Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS.
A/N: A loose tag to 9x21: "Rekindled." Between Tony getting more backstory, McGee getting recognition from Gibbs, and McGee and Ziva being concerned about Tony, there was a lot to love in this episode. The fic that follows is far too fluffy for an such a gloriously angsty episode, but my angst plot bunnies are currently hiding under my bed and refusing to play with me.
Gibbs isn't a stupid man. He's always known that there was something between his SFA and the (now former) Mossad officer. At first that 'something' was a potent blend of irritation, curiosity, and lust. Now… it's more complicated. How complicated, he can't say. After they'd rescued Ziva from Somalia, he'd more than half-expected a relationship to spring up between the two agents. When nothing happened, he'd assumed that they'd put the whole thing behind them. But recently, he's started to wonder again.
And it's the little things that get to him. Little things, like Tony insisting a bit too vehemently that Ziva not get too close to his ex-fiancée. Ziva being a bit too interested in Tony's love life. Their mirrored body language as they walk onto a crime scene. The way that they lean in towards one another when chatting at the office.
He remembers what Ryan told him: feet are the most honest part of the body. And even when they're so angry that they're ignoring each other, Tony's and Ziva's feet point directly towards one another these days.
Everyone has at least one tell.
And Tony's and Ziva's are telling him that something is coming.
It's the little things that make his gut twinge. Continued bickering, but less true fighting. Warm glances and lowered voices. A miniature American flag mysteriously appearing next to the Israeli one in the cup on Ziva's desk.
Something's coming all right, and he needs to prepare for it.
He's no longer actively trying to stop it, either. There's only so long you can plug a dam before it bursts. Besides, the two of them are more mature than they were when they first met, more compatible for something longer-lasting. Better at looking after each other; better for each other.
Case in point: tonight.
Tony is typing away on his computer, face grim and shoulders tense. Ziva is busy as well, but she keeps sneaking concerned glances at him when she thinks no one's watching.
Gibbs is worried too, though he has no intention of showing it. Tony's taking seeing Jason again hard; it's understandable, but Gibbs knows from experience that that knowledge won't make the situation any better for his SFA; Tony has always had a tendency to shoulder more than his fair share of guilt. And tough decisions like the one Tony had to make years ago… they stick with you. Haunt you.
While Gibbs is on the phone and seemingly distracted, Ziva strolls noiselessly over to Tony's desk and puts a small item on it. Tony looks up, nods in acknowledgment, and returns to his work. Gibbs is careful not to show that he's noticed anything.
Later that night, however, Gibbs sees Tony pick the item up. It appears to be a chocolate bar with a note rubberbanded around it. Tony's eyes quickly scan the note and soften almost imperceptibly. He slides the note into his jacket pocket, face pensive, and proceeds to peel the wrapper off the chocolate bar. Biting into it, a little bit of tension visibly leaves his body, and he returns to typing.
Gibbs sighs silently.
Something is coming.
When he dismisses his agents early the next evening, Tony and Ziva rise from their desks at the same time, movements unconsciously synchronized. And as they all wait at the elevator, Gibbs notes that their feet are pointing towards one another yet again.
Gibbs has more pressing subjects to worry about than his subordinates' love lives. But when he notices these little tells, his gut twinges; and he wonders… did the flame between Tony and Ziva ever die out in the first place? Or has it merely been banked and waiting all along?