It was a chilly Sunday in December when Ziva approached her bookcase for the first time in months. Sighing, she ran her finger along the wooden ledge, scraping away the fine layer of dust that had gathered there in her absence. Between her out of control hours at work at Tony's constant taunting at her love for reading, she had seldom opened up a book in too long. Unless mind-numbing case files counted.
She ran her fingers through her hair, scanning the titles staring at her from their shelves. Her winters in America had taught her that the best way to spend a quiet evening was to crack open a good book, snuggling up on the sofa, warm and safe. The feeling of comfort and relaxation she gained from these nights was something that had been new to her when she had first arrived in the country. She had wondered how a person could sit back and do nothing, when surely, somewhere, there was progress to be made. It was one of the many reasons that she hated stakeouts so much: she had trouble sitting there and doing nothing. She used to exercise in these free times, but after the turning of the seasons came around and the nights grew colder, she learned that running through the park, in the snow, in the freezing cold, was not the most enjoyable task.
So now she found herself looking for a book to read. She wanted to get wrapped up in a story, and forget the rather negative feelings she had gained towards their absolute swine of a suspect she had had to interrogate today. One particular title caught her eye.
Deep Six by Thom E. Gemcity. A smile tugged at her lips. She never actually got the chance to finish it. After Gibbs took it off her the first time, she just pushed it aside. She kept pushing it aside, and ultimately forgot about it all together. And now it seemed alluring, to see inside her own mind. At least, from McGee's point of view. And perhaps a look into how he saw the rest of the team: Gibbs, Abby, Tony…even Palmer.
She picked the book out of the shelf, and sat herself down on her sofa, opening up to where she had left off last time.
Tommy gazed longingly at the empty desk across from him. He really missed Lisa when she wasn't here with him. Like today, for example, when she and LJ happened to be chasing up a lead in Ohio, staking out suspects.
It made his day, seeing her smile at him, her chestnut eyes lighting up as she did so, and he couldn't help but smile back at her. She was contagious.
Ziva held back a laugh. It amazed her, what that writer's brain of Tim's did to the simple smiles she gave to Tony when she walked into the bullpen of a morning.
"You miss her?" Agent McGregor understandingly from his own desk, to the right Tommy's.
Realising he had been staring Tommy quickly put his pen to the paper laying neglected in front of him.
"Hm?" Tommy asked, acting distracted, like he hadn't even heard the younger man.
McGregor sighed. 'There's just no talking to him,' he thought.
That was true. Tony backed out of a conversation the minute it started to involve personal feelings. McGee – Mr Gemcity – had certainly nailed that aspect.
Lisa and LJ were silent as they gobbled up their takeaway Chinese. She loved working in the field, there was no doubting it, but it had been four days and she had spoken to no one but her boss and drug dealers turned potential murderers who, quite frankly, smelled like they hadn't showered in about a year and spat what she was sure was toxic acid onto her face when they spoke. If she had to do this for much longer she might actually go insane.
"Get some sleep, Lisa," Tibbs told her, gobbling the last of his beefy noodles. "We're going home in the morning."
Lisa uttered a simple goodnight and retreated to her own little hotel room. Once she was sure she was alone, she did allow herself to do a little victory dance. She was very, very glad to be leaving. She hated stakeouts.
Ziva laughed out loud at that. She did hate stakeouts. A lot.
Upon the time of their reunion, neither Tommy or Lisa acted nearly as enthusiastic as they felt. They greeted each other with a simple smile, and a simple 'hello'.
She paused and reread those two sentences. That did sound like them. It sounded quite a lot like them, actually. The Israeli chewed her lip and fiddled idly with the corner of the page. This book was accurate about everything so far – could it possibly be accurately portraying the way she and Tony acted towards each other? Is that really how others saw them? It was never her intention to give off that vibe, even if they did engage in some harmless flirting now and again.
McGregor rolled his eyes. He may have been the least experienced interrogator but he could tell from a mile away that those two just needed to let loose already. It was actually beginning to frustrate him, and after some thought, he came to the conclusion that his frustration probably wasn't normal. In fact, it was a little weird. Or was he simply caring for his friends' wellbeing?
'I really need a second opinion,' he thought, and quickly managed to sneak out of the squad room. He knew exactly who that second opinion was going to be.
Back in the real world, Ziva had a feeling about who that person was going to be too.