Summary: "A soft whimper catches her attention". Tony has a wood splinter in his hand, and Ziva helps him to remove it.

Disclaimer: I tried selling that wood splinter in order to buy NCIS. I told them, this is Tony DiNozzo's wood splinter, but nooo...no one wanted it. So I still don't own NCIS.

Spoilers: None.

Dedication: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANI! This is for you :) I hope you like it!

Enjoy, please review!

-Soph


Splinter

A soft whimper catches her attention and distracts her from the paperwork that she's completing; she glances up in time to see Tony glare furiously at his hand and then attempt to pick up the pen that he'd been holding.

"Tony?" she asks in confusion. "What is wrong?"

"Nothing," he answers smoothly as he continues writing.

Furrowing her brows, she goes back to work, only to be distracted five minutes later by another whimper. Rolling her eyes, she marches over to Tony's desk and stands in front of him. "Give me your hand."

His head snaps up, startled. "Why?"

"Because you are obviously in pain and unwilling to admit it."

"What does that have to do with you?"

"I want to see why you are in pain. All that whimpering is annoying."

He blinks and stares at her for a full minute before reluctantly putting down his pen and extending his hand. "It's just a splinter."

"Oh, Tony," she sighs as she inspects the wound. The splinter is tiny; if she hadn't been looking for it, she would never have seen it. She presses down on the flesh around it; he winces. "Why didn't you say anything?"

He shrugs.

She relinquishes his hand. "Were you planning on leaving it in there forever? You should have Ducky remove it."

"It's just a splinter, Zi."

"When did you get it anyway?"

"This morning…you know, I should be more careful around wooden materials in my apartment. Maybe I should start wearing gloves everywhere."

"Tony," she says reproachfully, and a slight hint of stubbornness comes into his eyes.

"What?"

"You should have Ducky remove it."

"Ziva, I'm not going to run to Ducky crying like a little girl about a tiny piece of wood in my hand."

"Then let me remove it."

"Why?"

"Because it could get infected."

He pauses, apparently weighing the possibility of getting an infection against the possibility of being labelled a child by Ziva and anyone who may happen to pass by while she removes the splinter. Finally he groans and holds out his hand again. "I'm all yours."

She represses the urge to ruffle his hair comfortingly, and returns to her desk to take out a needle and a pair of tweezers instead.

"What kind of stuff do you keep in there anyway?" He eyes her desk curiously as she approaches him again and takes up his hand with hers.

"Anything I may need, including the things needed for removing a splinter."

"Wow, you're like Nurse Ziva."

She shoots him a glare. "Tony, you do not want to piss off the person about to use a sharp object to remove another sharp object from your hand."

Pressing the needle to his palm, she begins to push the splinter out. He winces again and falls silent, watching her progress.

She gets the splinter out of his flesh in all of two minutes, and he stares at her, impressed. "You know, you should consider nursing as a career."

She can't help her laughter. "I prefer assassination."

"That's just weird."

She offers him a faint smile before she studies his hand again. "Does it still hurt?"

"I don't think so. And you're no longer an assassin. You're a ninja investigator."

"Mmhmm. You will need to disinfect it when you get home. I do not have any antiseptic with me right now. After that, consider a Band-Aid."

"Okay. Thanks, Zi."

"You are welcome, Tony." She gives the back of his hand a light tap before straightening up and going back to her own desk.

Ten minutes later, peace has resumed, and there are no longer any sudden whimpers to interrupt her work.