An NCIS oneshot
Note: An interesting little story with established!Tiva, slightly inspired by the song "Liar" by Ayumi Hamasaki. So read, review, and enjoy! :D Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS, Donald P. Bellisario does.
Ziva David crossed her arms over the cream linen-covered pillow and pressed her lips against her wrist, her nose catching a whiff of the entire bed's scent. Some of her own scent was there, but it was mainly his. She smiled. Times like these—no work, no drama, no one being shot at or killed—were too good to pass up.
She ran a hand through her silky brown hair, a little disgruntled at the knots she found in it. She couldn't remember if she'd brought that hairbrush she'd meant to leave here at his place; if not, she'd have to get it later today or tomorrow. Her hair was unruly at best without a good brushing and, though he said he loved her hair when it was as wild and untamed as her, she always made an effort to look presentable. Too much of her life she'd been a tomboy. Now she could be a lady, for him…to an extent.
Tony DiNozzo gave a little snore before closing his mouth and sniffling. He rubbed his mouth and then his face, slowly starting to wake up. He blinked a few times before pinching his index finger and thumb to rub the sand from the corners of his eyes. Tony was awake now.
"Hungry?" Ziva asked as she stretched.
"I'm not even joking when I say this…I actually slept last night."
She looked at him quizzically. "Why wouldn't you have?"
"You weren't doing your grizzly bear impersonation," he replied with a wicked smile.
She gave him a look. "We all have our faults, Tony. I snore. You…" She dragged her eyes up and down his toned form. "…have your hairy butt."
"Oh, get over it already," Tony said as he sat up in bed. "I'm Italian. Italians are hairy. And we know how to make an excellent pizza."
She laughed. "So what? That means pizza for breakfast?"
"Why not? Pizza tastes great in the morning."
Ziva rolled her eyes, pecked his cheek, and gathered the sheet around her before swinging her legs out of bed. "Well, when one's hungry enough, one can ride a horse, no?"
"Eat a horse, Ziva. Eat a horse," he corrected with a chuckle. "And—hey! What the—? How come you get to walk off with the covers?"
"Because I left you the pillows," the Israeli answered cheekily. She disappeared into his bathroom and stepped into the shower, which fully woke her up. She moved quickly and dried off, pausing to wrap her towel tightly around her as she borrowed his hairdryer to blow-dry her hair. Originally, it had not surprised her that he owned one, nor had she been shocked to discover he possessed more hair care products than she even knew about, but she had been a little grossed out to find the old perm chemicals. Tony said he didn't use them anymore; Ziva wasn't so sure.
She was careful not to use his favorite brush—any other man wouldn't give a damn, she thought—as she combed through her hair and tied it back. She dressed and carried the sheet back out. It didn't faze her that Tony was absent. There were metal, pan sounds in his kitchen.
"Please leave off the basil this time," Ziva called from the bedroom doorway. She picked up their clothes from last night off the floor.
"As you wish," he retorted.
"The Princess Bride," she figured.
Tony whistled. "Maybe you're spending too much time with me to have gotten that one. Though, I will say, as much as a Westley I may be, you are no Buttercup."
Ziva left his jab alone as she put the pillows on the carpet to make the bed. She tugged the sheets up and smoothed them out and then repeated with the covers. The pillows she, too, smoothed out and fluffed—two went on her side, two on Tony's, and one in between. She paused, however, when something glinted in the room's dim light and caught her eye. She narrowed her eyes and blindly reached for the dimmer switch near the light switch on the nearest wall. As the lights grew brighter, the thing glinted again and then faded from sight. Ziva pursed her lips and adjusted the lights so she could clearly see it:
A single, blonde hair.
The woman picked it up—from the pillowcase on one of Tony's pillows—and observed it. It was unswervingly blonde, all right, and not really curly, but wavy. It was long, too, and Ziva's stomach flip-flopped at an automatic thought she had:
It was a woman's hair.
The room suddenly felt cold and Ziva lost her appetite, her mind whirring with a thousand and one possibilities, explanations. But one thought kept singing in her brain: You're a brunette, a brunette, a brunette, a bruuuneeette.
She closed her eyes, willing her instinctive anger to subside, but she knew it was a matter of moments before she snapped. Evidence in hand, she patted the bed—it was perfectly made now, a thought that hit her as ironic—and exited the bedroom. The hallway was short and she was in the kitchen with Tony in a matter of seconds.
"Tony," she rasped. She cursed herself for her voice sounded so weak, so shaky. "Tony, I need to speak with you."
