The foreign spice of Colombian air hummed with the sounds of night. From where Ziva sat, though, they sounded distant. It felt strange, yet satisfying to separate herself from time to time, and only when she did, did she remember how much she had missed it.
She brought her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. The sound of the waves was beginning to lull her into a daydream when -
"Hey," a voice said from behind her. She looked up and saw Tony, and faced back to the horizon. She was glad he was there; it was enough that she knew he knew that.
"Hi," was her simple reply. She felt his body brush against hers as he sat beside her. His arms were bare where the sleeves of his T-shirt cut off.
The ocean had always reminded her of life. It ebbed and flowed, usually followed pattern but occasionally, it was impulsive; wild. She wondered about the last time she had been impulsive, or done something without thinking. The first thing that came to mind was her break-up with Ray - she had given it a lot of thought but perhaps the punch to the face was impulsive. She discarded that thought as quickly as she came up with it. She'd spent the entire car ride to the airport thinking of ways to do it. Maybe Monique was right: she really had changed. She used to be wild, like a flame burned within her.
But there was no time like the present.
"Let's go in the water," she said, breaking the silence. Tony looked at her, stunned.
"Come on." She took his hand, which was enough to stun him, and pulled him to his feet. "I will race you."
Before he could react, their hands parted and she bolted towards the water's edge. For a moment, he didn't move, he just watched her. It was different – nice – to see her run like that. She bounded across the beach, kicking up sand with her heels, without a care in the world. Her curls flew behind her wildly in the wind, and the evening sun blocked her out. He saw only her silhouette surrounded by a luscious golden aura of sunlight. It was like a new side of Ziva, laced with the wild person hiding within her that poked its head out on occasion.
He couldn't fight the grin that was tugging at the corners of his lips, and he chased after her, almost catching up, but as he reached out to grab her by the arm he lost his footing and tripped, falling into the ankle deep water with a tiny splash. She helped him up but couldn't wipe the victorious smile off her face.
They were still in the water by the time the sun disappeared behind the horizon. Ziva was standing in the mostly still water, waving her hands over its surface, when she felt Tony's body nudge against her. He was on his back in the water, eyes wide open, staring up at the stars. She mimicked his actions, floating beside him.
"I used to know all the constellations," she stated. "I suppose I got out of practise looking at them when I moved to the city."
"My father bought me a telescope when I was ten," he replied. "It was one of the only times I remember him trying to bond with me and I don't even think I took the damn thing outta the box."
He circled his finger around in the water. "They're pretty much a bunch of sparkly things. Don't tell McGee I said that – I'd get a lecture."
"You know, I still remember a few," she said. He turned his head in the water. She pointed to a cluster of stars to their left. "That's the crane. And over there, that's the lion."
He smiled. "We should do this more often."
She frowned. "What, look at stars?"
"No, hang out," he clarified, but corrected himself: "Spend time together." The former sounded far too much as if she was 'one of the boys'.
She sighed contentedly. "We should…we should get out."
"No," he stopped her. "Come on, let's just stay awhile longer."
He had to admit he liked the feeling of another body next to his, especially Ziva's. A few more minutes couldn't hurt. And she didn't move a muscle.