A/N: Number two comes from an episode of Castle. Number three was suggested by fredesrojo.

For: mewofford, a wonderful friend. Happy birthday!

Five Things Ziva loves about Tony

(and one thing she hates)

i. He doesn't tease her when they watch fireworks together.

As the fireworks exploded into beautiful displays of colored symmetrical lights, temporarily lifting the dark veil of night from the surrounding city, she burrowed closer into his side.

Independence Day. Tony had insisted a display in someone's back yard was boring and didn't celebrate the day properly. Surely they should spend it with a large group of fellow Americans, all united for one purpose? And so, every year, the two of them ventured into DC to join in the festivities.

Ziva did not like fireworks. The first year they had started to explode in the warm night's sky above her, she had almost shot someone as a reflex. The lights were not a problem in themselves, but the explosions took her back to Israel and Mossad, to suicide bombers and booby-traps, to death, destruction and despair. Every noise was like a bomb detonating, or a gun firing, or the screams and shrieks of the survivors and bereaved.

Tony understood. She had never needed to find any words to explain her fear. He never said anything when she cuddled up to him and flinched at every bang. He always put his arms around her, kept her close and safe and protected.

She tipped her head back and smiled at the lights dancing in the heavens. She had nothing to be afraid of with him by her side.

ii. He acts like the class clown even in dangerous situations.

Adrenalin flowing smoothly through her veins, Ziva easily flipped over the suspect and made sure he wasn't able to fight. Not that he was likely to after she had just shot him through the shoulder, but sometimes people became desperate when they knew the game was up. She wasn't going to be killed by a dying man.

Keeping her gun trained on the suspect and her knee firmly on his stomach so he couldn't even wriggle against the sidewalk, she glanced up at her partner. Tony had winced when she had shot their suspect, but she had seen his hand snaking towards a pocket and she did not trust terrorists. Tony had recovered his wits and now looked impressed at the speed in which she had defused the situation.

Time for a little more defusing.

"Where is the bomb?" she demanded. She needed to know now so she could call Gibbs on this cold night and guide him right to the device.

The suspect whimpered on the floor; she doubted he was going to cause her any problems. "Call an ambulance," he begged.

"My partner is on that," she informed him coldly, glancing back up at Tony.

"Nine," he intoned calmly. "One… What comes after the one?"

Resisting the urge to smirk, she pushed the barrel of her gun into the suspect's wound. "I'm in pain!" the suspect pleaded.

She arched an eyebrow, seeing Tony out the corner of her eye. He was dancing around, murmuring to himself as though trying to recall the last number. They would have to have words afterwards. No matter how amusing she found his antics, it helped her questioning if she was not about to start laughing until she cried.

iii. Once a week, he doesn't correct her English.

"Perhaps I could sew his lips together?" Ziva wondered aloud.

Across the squad room, Tim nodded in agreement. "He wouldn't be able to eat either, but he could do with going on a diet."

Ziva smiled triumphantly even as Tony rounded on the Probie. "Just because you finally succeeded in losing your puppy fat, McSkinny."

"Hey," Ziva protested. "Shut your catch!"

Tony opened his mouth to automatically correct her, but remembered just in time and turned back to his computer before he could say anything. Unfortunately for him, Tim caught his odd action and summoned the courage to bring it up.

"You're not going to correct her English?" he asked.

"It is Thursday," Ziva answered as though this explained everything.

Tim looked between his co-workers. "No, I'm still lost," he declared.

Ziva smiled happily. "Tony has not corrected anything I have said for the past five Thursdays."

Tim turned to look at Tony, who was slipping down in his seat and trying to pretend he wasn't there. A guilty man if ever he'd seen one. "Explain," he demanded.

Tony wisely kept his mouth shut. Ziva chuckled. "The one time we want him to talk and a cat sits on his tongue," she noted.

Tony opened his mouth to correct her again, before shutting it firmly. And then opening it again. "I'm going to see Abby," he announced, rising rapidly from his chair and fleeing the squad room, while his teammates snickered behind him.

iv. On Friday nights, he lets her pick the movies.





Tony chuckled to himself. "You're supposed to say 'check'," he reminded her.

