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by: Kerrison (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1424
Character(s): Tony DiNozzo, Ziva David
Category(ies): Friendship, General, Romance
Summary: Post Agent Afloat: Tony and Ziva recover and regroup after the events of Judgment Day.
Author Notes: Thank you to my beta Jaimee.
Hold On 1
He opened the door with a beer bottle in his hand, leaning his forearm against the doorframe.
“Zee-vah,” he purred, looking slightly abashed at being caught red-handed. Hadn't she lectured him about drinking less than fourty-eight hours earlier? And here he was, home, with friends to talk to, but still finding it easier to spend his time with his good friend Guiness.
She cocked an eyebrow at the bottle, but bit her tongue on the commentary. “Can I come in?”
Tony stepped aside, letting her pass and shutting the door behind her. He slid back into his spot on the sofa, and returning his gaze to the Best of Ozzie and Harriet.
Ziva kicked off her shoes and settled on the sofa, her feet resting against Tony's thigh as she lounged across the empty-space.
She said nothing.
He switched his beer hand and tugged her feet into his lap, his slightly calloused hands starting a gentle caress of her sore feet. She studied his face and knew it was an unconscious act with no lecherous intent.
He brought the bottle to his lips and let the cool liquid soothe his throat before he started speaking.
“We had a case ... there was a chaplain who was certain that life in the fifties was so ideal -” Tony stumbled slightly, gathering his thoughts. “He chained his brides to a bunker-wall. Kept them prisoner in a world that was idealized and so far from reality...”
“I read the report,” Ziva supplied, her voice soft.
Tony jutted his chin towards the television “He had the same DVDs from the fifties that I do.”
“That doesn't make you a lunatic, Tony.”
“What about spending four months dreaming of a world that doesn't exist?”
A small smirk tugged at her lips. “As long as you didn't kidnap anyone and cuff them in a bunker, I think you're okay, Tony.”
He nodded and took a another pull from the bottle, his eyes closed.
He felt a hand cover his own and the beer was gently taken from his grasp. He met her eye and watched as Ziva finished off the beer in a single swig.
How she could make beer-drinking sexy, he still wasn't sure. But that definitely wasn't an appropriate thought for the momment. Bad DiNozzo. Not appropriate.
She set the empty bottle on the coffee table before running the back of her hand along his cheek.
“I would be worried about you if you were not upset, Tony,” she said, moving to cup his hand in her palm as she spoke, ensuring he was focused on her. “Wanting to go back and change things, and have the Director with is now-- it does not make you insane. It makes you caring.” She smirked as she continued, “Wanting to live in a world where everything's black and white and dinner is on the table when the father walks in the door after work – that is somewhat insane, Tony.”
He allowed a small smile at her light dig. “You'll never come running when I say 'Honey I'm home? What's for dinner?' You mean that's never going to happen?” he teased.
“I would not bet on it, Tony,” Ziva replied with a grin, tapping his cheek in a teasing, light slap.
He gently pulled her into a hug and buried his nose in her hair. He felt her tilt her face towards his neck and hugged her even tighter when he felt her nuzzle his neck.
“No more drinking alone, Tony. And no more drinking to forget- she would not have wanted that,” Ziva said softly, her fingers tracing a soothing pattern on his back.
She felt him nod into her hair.
“You can come to us, you know.” This time, only silence. Ziva pulled away. “Would you not want me to talk to you?” she asked, forcing his gaze.
He offered a half-hearted one-shoulder shrug. “I would understand.”
“Ha!” She scoffed. “You most certainly would not! You would harass me until I finally was so annoyed I told you my feelings just to make you leave me alone!”
She's got a point,
he thought. “Its different, Ziva.”
“Why? Because I did not know The Director as well? Because I am a woman and therefore must discuss my feelings with everyone?”
Tony had no reply and returned his gaze back towards the TV. Ziva sighed, giving up on that particular line of questioning.
She shifted until her shoulders touched his and she leaned into his frame, watching the show side-by-side.
The enjoyed a few moments of silence before Tony spoke. “Ozzie never went to Harriet and said 'Honey today at work, I screwed up so royally, my boss died.' That just didn't happen in their lives.”
Ziva shifted, tucking her feet underneath her, leaning more into Tony's frame. “Obviously I'm not the expert you are, Tony, but I don't think that ever happened to them, either.”
“I don't think there was an episode where Ozzie had to leave his family and go float on a boat with five thousand nut jobs, either.”
She smirked. “No. I don't think so.”
“And when he gets back, everyone is so disappointed in him-” he couldn't finish, his words cut off.
“No one is disappointed in you, Tony!” Her tone was firm.
“Gibbs is,” he replied, not missing a beat.
“Gibbs is not disappointed in you. Gibbs is proud of you. He's just... Gibbs! He doesn't say things like that! I
don't say things like that, but I
am proud of you,” she said, somewhere between emphatic and exasperated.
“You're proud of me?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
“Many things, Tony,” she replied softly. “But I have never been disappointed in you or blamed you for the Director's death. Nor has Gibbs. Or Tim.”
She felt him sigh and took the opportunity to softly cover his hand with her own. “I can't help you forgive yourself,” she said. “Only you can do that.”
“Yeah,” he acquiesced. Tony tilted his head back, closing his eyes.
“But what I can do, is make sure you don't kill yourself before you get around to forgiving yourself,” she said with a small chuckle in her voice.
She laced her fingers with his and gave it a gentle squeeze. “You should get some rest. This has been a very busy week for you, yes?”
“Yeah.” He nodded. “I really don't want to sleep, Ziva.”
Ziva shifted, taking a good look at her partner. “You haven't been sleeping well.” It was a statement, not a question.
“Bad Dreams?” she asked, knowing the answer before the tell-tale flinch crossed his features.
Suddenly it all made sense. He wouldn't drink to hide the memories- he'd drink to pass out. When you passed out, you didn't dream as much. Less chance of re-living Jenny's death over and over again if it was an alcohol-induced slumber.
She stood, pulling him behind her towards his bedroom. “Come on then.” He followed behind her like a small puppy- not at all the lecherous womanizing attitude she had expected.
“Ziva, as much as I'd like to live up to my reputation and completely rock your world tonight, I don't think I have the energy.”
And there it is,
she thought, mentally laughing. A horny Tony was a healthy Tony. “Now, Tony,” she crooned in reply, “Those are words I never thought I'd hear you say. 'I'm too tired.'” she mocked.
“One day, Ziva,....” He smiled, knowing he was being toyed with.
He followed her into his room and pulled his shirt off and kicked off his pants as she pulled-down the covers on his bed.
“Promises, Promises.” Ziva flirted in return. “Into bed with you, DiNozzo,” she ordered as he shuffled over, clad in socks and his boxers.
“Join me, Zee-vah?” he batted his lashes.
She leaned in close to him and smiled. “One day, Tony, I am going to take you up on that offer and you won't know what to do with yourself.”
He grinned as he felt her press a gentle kiss to his forehead.
He lay back and pulled the covers up.
“I'm going to go clean up that pig-sty,” she gestured to the front room – still looking somewhat chaotic since Tony had yet to unpack from the ship. “I'll stay until you're asleep. But I'm not far if you need me, yes?”
He nodded and watched as she doused the light and left the bedroom door open a small crack – the same way his mother had done when he was a child.
MTAC - NCIS Fic