A/N I missed having a story going and this idea had been nagging me for a while. Just a quick oneshot about how this couple finally got together.
"Jethro sit still or I cannot be responsible for how these stitches look!"
"Dammit Duck why do the doors keep opening and closing?"
"Because one of your subordinates is out there pacing in the hallway."
"Ziva I imagine. Please be still Jethro. I'm almost finished."
"Dammit would you tell her to go home or at least stand still. That is driving me crazy."
"Fine. Stay there and I mean it!"
"Ziva my dear please stop pacing back and forth. You are wearing out the door mechanism and making it very difficult for me to get Jethro sewn up. Why don't you go home."
"I wanted to make sure he is alright."
"I told Tony and McGee he is fine. Didn't they pass on the message?"
"Yes, but…. I wanted to be sure."
"You wanted to see for yourself?"
"Then why don't you come in instead of pacing back and forth out here?"
"I do not know if…I mean I want to see him but …."
"I am not sure he wants to see me. He was angry with me when we left the crime scene and then the accident and well, never mind, I guess I should go."
"Ziva the accident was not your fault. Jethro will not blame you. Is that what you are worried about?"
"If I had not delayed us he would have been through the intersection and not been hit by that other driver."
"Maybe so. Maybe then the man would have hit someone else in a less substantial car who could not maneuver as well as Jethro did. It could have been much worse. Why don't you come in and talk to him?"
"I think I will wait. But, I will not pace anymore."
"Ziva, I am going to give you some advice as a friend of both you and Jethro; do not wait too much longer."
"What do you mean? I will wait until you are finished and he is ready to leave and then I will see that he is alright and I will go as well."
"What I mean Ziva is don't wait too much longer to let Jethro know how you feel. He is ready to hear it and I dare say ready to tell you as well how he feels. In my expert opinion, and I am an expert when it comes to Jethro, he is waiting for you."
"Ducky, I….how do you…..what makes you think….?
"Ziva I may spend most of my time with the dead but I am a keen observer of the living as well. I have watched you and Jethro for years now and it is obvious to me and I dare say to most of the rest of NCIS, that you two have strong feelings for each other. Jethro trusts no one as he does you and I don't mean in the field. I mean in his life. Let me ask you something, what did you think when you saw that car hit Jethro's car today?"
"I thought I was too late. I thought I should have told him last week when we were both here working late. I thought I had lost my chance."
"Then I suggest when I am through in there you take Jethro home and don't let yourself regret another day gone by when you didn't say what you wanted to say."
"Duck, you comin'?"
"On my way."
"She still out there?"
"Yes. I believe she is waiting to see if you are alright."
"Didn't you tell her I'm fine?"
"Yes, of course I did. She wants to see for herself."
"She is so stubborn! Why is she out there if she wants to see me? Why doesn't she just come in?"
"Jethro, stop moving! In fact, lie down and relax for a moment while I put in these last two stitches. Yes, she is very stubborn but no more than you my friend. She is in the hall because she believes you are angry with her and that her delaying you at the crime scene caused you to be in the wreck."
"That's crazy. I was pissed because she forgot something but that's over and I told her so. She didn't hold us up any more than DiNozzo does every damn day. She certainly didn't cause me to get hit by an idiot running a red light."
"I know that, Jethro but I'm not the one in love with you. She is."
Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, Gibbs didn't hear that last part. He had finally relaxed enough to let the pain pill Ducky had given him take effect and in just the time it took Ducky to formulate and speak his response, Gibbs was asleep on the table. Ducky looked at his friend and patient and shook his head. Never had he known so stubborn a man as Jethro Gibbs. Or one so loyal, courageous and honorable. Or lonesome and in need of love. Maybe Ziva would be able to do something about those last two traits. Ducky certainly hoped so and was more than willing to give her push in that direction. He finished the stitches in Jethro's arm and bandaged it expertly. Now, to put his plan into motion all he needed was Ziva's cooperation and some courage of her own.
"Ziva, I wonder if you could go upstairs and find Jethro a clean shirt. I believe they are…."
"I know, second file drawer. I'll be right back."
"Thank you . Just come in when you get back. I'm finished and Jethro will need a ride home. I assume you won't mind."
"No, I don't mind at all."
Ten minutes later.
"Here's the shirt Ducky. Is he alright?'
"Yes, I guess the pain pill kicked in and the adrenaline wore off. Do you mind staying with him until he wakes? I really do need to go."
"Of course not. Go ahead Ducky. Any instructions I should know?"
"I suggest an ice pack on the shoulder fifteen to twenty minutes each hour. I've told him to use the sling for the weekend. Keep the stitches dry for twenty four hours. If you can get him in the hot tub at home it will help with the soreness he will have tomorrow. No bourbon and he should take two more pain pills around ten or eleven o'clock. If he will allow you to stay with him I think it would be best if he is not alone tonight."
"Is he really alright?"
"Yes, I didn't mean to alarm you. I have given him a pretty strong narcotic and just want you to keep him out of the basement and away from the boat and the bourbon. Friday nights he tends to indulge a bit too much. I did not get a chance to really talk to him about that because he fell asleep while I was still stitching up his arm. He is physically fine, I promise. Ziva, take my advice and talk to Jethro. If I am wrong about his feelings for you I will be more than shocked. It may seem a risk to you but I assure you he is worth it."
