"I am going to bed."

Tony barely looked up from the TV show he was watching- watching, but not understanding, as it was in French. "Okay."

Silence followed, and he had the feeling that he was being watched. He turned his head, and there was Ziva, arms folded, eyes narrowed at him. "What?"

"You are taking up the whole bed, Tony. Move over."


He scooted over to his side, and Ziva slipped under the covers on hers. There was a good two feet of mattress and comforter between them, and that was good. That meant Tony wouldn't be tempted to touch her.

She switched the lamp off, and then the only light in the room came from the television. "Good night, Tony."

"'Night, Ziva."

For the next few minutes, he was careful to keep his eyes on the TV screen. Once he heard her breathing even out and small grunts forming in her throat- a prelude to her snoring, no doubt- Tony allowed himself to look at her. Her hair was loose and curly and spread out across her pillow; the skin of her face appeared soft and smooth.

As his eyes moved downward, over her neck and across her shoulder, however, Tony frowned. Something was off…

And then he realized what it was.

Ziva was wearing a tank top. This was her usual sleep wear, but not what she wore to work; therefore, he hadn't really had the opportunity to see what her sleeves covered.

Scars. Three that he could count, but that was in the dim light of the television; there were probably a lot more. And even if there weren't, these three were bad enough. They were each about six inches long, branching out upon her bicep.

She never talked about it. Tony really wished she would. He understood that it was an extremely traumatic experience and that she dealt with things by keeping them inside, but should he, her partner, really have to learn about what those bastards did to her by observing her shoulders while she slept?

Without thinking, Tony lowered his head and kissed the end of one scar. The skin was cool upon his lips, and he started rubbing some warmth into her arm. He lifted his mouth and pressed it against another scar, lingering there until he felt her muscles stiffen.

"Tony. What are you doing?"

He drew back immediately and looked into Ziva's face. Her eyes were wide and unsettled. "What are you doing?" she demanded again, lifting one hand to her arm, where the feel of his kisses remained.

"I didn't know you had those," he said quietly, nodding at her shoulder. In the background, that French movie was still playing, and foreign gibberish was the only sound in the room as Ziva stared up at him.

"Am I supposed to report my every blemish to you?" she hissed finally. "Would you also like to know about the zit on the side of my nose?"

Tony closed his eyes. "No, Ziva. I just… they just… surprised me."

"Yes, well. They are not going away anytime soon, so you have plenty of time to get used to them." With that, she yanked on the covers and curled up on her side, facing away from him. Tony briefly considered letting it go for now, but no. He was always letting things go with her. At some point, he was going to have to stop being afraid and start trekking forward.

And so he lay back and rolled onto his side and took her hand in his. Before she could object or pull away, he resumed dropping kisses onto her scars, and he didn't pull back until he had kissed them all. Until he had shown her that every single one just added to her beauty.

Ziva didn't turn around to face him, but she didn't snap at him again, either. Instead, she simply held his hand, but that was enough for Tony. That was more than enough.

In the morning, when he opened his eyes, he found her head on his shoulder and their fingers still intertwined. With a small smile on his face, he used his free hand to stroke the scars that adorned her arm. They were there, and they were staying, but guess what?

So was he.

I am seriously so tired, I have no idea what I just wrote. I hope it's semi-good. Thanks for reading… review, please?