I'll probably regret posting this now, but I've justified posting this for several reasons:
- The second part is nearly complete.
- I haven't been able to concentrate on writing anything else because I've been playing around with this.
- None of the stories or authors I have on alert have posted much and I need some sort of Tiva outlet.
- I feel very guilty I haven't been posting anything in general.
This is a little different from your regular story, and it jumps around in time. Short and simple, and not very refined. But it's been killing me and I just want to get it off my computer. Hopefully now I can get back to finishing Fog. Oh, and fair warning, fluffy conclusion. Guys, I just really need some Tiva lovin' right now.
"You definitely owe me dinner. Amongst other things."
Shifting his vest until it's secured, Tony DiNozzo adjusted his hat and slammed the doors shut to the back of the truck, purposely averting his eyes from his partner's gaze.
Ziva David keeps her eyes trained in feigned interest on her back up, discharging the chamber quickly, double checking the contents. Satisfied, she returns it to where it rests in it's holster on her hip. Her gaze then finds her fingernails, studying them lazily as she waits for her partner to check his own artillery.
"You are going to have to be specific," She replies absently, keeping her voice low, "My memory is a little frizzy."
Straightening up, Tony steps forward, and Ziva slides into step behind him; the pair falling into sync with ease. Ziva's hand drifts to her side where he knows her sig rests. Instinctively, he reaches down to secure his in his own hand as they make their way to the warehouse.
"Fuzzy. And you know very well I can't disclose that here. I'll debrief you tonight once we leave the Yard." The smirk in his voice is unmistakable and she spares a brief thought to check and confirm Gibbs and McGee are still out of listening distance. On the opposite side of the decaying structure, she sees the men disappear around the other side of the warehouse, guns drawn and pointed down.
Satisfied that even Gibbs sonar wouldn't be able to pick their voices up, she meets her partners smug gaze.
"Will this 'debrief' be before or after the dinner you have deluded yourself into thinking I owe you?"
Now in front of the door, they each take a defensive stance besides the entrance with their guns at the ready. He regards her with his trademark grin as he reaches a hand out to grasp the door handle.
"I'm not deluded. I was gracious enough to tend to you in your sickly state, and it was your fault ultimately that we missed dinner. And I was thinking sometime around dessert."
She rewards him with one of her deep, free laughs and then nods, their well versed silent communication indicating for him to open the door.
It takes all but five seconds after they step inside the building before the first round of gunfire rings out.
"What time did you make the reservation for, Tony?"
Tony sighs, shifting uncomfortably on the hardwood floor beneath him. Rolling his eyes in exasperation, he regards his partner on the other side of the locked bathroom door he came to sit down beside over twenty minutes ago.
"Ziva . . ."
His partner groans, and the flush of the toilet drowns out the rest of his sentence. Muttering an obscenity, Tony lifts himself off the floor, wincing as several increasingly unreliable joints popped. He leans against the door, hand jiggling the knob in irritation.
"I may not be able to pick the lock as fast as you, but don't underestimate my ability to kick down a door."
The words are are barely out of his mouth before the door flies open with all of his weight resting on it. He stumbles into his bathroom and his irritation spikes momentarily, knowing she did that on purpose, but it quickly evaporates as he eyes his partner's current condition.
She manages a mischievous smile, although it's a weak one. She has her eyes closed and her head back, leaning against his tub with her hair tied messily back.
He chuckles without humor and lowers himself onto the floor next to her, one hand going to finger the stray curls that are lose from her elastic. She leans into his touch, and his hand proceeds to rub her neck and shoulders.
"Happy Anniversary," he chuckles again.
She grins feebly in amusement, leaning against his body as his arm slides around her waist to pull her closer.
"We are not going to make it to dinner, are we?" It's more of a statement than it is a question, but he chooses to answer her anyway.
"Definitely not." He determines, responding lightly. "You think this is a bug or just food poisoning from that sketchy chinese take out you love by your apartment the other night?"
Ziva sighs, snuggling her face into his neck in a very un-ninja gesture, her answer muffled against his skin.
"I am hoping just a . . . bug?" The word is colored with confusion but evidently she is too tired to ask for the correlation between bugs and vicious stomach illness. "Perhaps we can celebrate dinner tomorrow night?"
Dropping a kiss to her hair, he replies. "Sure, if you're done puking by then. . . . You're buying though."
Ziva groans, leaning forward as she battles another wave of nausea.
"I want to see him. Now."
Whether it's because of how attuned his mind is to her voice, or because the venom in the sentence is potent enough to break through even his subconscious, his brain fights to grasp onto the whirlwind of activity going on around him.
Straining his ears because he can't yet lift the weights his eyelids have temporarily become, he hears a familiar, gruff voice respond.
"Ziva, you can barely walk without wincing."
"I am fine, Gibbs. My partner is not."
"David, don't make me head slap you with a concussion."
"It is only a junior concussion."
A third, male voice he hadn't heard yet comes from somewhere in the vicinity near his head.
"I think you mean minor there, Ziva."
A groan of frustration, "It does not matter! I a-"
"Ziva.." There's a warning in Gibbs voice that he hasn't heard until this point, and there's a trace of something unspoken that makes even his stubborn and relentless ninja fall silent.
Gibbs' gruff voice is low and . . . gentle? as he continues.
"You've been through a lot in the past few hours. Give yourself a minute to process it all. Relax."
