So, hey guys :D
I tried something new here, something I feel a bit uncomfortable with. Established Tiva.
I mean they get together in all my fics, but that's it. I never write about what happens after the confession of love for one another and the decision to take the step across the line that separates them.
Well, now I dared myself to deal with everything that comes after that. It depends a lot on what you think, though. If you don't like this, it will stay a one-shot, but if you want me to, I have a multi-chapter story planned, dealing with the first year of them livng together (hence, the title)
Disclaimer: My birthday is in three days... let's see if anyone gets me the ownership of NCIS.
It was never easy to tell a man he had lost his wife and little daughter, but their boss knew the feeling, of course, and so they never said a word when he pushed them more every day, urging them to find something – anything – that could give away the killer's identity. The team had worked non-stop for the better part of ten days with close-to-nothing of sleep and eventually they had found the bastard and due to Gibbs and his sniper rifle he was never going to hurt anyone ever again. Of course that didn't bring back the little girl with the adorable smile and her mother, whose pictures covered the walls in Seaman Henson's house and Gibbs knew that only too well and Tony guessed that this was one of the reasons that his boss drove back there to give the poor man the closure he deserved, only to find him lying his daughter's bedroom with a family photo in the one hand and a gun in the other.
It hadn't been their first case that had ended like this, but the team still hadn't fully recovered from the explosion and their freshly healed scars threatened to break open again. Gibbs didn't take Henson's suicide well. His boss would never say anything, but he'd known him long enough to see what was on his mentor's mind and after that case there was nothing but self-loathing showing in the gruff man's features. Tony knew exactly what he was thinking.
I should have known
But after their talk with Henson only hours earlier to fill him in on the preogress of the case no one, not even Ziva with her crazy ninja instincts who could tell what someone had for breakfast by the way their ears twitched, would have expected anything like that. Of course Gibbs wouldn't hjear anything of that and so he stopped trying to talk his boss out of his mood, tired from the case himself. Now he just sat at his desk and waited for the boss to let them go for the night to dive into a well-deserved long weekend. As if on cue their team leader entered, holding what looked like the day's tenth coffee in his hand.
"What're you still doing here?" he asked tiredly, "Go home, get some rest. I don't wanna see you in here again until Monday."
McGee hesitantly got up from his chair, lifting the phone from his ear to call his goodbyes to everyone before continuing his conversation with the unhappiest forensic scientist in the NCIS building. Everyone hated it when a case involved the death of a child, but Abby hadn't been herself since the Dearing disaster and now after the Henson case she was an emotional wreck and young, brave McGee did everything in his power to comfort his best friend, and Tony had never been more proud of his Probie.
Gathering his stuff together he glanced over at his partner, who looked to be lost in her thoughts. He slung his backpack over his shoulder and walked the few steps to her desk, startling her when he waved a hand in front of her face to get her attention.
"Ready to go?"
Ziva looked at him for a second before slowly getting up and motioning for him to follow her to the elevator. He was confused, but followed her, calling a 'Bye, Boss,' over his shoulder.
"Well, aren't you going to get your stuff?" he asked when they stood at the closed elevator doors.
"I think I should stay with him for a while, Tony," she said in a low voice, gazing up at him with tired eyes. "He is not taking this well."
He thought about that for a moment then sighed. "No, he's not."
He was going to say more, but was cut off by the familiar dinging of the elevator.
"I will call you tomorrow, yes?" Ziva said, turning to walk back to the desk area, but he grabbed her hand and turned her back to face him.
"Or," he started with a soft smile "you could just come over once you're sure he's okay."
"It might get late," she said hesitantly, but stepped closer to him. His hands came to rest on her hips as he pulled her another step towards him and her hands snaked up around his neck.
"I don't care. I just don't like sleeping without you anymore," he whispered, touching his forehead to hers."
Ziva chuckled throatily before closing the distance between them and pressing a quick kiss to his lips. "I will remind you of that the next time you complain about me taking up more than half of the bed," she said when she pulled back.
He brushed a stray curl behind her ear. "I take that as a confirmation of you coming over tonight"
Instead of an answer she kissed him again. "I will not promise you anything," she said when she stepped out of their embrace and walked back to where their boss was still sitting and watching his coffee getting cold.
It took Tony a couple of seconds until he actually stepped into the elevator and pushed the button for the ground floor. Even after almost five months of being together, Ziva still took his breath away. Quite literally, because his breathing was still slightly uneven after kissing her. He still felt the urge to kick himself for not acting on his feelings sooner. They would have both deserved it. But now they were together and happy and he felt like he loved her a little more every day. He chuckled as he thought of how dumbfounded she had looked when he had kissed her, completely out of the blue.
