A/N: It's me again :D Thank you so much for ALL of the reviews on my other story, Lip Balm! I decided to write another, so here it is!
Disclaimer: Nope. But I wouldn't mind having Michael Weatherly...
"You've never been to a carnival?" Tony gasped incredulously. Sitting in the passenger's seat was Ziva, who's eyebrows were quirked at him.
"I believe I already told you no, Tony. I do not see what the big deal is."
"Big...deal?" he questioned dramatically, making his Israeli partner roll her eyes. "Ziva, everyone who's anyone has been to at least one carnival or amusement park in their lifetime!"
Ziva was silent as they continued to drive away from the scene of their latest crime scene. After collecting the body, Gibbs ordered everyone home, telling them to rest and be fresh to work in the morning. But with the glittering lights of the annual carnival not far down the road, Ziva could guess that rest wasn't anywhere in the near future for her.
"So I guess you will be taking me there, then?" she sighed, and watched as his face lit up.
"You wanna go?" he asked, surprised. A glance in her direction answered his question. "Well then, let's go to the carnival, David."
As Tony pulled onto the fairgrounds, Ziva couldn't help but stare at the blur of neon, flashing lights. The happy noise of those who took over the carnival late at night echoed around her, and she gazed in awe at the massive rides.
After he parked, Tony shrugged off his NCIS windbreaker and hat, revealing the T-Shirt he had managed to slip on as he left for their late-night call into work and a scruffy bed-head. He had picked up Ziva on the way to the scene, because her Mini Cooper was in the shop. Ziva too shed her jacket and hat, and before she knew it, Tony had whirled her away to the ticket booth.
"The crowds aren't that bad a night." Tony explained, "It's mostly just the older people left."
"At 9 p.m.?" she raised her eyebrows.
"You'd be surprised." he smirked, and took their roll of tickets from the rather large man behind the counter.
"You kids have fun." the man said, and waved them past.
Tony guided Ziva through the carnival, making sure that she rode every ride and tried to every booth in the place. The wild rides were by far her favorite, and they did a certain roller coaster more than once. At first, she had tensed at the loud music and the creaky roller coaster tracks, but a look and squeeze on the arm from Tony reassured her that it was perfectly safe.
Tony liked watching her smile. The shouts and screams she made on the particularly crazy rides weren't of terror or fear (even if his were), but of joy and unbridled happiness. She was actually having fun.
When the tickets ran low, they wound down the evening with the ferris wheel. There was no cliche kiss at the top, and the Ferris Wheel didn't stop. But in Tony's eyes, seeing Ziva's smile still plastered to her face, her eyes bright, and her hair windswept and hanging loose around her shoulders was ten times better. After her father had died, Ziva had retreated back into the shell that she had tried so hard to break free from before. While he had been able to make her smile sometimes before, nothing compared to the look in her eyes now. The cloudiness and dullness that had occupied them before wasn't completely gone, but the happy glow in them now gave him hope. She was healing.
As the ride made its way around slowly, Ziva couldn't help but look around her.
"Everything is so different from up here."
"Yeah." he replied with a grin. "I've always liked the look of carnivals at night. It reminds me of The Notebook. I'll have to show it to you sometime."
"I've seen it." she said simply, and then giggled at the look on his face.
"Oh, ladies and gentlemen! It's a MIRACLE!" Tony announced to the sky, while throwing his arms up and causing Ziva to laugh more as the Ferris Wheel began its descent. "Ziva David watched a movie on her own!"
She smacked his arm playfully, and he chuckled. "Well, of course it was The Notebook that you've seen. Every girl watches that."
She smacked him again.
"I happen to like that movie." she remarked as they clambered out of the little car. "And before you say anything Tony, I do not watch it just for Ryan Gosling."
Tony smirked and shot her a look that clearly said yeah, right. "Yeah you do, Ziva."
He steered them towards a booth selling food, and handed over a few bucks for cotton candy, which Ziva had never had either, to Tony's horror. She pulled off a piece and popped it into her mouth, and her expression turned to one of delight.
"You know, we have to be at work in a few hours." she pointed out as Tony started making his way over to one of the games.
"Damn." he swore, and glanced at his watch. "Sorry, I didn't realize it had gotten so late. Or early." he apologized. "Do you wanna head out?"
"Not really." she grinned wistfully from behind the fluffy, pink cotton candy she held. Her tiredness from before was gone by this point.
"Me neither." he matched her grin with his own. "Let's go do some games. I have a couple bucks. Maybe you can win something."
When the two collapsed in Tony's Mustang at 2 a.m., they were thoroughly broke and exhausted. Ziva had managed to win several stuffed animals, to her delight. But her happiness at winning wasn't because of the prizes; it was of the looks on the faces of the men at the game booths when she won game after game. Dart-throwing, water-balloon shooting, the list was endless. Tony had won a few as well, but only accepted one prize, which he donated to Ziva's pile. That pile was now sprawled across his backseat.
They made the drive to Ziva's apartment in silence, and Tony had to shake Ziva awake when they arrived.
"Ziva? We're here." he whispered.
She opened her eyes quickly, and yawned loudly.
"Do you want me to help with all of your stuff?" he asked, motioning to her NCIS gear and carnival prizes.
"You keep them. Give them to Abby or something." she said, still clearly half-asleep mentally. "I only want this one." she said, and plucked the small teddy bear he had given her off of the backseat.
"Um...okay." he replied. "I'll send you all of those pictures we took later." he told her as she gathered her things together.
She nodded, and without a moment's hesitation, she leaned over and pecked his cheek.
"Thank you, Tony. We should go again sometime." she smiled, as if what she had just done was the most normal thing in the world, even though Tony was frozen in his seat.
"We will. See you in a few hours." he grinned, and watched her exit his car and begin the journey into her building.
She looked back over her shoulder once she reached the door, and locked eyes with him. Ziva smiled, and he waved. Once she was gone, Tony exhaled loudly, and sank down in his seat. The spot on his cheek where she had kissed him tingled pleasantly, and he wondered how she could reduce him to a grinning idiot with one small peck.
Tony smiled to himself as he drove away, happier than he had been in a while. He thought about his bucket list then, and smiled wider.
When he got to his place, he went straight to the nightstand in his room and pulled out the list and a red pen. He grinned to himself as he crossed off one of the items, and studied it a minute, admiring the red strike through number 24.
Let friends get closer.
A/N: Thanks for reading! Bye for now!