He stopped humming and caught the dough he'd just thrown up into the air. "Yeah, okay…" He looked at her with a peculiar expression on his face. "But it's never a good thing when a woman says, 'We need to talk.'"
"I did not say that. I merely asked for a word."
Tony closed his mouth and put the food aside. "Okay. Shoot. You've certainly said more than a word."
Ziva closed her eyes and inhaled and exhaled a few times. "The—The bed is made, by the way." Again, she cursed herself. If she didn't get this over with, she didn't know when she would.
"Thank you, but I told you that you don't have to do that. Zee, what's wrong? You're doing that breathing thing, the one when you get nervous." Tony, who had been leaning back against the countertop, straightened and dropped his arms, which had been crossed in front of his chest. "Ziva, just—"
"I found this," she cut off, holding the blonde hair up.
He squinted. "Found what? I don't—oh," he said when she moved it so it was visible. "A hair?" He gave a small laugh. "You're hyperventilating over a hair?"
"Tony," she said, her tone grave, "this is a blonde hair. Last I checked, your hair was not this long, and neither of us have hair this fair."
Tony's smile faded, and his brow crinkled as he took a step forward. "Oh my… Don't tell me you think I'm cheating on you?"
She pursed her lips again. It was the only logical conclusion she'd drawn. "You—You can't blame me for thinking—"
"Ziva." He took another few steps, closing the distance between them with his long strides. Tony placed his hands on her shoulders and continued, "History doesn't necessarily explain the present or the future. I haven't been with any blondes in a long time. You can trust me on that." He stopped to give her another speaking opportunity, but when she remained quiet, his face wavered. "Ziva, come on. I may be a charmer, but I hadn't even been with a woman for months before we finally made our moves." The senior agent raised his eyebrows. "And I honestly thought six months would mean something to you." He stopped his thumbs, which had been rubbing circles on her shoulders on their own. "Six months has meant a lot to me, Ziva," he added quietly.
"No, no, six months…" She took another deep breath to steady herself. "It does mean something. However…character does, as well."
"And my character will always be the playboy."
Ziva let an odd beat pass. "It's hard to change one's ways."
"Ziva, I've stuck my neck out for you—literally and physically, even when I thought you might've been dead—I've looked out for you and after you, and I've even been in the same room as your father and not managed to piss my pants out of fear that he might do some funny Mossad thing and kill me with, hell, a paperclip." He bent down and rested his forehead on the top of her head. "It'd be nice if you finally learned to trust me one of these days."
The woman frowned and backed away, placing the hair on the kitchen table. "Tony, I…" She swallowed the lump in her throat. "I'm not hungry." She walked to the front door, grabbed her jacket and scarf, and left his apartment.
At first she waited on the steps outside of Tony's apartment building. Then she got to thinking that Tony, being the gentleman he was, would give her a little bit of time before coming after her and trying to patch things up. Therefore she hopped up from the stoop and wrapped her scarf tightly around her neck before walking down the street.
She didn't really know where she was heading. She did and didn't know Tony's neighborhood. There were some nearby shops he frequented and had showed her. Others she wished they would visit sometime in the future—
If we even deserve a future, Ziva thought glumly. She did have a point about Tony's past; he'd always been a ladies' man, and habits were hard to break. On her part… The Israeli shook her head. She blamed her father for her unwillingness to trust others as easily as Tony and McGee and Abby and Gibbs could. That line of thought begot another: If I cannot convince myself to trust Tony, then does not that shake our foundations to begin with? she asked herself. She reminded herself that trust was essential in a relationship—but it also makes one vulnerable, her conscience warned.
Ziva swore in Hebrew. NCIS and America had been much easier before Tony the Joker had turned into Tony, her lover.
The brunette kept walking until she approached the nearby children's park, which was absent, though it was a Saturday. She glanced at the swing set and its chains and, on a spur of the moment decision, sat in the middle seat. Lazily she kicked off, not gaining a lot of momentum, but enough energy to get her moving. The wind blew her hair back and forth gently while she mulled over her thoughts.
An ice cream truck trudged on by, not out of place yet in the stirrings of autumn. Ziva shut off her mind for a minute to satisfy her sweet tooth, because she really had still been hungry when she'd left Tony's apartment. She was sure the ice cream was good, but she didn't truly taste it. It was just a bit colder outside than desired for ice cream.
