note: Here I am, with the final chapter, only, ooh... 70 days after the last update. Okay so it was more like 11, but hey. This is Day 8. That's about all I can say. Shortest A/N ever for me. Okay, enjoy.
disclaimer: You know you're obsessed with NCIS when you catch five minutes of Hiatus and you cry anyway.
listening to: Love is Easy, by McFly.
She hums contentedly as she turns in his arms, peeling open one eye to see the small alarm clock on her bedside table flashing 04:19 in a cool, metallic blue. Groaning, she shifts in order to at least attempt at getting comfortable again, but all efforts are lost as Tony yawns loudly and stirs beside her.
"You're awake." He states, his words clearly not a question, yet she still feels the distinct urge to murmur an agreement and nod.
Something inside her is forcing her to remain facing away from him, eyes trained on the shadow of a picture on the wall, but when he shuffles closer and wraps an arm round her waist, she knows he's not intending to make this easy for her.
"Ziva, what are you thinking about?"
His voice is hushed and his breath warm in her ear, and goosebumps rise all over her skin at the sudden shock.
And yet she composes herself, clears her throat, and promptly tells him it doesn't matter.
It's around half past four when they step into the breezy lobby, hands interlinked and bodies barely clothed. They're not expecting to run into people, and if they do she doesn't care about what they may think.
They head out to the pool, bare feet leaving faint marks all over the tiled floor, and a part of her brain wonders why the hell she's going along with this. But the answer, of course, is simple. It's him.
"Tell me." He says gently as they stand by the edge, moving his hand and hers along with it. Her eyes rise to meet his, about to spout an excuse and head back to the warmth of cotton sheets, but there is something settled rather comfortably in his eyes that makes her stop suddenly, her heart pounding and her throat drying up.
And so she relents, swallowing hard before replying simply,
"What are we doing, Tony?"
His eyes widen and he freezes, and she wants to kick herself, because of course that's not what she's supposed to say. Not here, right by the hotel, right by the room where their suspect currently rests.
Instead of dropping her hand, though, or rolling his eyes, and wandering back to bed like she fully expected him to do, he murmurs her name and she looks up again.
"Ziva... I honestly don't know. But," he begins, reaching up with his free hand and scratching by his eyebrow, as if that will somehow clear his thoughts. She wonders idly when they became scattered and murky in the first place. "I... I like this. A lot. And this thing- the whole..." he hushes his voice more "married thing? It's not as hard as I thought it would be."
She releases a breath and her heart seems to start beating once again, but when he doesn't continue she squeezes his hand and that somehow acts as if to ask him.
"I thought that this would be unbearable. Not because I'm here with you, but because... it's you. And I thought, that having to act like I'm in love with you, and act like you're the most wonderful thing in the universe, would end up being... tricky. But I was wrong. I've found out that I don't even have to act."
At that, she drops his hand, and takes a step back, before realizing quite how close she is to teetering off the poolside and right back into the freezing cold water they'd both occupied just hours ago.
"Tony... what, exactly, are you saying?"
"I think you know."
His voice is free of the smug tones a phrase like that would often come accompanied with. Instead, it is rough and intimate, and suddenly the whole world slows down because he really is serious about this.
Taking a tentative step towards him, she reaches out and places a hand upon his face. His eyes drift shut momentarily in a long, slow blink, and she feels him breathe in sharply as her thumb brushes his skin.
"You... would like to try this?" she asks, her voice forcibly indifferent just in case she's read him completely wrong.
He laughs softly, eyes now locked tightly with hers, and nods. "Yeah. Yeah, I would." And yet he pauses slightly as he's about to move closer, and she wonders what's coming next. "Would you?"
"Yes. Very much so."
A smile breaks out on her face before she can help herself, and with that she steps forward and kisses him.
He wakes her by prodding her repeatedly in the stomach, and she retaliates with a slightly indifferent punch thrown to his shoulder. Once he declares his intentions for a shower and leaves, she lays back down with a smile on her face, because nothing has changed, really.
With the sun well and truly up, and Tony well and truly showered, she changes quickly and brushes her teeth before they head downstairs, attempting breakfast in the dining room once again. They head down, and whilst her partner heads straight for a plate, Ziva merely tugs on his hands and leads them over to a corner.
"Hello John, Mary."
The older couple are seated on a couch, John with his feet resting by two half-empty plates on the coffee table, Mary with her nose buried in a travel guide. She looks up immediately, however, once hearing the greeting.
Ziva suddenly finds herself wrapped up in a tight embrace as the words "Darling!" and "My dear!" and "Oh, how are you?!" are exclaimed rather loudly.
As she takes a seat and Tony appears from seemingly nowhere with two full plates of food and a glass of orange juice, she laughs and tells her friend she's perfect, thank you.
They're back in their room by midday, the sun once again proving to be a formidable force, but she can't say she minds it. The air is cool and music is playing, and Tony nudges her accidentally every now and then with his knee. It actually is his knee, this time.
She hears the TV remote click quietly, and she supposes he's still looking for some kind of news to watch- apparently, being out of the loop has started to grate on her partner-, yet she is glad he's muted the sound and allowed her to play the CD she found underneath the stereo, instead.
Turning another page in Mary's surprisingly interesting guide book, she's about to ask something when a quiet knock reverberates through the door. Tony stands, dropping the remote on the couch as he does so, and goes to answer the muffled call of "Room Service".
She looks up to see Sam standing over the threshold, a small plate in his grasp, and she squints to see what it is.
Tony mumbles something, and the waiter replies just as quietly, before smiling and nodding his head at the louder words of thanks offered.
"For the lovely lady." Her partner says once he has shut the door, walking toward her and holding the plate before her eyes. She grins at the large cookie sitting atop the ceramic.
She takes a bite before speaking.
"What did Sam say? He said something to you, just before he left."
Tony smiles to himself, wipes a crumb from the side of her mouth, and then replies.
"I said the cookie was for you. And he said that I'm very lucky to have you."
She blushes and puts the biscuit back down as he moves closer.
"And I agree."
He smiles at her, genuinely, then plants a kiss on her lips.
And that's it, everyone! Yes, I'll be working on a sequel (I'm calling it that even if it ends up only being one chapter), so keep an eye out for that.
All I can say is thank you, honestly. Thanks to everyone who's reviewed this and put it on alert and favourite- you guys are awesome. And whether you've been here right from the start- you know who you are-, or you've just hopped along halfway through, thank you. I'm glad I could share this with you. A final cookie for you all.