Hi all, thank you for such a positive response to my last story, here is another one for you, again set after 9x24, hope you all like, please read and review.
I don't own NCIS or its wonderful characters, my thoughts are my own and they are not for sale, maybe rental if you're lucky
Ziva couldn't sleep, not for lack of trying though. She was both mentally and physically exhausted but however much she willed herself her brain would not switch off and let her drift away into a much needed slumber.
She squeezed her eyes tightly shut; flipping onto her right side, then onto her back, then onto her left side, but nothing was working. She opened one eye slightly to see her bedside clock reading 02:17. She flipped back onto her back and sighed loudly; crossing her arms behind her head she turned her focus to the moon outside her window. Since they had been stuck in the elevator she found that she had become slightly claustrophobic, even having her curtains shut at night made her feel uneasy.
But it was the quietness in her apartment that was affecting her tonight, it was unnerving, the silence was deafening, only drowned out by the rapidly increasing thump of her own heartbeat in her ears.
She sat up dropping her head into her hands. She mentally kicked herself, when had she turned into a nervous wreck! The threat from Dearing was over, after the many long months since the explosion, Dearing and his accomplices had been caught, there was no more need to worry. Or was there? There was always another monster, or seemed to be.
With that thought lingering in her head she decided she couldn't be alone tonight, the walls were inching ever closer to boxing her in and the air was suffocating her. She jumped out of bed and quickly pulled on some sweats and her boots and headed out the door.
She didn't even remember driving the short distance through the empty city streets; it was almost like she had engaged autopilot, her car so used to driving that particular route she didn't even to need to concentrate. She had debated ringing on the way over, make sure her visit would be ok given the time of the morning, but had decided against it, she couldn't have handled the answer being 'no'.
She stood outside the apartment door, listening for any signs of activity from within but there were none; the lights were all off as well. She held a hand up to knock but instead turned the handle on the off chance it had been left open. It hadn't but that was no obstacle, she quickly picked the lock and let herself in.
Closing the door quietly behind her she turned round and felt a small smile find her lips as she saw the usually untidy apartment looking uncharacteristically tidy, except for the half empty bottle of whisky and empty glass left on the table.
She moved through the apartment with a feline grace, the moonlight illuminating any obstacles that were in her path but she knew the layout well enough to find her way to the bedroom door. It was slightly ajar and she could hear soft breathing coming from inside, the sound of a content sleep that at the moment she could only wish for.
She hesitated with her hand on the doorknob, part of her feeling that this was highly inappropriate and that he would be mad at her for invading his space, uninvited, but the other part of her knew that he would understand and welcome her with nothing but concern for her wellbeing.
She opened the door and slipped inside, finding his curtains open as well and the light from the moon dancing across his face, she paused, and content that he was still asleep she slid off her jacket and draped it across the small armchair in the corner.
Sitting down to take her boots off she suddenly felt a pair of eyes trained on her from the direction of the bed. Looking up to meet them she found Tony had propped himself up and was looking at her sleepily through a haze of confusion.
"Hellllloooooooooooo," he said, and from the tone of his voice, Ziva knew he wasn't mad at her being there.
"Hello Tony," she replied, then dropped his gaze and continuing to unlace her boots.
"Whatcha doin'?" he asked groggily, his eyes slowly adjusting to his surroundings.
"I am undoing my boots," she replied, taking one boot off then starting to unlace the other.
"I can see that," Tony frowned at her from across the room, "but why are you undoing your boots, in my bedroom, at three o'clock in the morning?"
"Because I am sure that you would not like me to get mud in your bed," Ziva stated, deliberately being vague, and avoiding Tony's gaze.
"Zivaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa," he groaned, rubbing his eyes, "as much as I am enjoying you being here, in my bedroom, at three in the morning, why are you here?" He looked back at her, hoping that he could get some kind of coherent answer out of her by lightening the mood.
He noticed how deflated she looked sat in his chair, almost defeated, and it pained him to see her dejected demeanour.
"I did not want to be alone tonight Tony," Ziva sighed, standing up, "I do not feel safe in my apartment."
Tony knew that admission had not come lightly; Ziva did not often open herself up emotionally, especially if it made her appear vulnerable.
"Surely if you wanted to feel safe, Gibbs would have been a better option than me?" Tony asked as Ziva slipped her jumper over her head and dropped it onto the chair.
"I can go if you do not want me here," she replied defensively, turning to face him.
"No, no I didn't mean that," he reassured, not wanting her to feel rejected, "I was just curious why you chose me that's all, of course I want you here!"
"I could not face Gibbs' pitying looks and silent questions," Ziva honestly answered, "I would have felt awkward going to him but I do not feel awkward here."
Tony was beyond flattered that she felt like that, he was sure that a few years ago that may not have been the case. He had learnt a lot from her, he knew that he had grown a lot due to her influence and now he was rewarded with her placing her emotional trust in him.
"Aww Ziva you know you can always come to me," he smiled, "I would never judge you or ask any questions you didn't want to answer."
"I know," she smiled back, "and that is why I chose you." With that she shimmied out of her trousers, placed them with her other discarded clothes then made her way over to the bed.
The moon coming through the window behind her silhouetted Ziva's figure, Tony was all of a sudden all too acutely aware that she was wearing only a vest and tiny shorts. "Ziva do you want me to go sleep on the couch, give you some space?"
"No Tony I do not," she replied sitting on the edge of the bed, "we are both adults, and I did not come for space." She slid both her socks off, tucked them in her boots, and then crawled under the covers. She tucked her gun under the pillow then nestled down into it, facing Tony. He shuffled back a little bit then laid down facing her, drawing an invisible line down the middle of the bed making a neutral zone for her so she could not accuse him of being anything other than gentlemanly.
They stayed like that for a few minutes, just looking at each other, features carved out in the moonlight, trying to decipher each others expressions, both trying not to give too much away.
"Am I making you uncomfortable?" Ziva asked, breaking the silence.
"I dunno," Tony answered truthfully, "maybe a little, I just don't want you to think that you being in my bed would make me think anything other than legitimate, concerned, caring thoughts."
Ziva giggled, "Are you trying to convince me or yourself Tony?"
"A little of both I guess," he chuckled, her reply making him feel a little more at ease.
Ziva smiled then took Tony's hand in hers, pulling him closer to her as she turned over and pressed her back against his chest, winding his arm around her waist. She interlaced his fingers with hers and rested them just under her ribcage.
Tony was shocked that she was allowing him this intimate of a touch; he wasn't sure how he was supposed to react.
Ziva turned into him and issued him with a stern warning, but delivered with a glint in her eye. "If you try any funny business I will shoot you," she smiled.
"Is this not already considered funny business?" he asked with raised eyebrows, needing to clarify for his own personal safety.
"No," she replied turning back round to face away from him, moulding her body into his, and pulling his arm tighter round her waist, "definitely not funny business."
"So what kind of business is this?" he whispered into the back of the neck, his warm breathe sending shivers through her.
"This," she whispered back, tugging gently on his hand, "is the comfort blanket I have never had in my life before, now I feel safe."
Tony felt his heart skip a beat and a lump form in his throat, he was suddenly at a loss for words, he could not comprehend the heartfelt admission he had just heard. He opened his mouth to voice a reply but realised from Ziva's slowed breathing that she had drifted off to sleep. Instead he gently pulled her closer to him and smiling into her hair, slowly drifted back off to sleep himself.
Let me know what you think please guys!