They are walking along the Potomac, taking a break from filling out boring paperwork. He bought her a cup of tea from their favorite café and she holds the steaming cup in both her hands to warm them. It's a particularly chilly day in November and her cheeks are flushed from the cold wind that's blowing. Together with the slight sparkle in her eyes he's sure that she cannot possibly get any more beautiful and maybe it's because of the funny mood he is in or maybe it's the way she laughs at his movie reference, but he suddenly leans in and presses his lips to hers for only a second.
She stares up at him with big eyes, confusion written all over her face. "What was that for?"
He shrugs, a smile on his face. "Don't know. Felt like the right thing to do."
A frown forms on her face and he braces himself for a kick or a punch or anything else painful to him, but he certainly isn't expecting her to hesitantly lean up and press her soft, warm lips back to his.
Still smiling he drove home through the semi-busy streets of the capitol, turning up the volume of his radio when a Sinatra song came on. He made it to his apartment in a good time and was glad when he could drop down onto his couch. Only now did he really remember how exhausted he was from their case. IT took all his willpower to get back up after a couple of minutes and walk to his bathroom with heavy steps.
He took a quick shower, accidentally using Ziva's shower gel, grinning like an idiot when the familiar smell of lavender reached his nostrils. He loved her bath stuff, not that he would ever say that out loud. He had a reputation to protect after all.
Once he was ready for bed, after having a bite to eat (Ziva's homemade Paella from the previous day, which he loved) and answering a couple of emails (one of his college buddies – Dean – was getting married) he dropped onto the mattress and closed his eyes, enjoying the soft fabric of the newly purchased sheets Ziva had insisted he needed. And she'd been right, these were way better than his old ones. He didn't even care that they were a dark purple and he was sure if McGee ever found out about that his friend was going to make fun of him for the rest of his life. But he liked the sheets, and – more importantly – Ziva liked them too and since she'd been spending most nights at his place for the past two months he found it important for her to feel at home. Before he could lose another thought on his bedclothes, though, he drifted off into sleep.
He was woken when someone softly pushed him to the side. "You came," he whispered still half asleep when he reached out blindly, searching for her hand.
"Yes," she whispered back, but even in his sleepiness her could tell that she'd been crying. She climbed onto the bed and crawled straight into his open arms. He couldn't bring his eyes to open, knowing it would be useless anyway, as it was completely dark in the room, but he hugged her tight to his chest, her face buried in his shoulder.
"Wanna talk to me about what happened?" he asked, stifling a yawn.
She sniffed once and he tightened his arms around her. "No. Sleep, Tony."
"Zi, I can't sleep when I know you're upset," he said, running his fingers through her curls in an attempt to soothe her.
It was silent for a long moment and he almost fell back to sleep before she spoke up again. "He told me about them. Shannon and Kelly."
"Yes," she hesitated, "I think he is better now."
"I'm glad you went and talked to him."
"So am I. It is just so… so sad," her voice broke at the end of her sentence and he felt his T-shirt dampen where her tears dropped onto it.
"Shh, it's okay. He'll be okay," he said, pressing a kiss to her head. She only cried for a minute or two before loosening her grip on him and giving him some space, but her hand found its way into his and their finger intertwined.
"Thank you, Tony. I do not know what I would do without you."
"No big deal, Zi. You know I'll always be there for you."
"Oh, it is a big deal," she said, her voice steadier than it was only a moment before, "I realized tonight when I was driving home that I do not like the thought of going to bed without you either, so I drove here instead and that makes me feel scared… and safe at the same time."
"Move in with me," he suddenly bursts out without warning and even though his eyes are still closed, he feels her eyes on him.
"Most of your stuff is around here anyway, you've spent more time around here than at your own place lately and… I love you, Ziva."
She squeezed his hand. "You tend to confront me with big decisions when I least expect it," she said and her voice seems amused. "And you are right about my stuff being around here. When I last went home I neither had a hairbrush nor a bag of tea."
He smiled, his heart speeding in his chest, "Does that mean you're considering it?"
"It means… I am quite fond of the idea. But it might get… exhausting to be around each other around the clock."
His eyes opened and he found the room to be bright enough to see her looking at him while he considered her words. "Then we have to get a bigger place where each one of us gets a room just for themselves."
"Let me guess… yours will be a movie-room, yes?" she asked with a bemused expression on her face, which he found quite adorable.
"I would prefer the term 'home cinema', but yes," he chuckled, but was serious when he looked at her again. "So… are we moving in together when we find a suitable place?"
"If someone had told me a year ago that I would ever say this, I would have told them they were crazy. But yes, if we find a place we both like I am willing to move in with you."
He couldn't form a coherent sentence, so he just kissed her. When he pulled back he brought his arm back around her, hugging her to his chest again. He inhaled deeply, enjoying her scent and the thought of spending every future night in an embrace like this. He was almost asleep again when Ziva spoke again.
"Yeah?" he murmured groggily.
"I love you too."
And? What do you think? Hate it? Love it? Don't care?
Your feedback is very much appreciated! :)