Hi, it's been a while. Almost a year exactly, actually. In that time I have... not really achieved anything and thus have no reasons as to why I haven't been writing.

I've been promising to write ~Lovelihead a post-Recoil fic for a couple of years now, actually. And post-Recoil smut for a little less time. The truth is, I've only seen two episodes of this season so far; I'm not really a part of the NCIS fandom anymore. I've moved onto Chuck. Which results in me writing season-5-timeline-smut – for every smut fic I write her, ~Lovelihead is going to watch an episode of Chuck. And here I am, back again. I can't pretend this wasn't incredibly fun to write, I miss the the old Tiva dynamic.

If this seems completely out of character, I take the blame for it all. The same goes for any errors.

But basically now I can cross 'Write a Recoil fic' off my bucket list.

The title comes from Snow Patrol's song of the same name, which I listened to on repeat while writing this. It really is an amazing song.

Somewhere a Clock is Ticking

She's standing in front of him but he hadn't actually expected her to come to his house. She'd slammed the door shut and stalked towards him when he'd told her she wasn't okay.

"Don't tell me how I feel," she bites out and crosses her arms and it doesn't do much because the Ziva he's known for years now has never seemed so vulnerable despite her anger.

"Well you're not giving me any hints, are you? But Ziva, you aren't okay," he reponds and her back stiffens; he's hit a nerve.

Whatever happened at the scene a week before had shaken her and he spent the week doing everything he could to take things back to how they were. But he stands in front of her and she's no less closed off than she has been all week and all, all he wants to do is make things right with her. Before he can fight the idea, his hand moves up to try and soften the hard lines in her face but she grabs his wrist, and he lets his hand drop once she lets go.

"Please, Ziva. You almost died." He wonders if it's pathetic that he's near-begging for an explanation. It doesn't matter, his pride doesn't matter right now.

And then she smiles bitterly, and says, "I have almost died more times than I can count anymore. You have almost died that many, too. It is our job, why is it a big deal now?"

"I don't know," he admits, "I don't know, but it is. Something is different. I want to understand."

She looks away and she softens a little, she's given up her act momentarily, and how easily this happens unnerves him. She's considering her answer and he thinks the seconds feel like so much more.

"It is different," she concedes, "but I don't know how. Perhaps it is the first time here that it has happened. Perhaps I am losing my skills." She flinches when she says this but then something changes and her shifting emotions are making his head spin. For the second time, his hand lifts to her face, slowly.

But she's holding his wrist again and this time he isn't so shocked. Stroking her cheek wouldn't fit with this scene and he wonders where he got the idea. Her hand squeezes tighter and suddenly she has fire in her eyes but he knows what is behind them. Her facade is back up, but she's overplaying the role. He knows.

"What do you want, Ziva?" he questions and she doesn't break his stare. This is the end of a short conversation, he knows it.

And there they are, face to face, inhaling the other's shallow breaths. Part of him wants her to scream, to yell, maybe cry, just stop with the silence that's been plaguing them all week. But he knows it's not an act and that's how Ziva is. Controlled, ready. Even when she's damaged.

And then.

There's Ziva's voice, loud and angry. "Make me forget." She repeats it, she keeps squeezing his hand and he wonders when he'll start losing feeling. "Make me forget. Make me forget." It's quieter now and maybe she's even begging. Maybe she'll come to her senses and stop him as his lips crush against hers.

She doesn't.

Her mantra is cut off and she frees his hand in favour of his hair. His hands meet hers.

Tony doesn't know if this is right. Actually, he knows it's probably wrong but he's Ziva's friend and he'll do what he can, even if it's more than tousling her hair. He needs her back and maybe this isn't the way to go but he's not sure what else there is.

She is rigid and doesn't melt against him like he'd imagined. She's forceful and once his shirt is gone, he feels nails break the skin of his shoulders. Blood pooling, that would usually stop him, turn him off, but he thinks he needs this just as much as Ziva does, so he follows her when she starts walking to his bedroom. This is nothing and his shoulders and lips and scalp ache.

And then she's on top of him and she's naked but the first thing at which he looks aren't her breasts but the rainbow bruises of her successes and failures. Ziva notices this and pushes herself against his crotch and pushes his face into her chest. All he is staring at is what she's trying to forget and she has to distract him. Be a woman, be seductive.

Her nipple is pulled into his mouth and she gasps and this is what she wants. "Make me normal," she whispers and he bites down. His hands are everywhere; her stomach, her thighs, roughly kneading her neglected breast. Her hands are in his hair, pushing him down until he takes the hint, scraping his teeth down her stomach and she doesn't want to take this slow, she wants to forget and she urges him to keep going.

And god, he's eager. Biting her thighs, but not marking her. She belongs to no one, it isn't his place. But he can't tell if he's eager to help her forget, to help her be normal or if he's eager because this is finally happening. Maybe not in the most ideal way, but has anything with them ever been ideal? Maybe this won't happen again. Maybe it will after the next time one of them almost dies. Make me feel alive. Maybe this has ruined everything but right now, it doesn't feel that way. And anyway, it's better than her being ruined.