"I will try Ducky. Thank you."
"You're welcome, my dear. Take good care of him."
Ziva pulled up a chair and watched Gibbs sleep. She had never seen him so relaxed and peaceful. The small worry lines in his face were gone, his mouth was slightly open and he was snoring very softly. It was hard to tear her eyes away from his handsome face but she did to survey his perfect chest which she had not seen in all its glory before tonight. Her eyes strayed to the narrow trail of hair that appeared from the waistband of his trousers and led up his firm abs and stomach before blossoming into a very sexy covering of curly gray hair over that perfect chest. Ziva was thinking about how much she would like to let her hands and mouth wander around that chest and abdomen. That thought took her back to Gibbs' face and while she was imagining her lips on that wonderfully sinful mouth, the object of her fantasy began to stir.
Jethro woke with a start and made the mistake of trying to sit up by pushing himself up with his left arm. Unfortunately that is the arm with the twelve stitches and the dislocated shoulder.
Ziva jumped up and was at his side immediately offering a hand to pull him into a sitting position. Jethro looked at her with somewhat blurry vision, the combination of sudden pain and narcotics combining to cloud his already questionable eyesight.
"Thanks. Why are you still here Ziver?"
"I wanted to make sure you are alright and Ducky had to leave so I said I would give you a ride home."
"I have a clean shirt for you. Let me help you get it on so you don't hurt your shoulder any more."
Jethro managed to stand up and with Ziva's help he pulled on the tee shirt. He stood next to the gurney just looking at her and Ziva, who had never been intimidated by him held his gaze. Jethro might have been a bit groggy but he knew Ziva well and he could see there was something else going on with her.
"That the only reason you're here, to take me home?"
"Yes. No. Why else would I be here?"
"I wonder. Why were you out in the hall so long?"
"I wanted to make sure you were alright but I did not think you would want to see me. I was afraid you were angry with me for making us late and you being there to get in the wreck."
"Ziver you know me better than that. Don't you?"
"Tell me what's really going on in your head."
Ziva studied him for a long few moments trying to discern for sure whether or not Ducky was right. Did Gibbs really harbor romantic feelings for her? Would he really welcome her telling him she cared for him in a decidedly unprofessional manner? Did she have the courage to tell him how she felt about him? Deciding to trust that Gibbs' oldest friend really did know him, Ziva took a deep breath and plunged ahead.
"I was so scared when I saw that car was going to hit you. It was like everything was in slow motion. I wanted to yell at you to go faster but of course that would not have helped. I was afraid to watch but I could not take my eyes off your car. Then that idiot hit you and the car was spinning around and other cars were coming and I was so scared. I thought I had lost you."
Ziva had tears in her eyes but she managed to contain them; just barely. She never took her eyes off Gibbs' face. He reached out with his good arm and pulled her closer to him. He kissed her on the forehead and wrapped her in a one armed hug.
"Ssshh. It's all okay now. I'm right here and I'm not going anywhere. You're never going to lose me Ziver."
Ziva wrapped her arms around him and laid her head on his chest. Her mind was spinning but she certainly registered how good it felt to be held by Jethro. After a few moments, she straightened up and wiped her eyes. She looked Jethro in the eyes and screwed up all her courage.
"I have something to say; something Ducky thinks I should tell you tonight. I am not sure you will want to hear it but again, Ducky says you will so I will bow to his expert opinion."
"Okay. Go ahead."
Ziva closed her eyes and reached for Jethro's hands. She held on tightly, opened her eyes and said, "I love you."
Jethro felt his heart quicken and his breath almost stop. There were any number of other things he might have guessed she would say but those three magic words were not what he was expecting. He knew he needed to respond but whether it was the pain pill or his natural reluctance to accept good things happening to him, he couldn't seem to formulate what he thought would be an acceptable reply. So, he did what he had wanted to do for a very long time. He kissed her. Ignoring the pull in his shoulder he tangled his fingers in her hair and pulled Ziva to him so he could kiss her properly. He started out gently caressing her lips, touching and pulling back over and over but pretty soon he needed to really taste her. He pulled her closer and pressed his mouth to hers with an almost desperate need to show her how much he wanted her. Apparently she got the message because she wrapped herself around him and kissed him back with equal passion. Her hands were pulling, touching and caressing him letting him know she understood his unspoken answer to her declaration of love for him. As much as they tried to avoid it they eventually had to breathe so Jethro gently pulled away from her. His hands slid down her back holding her close. Ziva's fingers were playing with the hair on his chest and her lips were easing the pain in his injured shoulder.
When they both were able to breath normally, Jethro held her face between his hands and asked, "What now, Ziver?"
"Ducky said I was to take you home, get you in the hot tub and then stay with you."
"Yes, and he said I was to keep you out of the basement and away from your boat and your bourbon."
"How long are supposed to stay with me?"
"He did not say."
"Hmmm. Well I suppose we should do what he says, after all he is a doctor."
"Yes, I believe we should follow his orders. How long do you think I will need to stay with you?"
"I don't know. How does forever sound to you?"
"Not long enough but it is a start I suppose."