NCIS Squad Room. A Few Days Later. Late Evening.

After the painkillers had worn off and Ziva had left he had found himself wondering why she'd been asking about his choice of next of kin. Being a very special agent it hadn't taken him long to recall that when he'd sent that cute nurse to find Ziva he hadn't actually said her name. He'd said something like a colleague or friend was waiting. The poor nurse had looked rather exhausted and must have been referring to some old paperwork.

Once he'd somewhat mastered using the crutches Ducky had cleared him to come back to work. The first thing he had done was to check in with Personnel. A staffer there had confirmed that at the moment he had only one person listed and that was Abby. She had given him a small, sad smile as she suggested it would really be better to have to two names listed as one could never be certain what might happen. He'd smiled back and promised to provide one very soon as he knew she knew what she was talking about. She'd lost her husband of only two months, one of probie's buddies on a case that had later lead to the death of special agent Paula Cassidy.

He had thought about it and it still made sense. All the reasons that had applied to his original choice also applied to Ziva. No matter what had happened between them in the past and whatever might happen in the future he knows he can count on her to want what's best for him. She'd fight for him and always have his six. He had been searching for the right words all day but as she begins to gather her things he decides to just go with his gut.

"Ziva?"
"Yes" She pauses from reaching into the drawer for her gun and looks across at him.
"Ah." He's finding it more difficult to get the words out than he'd thought it would be.
"Is something wrong?"
"No. Just wanted to thank you for coming to pick me up and making sure I was okay."
She smiles at him and continues to get her things together. "No problem Tony. You are my partner and would do the same for me, right?"
"Of course."
"Well good night then." She begins to walk away.
"Ziva wait". She walks back to stand in front of his desk. "There's something I want to ask you."
"Is that why you have been looking strangely at me these last couple of days?"
"I have?"
"You have."
"Maybe. You see it was your question about next of kin...I started thinking and then I checked and..."
"Tony!" If he hadn't already been injured at this point in the conversation normally she'd be fantasizing how to inflict some serious pain on him.
"Will you be my next of kin? I told you why I don't want my family and Abby will only agree to be number two and Personnel says I really should have more than one so..."
"Yes. Of course I will. I think it is nice that you asked."
"Good."
"I just have one question though."
"What?"
"This would be if you are badly hurt, probably on the job right?"
"Yes."
"Well what happens if..." she gives a seriously wicked grin "I am the one who tried to kill you?"
DiNozzo's mouth drops open as she starts to laugh and then he joins in."Good night Tony." She walks away.
"Night."