The unusual kindness injected in their Bosses' tone has Tony's already foggy mind even more scrambled, and he spares a brief thought to how many pain killers he's received before he slips back into unconsciousness.
"We have to get up."
Groaning, Tony tightens his grip around her hip, burying his face deeper into the back of her neck.
"But you're supposed to be sick." He murmurs, his hot breath on her skin igniting goosebumps.
Ziva shivered, shifting around to face him, and cuddled closer into his body under the covers.
"I think that you were right, it must have been a brief virus."
Tony answers her, still refusing to open his eyes.
"Well I suppose now we have no excuse but to report for work."
She hums in disapproval, and he feels one strong, smooth leg intertwine between his under the covers. The gesture is more than enough to switch his brain from sleepy haze to alert, and he finally opens his eyes in surrender, knowing going back to sleep is no longer an option. His mouth turns up in a smile as his sight falls on Ziva's own intimate one mere inches from his on their pillow.
"Hi," he drawls, eyes smiling.
Ziva smiles shyly, quickly leaning over to peck him on the lips, attempting to hide her decidedly mushy feelings that only he's capable of reducing her to.
"Hi to you," she murmurs against his mouth, and he smirks before he kisses her back more forcefully than the previous kiss, rolling her underneath him. She laughs from beneath him, and he lifts his head to gaze down at her.
"Let's try this again," he starts, clearing his throat as her hands travel up his sides. "Happy Anniversary."
Her laughter dies down, and he brings his forehead lower to rest on hers. Her eyes are filled with emotion and something he's learned to distinguish as fondness for him, and she regards him quietly for a moment.
"Celebrating this is important to you, yes?" she asks softly.
Tony scoffs, deflecting the heaviness of the moment.
"Only because I already got you your gift, and it would be a pain in the ass to return. I just don't want to deal with all that nonsense."
One arm running up his side slides under his shirt, and Ziva smiles when his eyes darken briefly as lust rages to the surface.
"Does this mean you bought me a new gun?"
He smirks, amused that she is playing along.
"I'm sorry if it seems too romantic, I just couldn't help myself."
She feigns surprise, clutching her chest with one hand while the other pauses under his shirt.
"You do like me!"
He smiles as he drops his head to pepper her neck and collarbone with kisses, and her leg comes to curl around him.
"Happy one year, sweetcheeks."
"Can't catch a break this week, can we?"
Ziva startles from her pensive gaze out the window at the sound of his scratchy voice finally breaking the silence she spent the last several hours in. He winced when her head whipped around to look at him, almost feeling the whip lash she surely just gave herself. Quickly standing, she stuffs something into her back pocket she'd been holding and is across the room in an instant.
Visiting hours had clearly ended, because the sky outside has darkened and there was a significant absence of hustling and noise coming from the hall outside the small, private room. Standing above him, she offers him the cup of stagnant water that was resting on a tray near his bed. He gulps gratefully as tired eyes sweep over him.
"Tony," she sighs, relieved. She weaves one hand into the stands of his hair and takes his cup once it's drained, setting it aside. Massaging the back of his head, she smiles down wearily at him.
"You have been asleep off and on the whole day. They said it was due to the medications."
He closed his eyes, enjoying the feeling as she worked her hand through his hair.
"Mm... So is that why I feel like that one night we went out for tequila shots and McGee ended up losing his shoes?"
Ziva snorted, pulling up a chair to sit beside him. He opened his eyes to see her expression, and smirks at her exasperation. Her eyes then flicker down and her free hand fiddles with her back pocket again.
"He should have known better than to try and match me." She states absently, turning away from his gaze and across the room. Sighing, Tony settled back comfortably to prepare for a turn towards serious now that he was awake and alert. Grasping her free hand with his, he stroked it thoughtfully before he spoke.
"Are you okay?"
Ziva remained silent, her head still turned towards the opposite wall and away from him. He began to grow anxious until he saw the small quiver of her chin, and relaxes a little.
The ninja was just trying not to get emotional.
"It's just a flesh wound," he tries first, jokingly. When that just prompts the rare ninja-tears of her's to start, though, he quickly backtracks.
"Ziva, we're both okay. I was going to be fine - we had back-up on the way. Gibbs was there."
Ziva finally turned her head to look at him, and her watery gaze fell on the newly bandaged section of his upper torso. She brought her hand down lightly to pat the area he knew where the bullet had passed cleanly through. She hesitated, avoiding his gaze before finally speaking softly.
"It just . . . It all happened so fast. We were outside, and joking, and the next second you and I . . . . And then you were down, Tony. There were so many of them and you-" she stopped when her shaky voice threatened to falter, and she took a deep breath to calm herself. "There was a lot of your blood. And I could not stop it, and they just took you away when we got here an-" her tears were falling freely now and he quickly ran his hand up and down her arm in a comforting gesture.
"Hey, hey," he interrupted, calmly stroking her arm. "It's okay, Ziva. We're both fine. This is our job; we know the risks . . . . You know the risks."
Ziva shook her head vehemently, brushing her tears away in frustration. Tony's quick to grab both her hands and hold them forcefully between his own. She allows it, and finishes her previous tirade.
"No, Tony, you are not understanding. You do not know." She takes a shaky breath and finally meets his gaze. He swallows the lump in his throat that's caused by his rapidly building anxiety. Whatever it is he's not understanding or yet aware of has his gut churning, and his heart suddenly feels twice as heavy when he observes all the emotions raging in her eyes.