"Why do you always get so jealous, Tony?"

It was Ziva speaking. Hands on hips, fire burning in her eyes, voice coated with anger and frustration.

Whatever Tony's answer would be, he knew he would have to say it very carefully, so as not to overstep her boundaries any further.

He stared at the woman before him. She was a trained Israeli assassin; dangerous. She put a wall up to the world, and very few people could get through.

Tony knew she was a scarred woman, damaged goods, but that did not make her any less special, any less important. Every day since that nightmare in Somalia had ended, she was growing stronger, becoming a new person. But at heart, she was still the ninja he had grown to appreciate and care for, and it always brought a smile to his face when it occasionally showed.

Although she had become far less of an assassin and more of a woman, she was by no means wholesome, and Tony knew this. But something about her, something about her silky, coconut-scented hair, her perfect olive skin, and her small pink lips seemed…untouched.

Then he thought about another man kissing those lips, running his fingers violently through that silky hair and it sparked rage inside of him. He thought of all of her, fully exposed and his knuckles tightened and clenched into fists at the thought of someone taking advantage of her.

He knew if it was him, it would be different.

He would take his time, appreciating every last inch of her gorgeous body. He would treat her as carefully as if she were made of China, so fragile she could break if he wasn't gentle enough. He would only serve to bring her pleasure, and forget about himself.

He had told her he was glad there was someone who made her smile, he had meant every word. He loved it when Ziva smiled. She looked so beautiful. It made everything in his world seem insignificant, for a moment.

Their relationship, as co-workers and partners, was very different to anything he had ever experienced and probably highly dysfunctional, but he treasured it so. She was irreplaceable, and he would die for her in a second. Both of their lives seemed a little more empty when the other wasn't around. He believed, in his childish heart, it was love. Love of a rare, unknown kind, but that only made it all the more special.

So he knew two things:

One, he cared about her, very, very strongly.

Two, he was jealous.

But he didn't have the 'why'. Why was always the hardest part.

You're afraid that if she gets too serious with a guy and gets her heart broken she'll never trust a man again.

You think she'll settle down and you won't be part of her life anymore.

Then it came to him.

You want her for yourself.

He just shrugged at her.

She would never know.

A/N: just thought this thingy up while I was supposed to be doing my maths homework (shhhhh!). Anyway, just thought I'd send it in. I was bored :) Reviews would be great.