Summary: Tony is worried about Ziva and wants to talk to her about what happened at Saleem's camp. But will he be able to help her? Will she let him? Set after 7x02 Reunion.
Author's Note: I love the bathroom scene in Reunion, but I think they could have done even better than that, so I decided to try and write it myself ;)
Disclaimer: NCIS and its characters are the property of CBS Television and Belisarius Productions. No copyright infringement intended.
Tony waited for the elevator doors to open and allow him to enter the squad room with a big smile on his face. Finally, after a truly horrible summer everything was back to the way it should be. No more rogue Israeli operatives running around in D.C. (and Ziva's apartment), Ziva was alive and well (at least under the circumstances) and she was about to become an official NCIS Special Agent which made it pretty unlikely that she would ever have to go back to Israel against her will, especially since she would also change her citizenship if she passed all the necessary tests and no one really doubted that.
Yap, everything was back to the way it should be and turning into something even better.
The elevator doors opened now and Tony walked towards his desk, the smile on his face broadening when the first thing he saw was Ziva. She was busy sorting through some files in the cabinet next to Tony's desk and had her back to him.
With a grin, Tony walked up behind her as silently as he could and then brought his mouth close to her ear and said, "Good morning, sunshine."
The whole thing had played out better in his imagination than it did in reality. Ziva winced, drove her elbow into his guts, grabbed him by the arm and flung him over her shoulder so that he ended up lying on the ground with his back.
Tony choked and tried to blink the tears away that the sudden pain had caused. "No sunshine today, huh?" he managed while panting for air.
"Tony! What did you do that for?" Ziva asked, having the decency to look a little horror-struck and offering him a hand to help him get up again. "It is unwise to startle me at the moment."
"Yeah, duly noted," Tony assured her, straightening his jacket and tie.
Ziva looked at him with a mixture of indignation and guilt. "I am sorry," she said, but then simply added, "I have to get these files down to Ducky."
With that she left Tony to stare after her.
"Something wrong, DiNozzo?" another voice suddenly spoke up behind him and it was his turn to get startled. Only that he didn't turn into crazy karate-kid because of that, which was good because Gibbs certainly wouldn't have taken very kindly to that.
"Uh, no, morning, Boss," Tony replied now and finally sat down behind his desk, but the incident didn't leave him alone. Ziva had always been a cat with claws or he wouldn't have nicknamed her his little ninja, but attacking people like that who simply sneaked up behind her… that was extreme even for her.
"Boss, did you talk with Ziva about what happened at Saleem's camp?" he therefore asked now.
Gibbs barely looked up from his work. "You were there, DiNozzo. You know what happened."
"No, I mean before we showed up. The four months he held her there," Tony explained.
"No," Gibbs said succinctly.
Tony frowned. "Don't you think someone should? Because she's obviously still struggling to deal with it – and failing."
Now Gibbs looked at him. "So what, DiNozzo? You wanna make her talk?"
"Well," Tony knew that was probably a ludicrous idea, but still… "you know how it works with stuff like that. You shouldn't bury it or it will haunt you forever."
Gibbs' gaze softened because he was probably reminded of all the stuff that was still haunting him to this very day. "If Ziva wants to talk, we will talk," he said and rose from his chair.
"But…" Tony started to protest.
Gibbs walked towards his desk and dropped a few files on his keyboard. "When the time is right, Tony," he repeated and then turned to leave again. "I'm down with Abby. Try not to get yourself killed until I get back."
"Yah, very funny," Tony muttered and tried massaging his neck until Ziva returned and settled down at her desk opposite of him. He looked at her and no matter what Gibbs said, he couldn't help feeling that she would need someone to persuade her to talk and open up. This was Ziva they were talking about, after all. She was never exactly chatty and when it involved something personal even less so than usual.
"So, how are you?" he asked her eventually.
Ziva merely glanced at him. "I am fine, Tony."
"You sure? Because you seemed a little… on edge just now," he phrased it carefully.
"I said I was sorry."
"Hey, don't worry about it." Tony's shoulder still hurt like hell but that was nothing compared to the torture Ziva probably had been forced to endure, so he tried to ignore it. "I'm just saying if you want to talk…"
"Talk about what?" Ziva asked, that very same edge creeping back into her voice.
But Tony knew her too well to get intimidated so easily. "About what happened at Saleem's camp."
Ziva's already dark eyes seemed to turn black. "You already know what happened," she said, sounding like Gibbs.
"Nah, I'm not talking about rescuing you. I'm talking about the four months before that," Tony explained and dared to rise and walk over to her desk. He knew this wouldn't work without a little pressure. "I mean what did you and Saleem do all those weeks? Having tea-parties?"
Ziva was on her feet so fast the movement blurred before his eyes and she leaned over her desk towards him. "You think this is funny, Tony?" she hissed. "Something to make your stupid little jokes about?"
"No," Tony replied, not backing away from her, "as you just pointed out yourself, I was there. I know how much not fun that was. I just want to hear your side of the story."
Ziva took a deep breath and a step back again. "It is none of your business, Tony."
He shook his head with a forced smile. "Wrong again, Zee-vah. I made it my business when I got you out of there alive."
She looked at him with an indefinable expression on her face but before she could say anything, the elevator doors pinged and McGee came walking towards them.
"Morning, guys," he called while heading for his desk.
"It is not your business," Ziva repeated before sitting down again and effectively ending the conversation for now.
Tony gritted his teeth, but he wasn't done just yet.