Disclaimer: Don't break your heel. Just don't.

Spoilers: Season premiere, with Extreme Prejudice.

Summary: Tony/Ziva/Elevator.


"Freaking warning signs. Don't take elevators in emergencies. Take the stairs. Do what the picture says." Tony staggered slightly under Ziva's weight on his shoulders as she pressed against the ceiling panel. "You don't even have to be able to read to follow them. Little stick figure runs away from flames! So simple."

"Stop talking."

"Stop not lifting that panel, then."

"I am trying!"

"Hey, c'mon." He raised his hands to her waist to steady her as he knelt to let her down for a moment. "My back needs a break." He swore he heard a crack as he stood, though he couldn't be sure if it were from his spine or just one of the various noises that had been pinging and popping around them since the explosion. "Whew. Good thing our phones work, at least. Think I could order a pizza?"

"You think the guards at the Navy Yard gate will hesitate arresting the delivery man and shipping him to Gitmo?"

"We'll have McGee go out and wait for it. He'll give 'em the basset hound face and we're golden."

"McGee sounded unsteady." She pursed her lips and began the pacing that had gotten him to suggest getting on his shoulders when forcing the doors had proved impossible and he had refused her demand 'give me your femur' to use as a pry-bar. She shrugged out of her jacket and dropped it on a pile of debris they had pushed to the corner to give themselves more room. "We should have called Gibbs."

"We tried, remember? Busy signal. When was the last time you heard a busy signal? Only Gibbs would have a phone that doesn't go straight to voicemail. Not that Gibbs knows how to retrieve his voicemail, so maybe the busy signal is appropriate. A reminder of another age, a manlier age when men were Gibbs and women…had gams."

She finally stopped pacing. "Are you still talking? How can you still be talking?"

"Uh, you haven't punched me hard enough to shut me up yet?"

He was afraid for a moment that she would take him up on the idea when she resumed walking her tight circle around him. He tried unsuccessfully to tell himself it wasn't predatory. "Um, I know it's probably too early to talk cannibalism, but, when you are feasting on my tender flesh, please remember…"

"Shut up," she interrupted, not looking as horrified as he would have liked.

"I'm just saying, no one will blame you. I mean, you're slightly younger, much deadlier, probably voted most likely to eat your future colleagues in high school, but, I gotta say, leave the face so they'll remember who the prettier one was."

"I am not going to eat you, Tony." She quirked an eyebrow at him. "Although I have noted that has been one of your main fears about me since we met."

"Not true." He tried not to think of all the times he'd thought, She could eat me alive, in both positive and negative contexts over the years. "Although I admit I'd be more suspicious if you lived in a house made of candy."

"Is the air becoming thin in here?"

"Why, you feeling faint?"

"No, I am just wondering if you babbling is going to get worse the longer we stay in here. God, why did we take the elevator?"

"Uh, duh. Exactly what I've been saying! I mean just because we always take the elevator…"

"It's a stupid habit. We should take the stairs."

"Yeah, let's take the stairs if we ever get out of this elevator." He sat down with a huff. "Of course, we don't know what kind of damage there is in the rest of the building."

Ziva sat down beside him, a little closer than necessary. "McGee made it sound like it is quite bad."

"So there's a chance that if we had taken the stairs, we could be in even more trouble than we are now."

"It is possible, I suppose."

"We're like Indiana Jones hiding in the fridge to avoid getting nuked."

"The explosion was not nuclear."

"No, I'm just saying that maybe, just maybe, we made a good choice. I mean, it's not like we were cowering in the bathroom. We picked a strong metal box to keep us safe. Hey, it's like a safe."

"No, a safe someone would be able to open."

"Hey, I'm just trying to say that maybe this elevator saved our lives and we should be a little more positive about it."

She looked at him a long time and he wondered if he was actually going to get a little agreement, but her expression abruptly changed. "This is the second time you have gotten us trapped in a metal box. Could we perhaps focus on getting out of this one?"

"Fine," he muttered, feeling like she'd gone a little below the belt with the comment as he lifted her back onto his shoulders. Once again, all he could think about was GoldenEye. They really needed to get out of this damn elevator.