Tony sat against the side wall, watching as Ziva methodically scanned the wall that had snapped shut in front of them with her flashlight. For the second time. Right to left. Left to right. Each time moving her flashlight down a beam's width. She reached the bottom and growled.

"No luck?" he asked.

"You are not going to help?" she questioned, hand on her hip.

"I helped the first time," he told her, focusing the beam of his own flashlight on her face just in time to see her scowl at him. "Now I am going to sit."

She turned her attention to the other wall that had snapped shut behind them. Right to left. Left to right.

"Come sit with me," he sighed. "The fire department is coming."

"I do not wish to sit."

"You can't just relax until the firemen come?"

If he hadn't been watching her closely, he would have missed her shoulders slump slightly. "I prefer to keep busy," she answered, her voice even, not at all betraying her new physicality.

Tony pushed himself back to his feet, leaving his flashlight on the ground. He didn't need it to find her in this small space. "Behind you," he warned, as he stepped in closer.

"Why did you tell me that?" she asked, stilling her light.

"Cause I didn't want you to accidentally shoot me," he laughed.

"I heard you get up. You put down your light. It was obvious you were moving."

"I wasn't sure. I didn't want to startle you," he told her, more seriously this time.

She nodded at this, and turned to face him. Her flashlight was pointing straight up into his eyes. He stepped closer, blocking the beam as they now stood toe to toe.

"They'll get us out soon," he said.

"I hope so." Her voice was smaller than usual.

He tried to lighten the mood. "Not enjoying our little adventure?"

"It is cold, and it its dark, and we are trapped. No, I'm not enjoying this," she snapped.

She had lowered her light after he blocked it, and he could not see her face, but he was suddenly sure why this bothered her so much. Here he was poking fun at it. Fuck. Trapped in a small, cold, dark room sounded an awful lot like what she must have been through—he didn't even like to think about it. It was clear she did not want to talk about it.

"At least we're trapped together," Tony noted. "That's something."

She looked at him thoughtfully. "Yes, it is."

He reached out and took her hands, stooping to put her flashlight on the ground. They were still standing quite close, and he could barely see her. She looked down at their joined hands, and then up at his face. Gently, she pulsed his fingers in hers, but she did not say anything.

"What do you need?" Tony asked, softly.

Her breath was hot on his face as she exhaled loudly. "I do not know." She was silent for a moment. "I do not really wish to talk about…" she trailed off.

"That's okay." Tony smiled, running his thumbs along the top of her hands, "You need a distraction."

"A distraction?" her voice lightened some as she asked this.


"Have any ideas?" she purred into his ear.

Well, with that tone in her voice he had plenty of ideas, none particularly appropriate right now. He tugged on her hands, and her head tipped forward onto his shoulder.

"I have a few," he whispered, lips brushing against her temple.

"I bet," she chuckled into his shoulder. Her hands came up to rest lightly on his waist.

Tony reached up to rub her shoulders, but paused, hands hovering. "May I?"

"May you what? I cannot see you."

"Rub your back."

She stiffened against his chest. "That did not go well the last time," she answered quietly. "I am already a little uneasy."

"I was hoping it might calm you down. I think it might work better like this than before," he explained. "You're not held down…"


"You don't sound convinced."

"I'm not," she admitted after a moment.

"How 'bout we start with a hug. Is that okay?"

Her arms tightened around his waist, and he took that as a sign to wrap his arm around her shoulders. It was the right choice. As his other hand cradled her head, she sighed contentedly. It was shame her hair was pulled back tightly. He would love to run his fingers through it.

Slowly, he backed them up, until he could rest partially against the more-solid side wall. They stood, holding tight to one another, in silence, for a while. He could get used to this. Holding Ziva close.

"That feels nice," she murmured.

He hadn't realized that his thumb was tracing little half-moons on her shoulder blades. He'd been too lost in his own thoughts. "Good," he smiled, kissing her cap.

A few more moments passed in peaceful silence. Tony couldn't remember a time he'd been so content to not say a word. His brain was in overdrive, memorizing every bit of this embrace. The way her arms had snaked beneath his jacket. Her knee tucked just slightly between his. The citrus-y smell of her hair beneath her cap. The little happy hum she made at his featherlight touch. He had no idea how long they'd been trapped, and frankly, he was in no rush to get out.

"Go ahead," Ziva instructed. "Try the backrub."

She tilted her head up to look at him, right as he looked down at her. Their lips were so close. It would be so easy to—

"To-ny," she sang his name, drawing him out of his fantasy once again. "You are a little distracted?"

Her lips brushed against his cheek as she spoke, and the sensation went straight to his groin. Not good. Not good while she was pressed tight against him. He took a deep breath, and she chuckled . "Very distracted."

She pushed her hips against his with a laugh. It pressed him up against the cold wall, and that snapped him back to reality. Whatever fantasies he had for her certainly didn't include the wall or floor of this dark, cold, enclosed space, and that was enough to get himself back under control.

He placed his hands on her shoulders and began to knead. She tilted her head to one side to allow him better access.

"If this starts to…" Upset you? Scare you? He wasn't sure how to phrase it in a way that wouldn't piss her off.

"I will let you know," she assured him, answering the unasked question.

He worked methodically. As before, her back was full of knots, and he set out to break up every one of them. She purred softly now and then, remaining calm and relaxed against his chest. He had worked all the way down her back, when the lights suddenly snapped on.

Ziva stepped back, blinking furiously as he eyes adjusted to the bright intrusion. "We are over here!"

"We're heading your way!" came the reply from somewhere else in the maze. "Hold tight!"

She sighed. With a smirk, Tony put his hands on her hips and tugged her close to him again. "He said, 'hold tight'."

"I do not believe he meant it literally," she laughed. "I understand the expression to mean: wait where you are, we'll be there soon, yes?"

"I like my interpretation better."

She smiled, her arms coming up around his torso again, and she settled her head in its former place on his shoulder. "I do as well."

Yes, he could hold tight like this as long as they needed him to.