Though I am sure the mood turned frosty once I made my exit, she thought, pondering Tony's possible expressions. Nearly fifteen minutes had passed by now with no sign of Tony coming for her. She was simultaneously relieved and saddened. Relieved that he did not turn up to exacerbate things, but saddened that he failed to fulfill her idea of him being the knight in shining armor he proclaimed to be. No, he's more the stallion, she mused with a devilish grin. It faded when another biting breeze blew by, though.
She watched the sun climb further into the morning sky, sighing and collecting her emotions and thoughts. Tony had had a point; he'd always had her back, whether she acknowledged it or not. Knowing him, he would always have her back, because when Anthony DiNozzo had people he loved, he took care of them in any way he could. Anthony DiNozzo lived and would die for his loved ones—of that she was very sure. But of herself? She couldn't be so sure anymore.
The sun hurt her eyes, its light sharp and bright. A few more hours and it would be at its peak. Of that she could be sure.
Ziva glanced at her watch and grimaced. It was almost noon, and she and Tony had awoken at eight or earlier. By now she really did need something in her stomach other than ice cream.
The gravel on the playground crunched and she turned over her shoulder, expecting to find Tony. But it was not him, merely a mother urging her little boy along, telling him they couldn't play today.
Enjoy the playtime that you can, Ziva mentally warned the boy. Because life can consume you in the blink of an eye.
"The park? Really?"
Ziva jolted in her swing, her heart pounding in her chest. She turned around and saw Tony standing with a paper bag by his side, dressed casually in jeans and a denim jacket. She fought a small smile at how un-Tony that was; Tony without any part of a designer suit was strange…but she'd come to learn that occasionally he was laid-back. It was something she'd noticed really happened only around her.
He glanced at the sky before squinting and facing away. "Day's nice today."
"That it is."
"Yoda-speak again? Well, I'll forgive ya 'cause I love ya," he stated as he walked over to the swing set. He dropped into the seat beside her and sat sidesaddle so as to face her. He opened the bag and pulled out a container. "The pizza's at the bottom, but I whipped up a few other breakfast items that I'm sure are kosher." He grinned, nothing too toothy, but caring nonetheless.
Ziva gave him a look and took the container from him, which rattled. Her curiosity ignited now, she opened the lid and cocked her head to one side. "A mirror…and a brush?"
Tony nodded and picked up the hairbrush. "To make a point, your hairbrush. The old one. The one you lost last week. I found it." He gestured to it. "Take a look."
She scanned the bristles and saw what she knew to be her hair—dead brown hairs, dead sepia ones, a few dead bits of auburn. She tensed. "There are blonde hairs here." She stared at him. "She's used my brush?"
He threw his head back and released an exasperated sigh. "She's used—Christ, Zee! I'm not signing my death warrant, for crying out loud!" He picked up the mirror and held it up to her face. "Please do us both a favor and take a good long look, Ziva."
She frowned at him but looked anyway. Ziva had no idea what he was expecting her to notice. She was a brunette and by definition brunettes had brown hair and—
"You still don't get it, do you?" Tony stood so she wasn't in his shadow. Sunbeams fell over her and she winced in the light. He dragged some of her hair out of her face and ran the same hand through her tresses. "Take a look now."
Ziva eyed her reflection with wonder. It…It looked as though she had yellow hair. But surely that was just a trick of the light…?
"Beg pardon," Tony said before plucking one hair from her head. He crouched beside her and gave her a confident look as he passed her the strand. "I'm sure you'll find this matches what you found earlier."
"But I'm not—"
"Ziva, you lived in a place that was basically summer all year long, and never noticed that your hair could be sun-kissed?" Tony laughed. "And if that doesn't convince you, then I'm sure Abby would be fine to run a DNA analysis and match that other hair with this one that you felt I just grabbed from you." He stared into her eyes for a long while. "Trust me or don't, but don't say you don't love me or I don't love you." He smiled again as her lower lip betrayed her and quivered ever so slightly. "Aw, come now, I can't stand to see a sexy former-Mossad agent cry."
"Liar," she mumbled, but she faced him and kissed him anyway. Then her stomach growled.
Tony raised his eyebrows mischievously. "Pizza, love?"
:3 My 1st Tiva! Though I have plenty more planned for them. This was so much fun to write, though. I honestly thought this was going to be a lot shorter, but this worked out nicely. I even hit on some of Ziva's insecurities while still keeping Tony charming. And really, who doesn't love Tony? B)
And the hair color thing isn't made up, in case you're wondering. It can happen, which is why I thought this was an interesting idea. Haha, anyone think I was going to toss them a monkey-wrench? XD
Anywho, please review! And thanks for reading! :D