His hand on her stomach to steady her, his other pushing one leg up, he can't help but tease her a little. Nipping, light flicks of his tongue. But she's insistent and soon he's found where she's most sensitive, teeth grazing, tongue playing. The sounds coming from her throat are making his dick throb and the hand on her stomach isn't doing a very good job of keeping her still. His other hand comes down to tease where she's wettest, and she manages a, "Yes, please, Tony," and he knows what she needs and slides one, two fingers inside her heat. His focus is her, the way she moans and pleads as he gets a rhythm going, tongue and fingers pushing her closer and closer. He tells himself that this is for her, this is so Ziva can forget for a night, and maybe he feels a little guilty for how much he's enjoying it.

His mouth sucks as his fingers pound and curl and oh, she's close and she's hot and slick and tight around his fingers. He's about to tell her to let it go, but she beats him, her breath hitching and her low moans turning into high pitched cries. Her hips jerk and he moves his fingers slowly, bringing her down.

Her breathing is heavy as she tentatively opens her eyes. He sits up and meets her gaze. This could end here, she could get up, find her clothes and leave him rock hard and as confused ever. This doesn't have to go further. They could stop this before everything is an even bigger mess than before but the damage is done and they can't deny that this was going to happen anyway. Make me forget, make me normal. He's helping, he's bring her back to the Ziva he knows and (loves?). Except now he's overplaying his role and maybe he's just a bit too into it.

"We can't go back," he tells her.

She's trying so hard not to look away. She knows there's no going back but after all of this maybe that's why she's doing this. There is no going back from this or from death and she's now been on the edge of both and she knows which scares her more. Death is easy and this isn't but she could be dead tomorrow and so could he and maybe he'll never make her normal but he can make her forget, she can lose herself in him and that's enough.

"I don't want to," she says and then he's unbuckling his pants ridding himself of every barrier. But when he's on top, his body covering hers she flashes to Hoffman's lifeless body and she flinches and rolls him over to seat herself on his lap. He doesn't fight her, instead he sucks her lower lip into his mouth and bites down and she grinds against the hardness, warm, between them. She pushes death from the forefront of her mind as his teeth bite down her neck to tug both nipples once and she doesn't want to wait any longer so she finds the right angle and he's inside of her and she hears him curse which makes her rotate her hips lightly.

Despite her admission, his focus is still on letting her forget the things plaguing her mind so when the rotation and grind of her hips turns into bouncing thrusts, he sits up and pushes deeper, the sharp sting of her teeth digging into his shoulder is a painful reward.

She's quiet, occasional high whimpers escaping from her mouth against the crook of his neck where it seems to have taken permanent residence. Her hands are moving, exploring, tracing, scratching down his back. She's exploring his body, making her it's still Tony and getting lost and trying to find him at the same time. She's flush against him, her centre bumping against his pubic bone and the whimpers are getting closer together and his movements are getting jerky. One finger traces a prominent tendon in his neck and he's grunting her name and when he lets go she will forget and it will be okay.

One hand moves down between them to urge herself closer as she orders him, low, breathy, "Make me forget, let go," and he's coming apart and so is she, crying out as everything from her mind is wiped and the only thing left is the feeling of him inside her and the waves travelling through her body. His mind is about the same.

He collapses backwards, bringing her slick body down on top of his as her face remains buried against his shoulder. He can feel her breath, hot against his sticky skin as her mind returns to normal. But what's normal, he's wondering; is everything back, is it the same as before?

She gets off of him after some unmeasured amount of time and mentions going to the bathroom to clean up. She doesn't cover up as she walks and again he notices her bruises, justified, because they both know how vulnerable she is right now. She disappears and he sits up, stretching out his muscles and he's honestly not sure what to do next and he prays that she's not going to close up again.

He's wondering what to say when he hears the tap shut off and the door open and Ziva walks back into the room looking at the floor and he wonders if to hide tears. She perches uncomfortably on the edge of his bed, body facing away from his. They sit in silence.

Then her voices breaks through it all.

"I am not okay." She is almost whispering and he's never been so intent on hearing anything in his life. "I almost died and it is different. Here, with NCIS, it is different. I like to think that my job comes first and I do not believe I have proven otherwise but I am becoming comfortable here and what the team means to me - what you mean to me- I just wanted to forget..." She trails off and he's not going to push her. This is enough for now.

"Ziva, you don't have to explain," he reassures her and she nods almost imperceptibly, sighing. He moves over to sit with her and feels his stomach unclench when she doesn't move away. "I don't know what's going to happen next," he warns her and she nods again. But he's hopeful, because they are sitting, exposed in more than one way, in his bedroom and she hasn't run out the door. Maybe that means she isn't okay, and that her sense of right and wrong isn't ideal, but he can't regret this and he thinks she doesn't either.

He strokes her cheek. She leans into his touch.