Yeah, I'm starting a new one with my busy life. We'll see how this works. Anyway, after the Housekeeping commentary, I had this strange want to write a pregnancy fanfic. So, I started working on it, and Stephanie (aka dinutzzo on tumblr) kinda helped proofread and offer criticism. I know pregnancy fics are done alot, but either way, I hope you'll enjoy this one. For those who are curious, the title, Mercurial, means changeable and unpredictable, which are words I incorporated into the summary, if you noticed.
Anway, I'm going to stop typing now and let you read. Hope you enjoy it!
Sometimes, cases are easy. A jealous ex-husband killed his ex-wife's new boyfriend. A business deal goes wrong. Anger gets the better of people and they react harshly. Those are all simple, open and shut, with no complications or emotional trauma to the team investigating.
Tony DiNozzo had experienced a fair share of those "easier" cases, and after several years of working for NCIS, he had learned, in a strange way, to appreciate them.
Sometimes, however, things weren't so simple.
At first glance, this new case had seemed simple enough. They had someone in custody when a murder similar to the first occurred. Then, there was a third.
It had taken a lot out of them, realizing two times that they had the wrong person in custody. They all were relieved when they finally got the right man, but by then, three lives had been lost, and to all the members of Team Gibbs, that was three lives too many.
"I still cannot believe it was him the whole time." Ziva said quietly as they sipped on their drinks. She had her elbow on the counter, and her hand was supporting her chin. "All that time, he was right there, and we didn't see it. We let him get away with two more murders before we finally caught him."
Tony heard the sadness in her voice, and his automatic instinct was to comfort her. "I know. It's tough when that happens, but at least… at least we got him, right? We won, eventually."
"Did we?" her response was quick and sharp, and she stared into her drink as if it might give her the answers for which she so desperately searched. "He killed three women, Tony. No one won here."
He sighed, feeling a little defeated as her words rocked him to his core. He mirrored her position, feeling exhausted. "You're right."
At his simple admittance, she turned to face him, eyes glistening with tears that any other day, she wouldn't dare shed. "I do not want to be right, Tony."
His heart lurched almost painfully at the moisture in her eyes. He could see clearly her longing to be comforted, and he longed to do so in return. So, in the middle of a semi-crowded bar on a Thursday night after a really overwhelming case, he reached up to brush his fingers across her cheek before leaning in to kiss her. It was somewhat strange, kissing her. He'd only kissed her once, and that had been in an undercover assignment, though it was definitely one he'd enjoyed, except for the fact that he'd gotten hit in the face seven times. Now, though, he was kissing her in a much softer manner, his lips gently moving against her own, and no one was watching them with surveillance cameras this time. This time, he was kissing her because he wanted to.
Silently, in the back of his mind, he admitted to himself that he really, really liked kissing her.
However, if he'd known where that one, simple kiss would lead them, he would have thought twice before doing it in the first place.
When Tony woke the next morning, he was in his apartment, in his bed, alone. He sat up, taking an entire minute to figure out why he felt so disoriented, and then the memories flooded his mind.
He remembered her legs around his waist as he kissed her already swollen lips. He remembered pulling her shirt over her head and letting his hands run down her body. He remembered their bodies, moving together as if they were familiar with each other.
And he supposed, in some ways, they were.
He groaned out loud as the full force of the situation hit him hard, and he put his head in his hands. It would have been one thing if he had woken up and she had still been there, because then, they could have at least figured out what last night had meant. They could have talked about it together, if she had stayed, but she hadn't. At some point, she had gotten up, gotten dressed, and simply left.
That scared him more than he would ever be willing to admit, and what scared him even more was that when he walked into the squad room forty five minutes later, she was sitting at her desk, doing something at her computer, and when he walked by, she didn't look up at him, and didn't say a word.
He tried unsuccessfully several times to get her attention from across the office, but it was pointless. She stared intently at her computer for the majority of the day, especially when he also in the room. Each time he looked up at her intent stare, his heart sank down to his stomach.
She was ignoring him with one hell of a purpose, and the only reasons he could imagine were painful ones.
So, he sat there at his desk as the day passed uneventfully, trying to make sense of everything. It wasn't that she hadn't enjoyed herself. That much had been fairly obvious, but as he watched her carefully throughout the day, he wondered if she thought he hadn't thought anything of it. Maybe she simply expected him to act like it was nothing, even when it wasn't.
Or maybe it was. He honestly was so disoriented he wasn't even sure.
Somehow, fate decided to let Gibbs and McGee leave before them that day, and as noises of them gathering their things to leave rang through the otherwise silent room, Tony found himself asking the simple question that had been bothering him all day.
"Why aren't you speaking to me?" His voice echoed through the nearly empty room.
She stopped in the middle of what she was doing, closing her eyes as if in pain. He waited, already preparing himself for the stab of rejection that he simply knew would follow her answer.
"I…" She hesitated, seeming to be searching for the right words. "I just didn't have anything to say."
He nodded tersely. "Nothing at all?" His voice had an edge to it that he hadn't meant to put there, but once he had spoken, it seemed fitting.
She nodded, but her face contradicted the motion. "Nothing."
He swallowed, his composure and tense attitude slipping. "Ziva, don't-"
"Just drop it, Tony. We… we messed up." His heart dropped at her words. That wasn't what he wanted her to say at all. "We were overwhelmed by the emotions that came up because of that case, and we did… what we did… in an attempt to comfort each other and ourselves. That's all."
He felt his throat threatening to close up, and he nodded again, looking out the window into the darkened D.C. sky. The city lights seemed to mock him and his now gloomed mood. "Okay. Fine."
He turned off his lamp and walked to the elevator with his head down, leaving her standing at her desk. As he waited on the elevator, he risked a glance back at her, only to see that she was standing exactly where he had left her, and she was still in the same position as he stepped into the elevator.
Once he was safely inside the steel walls, he leaned his head back against the metal, sighing, her words playing over in his mind. She had shrugged the whole thing off like it was nothing, and maybe it wasn't to her, but as he closed his eyes and fought the exhaustion that suddenly threatened to crush him, he realized that maybe, just maybe, it had meant something to him.
He would be one of the first people to admit that he hadn't always been the most honorable man. Most people that knew him were aware of that. In his younger years, he'd played around, and only once had he ever had real feelings for anyone, and that was a time he tried not to recall on most days. He'd changed, though. He wasn't like that anymore. He thought Ziva knew that, but either she didn't, or she was simply choosing to ignore it because it was… easier.
He didn't just sleep with random women anymore. In fact, he hadn't been with anyone since EJ, and most of his co-workers knew that. Yet, for some reason, Ziva was simply shrugging off their night as one of his many, when he knew, and he would bet that she also knew, that was not the case.
It had meant something to him.
He cursed out loud as the elevator doors dinged open, and he ignored the strange look the front desk worker gave him when he walked through the lobby and out to the parking lot, surprised that he could even function properly, because in all honestly, this whole situation had him feeling just a little bit overwhelmed.