She caught his eye the second she walked in. Of course she did. She caught everyone's eye.
But especially his.
Tony turned away, scuttling over to the beverages. It didn't necessarily matter there was no alcohol – after a few guys from accounting got a little rowdy last year, and Christmas was supposed to be a family time. This wasn't someone's senior prom; he didn't expect someone to spike the punch bowl. But as he sipped the fruity beverage he only hoped the mentality would be enough. Or maybe Gibbs had his flask on him…
One thing was for sure: he probably couldn't get through this party sober.
Ziva, looking perfect in a black dress and jacket, crossed the room to greet McGee. Tony saw her whisper something, but he couldn't make it out. He was fairly sure she hadn't spotted him yet.
"Abs," he called to the Goth, who happened to be passing by. She stopped dancing to whatever ridiculously peppy Christmas carol was playing and looked up. He cocked his head towards the other two co-workers. "What're they sayin'?"
She stared for a few seconds, as subtly as she could. Although, when one is dressed in a Santa-style dress with fishnets and platforms and a hat that flashed, it was hard to be subtle.
"I can't tell – she's not moving her lips enough, and they're talking too fast," she said apologetically.
Tony held back a groan.
"Tony, I know this is probably really hard but – "
"Yeah," he said, running a hand through his hair. "I actually think I'm just gonna go home. Maybe catch a bad Christmas special or somethin'."
"No!" she protested like a small child, grabbing him by the arm. "Just stay for another half hour or so. Please, for me?"
Damn her puppy dog eyes. "Fine."
Abby scurried over to her co-workers. She gave Ziva an awkward wave. "Hello. Um, can I borrow Timmy for just a second?"
"I suppose," Ziva said dryly.
Abby dragged McGee out the door and into the dimly lit and empty hallway.
"OK, I know we said we'd be normal but I can't do this anymore. We have got to do something about those two," Abby blurted out.
"Oh, I know! It's driving me crazy! They've been awkward and reserved ever since they broke up. I knew those two getting together was a bad idea," he replied.
"What?! It was the best idea either of them has ever had, combined! And you had forty bucks in the pool!" she said, jabbing her finger into chest.
He rubbed the point of contact and had a pouty look on his face. "Look, we've got to get them back together, or at least talking."
Abby's lips formed a thin line as she thought. "I think I have an idea."
"You really think this is gonna work, Abs?" McGee whispered.
Abby gulped. "It has to." She sounded genuine, and it was obvious that, if this didn't work, Abby would be heartbroken. Among other people. "OK. Go!"
Tony's head snapped towards the door of the otherwise empty conference room when he heard it click. His eyes widened.
"What are you doing here?" Ziva demanded, looking like a deer in the headlights. She noticed his eyes instinctively scanning her body. Maybe she shouldn't have worn such a tight dress. It made butterflies appear in her stomach – and not the good kind. He'd been looking at her like that for years, even before they were together. Now if was different.
He looked at her blankly. "I was told there would be pizza."
Ziva grit her teeth. "This was Abby's idea. To get us both in here. I know it."
"Maybe it isn't such a bad idea," he suggested coolly. She just looked at him. "Ziva, it's Christmas. You're my family. I don't want this to be us. Not after everything else it's been."
She huffed loudly. "Did you think it would be that easy? Just…whip out a few sentimental words and everything would be just – peachy?"
"No, but – "
"You're right. It isn't." She rubbed her face tiredly, not caring if she smudged her make-up. "You know, sometimes I wish I'd never kissed you in that elevator," she muttered, her voice muffled by her hand.
He felt the blow of her words. That hurt. A lot. "I don't."
Her head snapped towards him, but behind the sparks of fury in her eyes was pain.
"And I wish I could do it again, sometimes," he finished, staring at his hands.
"Tony…" she groaned. She didn't want to do this. Not now. Not ever.
"I'm not saying I'm going to, Ziva, for Christ's sake!" he exclaimed angrily, standing up, and pacing. "Can you just open yourself up for a second, please? Take down this stupid wall you have around yourself and see that I still have feelings for you!"
Both of their eyes widened, but especially Tony's. He hadn't meant to say that.
"You…still have feelings for me?" she asked, biting her lips.
He sighed. "Of course I do. You had to know that."
She just gulped.
"You can't just stop being in love with someone, Ziva. Same as you shouldn't just throw away a good relationship. But that was your decision."
"You could have protested."
"There was no point."
Ziva paused. "And now?"
"What's there to talk about now? There's not a now, is there? I mean, really. You made it pretty clear you didn't want to fix things."
"Don't be like that. You know I hate this as much as you do."
"Then do something about it."
She did. She whipped around and gripped his face, kissing him, hard.
She pulled away after a few seconds, realising what she'd done. "I…sorry, I just…reacted," she stammered, raising her fingers to her lips in shock.
He had to hold back a smile, then. "You really regret kissing in the elevator?"
She didn't answer.
"You have to admit, you gotta miss that."
A little smile played at her lips. And just like that, she felt a spark between them, like something was back. They had their mojo.
"Maybe," she said with a smile.