"But you do not bill me," Ziva replied, confused. "And even if you did, for some bizarre reason, I would be more polite when asking you."

"Were you polite to men when you attached electrodes to their genitals?"

"I was not asking for the bill," she answered stiffly.

"It's not 'check' as in bill," he explained. "It's a check on a checklist."

Ziva considered this. "Then why can I not simply say 'yes'?"

Tony shook his head in exasperation. "Never mind, my Israeli friend. We have a more important matter to attend to. It's Friday night – your night to pick the movies."

To Ziva's amusement, he gave her an impromptu drum roll on her coffee table. She giggled, forgetting for a moment she was supposed to be a steely-eyed killer. "The second Pirates of the Caribbean movie," she announced.

"Dead Man's Chest?" he checked. "An interesting choice from Miss David. It's so you can stare at Johnny Depp, right?"

"I may have enjoyed the action in the first movie and never got around to seeing the others," she admitted. "And he is hot."

"We should watch them all together," he decided.

"Not tonight," she reminded him. "I get to pick the movies."

"Of course, milady." He bowed low and made her giggle again. "And what else shall we watch together?"


He blinked. "Please tell me there are subtitles."

"Perhaps, ahabal."

"Any risk of tears?"

She considered. "From you or me?"

"I'll get the box out then," he promised, pulling it from under the couch with a flourish and flopping down next to her on the couch. "On with Johnny Depp."

v. He secretly takes Hebrew classes to impress her.

He thought she didn't know. He thought she hadn't noticed.

She found it highly amusing. She was not just a highly trained investigator working for an American armed federal agency, but she had been trained from birth to enter the Mossad. Very few things escaped her notice.

And when her partner became secretive and mysterious, she was not likely to leave well alone.

He was childishly easy to follow, despite her efforts over the years to improve his skills. She had trailed him all the way to a community college, before having to resort to more cunning methods. More cunning and possibly slightly illegal, but the man on the front desk had enjoyed her attention and happily handed over all the information relating to one Anthony D. DiNozzo Junior.

She hadn't been sure whether to tease him or kiss him. Hebrew classes? Tony hated anything that looked like it even vaguely involved effort on his part, but here he was, voluntarily taking secret classes to learn another language, her first tongue. It was endearing and sweet, and by all rights she should have told the world.

But she kept quiet, privately impressed that he was going out of his way to learn something so important to her and not for nefarious purposes (she hoped, anyway, or she was going to have to start censoring her private phone calls in the squad room).

Even if she did plan to give him a masterclass in swear words.

And one thing she hates…

In retrospect, the burning smell should have been his first clue. Idiot that he was, he had assumed she was burning the dinner for the first time ever, or burning one of Abby's candles, or practicing her aim with a flamethrower.

It wasn't until he stuck his head into the kitchen that he realized his predicament. And naturally began to panic.

"Erm, Ziva?"

"Yes?" She was watching over a bubbling pan on the stove. Even in an emergency, he recognized the smell; Ziva cooked a mean bolognaise.

"The fire?"

"What fire?" Damn her for remaining so calm and nonchalant. He was tempted to run to the nearest bomb shelter before she exploded and killed him, and boiled the flesh from his bones on her stove. Strictly speaking, she didn't have to kill him first…

He gulped, forcing the panic down. "Are you burning my socks on the kitchen table?"

"Observant," she noted coolly. "You should be an investigator."

Resisting the urge to run screaming from the apartment, he re-phrased his question. "Why are you burning my socks on the table?"

She turned around to glare at him. "Because you are completely incapable of putting them in the laundry basket! I find them everywhere! Behind the toilet, under my pillow, in the dishwasher, on top of the bookcase!"

He winced. "About that…"

"In my underwear drawer!"

It was time to step up and be a man. "I was pooling our resources."

"They were covered in mud!" she snapped.

There was nothing else for it… "Ziva, I'm so sorry. I didn't realize. I'm going to put out this fire, dispose of the remains and buy more socks."

She turned back to her pan; he missed her smirk. But as he scurried around dealing with the mess, he decided it was time to stop leaving his dirty socks all over her apartment.

And time to start leaving them at McGee's.