He couldn't hear much of what she said into the phone past "Hi…Ray?" Probably better that way. He watched her for a moment though. Her voice remained cheerful in tone, but her expression didn't match. That forced smile plastered to her face didn't quite reach her eyes. She had seemed genuinely disappointed when the phone rang. If he had suggested she not answer, would she have listened? He was inclined to think yes. It had felt like she was really asking his opinion, but this was all so new, such uncharted territory for them—actually talking about things—that he didn't know how to read the situation all of a sudden.

A hand running along his shoulders pulled him out of his thoughts. A content noise escaped from his mouth involuntarily. That felt nice.

Ziva smiled. "Ready to go?" she asked, as she continued past him around her desk.

He nodded, his brow furrowing in confusion. It was as if it was a continuation of their conversation. As if the phone call hadn't happened. "Short call." He crossed back to his desk to grab his coat.

"He will be in town later this week," she noted, voice neutral, as he returned to her side.

"Is this a good thing?" he asked, locking his eyes on hers.

She didn't look away, nor did she answer him right away. Finally, she admitted, "I do not know."

"Lost his chance?"

She took a deep breath. "I waited for him to call, to email, to anything! For so long. A single phone call on Thanksgiving in what, seven months?"

She was really getting fired up about this. "Too little too late?"

"Yes!" she agreed, before deflating a little. "Is that silly?" They walked toward the elevator.

"You know what I think," he told her.

The doors hissed closed.

"Do I?" she asked, pointedly.

Fair. Other than just now telling her she should be frustrated at Ray's lack of communication, he had mostly just mocked the man. "I think…" He hesitated, wanting to choose his words carefully. "I think he had his chance and he blew it. You gave him a second chance and what does he do? Walks right out the door again."

The doors dinged open, and for a moment neither of them moved. She was staring up at him, contemplating what he'd just said. The doors closed again. Her big brown eyes were looking at him so intensely, they could bore holes. He didn't know what else to add to his commentary. He just held her gaze, and waited.

"You are right," she said finally, expression brightening. The doors opened again and she crossed out of the elevator into the foyer. What had just happened? They walked outside in silence. It was a nice night, warm for January.

"So, are you going to show him the door?" Tony asked hopefully as they reached the parking lot.

She turned to look up at him brow furrowed. "Why would I show him a door?"

Tony chuckled and gave her shoulder a squeeze. "You know, kick him to the curb? I guess there are a lot of idioms for this," he conceded through laughter.

"I like that last one."

"You do know it's not taken literally, right? Like, you don't actually get to kick him. Though that would be fun to watch."

"Would it now?" she smirked.

"Oh yeah," he grinned. "Totally hot."

"Hot?" She queried, shaking her head. "My kicking his ass would be hot?"

"It's always hot when you kick someone's ass."

"Hunh." Perhaps that was too much sharing for tonight, but she didn't sound put off, but rather intrigued. "And would it be hotter because it is someone that you do not care for?"

"They're always someone I don't care for," Tony laughed. "It's generally the bad guy."

"But there is a certain amount of schadenfreude involved?"

Now it was his turn to furrow his brow.

"Happiness at the misfortune of others," she explained.

"Totally," he answered with a grin.

She shook her head again, but she was still smiling. He really wanted her to keep smiling. As hot as she looked when she was kicking someone's ass, that beautiful smile—a genuine one—was ten times hotter. They'd reached his car and paused without a word.

"You are deep in thought again," she noted.

"Again?" he asked.

"You were deep in thought when I got off the phone too," she told him, leaning back against his car and looking up at him.

Right. He'd been thinking about what it was they were actually doing tonight.

"Would you like to share?" she asked, when he did not do it automatically.

He shrugged. How did he explain? "I was thinking about our conversation before."

"Before meaning…?"

"Right before the phone rang."

"You asked if you are in my life?"

"I did," he affirmed. He was standing as close as he could possibly be without actually touching her right now.

"Why would you think you are not?" she asked as she stood up straight. Suddenly pressed right up against him.

It was a difficult question to answer under normal circumstances. Her proximity made it infinitely harder—pun intended.

"You are trying to distract me."

She cocked her head to the side and smiled up at him. "Would you prefer I moved?"

"No," he answered immediately, earning him a chuckle. He couldn't think straight, but he sure didn't want her to move. It took him a while, but he finally reasoned, "We don't always open up to each other."

She thought about this for a moment before she agreed, "No, we don't."

"We should," he blurted out.

"I would like that."

"Good," he smiled. They were making progress, for sure. He found his eyes locked on hers, and wanted nothing more than to kiss her.

So he did.

It was a short kiss, but full of the promise of more to come. Things were heading in the right direction.