"Boss," Tony greets, walking through the door of his apartment and seeing he and Ziva. He tries to keep his feelings about the sudden influx of people into his home under wraps, for her sake.
"What is going on?" Ziva demands, feeling anxious about being kept somewhere against her will, even if that place was Tony's apartment.
"You're under house arrest," Gibbs tells Ziva, pointing to her. "And so are you, DiNozzo." Tony nods, hands stuffed into his jacket pockets.
"Gibbs, this is ridiculous! I can't help you if I am stuck here."
Gibbs gives her a hard stare. "Exactly. You need time."
"What I need is to get out there," she says desperately. Doesn't she deserve to find the man who killed her Abba and the mother of two? Doesn't she have the right to kick him till his ribs break and hit him till he bleeds? She's angry.
"You're angry," Gibbs says, holding up a finger. "I can't have you out there in this state."
"So you and McGee just think you can handle this on your own? You need me out there! You needus." She looks at Tony, hoping he will back her up. He stays silent, ever-loyal to Gibbs.
"We got Dorneget," Gibbs informs her. He turns, gives Tony a look saying help her and leaves the two of them in silence.
She looks over at him. "You…have a nice apartment, Tony. It is too bad that my first time here had to be under such terrible circumstances."
"Stop it," he says, all of a sudden, looking at the floor and then straight to her.
"Stop what?" she replies in a voice that she believes in nonchalant, though her blank expression is beginning to falter by the second.
"Stop being so goddamn brave. It's just me, Ziva. Nothing you can hide from, here."
She raises her eyebrows, and her voice is louder this time: "You think I am being brave for you?"
"Who else for? You can't hide from your own emotions, Ziva."
"Why not? You seem to do a fairly good job at it."
It's a harsh jab, and it hurts. Like she meant it to. "This isn't about me."
"No, you're right. It isn't!" She is frustrated that she can't really storm off, but she turns and walks in the other direction anyway, despite not knowing where she is going.
"Then why are you running from this?" he asks, following her. He gets close enough that he grabs her wrist and she whips around, escaping from his grip.
"Maybe I am not running. Maybe you are simply chasing me. Maybe this is what I do when I do not know what other option I have." Her voice is soft now, with an edge.
"You can't hide from this," he says, still pushing. "You need to feel something else."
"Like what? Something other than grief and - and rage and hating myself…I do not know how to do that. What am I supposed to feel right now?"
"Loved?" The word only has the slightest hint of a question, but nevertheless, he lifts his hand to her hair.
"No," she whispers. She closes her eyes and shakes her head vigorously. "No, not now." She steps away. "I can't do this now."
"Ziva…" He doesn't know what to say anymore. He is tearing up himself. "Feel something else. Try. Try to feel something new."
"I can't," she protests, tears of frustration beginning to well.
He can't take it a second longer, and before he realises what he is doing he is kissing her, hard. His hand is on her cheek. He thinks she will push him away but she doesn't move. She sinks into his touch.
When he pulls away for air they both are nearly panting. Between breaths he places feather-light kisses to her lips. One. Two. Three.
With sad eyes she rakes a hand through his hair and kisses him again. Soft, and still this time. One of gratitude. And he gets it.
"Wanna order a pizza?" he offers, and she nods, but doesn't move from where she is, with her arms around his neck. She realises - not for lack of motivaion - that she does not want to. And so she kisses him again.