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Prompt #50: Partners - For two people who used to shy away from commitment like children from brussel sprouts, they stayed together for far longer than anyone would have ever expected.

Words: 983


They met under less than ideal circumstances thanks to Ari. The Mossad control officer and the murdered agent's partner.

They partnered under interesting circumstances thanks to Director Sheppard. The Mossad liasion officer and the Senior Field Agent.

For just about seven years, they'd been through everything from firefights to bad relationships, from terrorist attacks to plain old homicides. Their partnership evolved over those years into something powerful, stronger than steel wire. Sometimes it was pulled to its limit, frayed to a tenuous string. But it always comes back to its former strength.

They'd been together from the very beginning. It only seemed fitting that they were together now.


Everything hurt like hell.

That was what first shot through Ziva's mind as her eyelids fluttered and she returned to consciousness. Every part of her body throbbed with excruciating pain, but at least she was on something warm and not the rough carpet of the elevator...

The elevator.

Harper Dearing.

The bomb.

Tony.

"Tony?" she mumbled, tasting dust and stale air. "Tony, are you all right? Tony!"

"Mugh...Ziva?" came the garbled response. The warm body beneath her shifted, and suddenly she saw that pair of eyes she loved so dearly open blearily. "Ziva, you okay?" he asked, concern an instant reaction as his hands came up to check her body for injuries.

She shivered as his touch skimmed over her torn clothes. "I - I am fine," she said as calmly as possible. "What about you?"

"Everything's still functioning," he replied. "Nothing's missing, far as I can tell. Everything hurts like a bitch, though." He looked around the wreckage-strewn elevator. "Any idea what happened?"

"The bomb must have gone off," Ziva realized. Her eyes widened. "McGee! Gibbs! Abby! And Director Vance!"

"Ziva, Ziva, come down!" Tony's hands clamped on her hips to make her stop wiggling. "Stop. I'm sure they got out okay. Calm down." His eyes shifted up and widened. "Zi, you're hurt," he said, reaching to touch her forehead.

A sudden flux of pain on her head made the Israeli agent wince. "How bad is it?" she asked. Head wounds could seem minor, but if she lost too much blood it could be deadly.

"Not bad. It's not bleeding, just a scratch on your hairline." She felt his hand move to smooth her hair away from the cut. "Can you sit up?"

She could, to her surprise. So could Tony. Checking each other, they found a good number of scrapes and superficial wounds, but nothing that was life-threatening. A minor miracle, given the fact that they were surrounded by debris in a metal box stuck in a shaft in between the ground floor and who-knew-what floor.

"Cole must've been too late to defuse the bomb," Tony mused, looking up at the ruined ceiling.

"Do you think he is dead?"

"Probably."

Ziva sighed. "Dearing."

"Dearing," agreed Tony. He balled up his fist and slammed it into a nearby beam. "Dammit, that bastard!"

Ignoring his outburst, his partner reached over and checked his hand. "The last thing we need after surviving a bomb explosion in an elevator is for you to break your hand doing something stupid," she stated. "We could be here for a while. We may as well get comfortable."

"Wonderful. Lemme pour some wine and put on some jazz," Tony retorted dryly. "You gonna slip into something more comfortable?"

She shot him a dry look. "Gibbs will get us out of here."

"That I don't doubt." Tony frowned as Ziva started scooting carefully towards a clear corner of the elevator. "Where you going, Zee-Vah?"

"Care to join me?" she asked, flashing a quick smile. "I think it will be more comfortable resting against a wall than lying on a cluttered floor."

After a moment's thought, Tony's smile bloomed. "You're one smart woman, Special Agent David," he said, following her lead. He made a quick "ah-ah" sound as she made to lean against the wall. "Here's where I pull the gentleman card." Resting his broad back against the corner, he opened his arms to her. "Come - "

"If you say "come to Daddy" I will punch you in the gut, DiNozzo," Ziva warned.

"I was going to say, "Come into my arms, it's a tight squeeze" Ziva. Do you really think so little of me?" he asked, pouting cutely.

She pointedly crossed her arms. "What makes you think I will accept your invitation?"

The look he gave her was a classic DiNozzo "You're joking, right?" look. "Where else are you gonna go? Remember, moving into the corner was your idea in the first place."

They both knew she would join him. Partners for years, they knew each other's thought processes almost as well as their own. So, cutting to the chase, Ziva crawled over and laid her head on his chest. His heartbeat sped up under her ear, matching hers for speed. "Am I making you nervous?" she teased softly.

"Don't start that, Zi," he warned, his lips moving against her hair. "There's not enough room in this box, and frankly I don't trust the support system enough to risk testing it."

"Spoilsport," she said reflexively.

"Wait until we get out of here, okay?"


They'd been through everything else together.

So, huddled in the corner and nestled in each other's embrace, Tony and Ziva waited for the rescue party to come.

Together.


And FIN! Thank you all soo much for sticking with this for the last year! It was lots of fun!

Please read my other installments and stories as well!