insubordination. UA."

"While he was on leave last fall he was arrested for disorderly conduct," Ziva pointed out.

"I'll call his CO, see if he knew of anyone…" Tony cut off midsentence as a pop-up at the bottom of Ziva's computer screen announced a new email from . The subject was: This weekend. He scowled.

Ziva turned to look up at him. "See if the CO knew anyone who…?"

"Anyone who might have had it in for the guy," he answered distractedly. "Are you going away this weekend?"

Ziva sighed. "Is that important?"

"Well, its Friday, and we just got this case—"

She scowled and turned away. "That is not why you asked.

"If you knew why I asked, they why didn't you just answer the question?" he challenged, standing up and crossing her arms.

"Because it is none of your business."

"I can't ask if you're going out of town now?"

"You only care because—"

"Why does it matter why I care? I care!" He picked up one of the folders they had been sifting through, and stalked back to his desk, slamming it down.

How had this spiraled out of control so fast? Not two minutes earlier they had been playfully flirting. Now they glared at each other across the abyss of the aisle. He picked up the phone, leafing through the folder for the number he needed. It wasn't there.

He sighed. "I need the CO's number."

Ziva had busied herself with her computer, and did not answer or look up. He could not tell if she were ignoring him, or hadn't heard him. Probably a little of both. She had probably heard that he was talking but wasn't particularly interested in what he was saying. He stood and crossed back to her desk.

"Do you have the CO's number on that screen?"

She nodded, and highlighted it with the mouse. He scribbled it on a post-it, muttered thanks, and was about to head back to his own desk when she said, "You are jealous."

It was a simple statement, no color of what she thought of that.

He sat on the edge of her desk. "I thought we'd established that weeks ago."

Her eyes locked on his. "You have never actually admitted it."

"I don't think I've denied it," he sighed, looking down at his lap. "Recently, at least."

She nodded thoughtfully. "I guess that is true."

He couldn't let it go though. "What, you want to hear it word for word?" he growled. "Fine, I am jealous of your boyfriend. Happy?"

Her jaw dropped a bit at this. "You have always assumed that this is a romantic relationship," she said, finally.

"And you've never tried to dissuade me of that."

"You have never actually asked."

He hadn't. It was true. He was afraid of hearing her confirm it. She obviously wasn't going to offer the information unless he asked. "Is it a romantic relationship?" he managed, after a moment.

"Was that so hard to ask?"

"Well, you haven't answered it yet, so I don't know."

She snorted a laugh, but she was smiling now. "It is not a romantic relationship. Ray is my friend. I believe that I have always referred to him as my friend."

"I guess I always assumed you meant that he was your 'friend'," Tony sighed, making quotation marks around the word with his fingers.

She studied him for a moment. "He is a good friend, yes, but a platonic friend."

Tony couldn't help but smile at this. "Really?"


He dared to ask his original question again. "So, are you going away this weekend?"

"If she was, she's not anymore," Gibbs declared as he swept into the bullpen. "I hope you two have something for me."

The question remained unanswered as they both scurried over to the plasma screen.

"O Beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on."

-Othello, , William Shakespeare